Jul 19, 2022 - News

Texas and cities spent $21 billion on public safety in 2020

Public safety spending by Texas'&nbsp;<span style="background: #007831; padding: 5px; color: white;">state</span> and <span style="background: #00c46b; padding: 5px; color: white;">local</span> governments
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Skye Witley/Axios

State and local governments in Texas spent almost $21 billion on public safety in 2020, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data.

  • That includes spending by all state agencies, as well as cities of at least 200,000 people and counties of at least 500,000 residents.

Why it matters: There were widespread calls to defund police after the murder of George Floyd in 2020, but the state's public safety budget has remained largely unchanged and cities have funneled more money into law enforcement departments.

By the numbers: The biggest total was for local police and fire spending, which accounted for $12.1 billion.

  • Texas spent nearly $1.3 billion on state policing in 2020.
  • The state's department of public safety has a budget of $2.3 billion this year, about a billion of which comes from federal funds.

Zoom in: Dallas is spending almost $566 million of its $4.3 billion budget on the police department.

  • Fort Worth allocated more than $282 million of its almost $2.1 billion budget to its police force.

What's next: Cities are nearing discussions of 2022-23 fiscal year budgets.

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