Bakersfield approves $630mil budget, boosts law enforcement

A large contingency of the community showed up to the Bakersfield City Council meeting Wednesday to demand the Bakersfield Police Department be defunded.

After discussing the issue at length, the City Council unanimously adopted the $630 million budget for fiscal year 2020-21.

The budget called for around a 10 percent increase for BPD, allocating $119.9 million in total to the department. The increase, largely funded through the Public Services and Vital Services Measure, allows the department to add 44 new positions. 

BPD has said additional resources will allow officers to respond to a wider number of calls in person, reduce response times, and resume community policing, which they say is a popular request from the public.

Not everyone, however, agrees.

Here’s more from Sam Morgen from The Bakersfield Californian.

Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.