Even those in the national mainstream media—many of whom are vehemently anti-police—can no longer ignore the crime crisis now plainly on view. -

Even those in the national mainstream media—many of whom are vehemently anti-police—can no longer ignore the crime crisis now plainly on view.

Newsflash: Crime is on the rise in cities across America—that's what the news headlines across the country say these days. Here are but a few recent examples...

  • "Hate Crimes, Shooting Incidents in New York City Have Surged"
  • "Houston Leaders Grapple with Continued Rise in Violent Crime"
  • "Shootings rise in Portland, as Police Blame Gang Violence"
  • "Chicago Police Look to Slow Down Crime as Shootings Spike"
  • "Homicides Soar Nationwide—Local Leaders at a Loss for Answers"

Of course, this is not exactly "news" to law enforcement professionals because the abovementioned rise in crime has been patently obvious for many months now.

Officers, troopers, and deputy sheriffs have seen with their own eyes what many in the American public—and importantly, those whose job it is to write the abovementioned headlines—are seeing with open eyes as if for the very first time.

People otherwise unaffected by criminal activity are now seeing on a regular basis what LEOs see every single day and night because police departments and private entities are increasingly releasing video to highlight the rampant crime problem in the United States.

Even those in the national mainstream media—many of whom are vehemently anti-police—can no longer ignore the crime crisis now plainly on view.

Local Goes National

Local media have typically been pretty attentive to reporting on local crime. For most newspapers, radio stations, and TV news desks, local crime almost always leads—it is the top-of-the-hour, above-the-fold stuff. The national mainstream media (MSM) is a different kettle of fish entirely. To them, local news is just that—local.

Many in MSM—notably the cable news channels not named Fox and the "Big Three" legacy broadcast networks—have focused instead on "bail reform" and "criminal justice reform" arguing that these are national issues. They have—either tacitly or explicitly—supported those who sought to "defund" or "reimagine" the police and openly ridiculed anyone who said that crime hurting (and killing) real people.

Recently though, there's been a shift in editorial focus, with those same "news" entities finally acknowledging a reality that has been thrust into the faces—quite literally—of innocent civilians across America.

After video of groups of shoplifters brazenly fleeing on foot from fancy-pants retail stores in fancy-pants downtown San Francisco emerged those big national news outlets ran the tape in their run-up to panel discussions on poverty, racism, and equity.

After "shocking" video of a masked assailant brutally beating a 68-year-old man in broad daylight on a sunny Saturday morning in Brooklyn surfaced, producers at those big national news outlets could no longer ignore the obvious and begrudgingly put together news "packages" on the incident followed immediately by panel discussions on poverty, racism, and equity.

When gunfire erupted just outside the ballpark where the Washington Nationals were hosting the San Diego Padres, video of people running and ducking for cover was captured on surveillance camera—and pushed to the top spot in the evening news across the country.

When shots were fired outside a posh Washington DC restaurant, a breathless well-known national reported recounted what it was like to be there at the scene as it was happening—he even took airtime to "name drop" the pricey eatery for no apparent reason.

With cameras rolling all around him, DC Metro Police Chief Robert Contee recently reporters that he and other police leaders have issued multitudes of warnings over the years that defunding his department would be problematic for the city and its citizens.

Chief Contee also recently—and rather courageously—said, "Do we want to help people? Yes, we should. But you cannot coddle violent criminals. They might not want a job, they might not need services. What they may require is to be off our streets because they're making it unsafe for us."

I say—and have said for years—that innocent law-abiding people cannot "coexist" with people who are trying to kill them, maim them, rape them, and take from them all that they hold dear.

Putting—and keeping—violent criminals behind bars is paramount. Delivering all manner of social services to address mental illness and homelessness, programs to proactively reduce unemployment, efforts increase opportunities for pursuits other than gang activity, and other laudable initiates have their place. But these efforts must not be undertaken at the expense of providing top-tier public safety.

Final Words

The "Ferguson Effect"—a precipitous decline in proactive policing in America that immediately followed the justified officer-involved shooting of Michael Brown—predictably morphed into the "Minneapolis Effect" in which swaths of city blocks burned to the ground during "peaceful protests."

I was among the many who predicted this outcome. Over the years I've written many times that de-policing / de-funding would lead to society looking a lot like a combination of Mad Max and The Purge—lawlessness and mayhem abounding with criminals ruling the streets as police withdraw.

Meanwhile, national mainstream media regularly reported—in a positive light—on anti-police groups that wanted to create "no-police zones" or do away with police altogether.

You don't have to be a physics to understand that nature hates a vacuum—that when the police retreat from the field the criminals advance to fill the void.

You don’t have to be an economist to understand that you get what you pay for—or in the case of defunding the police, what you don't pay for.

Seeing national mainstream media finally paying attention to the plague of crime on America's streets is rich with irony—irony that would be hilariously funny if it weren't so tragically ugly.

It is almost as ironic as Rā's al Ghūl saying to Bruce Wayne in the Batman Begins movie, "Crime cannot be tolerated. Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society's understanding." Fans of the movie franchise will recall that Rā's al Ghūl wanted to eradicate all of Gotham with a psychotropic biological weapon.

Fortunately, Rā's al Ghūl was a fictional character, but hidden in his dialog was a truth echoed by law enforcement leaders across America—we cannot coddle violent criminals.

Author

Doug Wyllie
Doug Wyllie

Web Editor

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

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Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

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