Two-something years following the outcry by activists to “defund the police,” certain states are starting to see the results from the movement – a decrease in police presence and a rise in criminal activity.
New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland and Chicago are just a few examples of cities that are struggling to keep up their police staffing, while at the same time seeing a staggering increase in theft, homicide and other criminal activity. In a Fox News report, retired Fort Worth police chief Jeff Halstead noted the struggle with trying to keep up.
“The national goal for your highest-level priority call and policing was to respond and be on location within five minutes. That was a national goal. It’s been the national goal for decades. And the majority of major city police departments were accomplishing that goal within three and a half to about four minutes and 45 seconds,” Halstead explained. “Today, I don’t know of any of them that are aggressively meeting that national standard.”
Jeff Rasche, another retired police chief, noted this is due to a “ripple effect.” He also stated that many officers are leaving their duty not only due to mental health issues, but also the very threat of being prosecuted for merely doing their job. “Because of specific optics of the use of force incident…they’re now being indicted. So, many police officers, especially in your high-risk, high-crime suppression units, they are not getting nearly as aggressive as they used to be. And that is one of the primary drivers of a massive increase in violent crime.”
With us now to discuss this further is Michael Letts, who has over three decades of law enforcement experience under his belt. He currently serves as founder, CEO and president of InVest USA, an organization that provides bulletproof vests to police officers through various charitable groups and sponsorships. His expertise will provide some weight to this matter.
- We’re starting to see some effects from the demands for “defunding the police.” Do you believe these activists and government officials acted too hastily to slash budgets without seeing the results that would stem from that?
- So many states are starting to see big problems with keeping their police forces staffed. Is this due to low morale within leadership, a lack of funding for mental health programs and additional gear, or possibly a combination of the two?
- You’ve written a number of editorials on this subject, talking about how some officers are simply “giving up” on the job because they can’t handle the mental strain. How frustrated does this make you?
- What do you think the biggest problem with this is? The fact that local governments don’t seem to be doing that much to help their police forces? Or perhaps something else?
- Why do you think the viewpoint of how some people see the police is so jaded? Do you think the media played a big part in that?
- Retired police chief Rasche believes this is a “ripple effect” from what occurred with “defund the police.” Do you think it’ll get worse before it gets better?
- Tell us more about InVest USA, and what this organization does to protect police officers. How’s the program going, and do you see officers truly benefitting from the vests that you provide?
- Where can we learn more about In-Vest USA, and how those wanting to support the police can make contributions to the group?
You can visit the official website at http://www.investusa.org.
About Michael Letts:
Michael Letts is the Founder, President, and CEO of InVest USA, a national grassroots non-profit organization that is helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience under his belt, hence his pro-police stance for his brothers and sisters in blue. Those interested in learning more about Letts can visit his official website here.