Ex-DC detective Ted Williams: Police work in a 'great state of confusion'

Former detective: Police department morale at ‘all-time low’ nationwide

Former homicide detective and Fox News contributor Ted Williams discusses the nationwide rise in crime.

Police work is currently in a “great state of confusion,” Ted Williams, a former Washington D.C., police detective, warned on “America’s News HQ” on Sunday amid a surge in violent crime in major cities across the country.

In New York City, for example, shootings have nearly doubled — from 698 last year to 1,359 this year as of Nov. 15, according to NYPD figures. 

Shooting victims in the city have more than doubled, from 828 during all of 2019 to 1,667 this year through Nov. 15. There have been 405 homicide victims so far this year, compared to 295 last year.

“When you hear about defunding, disbanding police departments, this certainly is what has created havoc in law enforcement,” Williams, a Fox News contributor, said.  

“And not only that, you’ve got city officials right now who are trying to control police departments and as a result of that, you’ve got chiefs of police in Dallas, for instance, in Seattle, Washington, in Washington, D.C., these chiefs are leaving the police department or resigning because of the fact that they’re not even able to control their own police departments.”

Police chiefs throughout the country have either resigned or accelerated their retirements since the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody in May. His death was followed by calls for police reform coupled with growing animosity and distrust of law enforcement.

Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall announced her resignation in September and didn't cite a reason for leaving in her resignation letter obtained by Fox News.

The announcement came shortly after inconsistencies were found in the department's after-action report detailing the first few nights of protests after Floyd’s death, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best recently left the force over efforts by city leaders to slash the police budget. Rochester, N.Y., police Chief La'Ron Singletary said he will leave the department at the end of September following criticism over his handling of the police-involved death of Daniel Prude  earlier this year.

Williams stressed that in police departments across the country “morale is at an all-time low” because officers “do not feel that their supervisors, commanders and city officials have their backs.”

He then pointed to the enforcement of coronavirus restrictions as an example, saying officers are being told by their superiors that they have to focus on making sure people are adhering to those restrictions.

“We have police officers who want to be doing their job in other areas, who are having to micromanage individuals within their homes on how they deal with how many people they have at one setting during this COVID epidemic,” Williams said.  


 As coronavirus cases across the country have been surging, some governors have enacted extensive measures, including limiting holiday gatherings in people’s homes.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, for example, took a tougher approach before Thanksgiving to enforce her “two-week freeze" order, which would limit the size of social gatherings to no more than six people, Oregon Live reported.  

The governor reportedly warned that violations are misdemeanors punishable by citation or arrest and said she would work with state police and local law enforcement to encourage Oregonians to adhere to her order, according to the news outlet.  

“I really believe dealing with violent crime is more of a prerequisite to what should happen in our society than the virus,” Williams said on Sunday, while acknowledging that “the virus is very important and we do want people to act responsibly.”


He went on to say that police officers should be allowed to focus on the fact that “homicides are up in most of the major metropolitan cities and the rationale is that it is because people are now indoors.”

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

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