(UnitedVoice.com) – Last year changed everything for law enforcement. Not long ago, the police were esteemed and respected for the dangerous work they do. Unfortunately, in 2020, all that changed in several major Democratic-led cities after George Floyd’s death. As social justice overtook the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread protests broke out across the country. Last summer, several cities initiated a defund-the-police program. Now, some are reconsidering, and the movement might be deflating.
It was completely predictable. As accountability and deterrence of crime decreases, it was inevitable that major crimes would likely increase. That’s what happened exactly in Austin, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, and Portland, Oregon. A few cities are already reversing course, but they may not be going far enough. The entire situation is another example of bad liberal policies that hurt constituents.
Now, victims exist where there previously might not have been any.
Let’s take a brief look at what’s happening in some of the more well-recognized cities that defunded their police.
The defund police movement began in Minneapolis, and it’s a colossal failure. In July 2020, the Minneapolis City Council approved a $1.1 million budget transfer from police to violence prevention. In December, the City Council unanimously cut another $8 million from police and applied it towards violence prevention, mental health teams, and other initiatives.
How’s it working out for them?
According to Fox News, from July 22, 2020, to March 28, homicides spiked 49%.
New York City
In New York City, the city council cut $1 billion from the NYPD budget. They allocated the money to education and social services for 2021. So far, according to NYPD statistics, in 2021, shootings are up 40.1%, and shooting victims increased by 39%. From January 1 to March 21, murders were up 11.8% in the city over the same time in 2020.
In Portland, OR, city commissioners cut approximately $16 million from the police budget in mid-June. The result was devastating as 2020 was the deadliest year in more than a century. From July 2020 through February, murders exploded to 270.6% compared to the same period last year.
Los Angeles Set to Re-Fund Police
In July, the Los Angeles City Council cut $150 million from its police department and reduced the police force to the lowest in a decade. The results speak for themselves as a 38% increase in murders was reported for 2020 — even though COVID-19 mandates were supposed to keep people separated and indoors in one of the country’s most strict pandemic states. According to Police Chief Michael Moore, the first two weeks of January saw an eight-fold rise in shootings alone.
On March 25, the city agency responsible for police funding voted to give $36 million back to the police on a 12-0 vote that included LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. Garcetti was a strong proponent of defunding police in his city.
Will Other Cities Reconsider Their Decisions?
While Minneapolis and Los Angeles reconsider the steepness of their initial cuts to police departments in the wake of increased crime, other cities seem determined to see it through despite the numbers suggesting crime is a significant problem. While the movement isn’t going away, perhaps reality has poked the bubble and caused the issue to deflate as residents experience the consequences of their elected leader’s decisions.
Only time will tell what happens to the movement. However, one thing remains certain: In many areas of the country, liberals didn’t help themselves win any elections. In fact, they played right into GOP hands. Politically, the issue is a goldmine for conservatives. Practically, it’s sad and devastating. It’s harming people unnecessarily.
Let’s hope the numbers prove to the Left that it’s okay to reverse course to benefit citizens’ well-being and safety. After all, ensuring public safety is every city council’s job, yet these particular councils seem more interested in pursuing ideology than public safety.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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