(RepublicanNews.org) – American cities erupted in chaos in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in the custody of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Hoards of Black Lives Matter activists and Antifa members descended on American cities for months, terrorizing citizens and destroying property.
Calls to “Defund the Police” echoed across the country, particularly in Democratic-led cities like Portland, Minneapolis, and Seattle. Protests continue today, and the Department of Homeland Security and other law enforcement officials and agencies warn that the nation could experience another rise in social unrest this summer.
However sympathetic some Americans might be to the plight of individuals like Floyd, who die every year at the hands of law enforcement officers, most Americans don’t support the idea of dismantling police departments.
Spend More, Not Less
Rasmussen Reports published a new poll on June 29, 2021, examining the controversy surrounding police funding. The telephonic and online survey found that only 18% of likely voters thought America should spend less money on community policing.
By comparison, a staggering 52% believed communities should spend more on their police services. Twenty-three percent thought current funding levels were adequate, and the remainder didn’t express an opinion. Rasmussen also asked participants if they agreed that communities that stripped funding from the police experienced “real and devastating” consequences resulting from that decision. Sixty-six percent (66%) agreed with the statement, 24% disagreed, and 11% weren’t sure.
Rasmussen Reports conducted the poll on June 24 and June 27, and it has a confidence rating of 95% with a margin of error of only +/- 3%.
To Defund, or Not to Defund: That Is the Question
Recent reports support the premise that defunding the police doesn’t seem to be helping. Several cities that cut police department funding experienced resulting increases in violent crime. As a result, they plan on reinstating funding moving forward.
New York City serves as a perfect example of that trend. Shootings increased by 295 to 531 for the period beginning January 1 and ending on May 23, 2021. Outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) plans to reinstate more than $90 million in funding to NYC police to build a new precinct house. Los Angeles and Baltimore experienced similar issues and have restored or plan to restore funding stripped from their municipal police forces.
There are some potential benefits to realigning some funding and programs. For instance, some cities have discussed using money already allocated to police departments for future training programs. There is also talk of placing mental health care professionals in some precincts to handle certain issues.
The good news is that so far, city governments appear willing to objectively look at the results of funding decreases and adjust them as necessary.
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