We've seen the fallout of the left's incessant "defund the police" diatribes. More crime. More fear. Less hope.
Though citizens often believe they're bearing the brunt of leftists' anti-police agenda, it's important to remember what cops are experiencing, too.
Scott Welsh spent 29 years as a cop for the New York Police Department before his recent retirement. He grew up in Queens and still lives in Gotham. He loved serving and protecting the people of New York.
But he noticed something insidious happening the last few years: The city has "turned against" the police, and he detailed his experience in an op-ed for the New York Post.
The piece, headlined "As a retired NYPD officer for 29 years, I watched the city turn on us," began with some optimism about the new mayor, but that very limited positivity soon gave way to reality:
Mayor Eric Adams was elected largely based on his promise to return order to New York City. While early indications point to his moving in the right direction, I fear that factors beyond his control will hinder reaching that goal.
Welsh noted that when he came on the job in the early 1990s, the city had more than 2,000 homicides, and Gothamites were begging then-Mayor David Dinkins to "do something!" — which he did by putting 6,000 new policemen on the streets.
Then came the election of Rudy Giuliani and appointment of Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, which brought a "seismic shift" to the NYPD and the street of New York.
"And it worked," Welsh wrote. "Crime, especially homicides, plummeted. The city came back. Construction and tourism soared."
But things the last few years have taken a turn, and "there has been another seismic shift — this one against the police."
"Even those who once supported us seem to have turned against us," Welsh said, linking to a February story of New York City Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou's recent comments ripping cops attending a funeral for slain NYPC cop Jason Rivera.
He then offered a personal story of the moment he realized the city had turned on the police.
One morning my partner and I were flagged down by a young woman. She told us that a male whom she didn’t know had walked up to her and repeatedly punched her in the face, breaking her nose. We called an ambulance for her, got a description, and went looking for the perpetrator. We spotted the perp, a white male, a few blocks away. As soon as we exited the car, he attacked us. After I got one cuff on his wrist, he managed to get out of our grasp and punched me in the head with my own handcuffs, opening a laceration on my forehead. We managed to get him down and cuff him, but he was still trying to fight.
So as per procedure, we called for an Emergency Service unit to bring leg restraints. As we were waiting for ESU, a crowd gathered. Building supers, people on their way to work, mothers with strollers, the people whom I was there to help and protect. And they began verbally abusing us. Yelling about police brutality as I was holding down a struggling perp with blood pouring out of a cut on my head. Calling us racists despite the fact that both myself and the perp were white. Yelling “Let him go” despite not knowing that he was being arrested for assaulting an innocent woman for no reason.
As I waited in St. Luke’s emergency room to get stitches in my head, I was far more troubled by the reaction of the community than I was by the cut on my head. That day, for the first time, I began contemplating retirement.
Welsh then ended with an admission and a warning.
"I hate to admit it, but just before I left, I ignored people who I knew based on my experience were probably carrying guns," he said. "I knew that as soon as I, a white police officer, stopped a black person, 10 people would whip out cellphones and start recording as they shouted about racial profiling and hurled abuse at me."
"So while Mayor Adams can do his part to back the NYPD, unless we can get our communities on board, we will never be able to restore public safety," Welsh concluded.