Police departments face one-two punch: Defund protests and coronavirus

Fiscal shortfalls stemming from a steep decline in revenues due to the coronavirus lockdown are hitting police departments in cities large and small, though many localities had sought to keep law enforcement-related cuts to a minimum in comparison with other services.

In Seattle, the mayor this week proposed $20 million in police budget cuts to help with COVID-19 revenue losses. Elsewhere, in cities like Las Vegas and Oklahoma City, police officials told NBC News coronavirus cuts are a pressing concern…

In Tacoma, Washington, local officials are facing a $40 million budget shortfall in its general fund as well as a push for defunding amid protests.

Victoria Woodards, the Democratic mayor of Tacoma, Washington., told NBC News that with 68 percent of her city’s spending devoted to public safety — 34 percent specifically on police — she doesn’t “know how we get through the crisis without making a cut in an area that makes up 68 percent of your budget.”