News & Politics

Study Reveals That More Cops Means Less Crime

A child shakes hand with a police officer during a protest in Cleveland, during the Republican convention. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Today, we live in a media-driven culture of anti-police opinion and rhetoric. Hating the police is cool. It’s trendy. In fact, many people are calling for the police to leave their neighborhoods alone completely.

Of course, a new study conducted by PhD candidate Steve Mello found the obvious: an inverse correlation between the number of police officers on the street and the crime rate.

Charles Fain Lehman at the Washington Free Beacon writes:

An increase in the number of policemen, driven by an Obama-era boost in federal funding, led to drops in violent and property crime, including a reduction of one murder per every 11 police officers, a new paper argues.

Specifically, Mello focuses on the increase in police funding that came when a newly elected President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law, allocating some $2 billion to the Department of Justice for police hiring grants, mostly through the Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. COPS grants were issued based on a “fuzzy cutoff,” meaning a city’s chances of receiving a grant jumped substantially if its scoring by DOJ (a combination of factors including crime rate and current police force size) passed a certain threshold. That fuzzy cutoff creates two natural groups for comparison: Those that received COPS funding and those that didn’t.

Of course, it’s sad that we need a study to tell us what common sense already can.

Much of the anti-police rhetoric stems from a small number of high-profile incidents where police officers may have engaged in misconduct. However, it should also be noted that most of those police officers were exonerated after all the evidence came to light.

However, even if every high-profile incident was a true case of police brutality, it still represents only a small amount of the total number of police interactions that happen each and every day. The vast majority of police officers have no interest in hurting anyone unless someone’s life is on the line.

Of course more police officers mean less crime. Police presence deters criminals from doing all manner of things. The more presence, the less comfort criminals will feel about committing crimes.

This isn’t rocket science.

Yet there are still people who think de-policing their neighborhoods is a good thing. At this point, I say go for it. See just how long it takes before people realize the narrative was wrong.