Sunday, March 21, 2021

Nashville needs to know this: Portland cut police funding and got a 2,000% surge in murders. Mayor now request $2 million in emergency funding for the police

by Rod Williams - While there are a lot of Nashvillians who would be happy if Nashville was "the San Francisco of the South," or maybe the Seattle or Portland of the South, thankfully we are not there yet. 

Last year when the insanity of "Defund the Police," was a rallying cry of progressives across America, there was a leftist contingent here in Nashville who also wanted to defund the police. That move did not get very far.  Despite having a progressive electorate and Metro Council that is inclined to waste money on frivolous spending, has no interest is good management, money management, or financial accounting, will waste money on feel-good spending proposals that actually accomplish little, and will waste a lot of time on feel-good meaningless memorializing resolutions, our Council is not totally nuts. Not when compared to some West coast cities.   When the leftist nut-jobs tried to defund the police last year here in Nashville, this is what happened:

To his credit, Mayor Cooper in his budget at least recognized the importance of funding the police. His budget proposal included a $2.6 million increase for police. That increase in funding would fund 46 new position. As the budget process advanced, what emerged as the most likely budget to pass was the Mendes substitute budget. His budget proposal cut the $2.6 million for police and put that money into funding step increases for Metro employees. His proposal kept the police funding flat at $209 million.

Meanwhile the radial left composed of Black Lives Matter, Our Revolution, Gideon's Army and a bunch of other organizations united behind this idea of defunding the police. Now, defunding the police does not mean exactly the same thing everywhere it is proposed across the country. Some want to simply reduce police funding and put the money into social services while some want to completely abolish police departments. Nashville's radical community operating under an umbrella group called Nashville People's Budget Coalition proposed slashing the police budget by 42%. Ginny Welch carried the water for the radicals. 

Ginny Welch is probably the most radical member of the Council. She is an activist who has supported all kinds of leftist causes over the years. Contributors to her Council campaign included LIUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America) among other
radical groups. She received the endorsement of The Nashville Justice League and Our Revolution. Welch was a founder of the low-power, left-wing radio station, Radio Free Nashville. 

Tuesday night, Welch sponsored Amendment 26 to the Mendes budget. It cut the Police by $107,670,143 and the Sheriff by $3,473,855. It got only three votes in favor, a couple abstentions and everyone else voted in opposition. 

Nashville has a very progressive Council, but they are not totally, completely nuts. We are not yet Seattle or San Francisco. Thank God. 

The council then came to Amendment D by Councilman Russ Pulley. Pulley is Chairman of the Council's Public Safety Committee, has worked as a firefighter, paramedic, police officer and state trooper, as well as an FBI agent. He moved to amend the Mendes budget to add back the $2.6 million that had been in the mayor's budget. A lot of people abstained and the amendment got 21 votes, the minimum necessary to pass. 

While I am disappointed the Council approved a huge tax increase, I am glad that we did not slash funding for public safety and that we recognized the need to increase funding for our undermanned police department. I commend Councilman Pulley for his leadership. (link)
Unlike Nashville, Portland actually did cut the police last year.  In June of last year, they cut $15 million from the police budget. This had the support of the mayor.  The cut to the budget included disbanding police units that investigate gun violence. 

Well, what do you know? Surprise, Surprise! There was a crime surge, including murders. By the end of February 2020, Portland had seen just one homicide. This year, that number was up to 20, with 208 shootings in the city so far.  Now, the mayor is proposing to refund the police.

Thankfully, Nashville did not make the same mistake and have to prove what common sense will tell you.  We need police.  Unless you are way over-policed to begin with, if you cut police, there will be an increase in crime. 

Read more about the Portland experience with defunding the police at this link


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