Defund the police: a bad idea in the face of rising crime

The woke wave calling for the defunding of the police has come up against reality: the increase in crime in the country.

West Hollywood, home to the rich and famous, has joined the woke wave of defunding the police. The county is joining the fad even though crime has soared 137%. The budget for the next two years will leave West Hollywood with up to five fewer officers patrolling its streets.

With that money, the county council has approved increased funding for a Russian arts festival. They also agree to ask for more funding for 'LGTBQ services'. Sepi Shyne, temporary mayor and promoter of the plan, argues for this shift in funding for public services "to reimagine public safety."

The proposal passed by a narrow margin of three votes to two. Lauren Meister, Democratic mayor of West Hollywood, voted against the plan, which she calls illogical. She recalls that the Los Angeles area is affected by a growing wave of violence, according to local media Wehoville. This criticism is echoed by West Hollywood residents. In recent months, recalls Fox News, they have expressed their opposition to the cut in the police budget. The increase in crime in West Hollywood is a constant concern. That increase includes murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, arson and human trafficking.

Police defunding

Five sheriff's deputies will be leaving West Hollywood over the course of the year. The number will only be reduced by four because an additional deputy will be added to the Entertainment Police division. The shortage of officers will be filled by 'unarmed ambassadors' from the Block by Block initiative. It is a project that coincides with the rise of the 'Defund the police' movement in the midst of rising crime rates in the country.

The West Hollywood initiative joins a series of initiatives across the country to eliminate police resources.  Numerous Democratic leaders have shown their support to this idea. It arose with the excuse of increasing funding for mental health and other social programs, but it has clashed with reality: the increase in crime rates in the country.

Six major U.S. cities are on track to surpass the historic violent crime records of 2021 in the 6 months so far of this year 2022. New York and Washington D.C. lead the way in the rise of such violent crime, amid a surge in contempt for authority in the wake of the Black Lives Matter attacks.

Baltimore, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Atlanta and New York City are on pace to surpass their 2021 levels of violent crime midway through this year, with the nation's largest city leading the pack, according to crime data reviewed and released by Fox News. Only New York City has experienced a 25.8% increase in violent crime at this point in 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

Violent crime, homicides, rapes, assaults and robberies, are recording steady growth since 2020. Homicides have been one of the drivers of violent crime rates, increasing by 30% from 2019 to 2020 and another 5% between 2020 and 2021.

Black Lives Matter and Police Defunding

Experts, Fox News notes, debate the factors that have contributed to the rise in crime in recent years. They apportion blame between pandemic restrictions, lack of policing during times of increased crime and widespread protests led by the Black Lives Matter movement that have called for the defunding of police departments.

It is 2020, with the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, one of the turning points in this rise in crime. Although the homicide was convicted and the officers prosecuted, the event was used to spread a wave of violence that has turned into contempt for the pillars of the law.

Minneapolis, which witnessed some of the most violent riots, cut its police budget by $8 million. Los Angeles cut police funding by $150 million, and New York City reduced the NYPD budget by $1 billion. As a result, 14 major cities governed by Democrats recorded the highest homicide levels in history in 2021.

This dynamic is difficult to stop because it is encouraged by the public authorities themselves, as in the case of Democratic representatives who have openly called for the defunding of the police. As Congressman Clay Higgins reminds us, the Democrats blame everyone, except their own policies, for the drastic increase in violent crime.

In this vein, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed merchants for the robberies, admonishing them for not locking up merchandise. Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed that the pandemic was the source of the crime increase, while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) flatly denied that retail crime was on the rise. She also recalls how Rep. Cori Bush, one of the first Democrats to call for defunding the police, responded to rising crime by spending more than $300,000 in campaign funds for her own private security force.