The old question of “where are the cops when you need them” can be easily answered these days as police departments around the U.S. find themselves critically short of officers. Recruiting efforts are down and many veteran officers have surrendered their badges in the wake of too many of their fellow officers getting publicly flogged and carted off to prisons, very bad places for disgraced cops to bed down for the night.
It’s been five years since the parents of Brian Spaulding from Portland, Oregon, found their son riddled with bullet holes at the house he and his roommates rented. The case was never cracked and it’s doubtful it ever will be considering how the Portland police department has over 100 officer vacancies it can’t fill… and there’s been an uptick in murders.
Spaulding wasn’t a druggie and he didn’t flash gang signs. He was a chiropractic assistant who enjoyed quiet nights at home and long walks on the beach. He didn’t frequent Portland’s nightlife and he lived only a few blocks from the house where he grew up and his parents still lived.
Since just 2019, the homicide rate in Portland has jumped by 207% as the number of officers has dangerously declined. The detective originally assigned to investigate Spauding’s murder is up to his eyeballs in new cases and has had to toss it into the unsolved mysteries pile.
George Spaulding said of his son’s case, “To us, it’s not a cold case.” He then defended the department by saying, “We’re not dissatisfied with the Police Bureau because I think they’re doing the best they can. They are just overwhelmed. It’s insane.”
From Pittsburgh to San Diego and all points in between, gun violence and killings have soared to new heights as the number of police officers has cascaded to all-time lows. The exodus and lack of new applications began with the George Floyd trial. Disillusionment took its toll.
Departments everywhere have been forced to reevaluate the types of services they can provide to their respective communities. Highly skilled veteran officers are being yanked from specialized teams and stuck in patrol cars. It’s the only way they can continue to respond to the flood of ever-increasing 911 calls.
In Philadelphia, specialized units are being rotated to patrol units, leaving little time for playing Inspector Gadget as crimes go unsolved. Department spokesperson Eric Gripp made the epidemics reach quite clear by saying, “This isn’t just an issue in Philadelphia. Departments all over are down and recruitment has been difficult.”
In Los Angeles, where street gangs and violence are the order of the day, police staffing levels are down by an astounding 650 officers or roughly 26 battalions of military soldiers. Every department has felt the pain. Its animal cruelty division is in ashes, and its human trafficking unit is barely operable.
Homeless outreach teams and the narcotics and weapons division in L.A. have suffered 80% staffing losses. Meanwhile in Seattle, the city has baited its hook with $2 million in chum money as signup bonuses to entice new recruits. Serious crimes in the sprawling metropolis are going uninvestigated as specialized agents are busy breaking up domestic disputes.
Here’s the bad news, in short. America is on an uncontrollable crime spree as the deviant-minded take advantage of the never-before witnessed golden opportunity to literally get away with murder.
Here’s the good news, in short. The midterms will hopefully put the power back to the Republicans so that we can finally start to clean up the streets.