October 20, 2023

Dangerous Cities: Size Doesn’t Matter

Thanks to soft-on-crime Democrat policies, not even smaller towns are immune from the scourge of crime.

From Los Angeles to Chicago to New York, crime is out of control across America. Large groups of teens loot stores, gunfire erupts in neighborhoods, and innocent people fear going outside after dark.

But it’s not only big cities that are plagued by crime. A study released by WalletHub found that three of the five least-safe cities in the U.S. were Baton Rouge, Fort Lauderdale, and San Bernardino.

Not long ago, we could count on local governments and their police to tackle this problem. But these days, it’s the police who are under fire — not only by criminals but also by leftist politicians who demonize them. It’s hard to believe there are people in power who want more crime, but that’s how power corrupts certain public servants.

While some portray the issue of crime as complex, it’s really quite simple: Democrats enable crime and demoralize police, which results in more crime, which in turn demoralizes police. It’s no wonder cities struggle to recruit cops.

One city finding it hard to bring in new police recruits is Washington, DC. As the Washington Examiner reports, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser admitted that the city had lost hundreds of officers in recent years and is finding it hard to get new applicants, even though the city is promising “a $20,000 signing bonus, a housing stipend, and tuition reimbursement.”

As for why crime is rampant, there are plenty of excuses to go around. Shannon Dicus, San Bernardino’s Sheriff-coroner, doesn’t mince words explaining why criminals in the city have the upper hand. As he writes in an op-ed, it’s difficult to make arrests because Proposition 57 “reclassified several violent crimes as nonviolent.” Dicus explains that “heinous acts such as human trafficking, domestic violence, and rape of the unconscious person … are no longer considered violent crimes under California statutes.” When cops can’t get criminals off the streets for those things, he adds, “it’s no wonder we see the issues of violent crime spiking and increased homelessness in our communities.”

These are very real consequences. As columnist Michael Letts appropriately reminds us: “With funding dried out, several thousand police officers either retired from duty or simply decided to leave while the getting was good. A few in Chicago even committed suicide, tired of the combination of long-running hours and the lack of true support from its own government. And this year, it’s reached even more critical levels, resulting in crime rising to all-new heights across several states — including high-profile areas like Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and New York.”

Letts adds, “The idea of being a police officer has reached such a critical level that no one wants to do it — not with the combination of harassment, low morale, disrespect from local government officials, and not having the proper funding to even make a proper living.”

Of course, we need only to look back to George Floyd to see where all the anti-cop rhetoric really heated up. Democrats decided that the police, not the criminals, were the problem, and that the best way to prevent another Floyd incident was to defund the police.

There have been countless riots, thefts, violent attacks, and murders since Floyd’s death. And many of them could have been prevented had there been enough cops on the streets. None of the dead will be remembered or honored for giving up their lives as a result of Joe Biden’s anti-police executive orders, yet last weekend Biden honored Floyd’s 50th birthday in a statement while calling for even more police “reform.”

As our Nate Jackson writes: “What did the Democrats’ version of police ‘reform’ often look like? It meant defunding police departments around the country. It meant vilifying police and suppressing morale to the point that officers left departments in droves while recruiting plummeted.”

We all know why Democrats want fewer police and more crime. Under those conditions, they can make promises to fix the very problem they created, knowing that low-information voters will likely return them to office.

Meanwhile, the rest of us can only hope that high crime doesn’t visit our own neighborhoods — and that the citizenry will finally wake up and vote for a restoration of law and order.

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