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Murders Spike After Town Defunds Police

National

A Burlington, Vermont, police vehicle. | Image by Burlington Police Dept, Facebook

A city in Vermont has experienced an unparalleled rise in murders and shootings since substantially reducing its police department amid a national “Defund the Police” movement.

In June 2020, the city council in Burlington voted to reduce the size of the city’s police department from a maximum of 105 officers to 74 law enforcement personnel. The money previously allocated to the department was directed to “programs that support people of color.”

The move to defund the department led to a subsequent exodus of remaining officers to the point that only 62 officers remain for the town of nearly 45,000, and Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad only considers 54 of those to be “effective.”

At the time of the decision, Murad warned the council that such a reduction would mean “there will be no Domestic Violence Prevention Officer, no School Resource Officers, no Community Affairs Officer, and no Emergency Response Officer.”

“Eliminating these special Community Policing roles negatively impacts important services … [and] negatively impacts efforts at recruitment and retention,” Murad continued.

Since then, the city has suffered more murders than any year since records began being kept in 1960, Chief Murad recently explained. Beyond homicides, non-fatal shootings are up 300% over the five-year average.

Last year, the Burlington city council backpedaled, voting to allocate additional funds to the police department, increasing the maximum number of officers from 74 to 87. However, Murad said that it will take years to rebuild the department.

While Burlington and other municipalities across the county are wrestling with the consequences of reducing police budgets, Texas sought to prevent the issue in the first place.

In 2021, Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation that would penalize cities and counties if they reduced the police budgets, as reported by The Dallas Express.

One law, applying to municipalities with over 250,000 residents, prevents cities that defund the police from annexing additional land and allows recently annexed areas to vote on separating from the city. Furthermore, those municipalities also lose the ability to increase property tax rates and suffer other economic prohibitions.

Another law stipulated that counties with a population of over 1 million must seek “voter approval for the proposed reduction or reallocation at an election held for that purpose.”

In accordance with the new laws, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hagar initiated an investigation into Harris County that found County Judge Lina Hidalgo sought to pass a budget that “would not be in compliance.”

“Violent crime is spiking because police budgets are being slashed and criminals face no accountability for their actions,” Hagar suggested. “Every day, we read stories about violent offenders walking free without even having to post bail.”

In Dallas, however, Mayor Eric Johnson has been a vocal opponent of defunding the police since calls to do so began in 2019, as reported by The Dallas Express.

In a recent interview concerning his reelection bid, Johnson explained, “You can’t deny the fact that there really was a movement in this country to defund the police, and I took a very firm stance against that when it was not popular.”

“We’ve been proven right,” the mayor continued, “those of us who believed that you don’t cut the police budget … in the middle of a violent crime uptick.”

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Pap
Pap
1 month ago

No kidding. When the cat’s away, the mice will play. Defunding the police is beyond ignorant. I’m sure the criminals are all for it. Good job, Abbott! Thank you for having common sense.

Karyl
Karyl
Reply to  Pap
1 month ago

when it comes the number of police, before and after, we get actual numbers but when disclosing the real number of murders and shootings we get percentages. If you have 3 shootings and that number rises to 9 you get a 300% increase. That “appears” to be a dramatic increase. And why was that number of shootings calculated on a 5 year average? Didn’t like the number in the past year or two since the police were “defunded”. Could there be another reason for lowering the number of police officers other than “defunding”? And what about the quote from the mayor saying, “…cut the police budget … in the middle of a violent crime uptick.” What? Why was there an increase in violent crime in the first place?so here’s the rub. Taking everything you read at face value is another kind of ignorant.

Dick Smith
Dick Smith
Reply to  Karyl
1 month ago

Very true. Statistics can be manipulated a million ways

Bill Fox
Bill Fox
Reply to  Karyl
1 month ago

Fantastic points. Crime is up across the country. It’s not a partisan issue. Pap is likely a cuck.

Janet
Janet
Reply to  Karyl
1 month ago

Add to that the fact that “Defund the Police” was a slogan born out of the BLM demonstrations in Ferguson in response to the use of Military style vehicles and equipment against civilians. The “Defunding” was aimed at re-directing the money spent for such equipment toward crime PREVENTION instead of crime RESPONSE. The right wing carnival barkers and politicians seized upon the moniker to spread the misnomer that it meant “reduce” the size of police forces. Not true. And how does people being released without bail contribute to the reduction of the Police Force? Sounds like the Officers would rather quit than be held accountable for their Police tactics.

Laurie-Beth
Laurie-Beth
1 month ago

Greg Abbott is an idiot

Bill Fox
Bill Fox
Reply to  Laurie-Beth
1 month ago

Yep and how much are we going to pay for unwanted children because of his self-righteous anti-abortion policy? Plus, how much will it increase crime potentially? Costly lesson in morality.

Dick Smith
Dick Smith
Reply to  Bill Fox
1 month ago

The lack of choice in child birth has always been present. You’re only hearing about it now because women have lost some of the choices men have never had.

Bill Fox
Bill Fox
Reply to  Dick Smith
1 month ago

But you had the choice to not engage in unprotected sex.

Matt
Matt
Reply to  Laurie-Beth
1 month ago

Then move! Nobody is forcing you to live in Texas! Move to a crime-ridden dump of a place and pay exorbitant taxes— and face worse problems!

Dick Smith
Dick Smith
Reply to  Matt
1 month ago

Newsflash. By the end of 2023 we’ll all be living in a crime ridden dump called the United States of Mexico.

Bill Fox
Bill Fox
Reply to  Matt
1 month ago

According to this online rag, we already do live in a crime-ridden dump.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bill Fox
Ted Barrett
Ted Barrett
Reply to  Laurie-Beth
1 month ago

GOV. ABBOTT IS A GREAT GOIV. UN-LIKE YOUR WORTHLESS MAYOR AND GOV.. GROW UP LAUIE-BETH. BORN & RAISED VERMONTER, BEFOR YOU WERE EVEN A TWINKEL IN YOUR FATHERS EYE.

Bill Fox
Bill Fox
Reply to  Ted Barrett
1 month ago

Did you not attend school in Vermont? What is all that nonsense you wrote. It makes no sense.

RiverKing
RiverKing
1 month ago

Slow news day? This article certainly isn’t news; it only describes a situtation that should surprise no one.

Tony
Tony
1 month ago

Sure. That’s all we need is red state Texas, home of recent mass shootings, giving Vermont advice. Heal thyself.

Bill Fox
Bill Fox
1 month ago

And Admins, where is my original post calling out your weak reporting? Where is my free speech? Hypocrites.

Cindy
Cindy
Reply to  Bill Fox
1 month ago

Such a shame, Shame on the one’s who wanted to refund our protectors.. see give them more the more they will take away from us even our lives.. when we are trying to earn an honest living… Get The Boy’s back to work.. God only knows in this time and age we need them.. Burlington use to beautiful and Proud.. It’s Time to reclaim that ..