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US murder rates up, police morale down: report

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-11-01 10:04

OTTAWA -- The United States saw an increase in shootings during the pandemic while the police morale is down, CBC News has reported.

Murders in the United States surged almost 30 percent in 2020, then inched up and down in the two years since, the report said, citing FBI statistics.

Meanwhile, public opinion of law enforcement temporarily dropped in 2020, a year of global outrage over police killings of Black Americans.

According to the report, applications to police forces are down and forces are resorting to increasingly desperate tactics to recruit applicants. In Pittsburgh, staffing is 6 percent below budgeted levels and 16 percent below what the department calls ideal.

A veteran homicide detective said in the report that "there is none" of officer morale and there's a high alcoholism rate, drug-abuse rate, suicide rate and divorce rate among law enforcement.

The police officers interviewed in the report said the pandemic had two major effects: one on public mental health, the other on policing strategy.

The change in tactics coincided with gun sales surging at an unprecedented pace, which means more guns sold second-hand, more guns stolen, and more guns used illegally, the report said.

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