Violent crime in American cities has been on the rise. There’s no denying it. In fact, even Democrats are panicking over the situation they caused.
But hey, no mean tweets, right?
It was hardly surprising to see Democrats worried about the consequences of their disastrous endorsement of defunding the police. As unfortunate as it was to see the Democrats paint the police as the enemy, it was good to see that woke liberal city leaders who thought they were protecting their citizens by defunding the police have realized the error of their ways and are suddenly re-funding them.
Good for them, I guess. But the damage may have already been done.
As I wrote earlier this week, “While it’s good that these woke cities that thought they were doing something good by calling police racist and defunding their police departments are starting to acknowledge the error of their ways, why would anyone want to serve a city whose leadership doesn’t have their backs and caves to the outrage mob?”
I also noted that I suspected restoring funding to the police won’t fully solve the problem. And I was right.
One problem is that respect for police has plummeted.
“I will say words matter,” Inspector Joseph Seminara, commanding officer of the 46th Precinct, told CNN. “I think a lot of the small element here, that’s making quality of life miserable for the hard-working community, feel emboldened that it’s okay to ignore a lawful command by the police. It’s okay to fight the police. Words matter.”
The growing animosity creates real dangers for these officers on the beat.
“We’ve had people threaten us, you know, threaten to kill us, threaten to kill our families,” Officer Rosado told me. “‘I hope your family dies. I hope your family gets raped.’ You know like, stuff like that, that we’re supposed to brush off. ”
This environment can have a debilitating effect on the rank and file. The NYPD is now shedding officers faster than it can recruit new ones. Some are retiring early or simply leaving the force. Officers say it is partly a problem of morale.
But that’s not the only problem. Police across the country are more “cautious” when it comes to proactive policing because they know they don’t have the support of their communities.
“You just have to be honest and say that police in America are far more cautious today about stopping someone than they were a year ago,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a law enforcement policy group. “Proactive policing is much more complicated. And now we’re in the post George Floyd era, which makes police understandably cautious.”…
“The national mood is not sympathetic to the police,” Wexler said. “I think we’ll find balance down the road. We always do. But right now there’s trepidation about proactive police work.”
In other cases, lawmakers have made it harder for police to do their jobs, particularly with lower-level crime.
“In New York City, lawmakers have decriminalized quality-of-life offenses, restricted the use of ‘proactive’ policing tactics and effectively ended the prosecution of many low-level crimes,” said Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association. “At this point, there is nothing left for police officers to ‘step back’ from. We are doing the job exactly as our elected leaders have asked us to do it. They will have to answer for the results.”
Another problem is the current occupant of the White House. During the campaign, Joe Biden called for the defunding of police, and now he has to address the consequences of the realities of that policy. It’s not going well. Predictably, Biden is calling for more gun control, which we know doesn’t work.
Democrats created this problem and, I don’t care what anyone says, they’re the last people who can be trusted to fix it. They perpetuated hate and distrust of police, and that’s something that won’t be easily mended. I would argue that as long as they’re in charge of cities and the federal government, fixing the problem will be impossible.