What happens when you defund the police?
As it turns out, you may end up with fewer police.
Therefore, fewer crimes are tended to.
That’s exactly what happened — and is happening — in North Carolina.
Last September, the Asheville City Council voted 5-2 to cut its cop budget.
The reduction: 3%.
As noted by The Associated Press, protestors had been calling for a slash by half.
Against the originally proposed $30.1 million, the council carved out $770,000, leaving $29.3 million.
From the AP:
During recent demonstrations against racial injustice, protesters in Asheville and across the U.S. have rallied around calls to eliminate or reduce spending on policing and reallocate those funds into serving community needs through investment in support services, housing, education and other resources.
That sounds like something that could make an officer want to quit their job.
At the time, Asheville’s first black city manager, Debra Campbell, called the cuts “initial steps” to taking money from law enforcement and spending it elsewhere.
She and some council members cautioned that large changes to the police budget would take time as structures are put in place to support tasks traditionally done by officers.
Councilwoman Julie Mayfield assured those who wanted to see police funding staunchly stripped:
“The time this change will take will be considered too slow for some of you, but change will come.”
Well, change has indeed come.
Since January, Asheville’s force has lost 84 officers.
Given the “staffing crisis,” immediate changes are in order.
Hence, on Wednesday, the city listed which crimes “officers will no longer respond to”:
Theft under $1,000 where there is no suspect information (this does not include stolen vehicles or guns) Theft from a vehicle where there is no suspect information Minimal damage and/or graffiti to property where there is no suspect information Non-life-threatening harassing phone calls (does not include incidents that are related to domestic violence and/or stalking) Fraud, scams, or identity theft Simple assaults that are reported after they have occurred Reports that do not require immediate police actions and/or enforcement (information only reports) Funeral escorts Lost/found property
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