As murders soar, police departments are depleted

Murders in more than 20 large cities were up last year, after already being up nearly 50% in 2020 compared to 2019.

Chicago Police Department/Facebook

Since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis nearly 21 months ago, violent crime across America has surged. That’s a fact — even if the White House downplays or denies.

Overall murders in the United States rose almost 30% in 2020, the same year Black Lives Matter hooligans overran our nation’s urban centers with anti-police riots. Murders in more than 20 large cities were up last year, after already being up nearly 50% in 2020 compared to 2019.

Police suffered more casualties nationwide — 73 killed in the line of duty in 2021 — than in almost three decades. This year started just as tragically, with 30 police officers shot in January alone, some fatally.

The epicenter of deadly violence often is the nation’s third-largest city, which now lacks enough officers to patrol its most dangerous streets and protect vulnerable Americans.

And to make matters worse, Chicago is struggling to find enough qualified applicants to enroll in the police academy. Of those who seek a law enforcement career, usually only half pass background checks, finish the entire program, and take their oath.

Riding along with a veteran Illinois officer last week, he told me over 2,000 applicants per month used to apply for the Chicago Police Department. But not anymore.

“It’s still thorough, but the hiring process is only about three months now; it used to take nearly a year,” he explained. “And where departments once competed with each other for strong applicants, that’s no longer an issue.”

Many Chicago police officers are retiring early, or leaving the troubled city for suburban or rural areas, where they are likely to be more respected.

Complaints run the gamut from mandatory overtime and low pay to canceled days off and lack of support from city leaders.

The Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund reported last year that the number of officers who quit their jobs increased by 24% within the nation’s largest police agencies.

“I left largely due to politics, went to an agency almost an hour away, and took a sizable pay cut, but I don’t regret my decision,” another officer told Alpha News. “Morale is bad and politics are why. You should hear how much hatred there is for the mayor, governor, and left-wing politicians over the radio chatter.”

It’s not only Chicago, of course, where replenishing the police ranks is a challenge and crime is ruining lives.

Austin, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., among others, saw more than a 60% increase in officers quitting the force last year. Voluntary retirements soared 131% in Cleveland, while one in 12 officers left the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

In St. Paul, the police chief recently reminded the city’s liberal mayor his force is understaffed and overworked.

These problems come as St. Paul set a murder record in 2021, while violent crime also soars in Minneapolis.

Meanwhile, thanks to years of regressive bigots demanding that cities “abolish the police,” criminals roam free, often on early release, and many residents are afraid to walk the streets.

It’s a perfect storm of disturbing outcomes. And it basically began with anti-police efforts in Minneapolis.


A.J. Kaufman

A.J. Kaufman is an Alpha News columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Israel National News, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across AIM Media Midwest and the Internet. Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian.