The progressive mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, has broken the hearts of “defund the police” activists who haven’t yet caught on that defunding the police when violent crime is rising might not be such a good idea.
I mean, it’s fun to dream, I guess, but if decreasing the presence of organized law enforcement was a benefit to any society amid growing crime, Somalia would be a utopia today.
Yes, Los Angelenos have learned the hard way how important law enforcement is for their community, and Garcetti is apparently facing facts.
The Democratic mayor has proposed a 3 percent increase of a police department budget that, just last year amid the national George Floyd protests and unveiling of a newly radical progressive rhetoric on law enforcement, he and the Los Angeles City Council opted to slash by $150 million.
Live and learn, I guess.
The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Mayor Garcetti proposed $1.76 billion budget for the police force is “disappointing advocates who have called for” the Los Angeles Police Department to be defunded. Garcetti’s proposal is an increase from the $1.71 billion approved by the council in July for this fiscal year.
The Times noted that this figure would provide support for roughly 9,750 sworn officers on the force, but that amid resignations and retirements (and who can blame anyone for retiring from law enforcement at a time like this), the current number of officers the LAPD expects to have in the new fiscal year is 9,489.
“Polls have shown public support for measures that shift some duties away from police,” the Times reported. Meanwhile, “the city is grappling with an uptick in murders and shootings.”
Indeed the City of Angels has been experiencing a troubling rise in crime — homicides have increased by 27.6 percent this year compared to the same period in 2020, while the number of shooting victims has increased by 80 percent, according to figures from the LAPD cited by the Times covering all of 2021 up through April 10.
In case there was any confusion that the stark rise in crime was the reason Garcetti has relented on the #DefundThePolice scheme, the Times noted that an aide confirmed during an April 20 news briefing that this was, in fact, the reason. Hours later, the mayor himself emphasized a need to recruit more officers to keep up with retirements, the newspaper reported.
Meanwhile, the rest of the mayor’s so-called “justice plan,” a large portion of the city’s budget which he unveiled April 19, includes a $24 million guaranteed basic income plan and $1 billion to fight the city’s raging homelessness crisis.
I mean, I’d be hard-pressed to find a whole lot of good things to say about this far-left, virtue-signaling mayor whose city is one messy, crime-ridden example of how Democratic policies can drive first-rate American cities right into the ground.
However, the fact that this high-profile Democratic mayor saw fit to actually invest money into his police force for the sake of preventing further crime and loss of life in his city is certainly worth giving him props.
Of course, it’s sort of like praising an 8-year-old for mastering a shape-sorting toy because it is so mind-numbingly simple to actually give law enforcement officials the resources they need so they can fight crime, but hey, in a time when leading figures in the Democratic Party have been seriously discussing whether withholding funds from police departments is a way to confront “systemic racism,” I suppose Garcetti’s resolve is impressive.
Good for Garcetti for getting this one right — if he can support the police in their sworn duty to protect the public, anyone should be able to. It’s high time the Democratic Party as a whole stopped entertaining the “defund the police” nonsense.
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