After months of pushback from the anti-police protesters, Maryland lawmakers began caving to the pressure. However, just as the protesters thought they would get their way, the governor made an unexpected announcement.
As social justice activists demand the defunding of the police, cities across the nation have begun cutting law enforcement benefits and resources. Predictably, this has only emboldened criminals and made it more difficult for officers to enforce the law.
Of course, even the cities that haven’t made these cuts are experiencing officer shortages as morale dips due to lack of support. Determined not to let the same happen to his citizens, one governor is taking extra precautions to ensure that the police in his state know that the administration is on their side.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that he is expanding his “re-fund the police” initiative by boosting officers’ pay and reforming legislation. He promised to further increase the initial pledge to a whopping $500 million over the next three years, WJZ reports. However, he isn’t stopping at funding the police. He also says that cutting overall taxes is another priority.
Hogan initially promised that $150 million would go to raising officers’ salaries. However, he has since upped the pledge to an additional $220 million for pay increases and $50 million for capital improvements at Maryland State Police facilities. He hopes the move will boost police recruitment, which is a growing issue in areas that are defunding the police. The pledge also includes $37 million for victims’ services and $30 million for Neighborhood Safety Grants to provide lighting, cameras, and increased security for business districts.
“There is nothing more important than addressing the violent crime crisis in our state, and our effort to ‘refund the police’ and to give them the support and the resources they need to do our jobs more effectively,” he said.
Hogan not only expressed his support for the police but pointed to Baltimore as a “poster child for the basic failure to stop lawlessness.” The governor concluded that the city’s “defund the police” move was a “massive and utter failure” that has exacerbated its crime problem.
Hogan’s initiative not only raises law enforcement officials’ pay but also provides them with bodycams and de-escalation training. He also announced plans to re-establish the Violent Firearms Offender Act and Judicial Transparency Act, which would increase sentencing for violent criminals who use guns as well as authorize reports on sentences by judges in cases concerning violent crime.
Hogan blamed the anti-police movement for the reduction in funding for law enforcement and the subsequent increase in crime. He hopes to avoid the same in his state but also claims he isn’t willing to place the burden on taxpayers.
Hogan hopes his initiative will set an example for other states dealing with pushback from the anti-law enforcement crowd. He understands that while the activists are loud, they don’t represent the majority by any means. Hopefully, his initiative will provide the relief, support, and motivation that law enforcement officers need to do their job.