Cities Scramble to Re-Fund Police Amid Historic Violent Crime Wave

Cities Scramble to Re-Fund Police Amid Historic Violent Crime Wave
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

That defunding police departments would lead to increases in violent crime was perhaps the most blatantly obvious prediction that one could make, yet countless Democrat-controlled city councils and mayors nationwide decided it would be a noble experiment.

What exactly was the “theory” behind how fewer police would make their cities safer? Who knows, but that didn’t stop them. The Baltimore City Council approved $22.4 million in cuts, while Portland’s cut $15 million. Philadelphia took a planned $19 million increase in police funding and allocated $14 million of it elsewhere. Seattle trimmed their police department by 10%, New York City gutted a billion, and the list goes on and on.

The “police state” rhetoric was never true to begin with. For reference, the United States only employs 35% fewer police per-capita as the world average. In 2018 the U.S. employed 238 cops per 100,000 people, while France employed 429 per 100k, Italy 456 per 100k, Russia 515 per 100k, and Germany 388 per 100k.

The consequences of defunding were both immediate and impossible to ignore. The number of murders increased 30% nationwide in 2020 (which was concentrated in cities), leading to many rushing to *quietly* re-fund their police departments.

According to Breitbart:

Many cities that cut police department funding during the height of anti-police activism in 2020 are quietly restoring the funds and, in some cases, handing out bonuses to keep officers on the payroll.

The New York Times reported an “additional $200 million has been allocated to the New York Police Department and a three percent boost given to the Los Angeles force.”

Moreover, Austin, Texas, which cut police funding in the late summer of 2020, has restored funding and then some. On August 13, 2020, the Texas Tribune noted that the Austin City Council voted to cut police funding by $150 million. The NYT points out Austin has now raised the police budget “to new heights.”

The paper also notes Burlington, Vermont, has gone from cutting the police budget to handing out $10,000 bonuses to keep officers from leaving the force.

And in Dallas, Mayor Eric Johnson wants to do two things: 1. Restore police funding. 2. Add more officers to the department.

As I reported back in July, two other “defund” cities, Washington D.C., and Seattle had already taken similar steps.

Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan called for more cops after her defunding and anti-police rhetoric caused her city to lose 250 officers, and D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser decided now would be a great time to hire an additional 170 officers through an $11 million one-time budget request. She previously gutted $15 million from the force.

While it would be nice to believe that these cities learned their lessons and will never try this again, it would be naive to hold out any kind of hope that’s the case. As politics becomes increasingly narrative-driven the facts matter less and less, hence why they’re *silently* doing the refunding. There are two sets of policies they’re enacting; what they need to appease the mob and their base (which are basically the same), and what’s actually best for their city. And as soon as the mob gets loud again, you can bet that the former will trump the latter.

Matt Palumbo is the author of The Man Behind the Curtain: Inside the Secret Network of George Soros


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