Budget cuts are forcing police around the country to stop responding to fraud, burglary and theft calls as officers focus limited resources on violent crime.
Cutbacks in such places as Oakland, Tulsa and Norton, Mass. have forced police to tell residents to file their own reports — online or in writing — for break-ins and other lesser crimes.
In Tulsa, which lost 110 officers to layoffs and retirements, the 739-officer department isn’t sending cops to the scene of larceny, fraud and car theft.
Tulsa police spokesman Jason Willingham says some residents have said they won’t bother to report those crimes any more. “They think nothing is going to be done, so why mess with it,” he said.
In the Boston suburb of Norton, police told residents there may be delays or no response at all to some calls, including vandalism. The department posted the new policy on its website.
“We wanted to let people know about this,” Norton Police Chief Brian Clark said. “We didn’t want people to be surprised.”
As I wrote about Oakland, “The government’s primary job is to protect the people’s rights to life, liberty, and property.” But apparently, the government is abandoning its job of defending our property. I am of course reminded of what John Adams wrote regarding private property in his A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America:
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If “Thou shalt not covet” and “Thou shalt not steal” were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
In cities such as Oakland, Tulsa, and Norton, “there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it.” So when will anarchy and tyranny commence? Or has it already?