Denver To Defund Its Police Department to Pay For Migrant Crisis

by State Brief

Rocked by a surge in migrants that has strained resources and left public officials pleading with the federal government for more money, the city of Denver has announced a new plan that involves cutting resources for local police in a bid to handle the crisis.

In an April 10 press release, Mayor Mike Johnston said that “the city has experienced 16 months of significantly increased migration,” which has led local officials to enact cost-cutting measures that will produce new savings of $45.9 million. Combined with $44 million in other cuts, the total savings plan amounts to $89.9 million.

Though cuts to local police departments were not stated directly in the announcement, the city confirmed to Daily Caller News Foundation that Denver’s police department will receive an $8.4 million reduction in funding, which amounts to about 1.9 percent of its total operating budget.

Johnston, a Democrat, said in the announcement that the city will continue to support illegal aliens for six months, but will severely cut the number of individuals it will help to just 1,000, explaining that the new strategy and budget comes as the city has experienced 16 months of increased migration.

Denver, which has a population of roughly 710,000, has taken in more than 40,000 migrants, which Johnston says is “the most per capita of any city in the country.” The migrant surge has cost the city more than $68 million.

Local residents are not happy with the new strategy, saying the changes are out of step with an ordinance signed in 2017 declaring Denver to be a “sanctuary city” for illegal aliens.

Housekeys Action Network said the plan will push illegal aliens and their children into “dangerous situations” when the city’s assistance dries up and they are “kicked to the streets or lied to about available opportunities in other states.”

Johnston was one of five Democrat mayors who in recent months has pleaded with the Biden administration for funding to address the migrant crisis.

Mayors from Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York City, along with Johnston, sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting “$5 billion to cover the expenditures our cities have already incurred and to continue serving the growing number of people arriving in our communities.”

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