The liberal mayor of Oakland, CA, blamed the “defund rhetoric” for the police recruit shortages as she explained that the city badly needed more police officers to fight a spike in violent crime.
Mayor Libby Schaaf, a Dem, stated that the “Defund the Police” rhetoric was keeping individuals from becoming police, resulting in streets that are not as safe as they used to be.
Oakland is experiencing a spike in violent crime as it records its 127th murder so far in 2021. The police force has a budget that is scheduled to be cut by $18 million in next year, but Schaaf recently asked for that budget cut to be delayed in light of the recent crime spree.
“Let me be clear, we need more police in Oakland. We have been interrupted by staffing shortages, COVID-19 interrupted our training and recruiting processes, and the defund the police rhetoric is making it more difficult to attract and keep recruits,” she said.
“And we know that this issue is not unique to the city of Oakland, but let me make myself clear, we appreciate the outstanding service of the hard-working women and men that are in our police dept.,” she added. “We want citizens to be proud of being in police force and serving our community.”
Schaaf also blamed the new liberal bail policies that incentivize crime.
“I do want to call into attention the bail policies that have changed,” the mayor stated. “And we think that change isn’t giving enough weight in its consideration to crimes in relation to guns.”
Two council members agreed that lenient bail policies are adding to the increasing crime rate.
“When we speak about repeat offenses,” says Councilmember Taylor, “these are the things that we really have to make sense of in a way that can help push us to move toward a much safer community.”
“When those people who are committing crimes realize there’s no accountability,” says Councilmember Treva Reid, ” either in the court system or on the street — we are witnessing that dangerous rise of distraction right before our eyes.”
Schaaf still supports the defund the police efforts despite calling for their delay.
“When those services and messages are not effective anymore,” said Schaaf, “the consequences must be certain and swift. There is nothing progressive about out of control gun violence.”
Some national Dem. figures have blamed the “Defund the Police” movement for the party’s recent election losses.
Author: Scott Dowdy