Keeping America Safe / Politics

Thirteen Cities Broke Homicide Records in 2021 as Police Face Shortages, Budget Cuts

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After 13 cities broke their homicide records in 2021, politicians and police departments find themselves trying to answer the million-dollar question: Why?

Experts say staffing shortages from police retirements and resignations driven by a wave of anti-police sentiment, as well as bail reform, declining arrests, and hardships from the pandemic have coalesced to create a climate of increased crime around the country. Still, there is no clear one-size-fits-all answer for every city seeing a surge in crime.

Toledo, Ohio, recorded 62 homicides as of mid November, beating a previous record set in 2020, when the city saw 57 homicides. The 2020 total had been the highest number recorded in 39 years.

A spokesperson for the Toledo Police Department acknowledged that even while the department had not been directly affected by the “defund the police” movement, it was not immune to the impacts of growing public opposition to law enforcement.

“[Morale] is an issue currently with the anti-police climate — we are human and we are not immune,” a spokesperson for the Toledo Police Department told National Review, adding that the department has also seen an increase in early retirements.

“Our community, much like many other communities, have been through a lot [in] the past year,” spokesman Andrew Dlugosielski said. “The pandemic has brought on food and employment uncertainty, housing scarcity, and a fear of not knowing what could be next.”

He said the economic climate has coincided with “an issue of people being quick to settle their differences with firearms instead of words.”

“There seems to be a lack of empathy for each other,” he said.

The city has seen an 18.6 percent rise in homicides and a 16 percent rise in auto theft. Still, some crime in the city has fallen: Robberies have fallen 39 percent, rapes are down 7 percent, and there’s been a 5 percent decrease in aggravated assaults.

While Toledo mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz suggested in July that the “vast majority of violent crimes in the city are gang-related,” Dlugosielski said that, while gang violence is a “large contributor” to crime in the city, it is not the only one.

Other cities that broke homicide records in 2021 include Portland, Ore.; Rochester, N.Y.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Columbus, Ohio; Baton Rouge, La.; Austin, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; Tucson, Ariz.; Louisville, Ky.; and St. Paul, Minn.

All 13 cities are led by Democratic mayors.

Six of the cities broke records that were set or tied in 2020: Indianapolis, Columbus, Louisville, Toledo, Baton Rouge, and Milwaukee.

Robert Boyce, retired chief of detectives for the New York Police Department, told ABC News, “Nobody’s getting arrested anymore.”

“People are getting picked up for gun possession and they’re just let out over and over again,” he said.

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles County sheriff slammed California’s liberal prosecutors, saying they are living in a “woke palace” and not facing the consequences of their decisions to undermine the work of law-enforcement officers amid a surge in crime.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said during an appearance on Fox News that liberal district attorney George Gascon has declined to prosecute more than 12,000 cases after county deputies apprehended suspected criminals.

“So that is disheartening for any cop to think all their work is being undone by a careless and irresponsible district attorney,” he said. “But they’re not going to stop doing their job. The deputies . . . keep doing your job, don’t use the excuse of someone else not doing their job to avoid it — and it’s working.”

Meanwhile, the number of arrests nationwide fell 24 percent in 2020, from more than 10 million arrests in 2019 to just 7.63 million, the lowest in 25 years, according to FBI crime data.

Philadelphia surpassed its annual homicide record of 500, first set in 1990. The city of some 1.5 million people has recorded more homicides this year — 521 as of December 6 — than either New York or Los Angeles.

Despite being the nation’s third-largest city, Chicago leads the nation with 739 homicides as of the end of November. However, that figure is still far below the record of 974 homicides set in 1970.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to send additional federal resources to Chicago amid a troubling surge in crime and gun violence.

Lightfoot delivered a 40-minute speech addressing residents’ safety concerns on Monday, in which she asked Garland to send more agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to Chicago for six months to “increase the number of gun investigations and gun seizures” and to send additional federal prosecutors to the city to bring additional criminal cases at the federal level.

Lightfoot requested that Garland also send more federal marshals to Chicago to assist the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and Chicago Police Department in tracking down thousands of individuals wanted on warrants.

Meanwhile Portland, Ore., has rushed to re-fund the police after the city passed its old record of 70 homicides set in 1987 back in October.

The city had been plagued with nightly protests for months in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, with rioters demanding that officials in what is perhaps America’s most liberal city cut $50 million from the department budget to reallocate funds to community-driven initiatives.

The Portland City Council and the mayor acquiesced in June 2020, cutting $15 million from the police budget in response to protests and another $12 million due to pandemic-related economic shortfalls. The budget cuts resulted in the loss of school-resource officers and transit police and the disbanding of a gun-violence reduction team.

