|WASHINGTON, DC – Violent crime has skyrocketed in cities across the country as major cities defunded their police departments. As Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Chair of the American Security Task Force, Rep. John Katko (R-NY) has heard directly from law enforcement officers in New York City and Portland about the challenges police departments face as crime continues to rise.
Local leaders who drove massive budget cuts are finally waking up to the reality that defunding the police is dangerous and does not work. Across the country, Democrat mayors are requesting back the very funding their cities cut from police departments just one year ago.
Austin, TX has faced a 96% increase in homicides since its police budget was slashed by $150 million.
DC has seen over 100 homicides so far this year – the fastest pace of homicides in 18 years.
Since Portland cut its police budget by $16 million and eliminated 84 officer positions, the city has seen a 533% increase in homicides and a 126% rise in shootings.
Seattle Police Department (SPD) reported it is facing “extreme staffing shortages” and “unprecedented attrition rates” following the city’s decision to defund the police by $46 million. The Department wrote, “Additional SPD budget cuts will perpetuate the exodus of sworn officers, impact our ability to hire new officers, and could further increase 9-1-1 call response times.”