It Turns Out Law Enforcement Is the Key to Reducing Violence
The contradictions necessary to subscribe to leftism are mind boggling. You have to hate capitalism but depend on it to pay for social programs. You have to promote autonomy unless it’s from the police — who happen to all be evil. Trying to keep up is exhausting. The biggest contradiction is how leftists claim to love science and then completely reject it when it doesn’t support their narrative.
If anyone tries to argue the Left isn’t anti-Science, show them the study we’re about to discuss. It definitively proves that gun control is the wrong way to try and curb violence, and you can bet that every lefty in the country will stammer arguments against cold, hard data when they see this.
More Cops Less Crime
This was the title of a recently published study. It was headed by Steven Mello at Princeton, and he published it in the Journal of Public Economics. Specifically, the study looks at law enforcement impacts on crime rates. In this particular research, Mello found that hiring more police officers reduces crime.
That isn’t surprising, but it’s nice to get some hard numbers. The numbers in this study showed that each additional officer prevented 4 violent crimes and 15 property crimes.
What is perhaps more important is that Mello demonstrated that this effect persists regardless of the number of arrests made by those additional officers. This means that more cops equals less crime even without increasing arrest rates. Mello theorizes that this is primarily a deterrent effect. That seems pretty reasonable.
A Cost-Effective Solution
Mello’s research is already compelling, but it gets even more interesting. He performed a cost-analysis on the new hires he studied. He found that each new officer reduces the social costs of crime by $352,000. When you add up the costs of hiring, training, equipping and paying each officer, you find that every single hire is of net economic benefit to the community/society.
What’s even more fascinating is the time-frame of the study. Mello looked at data from 2005 through 2009. That covers two very different economic situations. The recession peaked in 2009, so you get a good spread of law enforcement impacts on high and low unemployment scenarios. He found that police hiring was cost-effective in both situations, but that the benefits were amplified during recession.
It makes sense. Reducing economic harm during a recession is more important. Pair that with the fact that you’re adding secure, good jobs by hiring police, and you get a formula for mitigating recession.
A Broken Narrative
A lot of this seems like common sense. Of course hiring more police reduces crime. It’s nice to be able to verify that it’s cost-effective, but that’s not really surprising. What matters is that we can point to hard statistical data that proves an obvious point. The key to reducing violent crime does not reside in limiting the freedom of law-abiding citizens. It resides in enforcing laws already on the books and creating negative incentives for breaking the law.
Empirically, we can debate with leftists who try to argue that gun control is the only way to stop shootings. In reality, the most effective and economical way to combat any violent crime is by increasing the police force.
It’s a double win against the left because this study shows that we don’t have to imprison everyone to promote a safe society. They’ll make an argument about the “prison industrial complex,” but these numbers defeat that notion at the same time.
Let’s put this in the simplest possible terms for anyone who tries to remain stubborn. The key to combating violence is enforcing the laws we already have. We don’t need new laws that make criminals out of good people. We don’t need harassment techniques that imprison harmless offenders. We need real, live law enforcement personnel to be visible and active. That alone deters a significant amount of crime.
More importantly, this isn’t limited to gun violence. It will curb knife violence, highway accidents and illegal immigration (if applied to border agencies). The numbers don’t lie. Any argument against this obvious truth is an argument against reason itself.
If you want a safer, better society, this is the best way. Everything else is frivolous at best and counterproductive at worst. Now, can we please stop with stupid ideas that call for the abolishment of law enforcement and the infringement of freedom?