Denver’s City Council voted 10-to-2 yesterday to beef up the city’s proposed budget for police officers, dealing Mayor John Hickenlooper a rare political setback, reports the Rocky Mountain News. The mayor had pushed to avoid dipping into city coffers to add more than the 22 new officers he says the city can afford. The council said that’s not enough and tacked on 19 additional officers.
Some council members said tapping the city’s reserves was a close call. Others said it was a simple matter of listening to citizens. Crime, they said, was the top issue on voters’ minds. It was the first time this council has strongly and openly rebelled against the popular mayor. Council President Rosemary Rodriguez, who earlier had said she thought the mayor had found about as much money as possible for the police, said that, “After every neighborhood meeting, I leave with my ears bleeding” from complaints about crime and police response.