WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) led a roundtable discussion with sheriffs from across Louisiana’s First District to talk about the recent surge in violent crime in cities across America and reinforce his support for local police departments as they work to keep communities and businesses safe. Additionally, Whip Scalise denounced the dangerous “defund the police” movement being pushed by the radical left.
Murder rates and aggravated assault offenses have increased drastically in the United States since 2019. Cities where leaders have embraced “defund the police” policies have seen even worse crime rates. Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, and Portland — cities that have either slashed budgets or attempted to withhold funding for police departments — have all seen murder rates skyrocket in the past year, with overall shootings up significantly as well.
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On the need to fully back police departments:
“I had asked these sheriffs from around the region to get together. Obviously, around the country we’re seeing an alarming increase in crime in many cities. We’re seeing large spikes in crime, especially violent crime. You’re also seeing increased difficulties getting people to sign up for law enforcement. There [are] larger numbers of people retiring from law enforcement, and I’ve seen morale in some areas very low. Clearly, you’ve seen some of these efforts to defund the police, that I strongly object to, that have had an impact.
“But being a police officer is a tough job. It’s a tough job in good times. But even in days like today, we’ve never needed the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep our community safe more than we do now. And, so I first want to start off by thanking the sheriffs and the men and women in uniform who risk their lives to keep our communities safe because it’s important that they know we have their back. It’s what makes our communities stronger — knowing that if something goes wrong, we can call on law enforcement.
“I’ve said this many times, I would not be alive today if it wasn’t for the bravery and heroism of police officers who saved me and so many other Members of Congress that day on the ball field four years ago. And so, I know the sacrifices that they make.
“But they’re also dealing with a lot of challenges. And so we talked about some of those today. We talked about some of the things that are happening on the ground and how we at the federal level can be helpful. And also things that are moving through Congress that we need to make sure [that we] are keeping an eye on what we can do to help law enforcement be successful while not undermining the things that law enforcement need to do to keep our communities safe.”