ICYMI: Blackburn Talks With Retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent About The Democrats’ Soft-On-Crime Agenda

September 16, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) spoke with retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent James Gagliano on Unmuted with Marsha to discuss how the Democrats’ pro-crime policies and war on law enforcement officers have led crime to skyrocket across the nation.


Former special agent tells Sen. Blackburn crime wave will 'get worse' before better’

Julia Johnson

Washington Examiner


A former FBI special agent is warning that the policing crisis and crime scourge across America will "get worse before they get better."

Joining Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) Wednesday, former Supervisory Special Agent James A. Gagliano explained that "we're making a huge mistake" when it comes to policing. "It takes a while for the pendulum to course correct," he added.


Blackburn asked Gagliano how criminal justice policies touted on the Left have contributed to the crime problem. He explained the severity of the harm caused by President Joe Biden's decision to "play footsy with the people that believe that defunding the police is the answer."


He acknowledged an effort from Biden to denounce defunding the police but said the harm has already been done. "That's not what he did in 2020," the former agent added.


"The fact that we are demonizing the police — we are de-policing. We're looking at decarceration, which means emptying the prisons out, and we're reimagining public safety," he continued.

The senator shared that law enforcement officers in her home state of Tennessee are increasingly concerned by what they're hearing. "They talk about how the rhetoric on the national scale — where people are turning on their TVs and hearing this 'defund the police' rhetoric — affects the police in your community, because it emboldens people that want to strike out or lash out at the police," she said.


Gagliano then detailed the real effect of rhetoric commonly used on the Left against law enforcement. "We are seeing retirements at the law enforcement level that we have not seen since the 60s and the 70s," he explained. "What's going on now is causing people not to want to come into the profession."


He further claimed that "good" officers are becoming harder to retain and they are retiring "in droves."


"Who possibly would want to tell their children right now, 'Go into the FBI, go into law enforcement'? No one's gonna do that, because they know that the government writ large doesn't have their backs."


Gagliano, who retired in 2016, is now a doctoral candidate in homeland security at St. John’s University.


In August, overall index crime was up in New York City by 26%, compared to the same period in 2021. According to the city, the increase is driven by jumps in robberies, grand larceny, and burglaries, which rose by 38%, 34.7%, and 31.1%, respectively.


Despite lockdowns being lifted and pandemic worries dying down, crime rates have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. According to the Major Cities Chiefs Association's midyear report, "Compared to 2019 midyear figures, MCCA member cities have experienced a 50% increase in homicides and a roughly 36% increase in aggravated assaults."


In a statement to Axios, National Association of Chiefs of Police Senior Vice President Brian C. Smith stressed that cities are having difficulties with staffing. "We have shortages everywhere," he said.