Riddle: What do bunjee jumping without a cord and losing your virginity have in common? Both are things you can do only once.
Now it is beginning to look like “defunding the police” can be added to that list. After having tried unsuccessfully to combat crime with unarmed park rangers, the city of Portland, Ore., is seeking to revamp its gun-violence squad, which “was scrapped in its fervent woke push to defund the police at the height of Black Lives Matter protests,” the New York Post reports. The only problem is that doing so is easier said than done.
Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner appeared on Fox News on Tuesday, where he lamented, “Over a year ago we were defunded over $20 million and many staffing positions — and many of those staffing positions was our gun-violence reduction team.” The unit, Turner went on to add, had been “a model in the nation” at “taking guns of [sic] the street, taking people who are committing those shootings off the streets.”
Now with homicides up 327% and shootings up 116%, the city is attempting to rebuild the unit but finding that you can’t go home again. The officers who once populated the unit no longer “have confidence in our elected officials who have never showed support for them,” Turner grimly remarked.
Portland’s story is not unique. [P]olice departments in Philadelphia and beyond are struggling to retain and attract officers,” notes U.S. News & World Report, adding, “Across the region and the nation, police officials and union leaders described the state of recruiting as in ‘crisis’ mode.” Mike Neilon, spokesperson for the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #5, is quoted as saying:
It’s the perfect storm. We are anticipating that the department is going to be understaffed by several hundred members, because hundreds of guys are either retiring or taking other jobs and leaving the department.
“Every action has a reaction,” adds Pat Colligan, president of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association. “When you vilify every police officer for every bad police officer’s decision, [people] don’t want to take this job anymore.”