To say 2020 wasn’t a particularly good year is putting it rather mildly. It kind of sucked for most everyone, when you really think about it, and that was without the riots and all that crap.
One of the dumbest ideas that came out of 2020 was “defund the police.”
That was the mantra for so many rioters–and yes, plenty who didn’t burn down entire neighborhoods supported the idea as well–and, in many places, these folks got their way. Departments were, indeed, defunded.
And now, according to the New York Times, those departments are getting their money back.
The demonstrators came at night, chanting and blowing whistles outside the home of Mayor Eric Johnson, protesting in occasionally personal terms his staunch refusal to cut funding to the Dallas Police Department.
“Defund! Reclaim! Reinvest!” about two dozen people called out from the darkened Dallas street. A few weeks later, the police chief resigned over her handling of large-scale protests. Then the City Council voted to cut how much money the department could use on overtime and hiring new officers.
That was last year.
This year has been very different.
In cities across America, police departments are getting their money back. From New York to Los Angeles, departments that saw their funding targeted amid nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd last year have watched as local leaders voted for increases in police spending, with an additional $200 million allocated to the New York Police Department and a 3 percent boost given to the Los Angeles force.
The abrupt reversals have come in response to rising levels of crime in major cities last year, the exodus of officers from departments large and small and political pressures. After slashing police spending last year, Austin restored the department’s budget and raised it to new heights. In Burlington, Vt., the city that Senator Bernie Sanders once led as mayor went from cutting its police budget to approving $10,000 bonuses for officers to stay on the job.
Funny how stuff changes, ain’t it?
See, the “defund the police” crowd wanted the money diverted toward programs that would, in theory, reduce crime and thus reduce the need for police. Well, some of them did. Others just think the police are bad and wanted them to go away because they were petulant children who didn’t like the police for some inane reason.
Regardless, the idea itself wasn’t awful. Trying to stop crimes before they start is something I’ve been harping on since my early days here at Bearing Arms. However, taking money from the police to pay for it was beyond stupid. Many of these programs may take years to deliver any measurable results. Taking money from law enforcement to pay for programs that will take that long to actually do anything is a recipe for disaster.
As a result…*gestures wildly at everything.*
Plus, I want private parties to fund those programs in the first place, not tax dollars, but that’s a separate issue.
Regardless, what we’re seeing right now is a correction. Lawmakers did what the mob demanded, but the mob didn’t really understand what it was asking for. Now, many of that mob are begging for more police and don’t even remotely remember that they’re getting what they asked for previously good and hard.
Unfortunately, a lot of other people are getting it too, people who had enough sense to recognize just how stupid some of this stuff was and weren’t part of the mob. They’re getting shot too.
So, now those departments are getting that money back because it turns out that yes, you actually need police. Not only do they arrest criminals, but they also deter crime.
Now, maybe we can start to see the stupid settle down a bit and get past this violence surge that’s been plaguing us over the last couple of years now.