Dems Reversing Themselves on Defunding Police
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has asked the federal government to send Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents to her city for a crackdown on illegal guns. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 23 December 2021 09:27 AM
Democrats who had looked to defund the police now appear to have changed their minds and are moving ahead with plans to beef-up law enforcement in their communities amid rising crime rates.
The move to defund police was sparked by the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis. Defunding means reallocating or redirecting funding away from the police department to other government agencies funded by the local municipality.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot last year proposed slashing $80 million for her city’s police budget, the New York Post noted. However, on Monday, she asked the federal government to send Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents to her city for a crackdown on illegal guns.
Lightfoot, who maintained she opposes the “defund the police” movement, said: “We cannot continue to endure the level of violence that we are now experiencing. I feel the urgency every day.”
In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed, who had pledged to move $120 million from the city’s law enforcement budget to social spending, is now vowing to end “the reign of criminals who are destroying our city.”
“We need to change course on how we handle public safety in San Francisco,” Breed said in a Dec. 14 Medium post. “ I’m proud that this city believes in giving people second chances. Nevertheless, we also need there to be accountability when someone does break the law. We can’t be a place where anything goes on the street. San Francisco is a compassionate city, but our compassion cannot be mistaken for weakness or indifference.”
Breed called for a “budget supplemental to help fund SFPD [San Francisco Police Department] overtime through the rest of the fiscal year, so they can keep doing the critical work they do every day.”
Fox News reported that officials in Oakland, California, have changed plans to cut the city’s police department as a result of a surge in violent crimes.
Mayor Libby Schaaf is now vowing to employ more police officers
Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler and the City Council cut millions from the police budget in 2020, according to Fox News. But the council recently increased the police department’s $230 million police budget by an additional $5.2 million.
Fox News noted similar backtracking is now going on in other major cities in the U.S., where police departments are seeing budgets partially restored as a result of increased crime, police officers quitting and political pressure.