What ‘Defund the Police’ Means and the Reallocation of the Funds

Posted by Nailah Herbert in EconomyAugust 8, 2020(Last Updated December 29, 2022)2 min read
Key Takeaways
  • There is a difference in ‘defund the police’ and ‘abolish the police.’
  • Police departments typically take up 10 to 50 percent of their respective city budget.
Are you ready to make some real money moves?

Conversations about defunding the police have grown into a nationwide outcry after the tragic deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. As the demand for defunding the police continues to grow, the understanding of exactly what that means is sometimes misunderstood.

Defunding the police department doesn't mean abolishing the police force. Instead, it means taking away funds that have been allocated to or invested into the police department and instead using those funds to invest in other areas that can best serve the communities.


money going into society

According to the US Census Bureau, a total of $115 billion was dispersed to police departments nationwide in 2017. Although the total police budget for every city is different from one fiscal year to the next, research shows that police departments typically take up 10 to 50 percent of their respective city budget. Those funds can range from $194 million (New Orleans's total police budget for 2020) to $6 billion (New York's total police budget for 2020).

Some city officials have started pushing to defund the police, such as Mayor Bill De Blasio, who committed to "shifting resources" to aid in funding "youth initiatives and social services." Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti seeks to cut their police department's budget up to $150 million. Additionally, Mayor Garcetti is looking to create more jobs for youth, implement health initiatives, and provide "peace centers" to help people heal from trauma. He will also allow those who have suffered from discrimination to receive compensation.

Millions and sometimes billions of dollars are routed to police departments, yet significantly less money is allocated for community-led initiatives, education, etc. 


Main Image / Editorial credit: VDB Photos / Shutterstock.com

Was this content helpful?
Comments (0)

Sign In to leave a comment.

Download the CapWay App

Access more features to your Money Account

  • Money Goals
  • Request Money
  • Categorize Spending
  • Money Talk

The CapWay, Inc Debit Visa Card is issued by Metropolitan Commercial Bank (Member FDIC) pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. “Metropolitan Commercial Bank” and “Metropolitan” are registered trademarks of Metropolitan Commercial Bank ©2014.

1. For Money Account holders with a negative balance, the CapWay debit card will go into freeze until funds are deposited to bring account back to current. See terms and conditions

2. Sending or receiving money from other CapWay account holders will be instant. Transfers from other accounts could take up to 48 hours, depending on the financial institution.

3. Early access to funds requires direct deposit. Early payment is not guaranteed and is dependent on the timing of payer's submission of deposits. We generally post such deposits on the day they are received which may be up to 2 days earlier than the payer's scheduled payment date.

4. Money Goals allows account holders to save money towards financial goals created within the CapWay platform. Funds can be transferred from your Money Account or saved through the rounding up of your transactions from purchases.

5. CapWay offers financial content through Learn Money free of charge, but may include advertisements through affiliates. Phunds, CapWay's literacy program and session, is paid content or co-branded content.

© 2019-2023 CapWay Inc. All Rights Reserved.