A year ago, defunding the police seemed to be the direction we were heading. People were screaming about it. Politicians were embracing it. Cities were actually doing it.
And then the problem with the whole thing revealed itself when violent crime went through the roof.
Suddenly, we needed law enforcement and we needed as much policing as we could find. There wasn’t any time to play around.
While not every city defunded its department to any degree, the perception that this was happening likely fueled the surge in crime. Now, the Sacramento Police Chief is talking about what it will take to deal with the problem.
Sacramento police Chief Daniel Hahn says more resources are needed as crime rates rise in the city of Sacramento.
In an interview Thursday morning, Hahn told KCRA 3 that the police department and the community need more resources to help stop crime.
“It really has to be a collaborative effort if we are going to turn around the increase in violent crime in our city,” Hahn said.
Hahn also addressed the issue of police-community relations and how that has struggled over the years.
“We have a long ways to go. There’s a lot of division in our country that’s driven by these root causes we’ve had for hundreds of years,” Hahn said. “We have a lot of work to do to improve some of our communities that are impoverished and struggling.”
It sounds like what Hahn is saying isn’t just that his department needs more community involvement, but that it would be a key strategy in combating the problem.
I can certainly understand that. For better or worse, police can only do so much without the help of the community. Those are the people the police talk to in order to learn the information they need to prevent crimes and to make arrests, which also prevents future crimes. If they’re not on board with the police, you have a problem, and they haven’t been for a while now.
We can argue all day long about whether the animosity many feel toward law enforcement is justified or not. It really doesn’t matter because, at the end of the day, it’s real.
Luckily, it’s not as widespread as many want to make us believe, but what is actually there can be enough to cause issues. Especially if the one person who knows what the police need to know doesn’t trust them.
Hahn is right about that. He’s also not wrong about improving impoverished communities. Poverty appears to be a huge driver of violent crime, so it would stand to reason that if you improve the situation of the impoverished, you’d reduce violent crime. It’s not exactly rocket science we’re talking about here.
It seems Hahn is set to retire at the end of the year, so his days of trying to do anything about it are numbered. However, what he’s saying is what his successor needs to do if he or she wants to improve the situation there.