Yesterday, I discussed the crime wave in Montgomery County, Maryland. Homicides, carjackings, and armed robberies are all up this year.
In January, there were seven homicides. According to the chief of police, that’s an all-time record for a single month. As for armed robberies, they have increased by 40 percent.
How will the County respond? Its task force on “Reimagining Public Safety” is recommending fewer police on streets and the elimination of funding for officers in schools. In addition, it recommends “alternative responses to crime,” shifting certain law enforcement responsibilities from police to county agencies and community organizations, and, inevitably, collecting and analyzing data to address both racial and social disparities.
Clearly, this is no way to combat a crime wave. It’s a sure-fire way to exacerbate one.
Will the County implement these recommendations? Our far left County Executive Marc Elrich seems eager to do so — and soon. He greeted the recommendations, in which he likely had a hand, with this:
I think social justice has been a long time coming. And telling people that it could be a long time before we deal with this would just be kind of insult to injury. We have to address this, and this has got to be a priority.
Unfortunately, “this” doesn’t mean crime. It means the alleged absence of “social justice.”
Elrich has been trying to sabotage the police since he took office. He wanted to hire an incompetent police chief who had been fired from her previous job as police chief in a smaller jurisdiction. Her calling cards were her race and her lack of any association with policing in Montgomery County. Hiring her was too much even for our liberal County Council.
Under Elrich, the police department is experiencing defections on a large scale. He must see this as a good thing — all the easier to reduce the number of officers protecting the public and to hand over police functions to “community organizations.”
The statistics show that Montgomery County is already “reimagining public safety” and developing “alternative responses” to crime. The reimagined, alternative response is to grin and bear it — in the name of “equity.”
My liberal neighbors seem disinclined to reimagine their safety in this fashion. They express growing concern and anger about the crime spike. Whether these liberals can reimagine their politics to the point of replacing Elrich with a more conventional liberal (a conservative is out of the question) remains to be seen.
The best alternative might be to reimagine the side of the Potomac River on which to reside. To be sure, the rot is spreading to Northern Virginia, too, but probably not as quickly as here.