Cities across the United States have been setting larger amounts of money aside in recent years in order to fund their police departments. Collectively, the country spends approximately $100 billion on policing as well as a further $80 billion on incarceration
. Crime levels have dropped substantially over the past three years, in tandem with larger police budgets. A report published last month
argues that the drop off in crime
is not directly related to the larger budgets, however.
The report was compiled by The Center for Popular Democracy, Law for Black Lives and the Black Youth Project 100 and it argues that investment in mental health, housing, youth development and living wages would prove more effective than policing.It also provides an overview of police budgets in key American cities. It found that in FY2017, Oakland allocated the highest share of its general fund towards policing, some $242.5 million. Chicago set 39.6 percent of its general fund aside ($1.46 billion) while Minneapolis allocated 35.8 percent ($163.2 million). In terms of overall budget, New York had the largest at $4.89 billion, though this only equated to 8.2 percent of the city's general fund. On a per capita basis, spending per person on policing stands at $772 in Baltimore, $581 in New York and $381 in Los Angeles.