Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., told Newsmax on Tuesday he wants to see President Joe Biden commit to funding law enforcement in his State of the Union address, especially given the rising crime rates.
"I want him to reiterate that and then follow through with that," Garcia said during an appearance on Newsmax's "Spicer & Co." "You know, the damage done by the defund the police movement, especially in areas like ours, Los Angeles County, and throughout California, was real, to the point where we were seeing LAPD and Los Angeles Sheriff's Department defunded to the tune of over $100 million."
"So, it can't just be a talking point," he continued. "We need to figure out how to bridge the gap that was created by that defund the police movement. It's manifesting now in record-high crime rates, record-low retention within the ranks of our law enforcement officers and record-low recruiting for new cadets coming into the academies."
Garcia said the combination of low retention and low recruiting is the reason for "the spike in the crime rates that we see," and said Biden needs to put more money into law enforcement like he previously said he would.
"My sense from listening to it last year is it was more of a throwaway within his overarching message, and that needs to be inverted this year," Garcia said. "That needs to be the primary focal point of this nation moving forward."
Politico reported, although the Biden administration made historic investments in community violence intervention programs since pledging to fund the police at last year's State of the Union address, police reform talks never got off the ground after falling apart in 2021. The president signed an executive order aimed at police reform after the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act failed to advance in Congress and is once again calling on lawmakers to reach a deal in the wake of Tyre Nichols' killing last month in Memphis.
According to Crosstown, crime across Los Angeles surged last year as COVID-19 precautions relaxed and people returned to offices, restaurants, and shopping malls, hitting its highest point in five years.
The Los Angeles Police Department reported 229,584 crimes in 2022, an 11.6% increase over the previous year. That total includes a wide range of offenses, from assault to vandalism.
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