Re-Fund the Police: U.S. Has Fewest Cops in a Quarter Century
According to the latest federal data, the United States of America now has fewer police officers per-capita than at any point in the past 25 years, with most of the decline being in the past decade.
Ironically, this comes as the far-left is calling for “defunding the police,” proving that there truly is no issue they won’t take the dumbest possible stance possible on.
According to a summary of the data from the Washington Free Beacon’s Charles Fain Lehman:
There were roughly 214 police officers per 100,000 Americans in 2019, according to the latest figures from the Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll, which tracks employment across state and local governments. That represents a 1.5 percent decline from 2018 and a 9 percent drop from 2007, when police numbers last peaked.
The number of sworn police officers rose steadily throughout the 1990s, in part due to expanded federal funding under the 1994 crime bill. That increase has been associated with significant reductions in crime and is considered to be a major driver of the “great crime decline” of the late ’90s and early 2000s.
But, after remaining elevated throughout the middle of that decade, police employment rates began to crater amid the Great Recession, as state and local austerity kicked in. They took another nosedive beginning in 2016, the year after the first round of police protests drove public confidence in cops to its lowest level to date.
One might object that this kind of comparison doesn’t provide enough context. After all, couldn’t it simply be that we employed too many police in prior years, and now we have a more reasonable amount?
A global comparison suggests otherwise: the U.S. employs 35% fewer police per-capita than the world average. If anything, the case to be made is one for re-funding the police.
While the U.S. employs fewer police, we do spend far more on incarceration than the world average. While progressives are quick to blame various “root causes of crime” for our relative over-incarceration, deterrence resulting from an increased police presence could also help reduce incarceration by preventing crimes from being committed in the first place.
Fortunately, despite the onslaught of media and corporate propaganda, the “defund the police” movement is wildly unpopular. Only about 2 in 10 Americans support the “defund the police movement,” and the majority of African-Americans oppose it despite being the demographic the left’s crazies (i.e. most of the left) claim to be supporting it to help.