Since then, the city has been upended by gun violence, which has disproportionately impacted communities of color. Family members of homicide victims and advocates who work with young gang members have raised questions about the cuts and requested an increased police presence to be paired with accountability and increased social services, according to PBS NewsHour.

In November 2021, the Portland City Council moved to backtrack, unanimously passing a fall budget bump that included increasing the current $230 million police budget by an extra $5.2 million.

The policy shift came amid both the surge in crime and the city’s greatest police staffing shortage in decades, as well as in response to reform recommendations made by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Other cities, including New York City and Los Angeles, have seen their police budgets partially restored amid a wave of homicides, officer shortages, and political pressures.

Reprinted with permission from – National Review – By Brittany Bernstein


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Robin Walter Boyd
4 months ago

Socialist Progressives need chaos in order to sell citizens on putting more faith in the Federal Government. Large cities provide the most voters per square mile, so large cities are the first place Socialist Progressives create the most chaos by lessening law enforcement and promoting violence.
Get rid of the Socialist political representatives and we can lessen the chaos.

HocasPocas
4 months ago

I’m not sure what these people were expecting with allowing this lacksadaisical mindset of DA, Mayors, Governors, secretaries of states, Election leadership roles, Senators, congressmen, DOF, DOD, Military personal, VP and US pResident. I’m sure that I missed a few of these misfits, but I think everyone has the gist of what is happening here. The payment that these people receive for the services that they provide should be reflected on their competence level. They should be offered the same law enforcement protection, health care and retirement benefits that they would receive in a comparable position within the community. This may bring these positions back into perspective of exactly what their duties to the public are.

John Crowell
4 months ago

I read article after article about this subject… or related to the rise of crime all over the US…Yes it appears to be a Democratic city issue.. but here is my problem with finger pointing… This is a byproduct of the real problem. How do these People get elected. Democrat, Independents and republicans have families, want to live in peace where their families are safe.. I live in Seattle, major Democratic stronghold, and everyone I know wants the same thing. Most want nothing to do with Seattle now, it is a hole. So again, How do these leaders get elected? Surely no one in their right mind wants to vote in Rape, pillage and plunder… Homelessness, crazy people roaming the streets, camping under overpassess and more. I just give people more credit for wanting their family safe. Just does not make sense that educated people are seriously voting in CRIME.

HocasPocas
4 months ago
Reply to  John Crowell

Falls back on honest elections.

Les
4 months ago

Key word “ led by Democrat “

Jerry Pearson
4 months ago

The problem with our nation as it is now is a lack of respect for law and order and the lack of empathy for one human being to another. Much of this was brought on by the democratic communists calling for abolishing of police departments and lack of prosecution for crimes. If it is hard for you to understand this just read the newspaper or better yet listen to Fox news or Epoch. Fox and epoch bring a more balanced report than the MSM such as MSNBC or CNN which are mouthpieces for the democratic communists.

HocasPocas
4 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Pearson

I wouldn’t rely much on Fox news either.

Joe M
4 months ago

The one short sentence explains it all…..ALL 13 CITIES ARE LED BY DEMOCRATS !!!!! Whenever the dumbed-down dem population ever gets wise they will vote republican conservatives in !! I stress the importance of CONSERVATIVE !!!! Democrat governors, attorney generals, mayors and prosecuting attorney’s need to be replaced !! Until then all those cities and states will go to Hell !!!

HocasPocas
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe M

It’s a short walk

Blondie
4 months ago

Anyone that voted for defunding police can take credit for their high crime rates, they wanted this. Any city that requires the police to vax, and they walked, you own this too.

Bill on the Hill
4 months ago

Brittany Bernstein of National Review… Your opening paragraph with a question mark? You can’t possibly be serious…?
As I move through the story, clearly that question mark NEVER belonged there in the first place…
Yes, Democrat run cities all across America are dealing with the purposeful or intentional ramifications of just what happens when police departments get DEFUNDED, Duh!!!
Everything is moving along & according to plan for The Open Society of George Soros as I would say perhaps better than he ever expected. We need to acknowledge Corporate America’s elitists with the many millions of dollars they continue to pump into the racial/Marxist groups they call blm/antifa as well…The millions of dollars ( Soro’s money ) pumped into the district attorney’s offices in ALL of those Democrat run cities with attorneys that turn a blind eye & get there Marxist brethren bailed out of jail within hours, only to return to smashing & burning in a non-stop circle of never-ending violence.
The road to a Marxist driven, socialistic, communist or totalitarian new gov’t is how what we are now experiencing first hand gets itself started…
Meanwhile the nation of China is lurking in the background why all of this plays itself out in the West with full approval, not forgetting they own corporate America & most everything in Washington, DC…
All of this madness comes down to money & politics while the Deep State both here in the states & abroad are silently roaring their approval in all of this, they will NOT be impacted by any of this in America anymore than the oligarchs in places such as Russia & Ukraine will be…
If We The People continue to NOT act & simply wait for somebody else to do it like the good little sheep we have become, then we only have ourselves to blame for being those apathetic good little sheep that will indeed get slaughtered in the end…
Thank you,
Bill… :~)

