More than a few times over my long residency in my beloved building in Adams Morgan, I’ve called 911 in the middle of the night because some poor soul was being clobbered outside my window. The police came and I got back to sleep.
With increasing gentrification of Adams Morgan, this happens less often. And that is a very good thing: If present trends continue, the best 911 could send in the future is a social worker. Quite possibly, 911 simply won’t answer.
People should be thinking: Whom do I call in an emergency?
If the present fad of denigrating and defunding the police continues, as seems likely, rich people will have private security and public officials may go in for taxpayer-funded security details. So, really, that only leaves the middle class and poor people in danger. The class divide will inevitably widen.
The NYPD’s ability to keep the public safe will be profoundly affected by the $1 billion cut to its budget. The New York Times reports:
The city decided to cancel the planned hiring of roughly 1,160 officers, and to shift monitoring of illegal vending, homeless people on the streets and school safety away from the police.
Advocates of overhauling the Police Department argued that the cuts did not go far enough. City Council members were divided; some agreed, while others contended that police funding should not be reduced when crime is rising.
The city will also cut overtime for the police by around $350 million. People like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and “Sex in the City” actress and gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon are not satisfied. What are the odds that they won’t have private security if they feel unsafe?
What is so awful about all this is that it is a voluntary descent into lawlessness. The other arresting feature of the abolish the cops movement is the astonishing speed with which it has all happened.
Heather Mac Donald writes in City Journal about the stunning speed with which the unwinding of social order is proceeding. As Mac Donald observes, this really isn’t an optimal time to be cutting police budgets:
Actually, now would seem not to be the time to spend less on policing, with gunslingers retaking control of urban streets. The timing of the defund movement was always a puzzle, coming as it did after weeks of destructive riots during which law enforcement was wildly overmatched. Such a demonstration of the violence that lies just beneath the surface of civilization would not, one might think, be the best opening pitch for an argument to shrink police manpower and resources further.
Yet the defund idea took off, with the media making sure that the looting and arson became a hazy memory (at least for those whose life’s work did not go up in flames) while alleged police racism remained in the headlines. The establishment, in further proof of the elite betrayal of the principle of law, was happy to forgive and forget the riots as an understandable release of black rage. And now, the self-described champions of black lives are pressing ahead with their anti-cop campaign, with a breezy indifference to countervailing evidence.
Too few leaders are standing up for the police. Yes, there are bad cops, but there are also resplendently good ones. So, I was delighted to see that New York’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan had a wonderful piece in the New York Post headlined “For God’s Sake, Stop Demonizing the NYPD.”
I chat with them on their beat. I have a coffee with them in the kitchen of my home behind the cathedral. I celebrate their weddings, baptize their kids and show up at their events. And yes, I visit them in the ICU, and attend their wakes and funerals when they’re wounded or killed in the line of duty, which happens more often than I care to recall.
Much too frequently of late, I have grieved with the family of an officer who took his or her own life.
Our valiant police officers have one of the most perilous, stressful duties around, and from what I have seen in my nearly dozen years here, they do it with care, compassion and competence.
Cardinal Dolan also authored a terrific piece arguing against impoverishing our cultural heritage by knocking down statues. It was headlined “Even the Bible Is Full of Flawed Characters.”
Bravo, your Eminence.
Too many leaders won’t speak up, or, when they do, it is pre-emptive capitulation to the mob. History teaches us that this rarely works.