As Reform Vote Looms, DC Police Budget for Forfeiture Funds


Washington, D.C., police have made plans for millions of dollars in anticipated proceeds from future civil seizures of cash and property, even though federal guidelines say “agencies may not commit” to such spending in advance, says the Washington Post. The city's proposed budget and financial plan for fiscal 2015 includes about $2.7 million for the District police department's “special purpose fund” through 2018. The fund covers payments for informants and rewards.

The financial details emerged last week when the D.C. Council's judiciary committee unanimously voted to forward a bill that would overhaul asset forfeiture laws in the nation's capital. The bill would raise the threshold of proof required for a forfeiture, bolster the rights of individuals whose property has been taken and require that proceeds from seizures under federal law go into the city general fund, rather than directly to the police department. The full council is set to vote on the bill today.

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