The presence of police in the United States has reached quite a low number – and if we’re not careful, it’s bound to get worse.
This fallout began in 2020, following the death of George Floyd. Outcry poured across the country to “defund the police,” and, sadly, many politicians, including then former vice president Joe Biden, agreed. But little did anyone realize just what kind of fallout would come from this.
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.
Back in August, Goodhue, Minnesota found itself in dire straits when its entire police force resigned. What’s worse, the local police chief, Josh Smith, did not have any applications in an effort to replace them – leaving the small city high and dry.
Smith noted, “I’ve called every PD around for the youngest guys out there, getting into the game. There’s nobody getting into the game.”
Think about it. 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.
While speaking with Fox News Digital, Rev. Markel Hutchens, founder of MovementForward and Faith & Blue, summed up the situation.
“I can tell you firsthand the biggest challenge that we hear over and over and over from law enforcement executives is that they cannot hire, and they also cannot retain the officers that they have,” he explained. “We have a real crisis in this country, but it’s not a crisis that will be overcome without a shift in culture and a shift in conversation. The demonization and demoralization that law enforcement professionals have faced over the last several years is what Dr. King called the vocal minority.”
The report also revealed some startling numbers. Officer resignations have reached a staggering 47 percent last year, compared to where they sat in 2019; and retirements have gone as high as 19 percent.
So here’s the real question. What can be done? Or, for that matter, what is being done? And the sad truth is…very little.
That’s because Democrats are still twiddling their thumbs in Washington as demands are made to pass any sort of government funding for officers. And they aren’t the only ones. Even local city officials are hesitant about it.
In Boston this past week, there was a $3.4 million bill set to be passed to give the crime-ridden city the support it needed. But, surprise, several Democratic council members shut it down because of a technicality regarding an age-old system that…well, let’s be honest, it was an excuse.
And there are several other instances as well, and it’s getting to the point where police have zero reason to stick around. The drive of the job, and being passionate about taking care of people, can only go so far if there’s hardly any appreciation in return. More people are concerned about screaming “Our lives matter!” than it is to simply say “Thank you!” As a result, the outcry has gotten so misdirected that some officers just can’t take it anymore.
It’s a shame. Because of this, cities are seeing an absolute increase in crime, and it’s getting to the point where our safety has become incredibly compromised.
With that, I repeat the same words that I’ve repeated for months to Biden and his fellow holdouts on the funding front – it’s time. It’s time to stop saying that “defund the police” was the right move (it clearly wasn’t) and, instead, giving our officers back the livelihood, the money, the need to do their job again. And I don’t mean pushing it off a few months and seeing if we get through our holiday season in one piece. I mean we need to get to work now.
Because, otherwise, this great nation we call home is going to continue falling apart to criminal activity, with barely anyone to answer for it. And I know those Democrats won’t be answering the phones. So, who then?
Michael Letts is the Founder, President, and CEO of InVest USA, a national grassroots non-profit organization that is helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience under his belt, hence his pro-police stance for his brothers and sisters in blue.