Public Perception of Safety in America is Down

  • Americans today feel more vulnerable and insecure in their local communities than they have at almost any other point in the last fifty years.
  • 56% of U.S. adults believe that crime in their local area has increased compared to the previous year, the highest recorded since 1972. A staggering 78% of Americans feel that crime has risen across the country.
  • Crime is markedly higher than in 2019: there were 24% more homicides in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2019, and a 33.5% surge in motor vehicle theft from 2022. 

The Defund Movement Affected Policing and Public Safety

  • Propelled by high-profile incidents like the George Floyd killing, the “defund the police” movement gained considerable traction, particularly between 2020 and 2021.
  • Many police departments across the nation are grappling with a decline in staffing due to an increase in resignations, retirements, and challenges in recruitment. 
  • Resignations surged by nearly 50% in 2022 compared to figures from 2019. Even as retirements saw a slight dip in 2022, they were still nearly 20% higher than those in 2019.

We Need to Address Crime and Build Trust

  • Effective policing that maintains public safety while building community trust is more needed than ever. 
  • Solutions include enacting crucial police reforms—like body cameras—that have widespread consensus, reaffirming our commitment to law enforcement, looking to past program efficiency, and rekindling love for community and country.

Click HERE to read the policy focus and learn more about how crime affects American communities and safety.