A spokesman for Jones, Nick Dunne, declined to comment on Vaccaro’s goal of restoring the police money, until details are available. “Our position is we’re trying to make our police officers’ jobs easier” by assigning mental health and social workers on some 911 calls, Dunne said.
Another critic of the police funding reduction, Alderman Jeffrey Boyd, 22nd Ward, said he doubts that any aldermanic push to restore the police funds will be successful since that would need estimate board approval.
He said it’s more likely that Jones and Green at some point in the fiscal year will decide to shift additional money to police when the amount budgeted for overtime is used up. “It’s not realistic” to believe that won’t happen again, Boyd said.
However, to try to reduce OT, police are adding oversight, rescheduling officers to hours of peak crime and considering changes to the way the department responds to protests.
Parking fees rising
Also Friday, aldermen approved:
• The budget for the city parking division, including an increase in the charge at parking meters citywide by 50 cents an hour and higher fines for parking violations. Both would take effect in October.