DEAR EDITOR:

Defund the police? What does common sense tell you?

The most positive impact on police behavior is training and education.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s there was much civil unrest in America. Many demonstrations turned into rioting, looting, property destruction, injuries and death.

The police acted, conducting crowd control. Many arrests were effected. Entities such as, anti-war groups, Black Panthers, Klu Klux Klan, Weathermen, Minutemen, and IN-CAR (antifa-like) were actively attacking the police and police tactics.

Instead of defunding the police, government funded the police. It worked!

During the 1970s, the federal government established the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration.

LEAA funded college tuition for law-enforcement officers. LEAA funded regional training and education programs for officers, supervisors and leadership. These programs focused courses on community oriented policing, police behavior, and police management.

Colleges and universities developed criminal justice programs. Supervision and leadership became more effective, higher standards for recruitment were enacted, and police pay and benefits improved. Police interaction with the community improved tremendously and crime went down. Complaints against the police went down.

Then Congress defunded LEAA.

When a city or state defunds their police budget the first to fall is the education and training budget. Also the overtime pay budget disappears.

Management cannot assign an officer to a training day without replacing the officer on duty. Common sense tells you defunding leads to poorly trained, less educated police officers operating with little supervision.

This is exactly why the Justice Department is investigating the Minneapolis Police Department. You think the DOJ will identify the true cause of an ineffective PD?

Defunding also impacts recruiting and selection of new officers. A defunded police agency will lower its standards to recruit new officers. Inevitably, police officers eligible for retirement will retire earlier than normal. These senior officers are the heart of a PD.

So, who do you call when: you are in an auto accident, your home was burglarized, your neighbor’s dog is barking at midnight, your child is lost, someone was assaulted and needs medical attention, there is a sexual assault, a crime against a child, a suspicious person in the neighborhood?

What do you expect from that police officer? Effective, efficient, knowledgeable, educated, highly trained, closely supervised? Do you expect solutions, follow up, and satisfaction?

Defund your police department? Common sense would dictate we should fund the police.

Bring back the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration to assist police departments in the education and training of your police officers.

Anthony J. Kalkus

Rome

Recommended for you