President Joe Biden said Thursday that the answer to rising crime is not to “defund the police” and that cities should be doing the opposite.
While speaking about gun control in New York City following the fatal shooting of two police officers in Harlem, Biden stressed the need for action amid a spike in gun violence.
“Enough is enough because we know we can do things about this, but for the resistance we’re getting from some sectors of the government and the Congress and the state legislatures and the organizational structures out there. You know, Mayor Adams, you and I agree. The answer is not to abandon our streets. That’s not the answer. The answer is to come together. Police in communities building trust and making us all safer,” Biden said.
“The answer is not to defund the police,” Biden continued. “It’s to give you the tools, the training, the funding to be partners, to be protectors and community needs you. And know the community. You know police treat everyone with respect and dignity. That’s why I called on the Congress to pass a budget later this year that provides cities like New York and others with an additional $300 million for community policing.”
Biden did say it’s important to get social workers and mental health workers involved within communities as well to help stem violence and crime, but again reiterated that “we’re not about defunding.”
“We’re about funding and providing the additional services you need beyond someone with a gun strapped to their shoulders or hip.”
“It’s time to fund community policing to protect and serve the community,” the president said. (RELATED: ‘I Am The Democratic Party’: Biden Vows Not To Defund Police, Brushes Off Those In Party Who Disagree)
Biden’s stance on the “defund the police” movement has remained relatively consistent, with Biden bucking calls to do so. Biden, however, did signal once in 2020 that he would support redirecting tax dollars away from police and toward other social programs and initiatives.
Prior to that, Biden made clear he did “not support defunding police” and rather supported giving “police departments the resources they need to implement meaningful reforms.”
While on a phone call with civil rights leaders in late 2020, Biden said the “defund the police” movement “beat the living hell out of us across the country.”