By Larry Newman – President of the Missouri Alliance of Professional Bail Bond Agents
Throughout America, an interesting dichotomy is at play. Violent crime is ripping across the land, seemingly out of control, while the public demands action.
Simultaneously, law enforcement is under increasing scrutiny and criticism for simply doing, the vast majority of the time, their jobs.
The persecution of police, sheriff’s deputies and highway patrolmen has made it nearly impossible for these men and women to protect their communities.
While there is a cry for our criminal justice system to do a better job of protecting public safety, ongoing efforts to “reform” that very system has resulted in the chaos we are seeing in almost every neighborhood.
How did we get here? Many of us have personal knowledge of fellow officers who have performed their duties honorably, yet have wound up forced to defend their actions while on duty in court.
In my state of Missouri, we go through hundreds of hours of training before we are qualified to work as a police officer.
After that, we must continue to receive training, and be tested and evaluated to ensure we meet strict performance standards. Yes, we get a bad apple occasionally.
But contrary to popular mythology, this situation is not widespread.
The problem starts with our prison systems. Widespread closings have forced judges to find alternate means of housing inmates because there is no space available in state corrections facilities.
This burden has been shifted to local jails, which have quickly become overcrowded. An overcrowded jail is a breeding ground for injuries, fights and serious confrontations between prisoners and jail staff.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, scores of inmates have been released throughout the country. Combined with the national bail reform movement, the net result has been thousands of convicted felons back on the streets and ready to reoffend.
When New York and Pennsylvania initiated this double-whammy policy, both saw an immediate increase in crime.
The next problem is probation. Defendants with a previous record, who have been arrested and accused of a new crime, have been immediately released from custody, with a promise to go see their assigned probation officer. Unfortunately, many do not make their appointments and thus remain free.
If they are later picked up on that warrant, a judge has no choice but to release them on probation again. I personally know one defendant who was placed on probation four times and never once reported to his probation officer.
With no concern about sitting in jail, he continued to commit new crimes while running around free.
This is where bail reform comes into play. For many years, professional commercial bail has been the only accountable way to guarantee a defendant’s appearance in court at no expense to taxpayers.
By its very structure, private bail has an extremely low failure to appear rate. On average, any more that a five percent failure to appear rate will put a professional bail bond agent out of business.
Taxpayer-funded pretrial release programs, which have become the darling of bail reformers in recent years, do not perform in-depth risk assessment background checks on defendants, as do bondsmen.
Moreover, unlike commercial bail, these programs do not provide for the legal authority to locate and apprehend a fleeing defendant wherever they may go — even across state lines, if necessary.
Charitable bail funds, privately financed through donations, have also become popular as of late. Designed to work around the bail system and its built-in system of accountability, they get defendants released with zero accountability to the courts.
The public is best served when all parts of our criminal justice system work together toward the same goal — upholding the law with fairness, while making public safety a priority.
Unfortunately, pop culture, social media and destructive politics have all contributed to the creation of the current state where citizens feel unsafe just going out for a walk.
In jurisdictions across the country, criminals are being released from prison prematurely, while judges are forced to place convicted felons on probation — and back on the streets — instead of serving prison time.
In addition, district attorneys are refusing to prosecute those who commit crimes. With the hands of law enforcement officers increasingly tied and unable to perform their duties, the results should come as no surprise.
Accountability must be prioritized as we work to fix our broken system. While offering free programs and assistance to those in need sounds good in principle, it is important that they be accompanied by stipulations.
During my time counseling offenders as a volunteer with Missouri Probation and Parole, I asked the director how many on probation were receiving some kind of government assistance. His answer: 100 percent.
Most people working a 40-hour week do not have the time to commit crimes. A key part of the solution is creating an incentive for these individuals to succeed in starting new lives as productive, law-abiding members of society.
Similarly, charitable bail funds must be reigned-in. Again, the bail system works because accountability is at its core. Paying to release individuals who may have rioted, looted, destroyed property and committed assault, while eliminating the penalties for their actions, is the perfect recipe for escalating crime.
Thousands of years of human history has shown us that the elimination of laws governing behavior have led civilizations to deteriorate and die.
As we look to curb the current wave of violent crime, we must first take back control of our foundering criminal justice system. Priority should be given to restoring accountability, along with the ability of local judges to enforce lawful penalties, while simultaneously eliminating destructive new bail reform measures.
In addition, we must end the wholesale spending of taxpayer money on pretrial programs that do not work.
Local prosecutors must be held accountable and voted out if they don’t fight for those they purport to serve. Most of all, our law enforcement professionals, who represent the most hard-working, loyal, underpaid, group of people in our communities, must be protected and defended so they can perform the duties they are sworn to uphold.
About Larry Newman, President of the Missouri Alliance of Professional Bail Bond Agents:
Larry Newman is a former Jasper County Missouri Sheriff’s Office deputy and detective, as well as first responder, volunteer firefighter, police officer, probation and parole volunteer.
