The privatization of public safety

Efforts to de jure defund the Minneapolis police department may have failed at the ballot box, but the fallout is causing a de facto privatization of policing in the city.

Fox News reports on the latest development: residents of the posh Lowry Hill neighborhood are crowdfunding for extra police patrols. Other neighborhoods have organized similar efforts in response to recent surges in violent and property crimes.

This phenomenon is not exclusive to Minneapolis. Neighborhoods in San Francisco have taken advantage of a Gold Rush-era program to privately purchase additional police patrols.

Efforts to “defund” the police do not result in less police activity, it merely shifts police efforts to the areas that can afford privately-funded patrols. Generally speaking, the neighborhoods that can afford private police efforts and welcome them are not those in the greatest need for additional patrols.