News and Analysis

Cities Across The U.S. Refund Police Departments
Demonstrators Attend Eviction Moratorium Extension Rally New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers during an 'Eviction Moratorium Extension' rally in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. The disputed provision, which had been set to last through Aug. 31, blocked all eviction proceedings if the tenants declared that they were facing a Covid-related financial or health hardship. Photographer: Paul Frangipane/Bloomberg via Getty Images Bloomberg / Contributor
Paul Frangipane/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Cities across the country are refunding police departments after nationwide “Defund the Police” movements last year led to law enforcement funding cuts.

Austin, Texas, was one of the main cities that took measures to shift or cut its funding last year. 

As reported by the Austin American-Statesman, last year, the “City Council cut or reallocated a higher percentage of money from the police budget than any of nearly two dozen other cities nationally that significantly altered law enforcement funding at the time.”

The outlet also added that after a law was passed earlier this year in Texas, “in the 2021-22 budget, council members were forced to restore funding to the Police Department budget, which is at its highest ever at $442 million. The council also funded at least two cadet classes but said the department could do a third if it finds money in its budget.”

The Oakland City Council voted in approval of adding another police academy after previously approving fewer academies. 

“In June, the City Council rejected Mayor Libby Schaaf’s proposal to fund six academies over the two years and instead approved four police academies in the city’s two-year budget,” The Oaklandside reported. 

Dallas, Texas, was also affected and saw a shift in messaging when Mayor Eric Johnson said in July that the city needs more police officers. 

In a written piece, he stated: “Dallas needs a more robust community policing effort to fight violent crime and strengthen neighborhoods. And to get there, the city needs to hire more police officers. There is no question about it.”

Burlington, Vermont, recently approved bonuses for police officers. 

“In a meeting Monday night, councilors approved a proposal to help. It will be funded through coronavirus relief aid,” WCAX-3 reported. “Current officers will receive $10,000 spread out over two installments. The first installment would be on Nov. 15. New recruits would receive $15,000 each, also spread out in installments at training milestones.”

New York City took similar action with its budget earlier this year. 

“The budget increases spending for the New York Police Department by $200 million, including a $166 million increase for overtime,” The New York Times reported. 

The Los Angeles Police Department also received “a 3 percent boost” this year.

Over the past year, crime has reached extreme levels in the United States, potentially prompting the shift in policies around the country. 

In 2020, the largest spike in homicide rates in over a hundred years was recorded.

As The Daily Wire reported, “Between 2019 and 2020, homicide rates jumped by about 30%, which experts say is one of the largest recorded increases in American history.”

“In 2020, the homicide rate was about 7.8 homicides per 100,000 people, an increase from roughly 6.0 homicides per 100,000 in 2019.”

Some are also speaking out against the anti-police movements that have taken place over the past year. Actor Morgan Freeman discussed the “Defund the Police” concept, stating that he is not in favor of it. 

In an interview, he said: “I am not in the least bit for defunding the police. Police work is, aside from all the negativity around it, it is very necessary for us to have them and most of them are guys that are doing their job. They’re going about their day to day jobs.”

Polling shows that Americans are generally not in favor of efforts to defund the police. 

According to 538 polling from June of last year: 

Four polls conducted in the past two weeks1 found that Americans opposed the “defund the police” movement or “defunding police departments” 58 percent to 31 percent, on average.

A more recent poll from March of this year showed that fewer than 1 in 5 respondents support the concept. 

USA Today reported: 

Only 18% of respondents supported the movement known as “defund the police,” and 58% said they opposed it. Though white Americans (67%) and Republicans (84%) were much more likely to oppose the movement, only 28% of Black Americans and 34% of Democrats were in favor of it.

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