The real question today is whether or not the mob in Portland can manage to increase their rioting, looting and arson activities by 200% to keep up the pace. Otherwise, they’ll be facing a confrontation of diminishing returns. What am I talking about? As you no doubt already know, the mob in Portland has been calling for the defunding of the police – if not their complete abolishment – from the beginning of the violent riots. The municipal government, from the Mayor’s office on down, has been bending over backward to appease them in the vain hope that it might cause the violence to recede. (Spoiler alert: it hasn’t.) So how is that defunding initiative going?

Not as well as some of the headlines would lead you to believe. Back in June, the City Council approved $16 million in cuts to the police force to be phased in over a period of time. That didn’t do anything to slow down the violence because the mob doesn’t really give a hoot once they get going. But they’re really going to be ticked off now. It turns out that their own violent activities in the streets have been the cause of an increase in funding for the cops in overtime pay and other incurred expenses. (Free Beacon)

As protesters in Portland continue to call for defunding the police, the Portland Police Bureau spent nearly $7 million on overtime pay in June and July—200 percent more than the same time frame last year—as officers were dispatched to quell violent anti-police protests.

Portland’s KATU News reported Tuesday that PPB has spent at least $6.9 million in overtime pay in June and July, amid a wave of nightly anti-police riots that began in the city in late May. From January until June, PPB had only spent $4.5 million on overtime pay.

The spike in overtime pay coincides with a summer of unrest in the city. Rioters, many of whom have pushed for reforming and defunding the police, have for months wreaked havoc on the city—at times launching fireworks and explosives at government buildings, including a federal courthouse, and setting fire to a local police precinct.

Before getting to the question of actual funding (or defunding, as the case may be), here’s one observation to share with the rioters in question. You don’t like the fact that there are dozens or hundreds of cops out and about in the city wearing body armor, shields and batons, carrying pepper ball guns and tasers or deploying tear gas canisters. Fair enough. I’m sure that’s quite alarming. But have you considered the possibility that you wouldn’t have all of those heavily equipped law enforcement officers out in the streets all night if you weren’t, I don’t know… burning your frigging city to the ground?

Just saying…

Moving on. The question of funding shouldn’t even be in the mix at this stage and it should remain out of the conversation until order is restored to the streets. Of course there were going to be massive overtime costs. When you have officers pulling extra shifts and expending riot control resources for more than 100 straight days, the bills are going to grow commensurately. That should have been obvious to the city’s budget planners.

But at the same time, they could also have anticipated that when these expenses were made public, it would only further infuriate all of the rioters our there smashing store windows and starting fires. So what’s the missing piece of the puzzle here?

This level of police activity (and expense) would not have been needed if the Mayor and the City Council had acted expeditiously when the first protests began. We’ve seen other cities where potential violence and lawlessness was quickly and firmly tamped down while allowing legitimately peaceful protesters to assemble in public spaces during daylight hours to make their voices heard. By the time anyone in Portland appeared to even consider any such action, blocks of the city were barricaded off by lawless brigands and turned into no-go areas for the police. At that point, the horses had left the barn and the rioters knew that they wouldn’t be facing any severe consequences for their actions.

In the end, it remains true that the responsibility for lawless actions remains on the shoulders of those who knowingly choose to commit violence and mayhem. But the very first responsibility of all elected officials is to keep their citizens safe and uphold order. The leadership of Portland failed that test miserably from day one and the citizens should hold them accountable at the ballot box. Assuming there’s still a city left to hold elections for when the time comes, that is.