Op-Ed: Defunding the Police will make Missouri less safe

As Missouri’s Attorney General, I have worked to get violent criminals off our streets and justice for victims. In my first weeks as your Attorney General, I launched the Safer Streets Initiative. A team of dedicated prosecutors in my Office have secured hundreds of convictions across Missouri, taking on violent crime in our communities.

I personally rolled up my sleeves and prosecuted a murderer who shot and killed a convenience store employee. The employee was working at the store to save money to bring his wife and children to Missouri. While sending this murderer to prison for life will not bring back a husband or father, we did obtain justice for the victim and the conviction will ensure that another mom or another child does not experience this pain.

I worked to clear the backlog of sexual assault kits, have taken on human traffickers, and started the first Cold Case Unit in the Attorney General’s Office.

While I have worked to prosecute violent criminals, liberal politicians continue to push a radical agenda that would make Missouri less safe. Democratic politicians like Rep. Cori Bush, Mayor Tishaura Jones, and Mayor Quinton Lucas have pushed an agenda that would Defund the Police, while making it harder for prosecutors to hold violent criminals accountable.

Tragically, the politicians are not pushing rhetoric—they are actively cutting police budgets. According to the Missouri Independent, Mayor Jones defunded the police by $4 million, sending the funds away from the police budget. Mayor Lucas attempted to divert $42 million from the Kansas City’s police budget, until a judge found that this action broke the law. Cori Bush was the only U.S. Representative from Missouri to vote against millions in funding for small police departments.

These reckless policies are already impacting our state. Beyond spiking crime rates, these policies and rhetoric have affected police officers’ morale. In St. Louis, the police department is experiencing a record number of officers leaving the force. So many officers have resigned that a local television station reported that their discarded uniforms are piled high, blocking a door, and are described as “Mount Exodus.” It is affecting officers everywhere. In Springfield, the police department has had to look to rehiring retired officers to make up for the lack of officers.

The reason they are leaving is clear. Liberal prosecutors and the continued march by far-left activists to Defund the Police contributes to a decline in morale among rank-and-file officers. I hear it all the time when I speak to rank-and-file officers. When Democratic politicians push an anti-cop agenda, fewer men and women will want to put on the uniform.

I will always push back on these radical politicians. We cannot remain silent, and we cannot allow politicians who support this anti-cop agenda to gain an inch. My opponent in this race for Senate, Trudy Busch Valentine, has admitted to the St. Louis American that she is aligned with the Defund the Police crowd and their radical agenda. Any support to policies that Defund the Police is reckless, dangerous, and irresponsible.

I will never stop working to make Missouri safe. As your Attorney General, I have personally ensured that violent criminals are taken off the streets and locked up. As your United States Senator, I will always advocate for our men and women in blue, and ensure officers have the resources they need to protect our communities.

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