Biden’s “crime plan” that he knows won’t work: The defunded police need to be more proactive

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I wrote about President’s crime plan weeks ago suggesting he knew that many of his proposals wouldn’t work, President’s Crime Plan.

I created another article addressing his agenda regarding violence interrupters and offenders returning from prison that had little to no supportive data, Violence Interrupters.

Weeks after the unveiling of the first crime plan, the President holds another crime summit with national media coverage.

Why?

Briefing The President

I was part of a team creating presidential briefing papers on crime when I was a Senior Specialist for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. My counterparts today are delivering similar messages to the President’s staff.

They are saying that his proposals except those encouraging cities and states to use federal money to hire more cops have little to no proof that they work.

The only thing that has a research base for lowering crime is proactive policing.

We Need The NYPD

The primary message from the second crime summit came from Eric Adams, the pro-police probable next mayor of New York City who, I believe, told the President that his agenda (and that of Democrats throughout the country) depends on a strong approach to violence based on research proving effectiveness.

Per Mr. Adam’s campaign website, “If we are for SAFETY – we NEED the NYPD, Eric Adams. He was a New York City cop for twenty-two years retiring as a captain.

Mr. Adams and aids are telling the President that exploding violence, US Crime Rates, is creating a huge political liability for him and his party. They are also advising him that his proposals (i.e., violence interrupters, programs for ex-offenders, gun control, and social programs) are not going to reduce violent crime.

They are telling him that because it’s true. Go to the Department of Justice’s Crime Solutions.Gov (the supposed gold standard as to what works to reduce crime) and search for programs rated as successful focusing on violence interrupters, programs for ex-offenders, gun control, and social programs. There is little evidence that they work.

Proactive Policing

The only thing that works is proactive policing. That’s the message being delivered by Mr. Adams.

Police operations under the banner of proactive policing seem to have the best track record of violence reduction. Proactivity is probably the only modality with a research base as to reducing crime, Proactive Policing, per a literature review from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Proactive policing prompts officers to take action (i.e., a person with a history of violence suspected of carrying a gun) when they have a legal right to investigate. But proactivity requires enormous risks and is the center of endless complaints against law enforcement.

In the final analysis, many make insistent and passionate claims of success for a wide variety of violence prevention programs. Most are wrong.

There are no easy solutions. Police-based programs seem to work where others fail.

But hiring more cops when police officers are leaving in droves and with recruitment down by 63 percent (per the Police Executive Research Forum) will be a monumental task. There is an anti-cop agenda painting one million employees with a broad brush of violence and corruption and it’s mostly being delivered by progressives and liberal media.

There are real concerns with reintroducing proactive policing when city cops refuse to engage in the practice and residents are unwilling to support it.

Considering the social, political and research implications currently at hand, it’s possible that nothing will work.

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Sounding The Alarm 

Facing rising fears of summer violence, President Joe Biden is embarking on a political high-wire act, trying to balance his strong backing for law enforcement with the police reform movement championed by many of his supporters.

His focus Monday was on crime.

Biden met at the White House with urban leaders — including Eric Adams, the heavy favorite to be the next mayor of New York City — about increased shootings, as Democrats warily watch a surge across the nation. Though limited to what can be done at the federal level, Biden promised to support efforts on the ground to combat crime.

The meeting was the second in just three weeks, underscoring the political concern crime has become for Democrats as they look to protect their thin margins in Congress.

Big city mayors and lawmakers have sounded the alarm on the rise in crime, believed partly fueled by destabilizing forces of the pandemic, and polls suggest it is an increasing matter of concern for many Americans.

Associated Press

Cities Are Hurting Across America 

The gathering was the first encounter between Biden and Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and a former police captain, since Adams won the Democratic nomination for mayor of New York City. Adams is expected to win the general election in November, and he has been outspoken about the toll that shootings have taken — and about his opposition to talk on the left of “defund the police.”

Appearing Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Adams said: “Cities are hurting all across America, and New York personifies that pain — the inequalities, the gun violence, the lack of really looking after everyday, blue-collar workers.”

A recent poll conducted by USA Today and Ipsos said 57% of Americans believe there is more violent crime than there was 30 years ago, though the numbers have actually plummeted in that period.

Los Angeles Times

Biden Risks Alienating Liberals 

In a meeting at the White House, President Joe Biden urged mayors from some of the nation’s largest cities to invest in police departments and establish community-based programs that could help rebuild trust between people of color and law enforcement,  saying Americans owed law enforcement and community leaders “big time.”

The meeting sent a clear signal to progressives in his party and Republican critics that he would crack down on crime, reports the New York Times. It is a difficult position for Biden, who risks alienating liberals in Congress and voters who are pushing for criminal justice reform after police killings of Black people last year.

Biden’s plan also includes urging communities to use $350 billion in funds from his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package to increase hiring at departments as well as support more community-focused organizations.

And by inviting Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president who won the Democratic nomination for New York City mayor in part by making public safety a centerpiece of his campaign, Biden is reflecting his support for balancing reform with strong anti-crime efforts.

The “first responsibility of democracy,” the president said, “(is) to keep each other safe.”

Biden Walks the Line Between Police Reform and Confronting Crime

Putting More Police Officers On The Beat

The White House is encouraging state and local governments to use funding from the Covid relief package passed earlier this year to address a summer rise in violent crime as pandemic restrictions loosen nationwide.

The administration’s strategy to combat crime, a White House memo obtained by CNN said, “uses the American Rescue Plan’s $350 billion in financial support and clear guidance to provide state, local, territorial, and tribal governments the money they need to put more police officers on the beat — including hiring above pre-pandemic levels in communities experiencing an increase in gun violence associated with the pandemic — as well as the other resources, training, and accountability they need to engage in effective community policing.”
 
They Need To Hire More Police Officers
 
“I’ll underscore his commitment to ensuring their state and law and local law enforcement have the resources and support they need to hire more police officers and invest in effective and accountable community policing,” Psaki said.

Still, Republicans have attacked Biden for being “soft on crime.”

ABC News

Conclusions

I have no agenda regarding the President. I wish him (and any President) well in all endeavors.

But we’re in a pickle. The President doesn’t want to alienate the liberal wing of his party. But there is little to no proof that his non-police proposals will work.

It’s clear that there are a wide variety of people who want more cops engaged in proactive policing, but can we hire more officers when so many are leaving and recruitment is dismal?

Even if we hire more, will they return to proactivity after years of violent protests?

It’s fair to suggest that we have created a massive problem with growing violence and fear without solutions.

I wish the President well, but he’s the same person who railed against police abuses painting all officers with a broad brush. He’s the same person who supported alternative solutions with little to no evidence that they work. He’s the same person who called for bail reform and cutting the prison population in half.

And now, he’s dependent on cops to save him from a problem partially of his own making.


My book based on thirty-five years of criminal justice public relations,” Success With The Media: Everything You Need To Survive Reporters and Your Organization” available at Amazon and additional booksellers.

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