Pouring millions of dollars into policing programs that don’t work seems to be a new trend for New York City. Now that the radical left has framed police officers as racist pigs instead of honorable men and women in blue, they have established alternatives in an attempt to stop the rise in violent crimes.
Sheltering Arms is a nonprofit community program in Far Rockaway, a neighborhood in Queens. It is a part of the $16 million citywide initiative in an experiment to dispatch “violence interrupters” instead of cops into troubled neighborhoods to dissolve crime.
Visol Smith, a young man employed as a “violence interrupter,” recently shared a story of a man who was shot right in front of him as he tried to mediate a situation.
“I was in a situation recently where a young man got shot right next to me. I was in the process of doing the mediation and um he got shot, you know, two times, I had to duck and cover. So I’ve been been in a situation where guns been pulled on me, you know, it’s part of the job,” Smith said.
With a murder rate increased by 23% so far this year, community efforts such as “violence interrupters” have been employed instead of police forces as part of the “defund the police” liberal strategy. Smith explained that he believes this is more effective than simple policing. He said that there’s more respect in the community. We have yet to see that as crime continues to increase and people such as Visol Smith are thrown on the scene to calm down violent situations without any form of psychological training.
New York City is going to see their budget increase by 25% as a result of anti-policing programs such as these…that clearly aren’t working.
The program is looking at hiring more outreach staffers and violence interrupters, as an effort to branch out and solve a summer of extreme violence fueled by the radical left.
Some cities, like Austin, Texas, have already begun rerouting the police department funding to social services. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has even warned that he would freeze property tax rates of any city looking to defund its police force.
“When crime is on the rise, the last thing we should do is defund law enforcement — and yet that is exactly what the City of Austin did. Defunding police puts residents in danger and it invites lawlessness into our communities,” Abbott said.
A Pew Poll in July found that 42% of Americans want funding for the police to stay the same, 31% for funding for the police to increase, and only a quarter of Americans said that the funding for police should decrease. Pew had surveyed 4,708 adults through national, random sampling of residential addresses.
The effectiveness of violence interrupters will be difficult to prove if the funding is inconsistent. Once the Democratic politicians find something else to grab more left votes, these programs will be wiped clean of their funding entirely and the cities that stripped themselves of the police force will have to find another way to keep their residents safe.