Criminality is nothing new and many cities struggle with it. Though you wouldn’t expect a small city in Vermont to be one of them!
Burlington, Vermont was founded in 1783 and now has about 44,000 inhabitants. It’s actually the biggest city in Vermont and it’s experiencing a massive crime wave since defunding the police.
In fact, it’s the highest crime in 60 years.
Burlington’s Murder Wave
Unfortunately, the number of homicides in Burlington has gone up a lot in the past several years.
The reason for this is largely due to the lack of incentive for joining the police force and defunding of the local police.
So far, Burlington recorded five homicides this year alone, most of them shooting homicides. There were also 18 non-fatal shootings so far this year.
The number seems small, but, in fact, it is large. After all, Burlington did not record these kinds of numbers in about 60 years.
(1/2) As crime becomes more evident in Burlington, the discussion of public safety is more and more at the forefront.
Monday night's city council meeting centered around public safety measures, with a proposal to help address gun violence being a lot of the dialogue. pic.twitter.com/Lb9abRyeWy
— Tyler Boronski (@TylerBoronski) December 14, 2022
Why Is This Happening?
Like every crisis, there is a root to the problem.
Burlington suffered a cut of almost half the number of police officers after a vote that resulted in defunding law enforcement in the summer of 2020, following the death of George Floyd.
Before the vote, the city had 105 police officers. Now, only 74 police officers are responsible for the entire local population.
After the vote, police programs for schools were excluded as well. I don’t think it’s a good idea, not to mention not a very good example.
The worst thing is to know where the money, which was previously focused on this type of program, went. Now, the money has been focused on racial justice programs. Yes, seriously!
Miro Weinberger, mayor of Burlington, wants to talk about not hurting people’s feelings while his city is dealing with the worst murder rate in more than half a century.
My hometown Burlington, Vermont voted to defund the police.
Crime is up. Shootings spiked from 2/year average to 23 so far this year.
My mom told me her grocery store has a man that walks in and steals a bottle of wine every day. They have to just let people steal.
— Alex Spencer (@AlexSpencerUSA) November 23, 2022
Weinberger said his city is not used to such a level of violence. As every action generates a reaction, I wouldn’t be as surprised if I were the mayor.
At the time of the vote, law enforcement warned of the chaos that would happen in the city, if it really continued with the cut. The Burlington Police Association said the decision has left the local population in a state of vulnerability.
The vote was irresponsible and incoherent. After all, mathematics is simple: fewer cops means more crime and more criminals who don’t get apprehended.
Criminals become kings on lawless land.
The Bottom Line
When you defund police, you don’t solve any issues with police violence or racism; you just make the streets less safe for people of all colors.
In Burlington, the police feel devalued and no longer feel they are backed by their own city, which is a very sad state of affairs. These murder rates are definitely shocking, especially in a place as small as Burlington.