Despite the rising dollar amounts, policing has consistently made up about 3.7% of state and local budgets since the 1970s. However, crime has been trending downward for years: Violent crime and property crime have fallen significantly since the early 1990s, according to U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics data.
The disconnect between police funding and crime rates is a sign of the need to reform the system, advocates say. “It doesn’t make sense that the NYPD budget increases year over year,” says Jennvine Wong, staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society’s Cop Accountability Project in New York City.
In a Yahoo News/YouGov poll conducted on May 29 and 30, as protests over George Floyd’s death were spreading, the vast majority of respondents supported police reforms such as de-escalation training. But 65% said they oppose reducing police budgets.
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