New York’s Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul declared the “defund the police” movement officially dead on Jan. 24 while touting an increase in funding for local law enforcement agencies.
Speaking at a press conference at the Capital Region Crime Analysis Center (CRCAC) in Albany, Hochul noted: “We’re not defunding police; we are really ramping up funding for police. So, all that era is over.”
The governor made the remark after touring the recently upgraded facility, which is one of 10 such centers across the state that provides local law enforcement with crime analysis, information, and investigative support.
Praising the technology at the center’s disposal, Hochul announced plans to expand the network of facilities to New York City and proposed increases in funding for the state’s Gun Involved Violence Elimination Initiative and its district attorneys’ offices.
“There is no greater obligation than ensuring every New Yorker can live in safety, and that has always been my number one priority,” she added.
‘Death Spiral’ of Law Enforcement
Hochul has been critical of efforts to defund the police in the past, including last July at the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference, where she pledged her support for law enforcement.
“No one will ever say the words ‘defund the police’ in my presence,” she said at the July 26 event in Glens Falls. “That is not going to go anywhere. You’re not going to make friends with me if you say that.”
Sparked in May 2020 by the controversial death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the movement to defund the police spread across the nation to major cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, where the city council voted to decrease the police department’s budget by $1 billion.
But while Hochul might be confident that the defund movement has met its end, others say the damage it inflicted lives on.
In a recent interview with The Epoch Times, Kyle Reyes, executive director of Law Enforcement Today, said he felt he was witnessing the “death spiral” of law enforcement in the U.S.
Recalling the riots that broke out across the country in the wake of Floyd’s death, Reyes noted that in many cities, officers were required to stand by and watch as their cities were destroyed.
“We saw criminals walk away with no charges under the guise of freedom of speech,” he said.