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D.C. Budget Blasted By Police Union Head

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The D.C. Police union is questioning the D.C. Council's decision to leave additional funding for the department out of next year's budget.
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The D.C. Police union is questioning the D.C. Council's decision to leave additional funding for the department out of next year's budget.

The cause of Baumann's ire? It looks like the plan to beef up the city's police force is now off the table.

The original plan in the budget was to spend $10 million of anticipated revenue on hiring new police officers, the goal being to keep the department from falling below 3,800 officers. Law enforcement officials say anything below that number stretches the department too thin.

But during the final budget vote, the council decided to strike the request for new officers off the top of the wish list because of unforeseen Medicaid costs the city needs to pay off.

After every single expert has warned against allowing the Metropolitan Police Department to fall below 3,800 officers, the Council just voted to drop the number of officers below 3,700. Council members will now need to explain to D.C. residents why there are less police on the streets and less law enforcement in the District.

Council member Phil Mendelson, who chairs the public safety committee, also criticized the move and voted against the budget.

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