Since the pandemic, but especially since Biden took office, the American police force has been under fire as the liberals sound the trumpets to defund the police. While they try to put a hat on the pig, this process isn’t doing anything good for the American people. If anything, it is making things more difficult as many departments start finding themselves being forced to do more with less.
On September 5th, the Associated Press chose to run a piece by Trisha Ahmed and Jim Salter about the elimination of small-town police departments. Citing research by Rice University, the company attempted to push the same narrative that Rice pushed; Small-town America found no changes in their crime levels, and many leaders saw this as a positive decision.
The small towns these geniuses picked for these studies are small towns that encompass perhaps 5 square miles at most and have much larger police forces within less than 5 minutes extra response time. This is like a precinct in a large city losing a quarter of its people; not much changed.
By cherry-picking like this, they have ignored the real rural America that has already made this decision as the residents couldn’t afford more taxes. These small towns are commonly found deep in the Appalachians as well as along the foothills of southwestern New York. These towns become increasingly reliant on State Troopers for law enforcement, and many lack basic first aid services.
These overlooked areas have a different outlook on life and different capabilities for how they respond to things. Cuts being made at the state level are “easy” because they look accessible on the map. With officials that don’t accurately understand the needs of these areas, it’s simplistic for researchers like those at Rice to overlook the needs of these small communities.
One referenced official Goodhue, MN Police Chief Josh Smith, told the City Council that to attract any law enforcement talent, they would need to offer $22 an hour. Currently, that would be roughly a $10 an-hour increase over the current rates being offered. Two weeks after that, he and another full-time deputy resigned, with five other part-time employees also resigning.
As a 1.1 sq mile “city” with 1,600 residents, the need for two full-time officers or even five part-timers was minimal. So when they agreed to pay the locals $44,000, it was a savings for the city and a big one at that.
Meanwhile, their ignored towns can encompass 30 square miles or more, can have 2,500 residents, and still end up reliant on the county and state officers for support. They also don’t have a full-time fire department or EMTs. Instead, they traditionally have relied on volunteers and now are forced to instead call out to county first responders.
These county and state officials will instead cover hundreds of square miles of territory with the most minimal resources and still tend to everyone as fast as they can. One issue is, that sometime this puts first responders 20-45 minutes out when seconds count.
With this happening, they also ignore the needs of the community as a whole, and people are quickly put at a much, much greater risk. Risks like these are detrimental and in poor practice for their elected officials to make. Granted, they should not be surprised by this kind of change. Many Americans don’t want the small town living these days. Sure, the smaller class sizes and quieter community are nice.
Sadly though, they need higher salaries to compensate for higher costs of goods due to being so rural. From gas to doctors’ offices; milk to a loaf of bread; everything in these areas costs significantly more. Then there are the trips to “the big city” for school clothes, serious medical needs, or for a special event. It all adds up, and for many Americans, the math no longer adds up. From corporations to preachers looking to head a new congregation, everyone is staying away, and with Biden’s guidance against them, who can blame them?