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‘Defund the police’ movement impacts recruitment, increase in crime

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(NewsNation) — Police departments across the country are struggling to keep officers, keep up with the rise in crime and hire new recruits.

Since the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the “defund the police” movement has made international headlines.

Now as violent crime increases, cities are reversing and actually asking for a “refund the police” movement.

NewsNation spoke with criminologist Dr. Alex del Carmen, who says there’s a negative stigma around officers right now. This makes it challenging to convince those officers who are already on the force to stay, and even harder to find new recruits.

Del Carmen said that the “defund the police” movement has resulted in “a massive exodus of police officers across the United States and very little interest in police candidates to join police academies across the U.S.”

The movement, which emerged after the murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in May of 2020, sparked outrage and protests against police use of force across the nation.

“The morale is very low. And I think we’ve seen that morale become practice when we see that there is a very low number of individuals out there that are interested in coming back to police.” Del Carmen said criminologists have seen a direct relationship between cities that have reallocated police funding to increase crime rates.

Here are some of the cities that saw major budget cuts for police departments and major upticks in crime:

  • Minneapolis
  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • Philadelphia
  • Portland
  • Chicago

“I would say that there is a relationship between lack of resources that our police department receives and the increasing rates of crime that we see across the U.S.,” del Carmen agreed with the corresponding statistics — that a decrease in funding has led to an increase in crime.

From 2019 to 2020, overall crime in New York City was at an historic low — but shootings rose by 97% and murders were up 44%.

In 2021, an increase in murders, carjackings and robberies were seen in Minneapolis. Philadelphia saw the most murders it’s ever seen in 2021 — 562.

“I think things are gonna get worse before they get better,” said del Carmen.

Now, some of these cities and police departments are asking for the reversal: to refund the police in order to combat crime and recruit new officers.

President Joe Biden is urging cities and states to use federal money to fight crime this summer by investing in more police officers and mental health programs.

Atlanta police are asking for $4 million in more funding than last year’s budget. Chicago is lowering police standards to get more officers on board, and several Los Angeles mayoral candidates are campaigning for more officers on the streets.


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