In the wake of the protests and riots we saw across the country, a popular talking point for virtue-signaling politicians, media and Hollywood elites was to defund and dismantle police departments. I can’t begin to tell you how ridiculous this concept is, especially when you are seeing violent crime spiking in every major city across the country.
The murder rate increases in our large cities over last year are nothing short of staggering:
- New York- 30 percent
- Philadelphia- 30 percent
- Chicago- 34 percent
- Houston- 39 percent
- Los Angeles 17 percent
But that didn’t stop places like NY and LA from defunding their police departments to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. All of this despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans do not support dismantling/defunding their police departments. In a recent Pew Research poll 73 percent of Americans believed that police department budgets should stay the same or increase.
In a recent Quinnipiac poll 77 percent of people believed that officers were doing a great job in their community and 81 percent opposed dismantling/defunding the police. I have quoted these poll numbers in numerous interviews and the National FOP created an original commercial for social media, but I am betting you haven’t seen these numbers plastered all over the news.
So what does this all mean?
It shows what we have always known – that the vast majority of Americans support, appreciate and care about police officers in their community. They recognize the job we do protecting businesses, schools, neighborhoods and the people in them. They understand that we do a difficult job and that 99 percent of us are out here doing the job the right way and for the right reasons.
Also, it shows that politicians should be responsible enough to slow down and assess a situation before reacting emotionally and placating to the mob. Thankfully, we have a mayor and most City Council members who understood what residents of our community wanted and were willing to listen to our concerns of the dangers of defunding, and in a recent budget vote (just days after a demonstration of 60,000 people) voted to increase the budget of the Houston Police Department by $20 million.
This will allow us to continue to have five academy classes this fiscal year and to grow our ranks (if we can find people to take the job – which is an article for another month). They listened to the community, who amidst the alarming rise in violent crime wanted more police officers, not less.
Houston serves as an example to other cities and towns. It is important to listen to the hard-working, law-abiding members of our community instead of just paying heed to the people who scream/yell and email-bomb Council Member’s inbox and don’t even remember to correct the header in form email they were told to send, where is says “Insert name here” and don’t even live in Houston. I am not kidding they seriously didn’t even take the time to write their name into a form email they were told to send asking to defund the Houston Police Department. Clearly, they put a ton of thought, before writing it, into how this would impact our most vulnerable communities, our officers, and our city a s whole.
It is a testament to the leadership Mayor Turner has shown. He supports law enforcement in Houston, yet holds us accountable when we are wrong, and that has all we have ever asked of everyone.
It is well past time for everyone in this country to support the hard-working men and women of law enforcement who are putting their lives on the line to do the job the right way, but who also hold fully accountable the small group who disrespect and violate the oath of our noble profession. These things are not mutually exclusive.
As always, be safe out there.