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City commission votes to look at options for reducing the use of sworn officers and reallocating part of GPD’s budget

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

At the end of a 7.5-hour meeting that included about 3 hours of presentations from the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) and about 3 hours of public comment, the Gainesville City Commission voted to do the following:

  • Have staff come back with options for a deflection/diversion program, civil citations, and city prosecution for city violations. This is to include information on what a city violation is, which crimes should result in civil citations, and deflection/diversion programs.
  • Have the City Manager come back with a budget item to repurpose open sworn officer positions for the 2021 budget.
  • Have the City Manager come back with a budget item to have increased GPD mental health team coverage for the 2021 budget.
  • Have the City Manager bring back other budget areas in GPD that would be eligible for reallocation to a different part of the City’s budget or within GPD for the 2021 budget.
  • Have staff bring back information on the breakdown of calls to law enforcement and who responds to them.
  • Have a discussion within the next 60 days about how the City can respond to 911 calls with non-armed individuals.
  • Have the Mayor and City Manager work on crafting a Memorandum of Understanding with community partners to fund a central receiving facility for mental health calls.
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