City council, Keller at odds over funding of new Community Safety Department | KOB 4
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City council, Keller at odds over funding of new Community Safety Department

Joy Wang
Updated: October 16, 2020 06:11 PM
Created: October 16, 2020 04:58 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and the city council have different ideas about how the new Community Safety Department will look.

Thursday night's Committee of the Whole meeting discussed changes to the budget. They addressed stafign to the new department and how much it would cost.

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"We all have a goal where we want a safer Albuquerque," said councilor Lan Sena. "We all have different ideas of how to get there."

Councilors not only shared their own concerns, but also those of their constituents.
 
"If this department is going to turn into what it's being proposed on this mission that is what I can stand behind of late with this budget document it is not appearing to be that way," said councilor Brook Bassan. "And there is some rapid movement and development that is happening that I don't think is what I supported to begin with."

The mayor proposed the new unit following the social unrest that was sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Teams of city employees, not uniformed police officers, would respond to non-violent calls involving issues like mental health or addiction.
 
However, it appears as if implementation of the new department will be delayed as the city council resolves the budgeting issues.

"We want to move fast and bold and innovative, and I think council wants to move at a more gradual manner," Keller said. "And that's okay, so we'll basically work with them and meet with them. And we basically have the same end goal, so I'm not really concerned about it."

An official vote from councilors is expected Monday. They’re considering providing 1/3 of the $7.5 million the mayor asked for to fund the department. 


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