George Washington's Admirer
4 months ago

In just two years the democrats have turned the country into a wasteland. Millions of dollars spent on the demonization of the American Police Force. Defunding our police; and yet, at the same time spending money writing communist versions of our history. It cost money too, removing ‘Our Founding Fathers’ Statues and Portraits. It cost money circumventing our legislative process; enacting edicts as if we have a monarchy, instead of a Presidency. It cost millions of dollars blacklisting people, books and periodicals. It cost loads of money replacing the historical names of every geographical location. Busy, busy little Marxist activity costing millions, upon millions of American tax dollars. Then, the Democratic Party has the unmitigated audacity to blame the Republicans for deliberately undermining democracy. The democrats have not only destroyed their party; they have numerous Constitutional violations, First Amendment violations, and common sense violations. The violence in some cities is up 800%. There have been reports of up to 80 people in gangs striking areas of business. The legal profession, the medical profession, and every profession is currently living in the Dark Ages; constrained by a corrupt government. Democrats first mistake was getting involved with the Marxists; then, it was all devastation after that. The end justifies the means; doesn’t quite work. Americans long for: TRUTH, JUSTICE, & THE AMERICAN WAY!

HocasPocas
4 months ago

It all comes down to being honest, being ethical, caring about oneself and others and all other good principals that citizens would learn to live by if they just opened their Bibles and attended a God fearing Church on a regular basis

Patriot Bill
4 months ago

Learn to defend yourself:
Learn to shoot
Buy a gun (to carry and for home defense)
Practise, practise.
Fight for your right to defend yourself

Bill on the Hill
4 months ago
Reply to  Patriot Bill

Practice makes perfect PB…
Good comment…
Bill… :~)

Chief Richard Arwood
4 months ago

The City of Memphis, Tennessee, broke the existing homicide record on 28 December with 339. As of today, 31 December, there have been MORE.

Stephen Russell
4 months ago

ALL Blue cities. nothing odd here, routine.

PaulE
4 months ago

Defunding the police, voting for activist DAs, Mayors, City Councils or so-called “Progressive” Democrats in general, changing or eliminiating bail laws, mass releases of felons from prisons in the name of social justice, and vilifying the police, while also stripping them of their limited liability protection essential to being able for them to do their jobs without risk of being sued into oblivion does have consequnces. In this case, the massive spike in crimes can be directly traced back to one or more of these actions being implemented in the recent past by Democrats in charge. You get what you vote for at the local, state and federal levels.

Bill on the Hill
4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Thanks Paul, couldn’t have said it any better…
Happy New Year!
Bill… :~)

Max
4 months ago

Happy New Year, Bill.

PaulE
4 months ago
Reply to  Max

Happy New Year Max.

Bill on the Hill
4 months ago
Reply to  Max

Ditto Max…
Bill… :~)

PaulE
4 months ago

Happy New Year Bill.

Art
4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

On Point and expressed very well. Thanks PaulE. You get what is “paid for” all the way down to dog catcher. It doesn’t matter whose vote counts. It matters who counts the votes.

PaulE
4 months ago
Reply to  Art

Happy New Year Art.

Yes, as long as so many states continue to drag their feet on enacting the necessary election reforms to prevent a repeat of the 2020 election and the 2021 Georgia run-off elections, nothing willl change.

So far a lot of Republican politicians, at all levels of state and federal government, just seem to think all they have to do is sit back and coast to victory in the mid terms. All despite the small, but growing group of people telling them they need to fix their messaging and porvide a compelling reason for people to actually vote for them. Truly amazing how blase’ DC Republicabs are at this point. I can’t say I feel confident at this point at the overall prospects for the Congressional mid terms with such low energy, apathic career politicians seemly content to do so little to ensure victory.

Bill on the Hill
4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Spot on assessment Paul of Washington, DC politics…They just don’t seem to want to drag themselves out of the sewer of their own creation as in a never-ending cycle of political disfunction of which both sides of the aisle are guilty of with the Democrats being the worse of the worse but following on their pathetic footsteps is the apathetic Republican Party & those RINO’s that cling like the blood sucking leeches they are…
All the best,
Bill… :~)

Max
4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Happy New Year, Paul.

PaulE
4 months ago
Reply to  Max

Happy New Year Max.

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