Portland's police exodus continues as murder rates surge

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on all of the action in Portland, Oregon, where the “autonomous zone” set up by rioters has been plaguing both residents and the law enforcement officials tasked with maintaining order. But now that the trial of Dereck Chauvin is underway with the possibility that the entire “justice for George Floyd” initiative may be nearing the finish line, things are probably finally starting to calm down, right? You’d probably like to think so, but you would be mistaken. This weekend the rioters set fire to a police station… again… and the police are still leaving the force in droves. It almost seems as if the law-abiding civilian population will have to start joining the cops’ exodus before long. (Oregon Live)

In 31 exit interview statements, the employees who turned in their badges or retired were brutally frank about their reasons for getting out.

“The community shows zero support. The city council are raging idiots, in addition to being stupid. Additionally, the mayor and council ignore actual facts on crime and policing in favor of radical leftist and anarchists fantasy. What’s worse is ppb command (lt. and above) is arrogantly incompetent and cowardly,” one retiring detective wrote.

“The only differences between the Titanic and PPB?” he continued. “Deck chairs and a band.”

In the past nine months, 115 police officers have left the force. 74 of them retired while 41 simply turned in their badges and quit. There is still a hiring freeze in place for any new officers, while 93 uniformed positions and 43 civilian offices remain vacant. For all of the City Council’s claims about not really wanting to abolish the police, they certainly seem to be doing a good job of it. Andy Ngo, who has been on the scene covering all of the mayhem in Portland for quite a while, summed the situation up nicely.

Antifa’s plan in Portland is playing out. They would have never had success like this though without the support of the biased press, weak law enforcement leadership, city council & the district attorney.

So what happens when you deplete a major city’s police force this badly? If you predicted that the murder rate would rise steeply in response, give yourself a cookie. And it’s not just happening in Portland. This is a trend that is continuing in several major cities where the cops have been undermined by municipal leadership. (Washington Times)

Portland, Oregon’s, homicide rate soared a staggering 1,900% in 2021, with 20 killings, compared with one during the first three months of 2020. The city carved $16 million, or 7%, out of its police budget last year.

Austin, Texas, cut $20 million, or 23%, from its department budget and shifted another $80 million by moving certain services to other departments. Police have reported 19 homicides this year, compared with 14 during the same period last year — a 35% rise.

Philadelphia reduced police funding by 5%, or $33 million, and saw homicides climb 25% to 120 in early 2021 from 96 during the same period last year.

The situation in Minneapolis is grim as well, along with New York and Los Angeles. But the murder spike in Portland may be the most dramatic, given the traditionally lower levels of per capita violent crime that was seen before the riots began and the defunding movement kicked into gear. There was an interesting quote in the linked article from Jerry Ratcliffe, a professor of criminal justice at Temple University in Philadelphia. He said, “The cuts in budgets — whether it is because of the pandemic or defunding the police — is leading to a reduction in policing taking place. There is more of an opportunity for crime because there is less deterrence.”

Is there anyone not in the woke brigades currently infesting the city councils of these crime hotspots who actually finds that analysis even mildly surprising? And yet it seems to come as a total shock to the liberals currently running their cities into the ground. Fewer police officers, less motivated police officers, demoralized police officers, add up to more opportunities for criminals. And the criminals take advantage of those opportunities. If there were only some way they could have predicted this, right?