San Diego City Council Votes To Substantially Increase Police Budget Despite Growing Nationwide "Defund The Police" Campaign

June 8, 2020

Despite a growing "Defund the Police" campaign gaining traction across the United States, San Diego's City Council voted 8-1 this evening to increase the San Diego Police Department's budget by $27 million for a total of $566 million for 2021, constituting more than 36% of the city's general fund budget.

Despite 10 hours of public testimony, both written and telephoned in, with the majority of San Diegans  commenting calling for cuts to the San Diego Police Department's budget and asking the city to redirect those funds to social welfare programs, the council voted almost unanimously to approve Mayor Kevin Faulconer's proposed budget to increase funds for the city's police to $566 million for fiscal year 2021. The 2020 budget for the SDPD was $539 million and was $480 million for 2019. Citizen speakers asked for money to be used for multitude of programs, including a racial equity commission, homeless outreach programs, mental health services, and rent-assistance measures. Councilmember Chris Ward was the sole "no" vote on the budget increase.

Many of those calling in to voice disapproval to the increase in SDPD funding cited objectionable actions made by members of local law enforcement, including the shooting of James Lacey by two sheriff's officers in 2017, the shooting of a 59-year-old grandmother Leslie Furcron with a beanbag round on May 30 in La Mesa, and a recent incident this past Thursday when plainclothes police arrested a woman in Downtown San Diego and removed her in an unmarked minivan after a protest (see below, the officers could be heard saying "if you follow us you will get shot, do you hear me?" to the arrested woman's pleading friends).

The public murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers on May 25 has sparked a global outcry against systematic racism and disproportionate police brutality against black people which has resulted in a nationwide campaign calling for jurisdictions to defund, downsize or abolish police departments. Minneapolis, for example, is aiming to cut $200 million from its $1.3 billion overall annual police budget. In Los Angeles, City Council President Nury Martinez  proposed reducing the LAPD budget by as much as $150 million for the 2021 fiscal year. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti also agreed to funnel $250 million from the police and other programs to pay for jobs for at-risk youth, health initiatives, and "peace centers" to address trauma in black communities.

For contact information for San Diego City Councilmembers, visit and head to to get contacts for the San Diego Mayor's Office. See the full City of San Diego General Fund Expenditures by Department below.