About 12,000 police officers will have been laid off by the end of the year, USA Today reports, citing a Justice Department report. This is the first time in 25 years that U.S. law enforcement, as an "industry," has seen a drop in its employment numbers. (And that's not counting the 30,000 open positions that many agencies are carrying.)
Naturally, there's a political element involved here. The White House's jobs plan includes money for local police, but some Republicans are arguing that -- given the nation's declining crime rate -- maybe it's not the end of the world if there are fewer positions for police.
What do you think? Should police and sheriff's departments be protected from government budget cuts?