On Monday night, Washington, D.C., accounted for its 200th homicide this year, reaching a number the area hasn’t seen since 2003.
As reported by The Washington Post, “A man was fatally shot at a gas station in Southeast Washington just after 10:15 p.m., becoming the latest victim of months of rising violence that has frustrated and angered city leaders and residents. Police have not yet publicly identified him.”
The outlet continued, “Homicides rose in 29 major U.S. cities through September compared with the same period last year, according to the Council on Criminal Justice, a Washington-based institute.”
D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said getting to 200 homicides was “very troubling,” stating “lives that matter in our city were unnecessarily taken away too soon,” per the Post.
The outlet added, “[t]here are nearly 200 fewer D.C. officers this year than last year, according to the department, the lowest in two decades.”
As reported by the Pew Research Center, “In a July 2021 Pew Research Center survey, 61% of U.S. adults said violent crime is a very big problem in the country today – up from 41% in June 2020 and the highest percentage measured since at least the fall of 2018.”
The homicide rate has increased across the country this year as cities have struggled with a rise in crime and a call for less policing in many communities.
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.”
Several cities decided to refund the police this year, however, after previously deciding to cut back on funds for law enforcement.
As Pew Research Center further reported:
Since June 2020, Americans have also become more supportive of increasing local police funding in their communities. In a separate Center survey conducted in September, 47% of U.S. adults said they favored an increase in funding for police in their area, up from 31% last June. Support for reducing local police funding declined from 25% to 15%.
As reported by The Daily Wire last month, 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.
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.
Burlington, Vermont, recently approved bonuses for police officers.
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.