The deadly consequences of "defund the police"

They noted that both property-crime and violent-crime rates continued to decline throughout the period they studied in Jersey City. In Newark, however, violent-crime rates increased after the layoffs. Using statistical models, Piza and Chillar estimate that there were “approximately 108 . . . additional violent crime incidents per month resulting from the layoffs,” while there were also an additional 103 property-crime incidents each month.

One possible culprit for the increase in crime following the layoffs was the decision of the Newark Police Department (NPD) to curtail the use of hot-spots policing, which involved assigning officers to proactively police the city’s crime hot spots during the majority of their shifts. From 2006 to 2009, hot-spots policing was a major feature of the department’s activities, but budget constraints and layoffs forced the NPD to discontinue this form of policing, as personnel were needed elsewhere.

It’s also possible that the sudden and dramatic decrease in police officers harmed the force’s morale, contributing to a reduction in policing quality. Piza and Chillar point to a 2018 study that found that teacher layoffs in the state of Washington led to less teacher productivity.