Police Departments in Multiple Major Cities Won’t Say If Gang Violence Is Increasing

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Police departments in several major cities would not say if gang violence in the region has increased in the last year, despite an overall increase in reports of violent crime.

Some police departments said the motive behind crimes isn’t always known while multiple others said they would not be able to provide any information unless a formal records request was submitted.

Over 1,600 violent crimes were recorded in 2021 and reported homicides were up 13% from last year in Washington, D.C., according to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). The MPD does not publicly report instances of gang-related activity or offenses.

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Police Recruiting Plummets While Crime Surges in Major U.S. Cities

Some police departments are having a hard time recruiting potential officers as others gear up for what could be another summer of civil unrest.

Demonstrations criticizing officer’s use of force and demanding general police reform last year hurt departments’ recruitment efforts leading to widespread strain, Axios reported Wednesday. Other departments in urban areas are preparing for what could be a summer of violent crime as COVID-19 restrictions ease, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Police Departments Say Budget Cuts Are the Reason They’ve Been Unable to Hire New Officers

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Multiple police departments told the Daily Caller News Foundation that recruiting officers is not an issue, but budget constraints have limited their ability to increase manpower.

Almost a year after George Floyd died during an arrest where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes resulting in nationwide civil unrest and the defund the police movement, most police departments say they still have a sufficient number of candidates but lack the funding to recruit them.

“The Minneapolis Police Department, like every department, has seen a drop in application numbers over the last several years,” Minneapolis Police Department Spokesperson John Elder told the DCNF. “Whereas we have seen a reduction in applications, we still have ample qualified candidates who wish to be Minneapolis Police Officers and Cadets [and the department’s] recruitment efforts are ongoing.”

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