By Ankita Joshi
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Over the last few years, defunding the police has been a hot topic among criminal reform activists, but with the recent perceived increase of crime, many have backtracked and have started a new movement: “refund the police.”
While there was a large public push for the defunding of the police, very few cities cut police funding.
Since this outcry, many citizens in California have been calling for a “refund the police” movement amid perceived increased crime rates in the state, according to reports.
For example, New York City increased its police budget by $465 million from 2021 to 2022.
However, New York has seen an increase of 41 percent in reported crimes since last year.
Similarly, Chicago also increased its police budget by $147.3 million, but also saw an increase of 36 percent in reported crime.
However, tough on crime policies, such as the ones initiated by District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert of Sacramento County, have not resulted in the decrease in crime that was expected.
Schubert has encouraged and saw an increase in the police budget of 22 percent from 2020 to 2022 in efforts to prove her “tough on crime” position.
Nonetheless, Sacramento has seen a 31 percent increase in killings and 12 percent increase in robberies.
On the other hand, district attorneys such as DA Chesa Boudin of San Francisco have seen a much lower increase in crime than those counties with tough-on-crime policies.
Local San Franciscans have not responded to the data, but rather looked to what they perceive is happening in their neighborhoods, noting Boudin and his progressive policies are the reason for the increase in crime.
Adam Johnson of the SF Chronicle argues that “a narrative has been cemented, and it feels vaguely true that throwing more people in our prison system will make us safer.”