There’s a new crowdfunding craze in Minneapolis, the city that helped birth the #DefundThePolice movement: Police officers.
Residents of the City of Lakes are so fed up with rising crime and decreasing police patrols that they’re hiring off-duty cops.
The crowdfunding effort is officially sanctioned by the Minneapolis Safety Initiative, created by the city council earlier this year.
The program’s “suggested contribution” is $220 per month, per household. That’s a “buyback” (their word) of two hours of additional patrolling each month.
“In aggregate,” the Safety Initiative’s site claims, “we expect that all neighbors’ contributions will purchase 10 hours of additional patrol per day, based on the number of households that we expect to contribute.”
$2,640 annually is a lot of money for most household budgets, and those extra patrol hours won’t be kind to a police force already stretched thin.
Despite furious backtracking on #DefundThePolice following popular opposition, the police department is understaffed. About 200 cops took the hint in 2020-21 and quit or retired. Wikipedia reports that MPD has 588 police officers out of an authorized strength of 750 or so officers.
NewsNation Now reports that “burglaries are up 6%, thefts are up 31% and carjacking are up 14%” in 2022. Neighborhood Scout, a crime tracking website, says the city is safer than just 2% of American cities and has a crime rate more than four times higher than the rest of Minnesota. The murder rate in Minneapolis is 2.5 times the national average, and rape is more than double.
No wonder residents are turning to off-duty police.
The irony of course is that it’s the more well-to-do neighborhoods that can afford to hire off-duty police to secure their streets. The neighborhoods most impacted by the city’s rising crime will likely have to continue making do with less.
The wealthy Lowry Hill area raised $210,000 for extra patrols. Despite comparatively lower crime, Lowry residents will get an extra 190 hours’ worth of policing until the money runs out.
According to NewsNation Now, Cedarside Community Council Executive Director AJ Awed — a progressive lefty — complained that “We need more officers. Unfortunately, this policy…has really pit neighborhoods against each other.”
Indeed. But making things worse for an underclass made permanent is a defining feature of progressive politics.
Making sure that wealthy lefties still get the best services is another.
So maybe city leaders failed to realize the damage they’d create when they demoralized the police. Maybe they somehow didn’t understand that it would be wealthy neighborhoods that could afford extra police patrols, while poorer neighborhoods would have to go without.
Maybe they didn’t mean to create a nasty situation they could exploit for political gain.
But considering the wreckage of Democrat-dominated cities everywhere, that would be an awful lot of ignorance with no excuse.