Some U.S. cities now are backtracking on the 2020 demand to defund police departments and instead are adding back money to their law enforcement agencies’ budgets, the Washington Examiner reported.
The moves come as crime spikes are reported nationwide.
Movements to defund the police have grown since George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis. Defunding means reallocating or redirecting funding away from the police department to other government agencies funded by the local municipality.
But things are changing in some cities:
- SEATTLE, WASHINGTON --Violence has jumped since the city council voted to cut funding from its police department in 2020, according to the Examiner. Mayor Jenny Durkan, in an effort to hire additional officers, said she will ask the city council to free up $7.5 million in the police budget that had been frozen. The outlet noted several police officers left the department during the last year. Their departure has resulted in delayed response times to 911 calls.
- PORTLAND, OREGON -- Mayor Ted Wheeler said he would work with Portland Police Bureau officials on a proposal to put resources behind hiring additional officers. Officials said police have been operating with 67 fewer police officers than authorized in 2020.
- CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced her budget plan for the next fiscal years includes increased funding for the police department. Murders in the city have soared 60%, the Examiner noted, citing data from the police department.
President Joe Biden's March coronavirus stimulus permitted federal funds to be used to fund police departments, according to Director of White House Office of Public Engagement Cedric Richmond.
"After months of ignoring ongoing crime in American cities, the president finally addressed the violence this week," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in late June, adding Republicans "will not defund the police. We will add more."
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