“HELP! Police!”, used to mean someone was in trouble. Now we are all in trouble because of the cry, “DEFUND THE POLICE!” founded on the theory police caused the nation’s huge increase in criminal cases.
Following that line of thinking one could blame fire departments for larger and more frequent fires; lifeguards for water tragedies; or even physicians for cardiac and COVID deaths.
A hate campaign against law enforcement rages on labeling police racists although many big city units are comprised of black, white, Hispanic, and Asian officers working together. A 2015 Newsweek reported “In 2013, racial or ethnic minorities comprised 27 percent of local police officers…” Still, the deafening cries to defund or cut back PD’s cite false statistics and isolated anecdotal incidents to inflame the unstable and criminal among us. They don’t mention the heartbreaking stories of officers ambushed and murdered, many of them parents of young children.
Anti-police rhetoric translated in 2021 into a wave of officers shot or killed in the line of duty. Older policemen formerly treated as heroes, now taunted and spat on, chose early retirement rather than the humiliation and danger now a routine part of the job. In cities that cut law enforcement, the rate of murder, rape, and kidnapping calls increased by multiples, necessitating a scramble to rehire police. But City Councils were too late because personnel had retired, switched professions, or moved to towns friendlier to law and order.
As young people shun careers in criminal justice, new recruits are unavailable to fill the dwindling ranks. In California, even as police forces shrink, Governor Newsom added to the chaos by reducing sentences and releasing thousands of felons into our communities to continue doing what they do best. Added to the already unbearable burden are tens of thousands of criminals surging across the border, exacerbated by the ‘no bail release policy’ which frees perpetrators to reoffend. This deadly convergence of nightmare scenarios has crushed our men and women in blue.
How easy to point to a less than perfect officer and declare “no more police” as a solution. In the broader view, when an occasional teacher, coach, or priest molests an innocent child, there is no political uprising to eliminate those essential professions. When a public official or attorney abuses the power and trust he enjoys, should the solution be elimination of attorneys or politicians?
Only police are held to such radical remedies. Let’s focus more on those like the off-duty San Diego Policeman who jumped into the Bay to save an adult and three children; or law enforcement giving their free time to work with inner-city children desperate for adult role models; or iconic NYPD personnel who joined firemen rushing into the tower buildings on 9/ll. Let’s hear about everyday heroes risking their lives; arresting drunk drivers; or responding to 911 calls. They know any time they answer a call it could be fatal.
A city without police would be like streets without traffic signals, cars without brakes, doors without locks, sky divers without parachutes, or hydrants without water. In short, catastrophic. Instead of defunding, there should be hundreds of Support Your Local Sheriff Facebook go fund me pages. If the thin blue line protecting us disappears what will fill the void? And you know the void will be filled. In some countries during periods of unrest, powerful federal military units, (think Gestapo, KGB, or Castro’s revolutionaries) have arisen and seized power. Well-organized drug cartels also seem willing and capable of wresting control from law and order. For me, I feel true to the Blue. I hope there will