Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Reaches Budget Compromise With City Council to Fund 49 New Police Officers

That's down from the 58 he proposed last week. The council also will authorize 55 officer positions by year 2. Budget is expected to get City Council support.

Portland police at a Patriot Prayer protest in September 2017. (Sam Gehrke)

Mayor Ted Wheeler and the City Council have agreed to hire 49 new police officers in this coming year's budget.

That's down from the 58 Wheeler proposed initially. But the council is also agreeing to authorize the hiring of 55 officers by the 2019-20 budget year.

The budget, even with the slight reduction from last week, represents a $6 million substantial increase in general funds for the Portland Police Bureau.

Instead of a roughly $740,000 spent on nine officers, the new budget proposal calls for provide additional funding to Portland Parks & Recreation and the City Auditor.

The budget will also include an increase on the city's business license tax, which is expected to generate $15.3 million a year.

"The budget we filed today represents a fruitful collaboration among City Commissioners," says Wheeler spokesman Michael Cox.

Other commissioners agreed.

"The Mayor's filed budget strikes a good balance between the many needs facing our community, and the collaborative process around this package lays a strong foundation for next year," says Commissioner Nick Fish's chief of staff Sonia Schmanski.

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