It’s no accident that ‘Defund the Police’ harmed NYC’s homeless
So this is what “Defund the police” translates to in practice: less help for those who need it most.
In the wake of the summer protests and riots after the horrific death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio opted to slash the NYPD’s budget — including its Homeless Outreach Unit, with other city agencies supposedly picking up the slack. But the “social justice” move left hundreds of cases falling through the safety net.
The Post’s Nolan Hicks reports: “Nearly 2,500 complaints to 311 about vagrants desperately needing help or causing problems have been closed without any action by cops who no longer have jurisdiction.”
Per official data obtained by The Post, such cases numbered just 79 in June but skyrocketed 550 percent, to 437, in July. Since then, the monthly figures have remained in triple digits — reaching a high of 681 in August and totaling 2,486 in just the past five months.
The agency with jurisdiction, the Department of Homeless Services, has been slow to ramp up and take over those complaints.
Hmm: Might this have something to do with the surge in New Yorkers pushed onto subway tracks? Many of the pushers had been reported before.
Former President Barack Obama’s recent interview where he criticized “defund the police” as a “snappy slogan” instead of a plan to “actually get something done” could also have been directed at de Blasio’s City Hall.
But don’t pin this simply on the trademark incompetence of the de Blasio administration: It’s not just ThriveNYC that neglects serious mental illness (from which so many homeless suffer) to focus on easier cases. That bias is common to mental-health bureaucracies all across the nation.
Rather, this is yet another lesson about how much hard work cops handle in pursuing their duty to protect the public — work that, all too often, no other “public servants” can or will do.
The “defund” activists’ understanding of policing is beyond cartoonish. And politicians who pander to this tinker-toy ideology are betraying their own oaths of office.