Many major cities that had previously decided to cut police funding due to activist pressure, have had a change of heart and are now hiring police officers and reversing the cuts due to an increase in violent crime.
The U.S. national violent crime rate has gone up by 5.6% in 2020, according to FBI data released in September 2021, with murders increasing a frightening 30%. As those numbers continue to spike well into 2021, cities that cut police funding in response to Black Lives Matter and Defund The Police protests are reconsidering their choice of public safety funding.
Major cities, including Dallas, Minneapolis, and New York, are reestablishing police funding in an attempt to fight the spike in violent crime.
The Dallas City Council slashed $150 million from its police budget in 2020 and $7 million from the Dallas Police Department’s overtime fund.
Dallas had a 25% increase in murders in 2020, the highest number of homicides per 100,000 people since 2004, according to The Dallas Morning News.
“As an African American male who came of age in the 1990s, I remember a lot of people whose lives were devastated by violence,” Democratic Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said of his decision to back hiring 250 new police officers. “I don’t want to go back there.”
After the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police Department custody, the Minneapolis City Council decided to do away with the city’s police department and cut the MPD budget by $7.7 million.
However, after a significant increase in crimes, including a 72.3% jump in murders, a Hennepin County judge ordered the city of Minneapolis to hire more police officers. The judge, Jamie Anderson, ruled that not maintaining law enforcement numbers was in violation of the city charter.
Democratic Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced in August that he would seek $191.9 million for MPD as part of his proposed 2022 budget, an almost $28 million increase from the $164 million the city council allotted for 2021. In the end, the MPD was able to secure $180 million for 2021, along with money from a reserve fund and the American Rescue Plan, according to The Star Tribune.
What may be the most striking admonition to the Defund The Police movement came when Democratic primary voters elected former New York Police Department Captain Eric Adams to be their mayoral nominee. Adams ran on a platform of improving the city’s police department and fighting violent crime.
“Social media does not pick a candidate,” Adams said going into the election on June 22. “People on social security pick a candidate. I don’t care about what people tweet. I care about the people I meet on the street.”