One year after the defund movement began, we have an idea of how “effective” they’ve been in carrying out their wishes. Cities have cut police budgets/reallocated resources to the tune of $877 million thus far in the name of the movement. According to a study by Interrupting Criminalization, incidentally, a supporter of the defund movement. The overall defund movement has led to a net decrease in police spending of a little less than 1% nationally. That number, however, is masked by many law enforcement agencies who increased spending in response to the violence carried out over the past year.
The leader in defunding on a percentage basis is Austin Texas, which slashed a third of its police budget. There are 18 large cities that have cut the size of their police force intentionally due to the defund movement and 25 cities that have removed police from school detail. Beyond Austin, it’s a who’s who of those in the news for violent crime daily. Chicago, New York, Minneapolis, San Francisco, etc. In fact, one year later something else has happened. Violent crime rates have risen in each location.
According to the FBI’s Preliminary Data, homicide rates are up 32% in cities with over 1,000,000 in population. The largest percentage and a total increase of any city of any size. And it’s not just violent crime but property as well. Many news outlets are quick to report year-over-year declines in property crime, which is true but skewed due to the pandemic lockdowns. While overall property crime is lower over the past year, the decrease in the largest cities, 7%, was lower than the national average of greater than 8%. That occurred despite large cities most commonly being locked down the longest and with the strictest reopening standards. In real-time property crimes rates are spiking as well, led by organized crime rings taking advantage of lax enforcement by local governments.
Chalk all of this up to one more reason I’m thrilled to live in Florida – where defunding the police isn’t legal and protecting our schools is mandatory. One more reason why we need to #MakeAmericaFlorida.