Earlier this week, the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports program released their annual Crime In The United States report that showed that both violent and non-violent crime decreased in 2011. This is a good thing. However, in some cash strapped US cities the news isn't quite so good. CNN had a piece this week that looked at how some of these cities are struggling with violent crimes as their limited budgets have caused cutbacks in their police departments.
"We're now having that frank public conversation about what do we want from government and how much do we want to pay for it," said Brookings Institution fellow Tracy Gordon.
Law enforcement typically makes up large portions of most municipal budgets and is often considered a prime target for cutbacks.
"Every department is facing the same kind of issues of downsizing," said Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio. "Everybody has significantly less amount of police officers and you know there has to be a point where that comes to an end."It's probably a given that slashing police budgets in these urban cities is having a negative effect on crime reduction in these communities. I hope that we can see things turn around before things get so bad that the gains we've made nationally are wiped out by pockets of off the charts crime.