Six billboards declaring “No Police, No Peace” have gone up, two each in New York City, Dallas, and Atlanta, Heritage Action for America announced Monday.
The move comes amid an increase in both violence in the streets and angry anti-police rhetoric.
Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, ages 24 and 31, were shot and seriously wounded Saturday night as they sat in their patrol car. And in St. Louis, a 35-year-old police officer was wounded in the shoulder during a traffic stop, becoming the ninth officer to be shot since June 1.
“Americans want safety, security, and a clear vision for how to quell the violence. I am excited to announce the launch of these billboards today, because you cannot have peace without the police,” Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action for America, the grassroots partner organization of The Heritage Foundation, said in a written statement.
Together, the billboards in the three cities are expected to reach a weekly audience of about 4 million. They will be displayed for two weeks.
In New York City, which eliminated the police department’s violent crime unit, the billboards are displayed in Times Square at 7th Avenue and 48th Street and at Broadway and 44th Street.
In Atlanta, one billboard stands across from CNN headquarters at Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Marietta Street. The other is at Peachtree Road East and Paces Ferry Road. In Dallas, the billboards are downtown at Main Street, near Interstate 45, and on Cedar Springs Road.
“These cities are facing rising violence, deep cuts to public safety, and the resignation of their top police officers,” Anderson said. “This is a time for all citizens and leaders to come together to support the important work and sacrifices of our law enforcement officers and push back against the left’s campaign to defund the police.”
Several cities throughout the United States have supported defunding police departments, while some Democratic members of Congress called for similar actions. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., called Monday for police to be disarmed. “Ban tear gas and rubber bullets,” he tweeted.
The billboards urge citizens to sign Heritage Action’s Police Pledge, which already has been signed by nearly 100,000.
Among the signers are former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, and nearly 100 members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Josh Hawley, R-Mo.; Rick Scott, R-Fla.; and Tom Cotton, R-Ark.
The pledge calls on Americans to “stand with America’s police and pledge to oppose any bill, resolution, or movement to ‘Defund the Police.’”
This comes as homicides in New York City spiked by almost 50% in August amid budget cutbacks, compared with the same month in 2019. The homicide rate in Atlanta is up nearly 150% since the protests following the May 25 killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. Dallas is on the way to hitting its highest homicide rate in more than a decade.
“Now is the time for our elected officials at all levels of government to take a stand for peace and security over anarchy and chaos,” Anderson said, adding:
Supporting police is not partisan. It’s American.
Lawmakers should push back against violent rhetoric and dangerous policies that would undermine our communities.
Our law enforcement supports us every day, and it’s time we support them back.
This article first appeared in The Daily Signal, a publication of the Heritage Foundation.