Several major cities that cut police funding in response to activist pressure are hiring new officers and reversing the cuts due to spikes in violent crime.
The U.S. national violent crime rate increased by 5.6% in 2020, according to FBI data released in September 2021, with murder increasing 30%. With those jumps continuing into 2021, cities that cut police funding in response to Black Lives Matter and Defund The Police protests are rethinking their public safety funding choices.
Major cities, including Dallas, Minneapolis and New York, are restoring police funding in an effort to grapple with the continued increase in violent crime.
The Dallas City Council cut $150 million from its police budget in 2020 and $7 million from the Dallas Police Department’s overtime fund.
Dallas saw a 25% increase in homicides in 2020, with the city at its highest number of killings 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 told the New York Times of his decision to support the hiring of 250 new police officers. “I don’t want to go back there.”
Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police Department custody, the Minneapolis City Council moved to abolish the city’s police department. It ultimately cut the MPD budget by $7.7 million.
However, following a crime spike, including a 72.3% increase in homicides, a Hennepin County judge ordered the city of Minneapolis to hire more police officers. The judge, Jamie Anderson, ruled that a failure to maintain law enforcement numbers violated the city charter.
Democratic Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced in August that he would request $191.9 million for MPD as part of his proposed 2022 budget, a nearly $28 million increase from the $164 million the city council allocated for 2021. MPD was ultimately able to access $180 million for 2021, including money from a reserve fund and the American Rescue Plan, according to The Star Tribune.
Perhaps the most stinging rebuke to the Defund The Police movement came at the New York City ballot box, 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. (RELATED: Eric Adams Shows Yet Again That Leftists Dominate The Dialogue, Only To Lose Elections)
“Social media does not pick a candidate,” Adams said as voters took to the polls 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.”