Just a year ago, our liberal-led cities were ordering the riot police to “stand down,” and their city councils were demanding police budgets be trimmed by over 50 percent. The idea of using psychology types to defuse a problem rather than a badge-and-a-gun greatly appealed to anti-cop enthusiasts. But now the “chickens have come home to roost” and those hand-twisters like Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan don’t know quite how to admit such folly.
At a Monday press conference, the embattled woman stood and said, “As a city, we cannot continue on this current trajectory of losing police officers." She added. "Over the past 17 months, the Seattle Police Department has lost 250 police officers which is the equivalent of over 300,000 service hours.
We’re on path to losing 300 police officers."
Of course, Durkan was trying to divert away from the fact there were six separate shootings last weekend as crime rates in every “stand down” city - those governed by liberals who do not support or appreciate law enforcement - are soaring to unknown heights. “There are certain emergency situations that require sworn police officers,” she has since admitted.
Durkan is the one, you may recall, who kept the police away from an “autonomous zone” that blocked a busy thoroughfare last summer, saying it was just a “block party” and was good for a “summer of love.” No, it was a huge embarrassment for Seattle residents and a prime reason many good officers turned in their shields.
“We are creating meaningful alternatives," Durkan said this week in reference to efforts in the city being made to redirect funding and manpower to community-based groups. "But, as I said last year, the city has an obligation to still continue constitutional policing and respond to 911 calls. It is a false choice between community-led solutions and police officers," Durkan said. "We need both."
No, what Seattle, Baltimore, Austin (Texas) and other misguided cities miss is the fact that if police are not supported, assured that some awkward city council type will defund their jobs, or that they will be ordered not to uphold the law, you’re mighty right they’ll leave.
Austin, Texas, is about as far removed from “the Republic” as the moon. In recent years, there has been mass exodus from California’s high taxes and nutty decisions and many of the Californians, Silicon Valley “slicks” and liberal activists have descended on the state capital like the Biblical locust. As a result, the carpet-baggers have wormed themselves into Austin’s warp and weave.
In a move that left the rest of the state speechless, Austin’s City Council voted to divert tens of millions from the police budget and today the Police Department. is over 150 officers shy of its normal complement. This has resulted in a 96 percent increase in murders, the response to a 9-1-1 emergency is almost 10 minutes, and Acting Police Chief Joe Chacon freely admits “We are in a crisis.”
The same is true for all 20 metro cities that sanctimoniously forced police cuts because crime is catching up with the liberals. In Austin it is so blatant that Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed multiple pieces of legislation that would penalize communities that take funds away from law enforcement. In short, defund the police and the state will defund your city.
“We’ve seen the consequences of defunding and dismantling law enforcement in communities across the county,” said Governor Abbott, “This put residents in danger and invited crime into these communities … we can’t allow this in Texas.”
Then there is George Soros, a liberal mega-donor who some believe is trying to underwrite a counter-revolution in the United States. This week it was learned the 90-year-old Hungarian-American has donated $1 million to an activist group attempting to defund the police as violent crime surges in major urban centers across the nation.
A Fox News report said the radical group “describes itself as the nation’s largest online racial justice organization" and actively engages in efforts to defund police departments such as spreading an online petition calling for "divesting from and dismantling the systems that unjustly harm black people."
"Policing is a violent institution that must end," the group’s president wrote in a statement supporting the move. "We imagine a country where there is enough money to educate our children, care for our sick and feed those who are financially unstable. Defunding the police allows for this vision."
That’s bold, quite bold in a nation where violent crime is increasing in quite nearly every American metropolitan city. That Soros would incite such turmoil is beyond rhyme or reason.
THIS FROM THE FOX REPORT: “In 2018, Soros spent millions of dollars to help elect current Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon who promised to implement sentencing reforms and decriminalize certain illegal activities. In 2021, the Los Angeles City Council redirected funds from the LAPD to social outreach organizations.
“This year in Los Angeles, murders are up 20 percent and violent crime has spiked which has contributed to a rampant homeless crisis that many argue Gascon’s policies have made worse.
“Philadelphia, where Soros spent almost $2 million electing District Attorney Larry Krasner, currently has the highest murder rate per capita among the 10 largest cities in the country and homicides have risen 35 percent this year.
THIS FROM THE CITY JOURNAL: Charles Lehman writes: “In the past year, city police departments across the country have reported a dramatic drop in manpower, as cops retire, resign, or leave for the suburbs. The NYPD’s head count fell to its lowest level in 10 years. In Chicago, police retirements rose 15 percent. The San Francisco Police Department is short 400 officers; over 115 officers, including an entire unit dedicated to crowd control, have left the Portland PD; and nearly 200 have left the Minneapolis PD or are on leave, rendering the department unable to engage in proactive policing. A recent survey of police departments found that hiring fell an average of five percent in 2020, while resignations rose 18 percent and retirements a whopping 45 percent.
“What’s behind this wave? Officers I spoke with who had left their old departments all offered the same explanation: since last year’s explosive protests, they no longer feel that they have the support of the public or of civilian officials. As one now-retired NYPD officer put it: “One day, the good guys became the bad guys and the bad guys became the good guys.”