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Police funding left untouched as Tucson Mayor and Council approve 2021 final budget

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Tucson Mayor and Council voted 6 to1 to approve the 2021 fiscal year budget.

Tucson Ward 1 Council Member Lane Santa Cruz voted against the budget.

"This is my first city budget vote and I don't take the responsibility lightly," Cruz said. "Until I am assured that we have incorporated the communities' feedback into the budget process I am a no vote on the final budget adoption for fiscal year 2021."

In the past few weeks, public hearings held have showcased police funding.

Some people are calling on the city to defund the police. Others argue the department is already underfunded.

In the approved budget, funding for the Tucson Police Department for 2021 accounts for about 19 percent of the cities budget. The city has allocated $163,371,220.

The biggest chunk of that money nearly $92 million is going to patrols. A little over $35 million will be going to the investigative services bureau.

Regardless of Tuesday night's decision, it is important to note that even if the council adopts this year's budget for next year, they still have the option to reallocate funds away from the department.

"We should take the lessons we have learned from this budgeting process. Redefine how we move forward and learn how to co-govern our community," Mayor Regina Romero said. "This is just the beginning of the conversation as I see it and not the end."

News 4 Tucson reached out to Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus who provided the follow statement.

“I'm grateful that the City Council continues to support the police department through the 20-21 budget. The department looks forward to continuing our work with the community to build trust and strengthen relationships," Magnus said."We are always committed to doing better and serving all our residents to the best of our ability. I believe Tucson has an excellent police department overwhelmingly made up of very dedicated men and women. We are ready to take on the complex challenges that come with public safety in the budget year ahead."

For an in depth look at the City of Tucson's 2021 budget click here.

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Denelle Confair

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