I thought you might find this article from the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday of interest. It is a subject that has been much debated since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis in May. I’m beginning to see more articles like this one that pushback against the concept of defunding or abolishing police departments. As a matter of fact, my youngest son Sean who as you recall is a sheriff’s deputy here in Virginia, responded to a call for assistance from a county social worker who was being threatened by an eight-year-old with a knife at a home in the county where she had been assigned to visit. One wonders what type of training social workers will need to replace police officers in situations like this. This is but one of the actions recommended be transferred from police agencies to other government departments, by some of those pundits who are advocating the defunding of the police which we all should take a close look at before we buy into the concept completely.
There is no doubt that the police are overworked and are dispatched to situations that do not require a law enforcement response. However, there is no one answer or simple solution to these complex problems: law enforcement “use of force” regulations; how police officers are trained to relate to the various social and economic groups In their jurisdictions; and the equal application of justice by officers to all of those groups. It seems to me that to move ahead we are going to have to find a middle ground that we can agree on with regard to policing. Reasonable and doable solutions that will avoid the extremes at both ends of the spectrum: from doing nothing at all to defunding/abolishing the police departments that protect us from society’s worst elements. There has never been and will never be a time when there won’t be bad people doing bad things. And I for one really don’t want to carry my FBI pistol again and return to the vigilante justice of the Old West.
WSJ-Cities Weigh Cutting Police Budgets and Discover How Hard That Is