The Los Angeles City Council approved plans Tuesday for spending $56.6 million in funds that were diverted away from the police department’s budget last year with the goal of investing in programs to benefit communities of color and provide alternatives to traditional policing.
The funds are part of a $150 million diversion of money away from the LAPD announced last year in the wake of protests following the death of George Floyd and rising calls to re-imagine public safety and “defund” police agencies.
The City Council earlier this year approved spending plans for $32.2 million of the diverted funds. That approval led to a brief standoff with Mayor Eric Garcetti, who vetoed the initial spending proposal but later signed off on a revised plan the council approved as it voted to override the mayoral veto.
Mirroring the earlier $32.2 million spending plan, the projects approved Tuesday were spread across all 15 City Council districts and included a wide array of programs.
Included on the list were multiple community-improvement programs, youth programming and homeless outreach and assistance efforts. There are also various allocations for “reimagined public safety” programs citywide, millions of dollars in community grant programs and “environmental enhancements” and “quality of life services.”
There are also line items for projects such as athletic fields in under-served communities, job-training programs and neighborhood-beautification efforts. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were also allocated to train South Los Angeles residents to serve as “community intervention workers” to monitor parks and conduct patrols.
City financial staff noted in a report to the council that much of the money being allocated represents “one-time” funding.
“To the degree that the programs recommended for funding are proposed to be ongoing in nature, ongoing sources of funding will need to be identified pursuant to the city’s financial policies,” according to a staff report.
The spending plan approved by the council still needs to be approved by the mayor.
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