Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Crime-Ridden Blue Cities Scramble to Re-Fund the Police

'The notion that taking away resources is going to improve policing is ridiculous...'

Democrat-led cities including New York, Baltimore, Oakland and Los Angeles are backpedaling on their pledges to re-imagine, defund or abolish police departments.

It comes amid growing waves of violent crime that often compound the suffering of already oppressed left-wing constituencies, the Wall Street Journal reported.

So-called sanctuary cities have now proposed restoring tens of millions of dollars cut from law-enforcement last year as a knee-jerk reaction to pressure from radical activists during months of social-justice-themed race-riots.

On top of that, many officials now propose spending even more money to fix the problem.

“In the nation’s 20 largest local law-enforcement agencies, city and county leaders want funding increases for nine of the 12 departments where next year’s budgets already have been proposed,” wrote the Journal. “The increases range from 1% to nearly 6%.”

Among those that have dialed back their original defunding proposals are notorious hotbeds of leftist unrest such as Portland and Minneapolis.

Skyrocketing rates of violence and murder, including high-profile assaults on Asian Americans and recent anti-Semitic assaults targeting Jews, are largely to blame.

“What’s missing in the defunding conversation is our city is facing a huge increase in violent crime,” admitted Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong.

But having already embraced a degree of lawlessness and capitulated to anarchist demands, some are finding it difficult to concede defeat.

In Portland, for example, the homicide rate rose 800% after Democrats slashed $16 million from the city’s police budget, according to the National Fraternal Order of Police.

But in an ironic twist, after Portland Mayor Tim Wheeler delivered an ultimatum last month to Antifa, calling on concerned citizens to dox its members, the domestic-terrorism group responded with a death-threat against the far-left Democrat leader.

Nationwide, polling has regularly showed that the defunding initiatives are highly unpopular and politically toxic among both Democrats and Republicans.

Even so, many virtue-signaling urbanites hope to have it both ways by restoring law and order without adding more law-enforcement officers.

“I think the residents of Baltimore are expecting me to not only do the right thing but to do the right thing at the right pace,” complained Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott about the conflicting demands.

Scott campaigned last year on a proposal to decrease the city’s police budget by $22.4 million. But shortly after taking office he proposed an increase of $27 million, citing the rising health-care and pension costs from PTSD-afflicted police taking extended leaves of absence or retiring outright amid the hostile, dangerous and generally thankless work environment.

Most big-city Democrats now seemed to agree that, regardless of what created the situation, throwing additional tax dollars at it must be the solution.

“If you want to fix policing you have to hire cops, you have to train them differently and hold them accountable,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of left-wing criminal-justice advocacy group the Police Executive Research Forum.

“The notion that taking away resources is going to improve policing is ridiculous,” Wexler added.

Others criticized the Left’s failure to properly market the idea, saying semantics was the key to any police-reform efforts.

“I think it’s important to rethink and reimagine how we think about law enforcement,” said Baltimore activist China Terrell, a Democrat candidate for the state legislature whose husband was assaulted and robbed Wednesday morning.

“But to implement whatever we think is a better idea is going to cost us more money, not less,” Terrell added. “That’s something the literal words of ‘defund the police’ don’t grapple with.”

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