CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Following nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd, Coral Springs is now examining its police funding.
In the current budget, 18 percent of the city’s total budget of $298.5 million is spent on the police department, city officials said.
That $54.9 million expense goes mostly to the salaries of the department’s 220 police officers and 100 civilian members.
The spending is being reviewed by a new task force of city leaders, police administrators, and community activists who are determining if any changes need to be made in the wake of the debate over police operations. The group is also taking a close look at police practices and policies.
The city’s police spending also came up in a recent national study which found that Coral Springs came in fourth in the nation on police spending – allocating nearly 36 percent of its budget on police operations.
The study by business insurance company AdvisorSmith, called "Cities that Spend the Most and Least on Police,” also found that Coral Springs spent an average of $536 per resident on police services when adjusted for the cost of living.
In addition, the study determined that out of the top 15 cities spending the highest portion of their budget on police expenditures, eight of those cities were in Florida.
AdvisorSmith said its study is based on data from the Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Coral Springs officials dispute the study’s finding, saying it doesn’t paint an accurate picture of police spending in the city.
For instance, the study included county expenses into its figures and didn’t factor in the city-run communication division, crime scene unit, crossing guards or school resource officers in 22 schools, said Lynne Martzall, the city’s director of communications and marketing.
“We have one of the most qualified, professional police departments in the state, if not the nation,” Martzall said.
Still, Martzall said: “We recognize and hear the call for cities to reduce or reallocate funding to police agencies.”
And that’s why, she said, the task force was formed.
“The safety of our residents and businesses has been and will continue to be our greatest priority,” Martzall said.
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