Many of the liberal cities that cut police department budgets due to the “defund the police” movement in 2020 are now restoring funds to retain and recruit new officers as their cities face rising crime and struggle to keep a sufficient number of officers.
The New York Times reported the city’s police force was given a $200 million increase. Los Angeles also experienced a significant financial boost to its police force.
The two cities are among several now changing tactics to address growing crime.
Portland’s Defunding Regret
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said in July regretted a June cut to the police budget, later saying he will “fight for more police officers.
“I will fight for more police officers.”
Mayor Ted Wheeler calls Portland Police Bureau “under-resourced” following 11 shootings in 38 hours that injured 10+ and left 2 dead.
Wheeler OK’d cuts to police in June budget but “would have preferred that we didn’t take any” pic.twitter.com/O0Cw96nkrn
— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) July 17, 2021
The report came after 11 shootings took place in 38 hours that left two dead and more than 10 injured.
Minneapolis Changes Its Tune
In August, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced a budget that would add $192 million to the police department. The total is only $1 million below the budget the department had before defund the police cuts in 2020.
The city even proposed to end the police force following the George Floyd incident in 2020. Now the city faces a growing crime problem that requires a rebound to past spending to address.
Even Seattle’s mayor has pushed to free additional funding to recruit new police officers. It appears the city’s liberal focus has led to a struggle to attract officers willing to serve.
To respond, Mayor Jenny Durkan requested $7.5 million in July to help.
Crime is not going away, but calls to defund the police are as criminal activities have spiked in liberal cities, along with more officers leaving, leading to a need to add more to budgets rather than less.