Boston Mayor Rejects Proposal To Slash Police Funding

( – Democrat Mayor Michelle Wu has vetoed the $4.2 billion operating budget approved by the Boston City Council. The proposed budget would cut $31 million from the city’s Police Department and $900,000 from veteran services. An increase of $8 million would be allotted to participatory budgeting and would allow residents of Boston to have more input on how their taxes are used.

The numbers originally proposed by Mayor Wu included only $2 million for participatory purposes. In a letter released by the mayor that coincided with her rejection of the budget, she suggested that the Boston PD would be unable to meet salary and overtime obligations and called the City Council’s proposal “illusory.”

Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson rejected the mayor’s assertion and said that not only would no city employee lose their job should budget cuts be implemented, but the police department could see excess funds totaling $25 million in the next year. The councilor conceded that the council was unhappy with the proposed cuts to veterans services; council member Fernandes Anderson has a son serving in the United States Marine Corps.

To override Wu’s veto, Boston’s City Council now needs two-thirds of its members to vote in favor of the proposal. 8 yes votes would be needed from the 12-member council. Of those, only 7 voted for the original proposal.

Boston’s largest police union praised Mayor Wu’s veto. Larry Calderone, head of the union, referred to the City Council proposal as “misguided.” In his statement, he said the union was “grateful” for Wu’s efforts.

After calls from many on the left to defund police departments around the United States, some regions are seeing an increase in their police budgets. The soft-on-crime policies being seen in many Democrat-controlled areas have caused many locales to take the opposite approach. In 2022, Nancy Pelosi said the movement to defund police was “dead.” Two weeks later, President Biden called for an increase in police funding.

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