SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says he doesn’t know of any city in Texas that has defunded its police department.
The city of Austin has come under fire for taking nearly a third of its police budget, $150 million, and redirecting it to social services for the 2021 fiscal year. That prompted Gov. Greg Abbott to threaten to freeze property tax revenues in cities that have cut their police department’s budgets and have DPS take over police departments in cities where there aren’t enough officers.
Now the governor has imposed a 2 pm Thursday deadline for Texans and political candidates to post a pledge on social media opposing “defunding police departments.”
“I do not know one police department in the state of Texas that’s being defunded–not one,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff at Wednesday evening’s COVID-19 briefing.”I know there have been cutbacks in some of them, but none of them have been defunded, so that’s political talk.”
Wolff recently suggested that mental health professionals should have been sent to handle a call where a combat veteran who had a gun under his t-shirt was shot and killed during a struggle with deputies.
“So there may be different responses to calls. That doesn’t mean you’re defunding the police,” said Wolff. “I don’t know where the hell that came from.”
The proposed 2021 budget for the San Antonio Police Department is $8 million more than 2020.
“Our FY ’21 budget actually has a small increase in it,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “Local issues can be handled at the local level.”