Ever since the horrifying death of George Floyd at the hands (or knee) of a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, there have been calls to defund local police agencies.
By defund, we assume supporters of that action mean take funding away from departments that is currently being allocated and perhaps, in the extreme, do away with individual departments altogether.
We believe that would be a very bad idea. Here’s why.
Regrettably, law enforcement is needed in this day and age. If someone’s robbing the bank down the street, who are you going to call if there are no police?
What about something more common, like domestic violence or awful traffic crashes? Who’s going to handle those kinds of things?
Or narcotics peddling or sexual offenses? The list is endless.
We need police to, frankly speaking, clean up the messes society creates. But stripping departments of their abilities to do their jobs is precisely the wrong approach to what we believe are problems that can be effectively addressed in other ways.
Let’s start with personnel. How about spending some money on social workers or other similar professionals who are trained in ways the police are not.
Some larger departments already have such staff on hand but many smaller departments do not. Perhaps cash-strapped agencies could share such professionals or regional offices could be set up. These are but a few of the possibilities that should be explored.
Bottom line is, we’re talking about significant departmental reform. It starts there.
Make no mistake, the people who work and run these departments know who the racists are, the hotheads who like to push people around, who like to get up into people’s faces.
Those people have to be culled out of law enforcement work, period, and not just pushed across some border only to put on another department’s uniform.
Here’s what it comes down to. We think comedian Chris Rock hit the nail right on the head when he opined, approximately, that law enforcement is one of the career fields that simply can’t have rogues.
“Some jobs, everybody gotta be good. Ya know, American Airlines can’t be like, ‘Most of our pilots like to land. We just got a few bad apples that like to crash into mountains.’”
The vast majority of cops are hard working people doing their best under difficult circumstances. But a small handful aren’t.
Those are the people that need to be identified and let go.
— MINING JOURNAL (MARQUETTE)