Cities Announce Intentions to Defund Police: Right or Wrong Move?

Amid a sweeping movement to reform law enforcement, Minneapolis announced it intends to disband its Police Department, while New York City will defund the NYPD: Are these the right or wrong moves?

In this article, we’ll look at intentions by cities to defund and/or disband Police Departments, examining the pros of such decisions, as well as explore the cons and criticisms of such moves.

Defunding overview: More resources, less police

The main objective of advocates of defunding police departments is to put the monetary resources and focus on improving factors, particularly in certain communities, that they say leads to increased crime.

Advocates say more resources in certain communities could reduce crime and the need for large police forces by providing more education, employment, housing, community health, and other programs.

In other words, by decreasing the contributing factors of poverty and the lack of opportunities, it will reduce the number of individuals who commit crimes in order to survive.

Minneapolis: “Veto-proof majority” of City Council to disband Police Department

On Sunday, a “vetoproof majority” of Minneapolis City Council announced that they intend to disband the Minneapolis Police Department in the wake of the death of George Floyd that has led to worldwide protests about racism and police brutality, Daily Wire reported.

Reportedly, 9 of 13 City Council members are in favor of disbanding and defunding the police department, while shifting those funds to other community needs.

“The City Council’s decision follows those of several other high-profile partners, including Minneapolis Public Schools, and the University of Minnesota, and Minneapolis Parks and Recreation, to sever longstanding ties with the MPD,” the Appeal reported.

New York City to shift NYPD funding to social services

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday that he would decrease funding to the New York Police Department (NYPD) and reallocate those funds towards social services.

“The details will be worked out in the budget process in the weeks ahead,” de Blasio said. “But, I want people to understand that we are committed to shifting resources to ensure that the focus is on our young people.”

While the mayor did not reveal the amount of the funds he intended to divert, according to the New York Times, the annual budget for the NYPD is $6 billion, which amounts to 6 percent of the proposed 2021 fiscal budget for New York City.

Arguments against defunding police departments

“I don’t believe that you should disband police departments,” Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) told CNN on Sunday. “We need to look at how we are spending the resources and invest more in our communities.”

South Carolina Republican lawmakers, Senator Tim Scott, and former representative Trey Gowdy disagree with the concept of defunding police departments.

“Defunding the police is the single dumbest idea I have ever heard,” Gowdy told Fox News.

Gowdy asked a number of rational questions: “Who is going to process crime scenes, arrest bad people? Who is going to enforce any law, child sex abuse, homicide? Who is going to do it, if it’s not the police?”

“It is not an idea whose time has come,” Scott told Fox News, saying the call to “defund the police” is a “ridiculous idea.”

“The absolute nation requires law and order,” Scott continued. “We need order in our streets, and the easiest way to have that is to have a strong presence of character-driven law enforcement officers.”