Many city governments that reduced police budgets are proposing to reverse course after a year of rising crime rates.
American cities with skyrocketing crime, such as Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, are overwhelmingly led by Democrats who supported the defund movement after riots led by BLM, Antifa, and other radical activists in the wake of the George Floyd murder last summer.
Now, New York City plans to reinstate $92 million to the police budget for a new precinct, The Wall Street Journal reports. The mayor of Baltimore proposed a $27 million increase in the police budget after leading efforts to reduce funding by $22 million last year. The mayor of Los Angeles proposed an increase of $50 million to the police, after cutting $150 million last year. The mayor of Oakland, California proposed an increase of $24 million after reducing that city’s police budget last year.
Minneapolis, where the George Floyd murder occurred, initially reduced its police department budget by $8 million. The city government now proposes to restore $6.4 million to hire new officers.
After dramatic increases in crime rates in these cities, city officials are having difficulty explaining their motives for the reduction in policing. Murders are up by double digit percentage points.
Oakland, California Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong says defunding the police in that city resulted in fewer walking patrols. These units are specifically deployed to watch for gang retaliatory activity. The area where attacks on Asian-Americans occur used to be patrolled by walking units, Armstrong says.
“What’s missing in the defunding conversation is our city is facing a huge increase in violent crime,” Armstrong told The Wall Street Journal.
“Bad policy equals bad outcome,” journalist Maria Bartiromo said on FOX Business News (FBN). “All of these heads of Democrat cities now, after so many are dead and robbed, they are going to raise money and put the money back in the police force.”
FBN analyst Dagen McDowell spoke with Bartiromo about the motives behind the police defunding.
“A lot is going to need to be done to restore public safety in our nation’s cities where violent crime is skyrocketing because these leaders stopped standing up for victims,” McDowell said.
“They stopped standing up for law-abiding citizens and residents who just expect to be able to go to work without getting slashed or robbed or worse,” McDowell said. “It is liberal, left-wing, mayors, prosecutors, district attorneys, and governors who have been coddling criminals, and the demonization of police has the same effect as defunding these police departments. People do not want to serve as police officers.”
Retired SWAT Sergeant Steve Rodriguez says most police officers really want to help the public. They want to defend the defenseless and make communities safer, Rodriguez says.
“I never saw an officer write a ticket to a single mother or father just trying to get by,” Rodriguez said. “We target the 5 percent who prey on the good people. We stopped the bangers, the burglars, the drug dealers, and the thieves.”
“Cops represent the law,” said retired police detective Al Simballa. To get things back under control, city governments must foster a renewal of respect for the law, and that includes respect for police officers, Simballa said.
“If you don’t get things under control, you can’t believe the stuff you will see—bet on it: gunfights in the streets,” said Simballa. “There needs to be the instilling of respect for the law. Cops represent the law. If you don’t abide by the law, there needs to be punishment.”