(ConservativeSense.com) – As police departments struggle to find new blood and face staffing shortages across the United States, 2022 saw a record increase in homicides in nine cities.
Some city officials cite the impact of the pandemic and lockdowns on crime, which started to increase in 2020 during the spring and summer – this may be due to an increase in addictions and mental health issues, as well as desperation due to economic turmoil that’s still making an impact. Another factor was the death of George Floyd in May 2020, which sparked violent protests across the country and eroded trust between the police and their communities.
One of the reasons departments are facing staff shortages is many feel the pay, the danger of the job, and the overall demonization of those who serve are not worth the stress or the risk. In New York City alone, over 4,000 officers are set to retire before the end of 2023, a rate not seen since the post-9/11 exodus.
2021 saw the highest murder rate in 25 years in large cities. Although overall homicides in major cities were down roughly 5% in 2022 compared to the previous year, the problem has not abated.
Aside from staff shortages, a retired officer and president of the National Police Association, Betsy Brantner Smith, notes that many cities on the list are also dealing with a change in leadership with new police chiefs. She notes that while the focus has typically been on major cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, there’s “a trickle-down” with the trend spreading into more rural areas and counties which will become “a nationwide problem” if we don’t get a handle on it.
The cities on the list are Albuquerque, New Mexico; Aurora, Colorado, and Colorado Springs; Little Rock, Arkansas; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Portland, Oregon; Raleigh, North Carolina; San Antonio, Texas; and Tacoma, Washington.
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