Mr. Newman currently serves as the President of the Missouri Alliance of Professional Bail Bond Agents, a trade organization that promotes ethics, standards of conduct and education for individuals involved in the business of bail bonds in Missouri.
In addition, Mr. Newman also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States, a professional association representing bail agents nationwide. Through his career, he has worked closely with lawmakers and other government officials on bail matters.
Mr. Newman lives in Carthage, MO and operates AAA Way Bail Bonds.
Re-Fund the Police”: Law Enforcement Today launches nationwide campaign for Americans to back the blue
Originally published October 10, 2021
Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”. While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.
And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – You back the Blue. You support the police. You quietly buy an officer a cup of coffee at your local coffeehouse. You bring homemade cookies to your local police station. You make it a point to thank an officer when you see one out in public.
You watch the news, aghast to see crowds of anti-police protesters and rioters committing acts of violence and massive property damage. You pray daily for the Blue family.
And yet, you may feel quite alone.
Politicians and the mainstream news media would have you think that police support is at an all-time low.
Some of you may have found it necessary to take down your Thin Blue Line flags from your house, or to scrape off the Thin Blue Line sticker from your vehicles, due to the potential for violent retaliation by those who hate the police.
Yes, it is the loudest voices that are the ugliest. They revile and attack those who back the Blue. They call, “Defund the Police!” at every turn, fueled by the lie that police officers are racists who are out to kill.
But you are actually in excellent company in your support of the blue family.
According to a Gallup poll, 85% of Americans support law enforcement. That means supporters of the Thin Blue Line are 285 million strong.
That would be 285 million who, like you, refuse join in the calls to defund the police.
And that means you are in the company of those who have logic and reason on their side.
Homicide rates since defunding are up 58% in Atlanta, up 533% in Portland, and up 37% in Philadelphia.
Shootings in post-defunded New York City are up 64%, and they are up 51% in Los Angeles and up 18% in Chicago.
In addition, you have also followed our disturbing and often tragic stories of attacks on police officers in the era of police defunding.
Felonious attacks on police are on the rise, as documented by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Data Collection.
According to LEOKA:
“The 50 law enforcement officers feloniously killed in the first 8 months of 2021 represent a 51.5 percent increase compared to the 33 officers killed during the same period in 2020.”
Also thanks to defunding, police departments across the country now lack training, resources, and equipment. Ironically, calls for additional training in cultural awareness, de-escalation, and use of force often have to go unheeded due to the lack of financial resources.
Another irony is that the push to do away with less-lethal options such as Tasers and tear gas will simply lead to more fatal police shootings.
These alarming stories and statistics indicate beyond a doubt that defunding the police is absolutely the wrong move for this great country. You know this, yet you and 285 million other voices are all too often silenced by social pressures as well as physical threats of violence.
You are even told, “Silence is violence,” when it comes to refusing to stand against law enforcement.
Your voice matters, and you need to be heard.
As Law Enforcement Today National Spokesman Kyle Reyes points out:
“Americans have stood by in disbelief as this ‘defund the police’ movement has spread across America and ravaged our communities.
“We’ve watched our cities burn, our officers be attacked and violence skyrocket.
“It’s time to come out of the twilight zone. It’s time to fight back.”
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
Law Enforcement Today, the nation’s largest police-owned media outlet, has developed a way to make your voice heard and oppose those who would seek to remove funding from those who protect and serve.
It’s called the “Re-Fund the Police” campaign.
“We wanted to make the “Re-fund the Police” campaign something that everyone- whether you can spare $1 or $1 million – can be a part of.
“People will donate to politicians all day long in hopes that person will get elected and possibly make a difference.
“We are asking for people to come forward and support those who make a difference and save lives every single day.”
Through your generous donations, Law Enforcement today will direct a media and advertising blitz to rally other Americans who, like you, are done with attacks on law enforcement, both physical and financial.
Here’s what the funds go towards:
- We’ve assembled a “strike team” of researchers and reporters who will delve deeply into the devastating impact that defunding the police has on communities and families. They’re going after not just the “leaders” in Congress who are pushing to defund the police… but they’re exposing everyone from the local politicians and city councils who are behind it. They’re also tracing the money of exactly who is funding this “defund the police” movement.
- We will focus on publicizing all the negative effects of defunding police while expressing support for our brothers and sisters in blue. The advertising blitz will be a show of support for police officers all across America.
In addition, we will be sending a team of reporters into our communities to share positive stories of law enforcement, stories which are consistently ignored by the mainstream media.
As a thank-you for your generosity in standing strong for the blue family, we are offering access codes for Law Enforcement Today’s Wounded Officer documentary and Border Crisis documentary. In addition, we offer additional perks such as stickers and Thin Blue Line face masks or yard signs.
Donors are also able to honor or memorialize a member of the blue family.
For those who cannot afford to contribute, we invite you to be a part of a nationwide chain of prayer warriors.
You can join our prayer chain along with other supporters who are willing to pray for our brothers and sisters in blue.
Also, when you sign up for our newsletter, we will keep you informed on how we are continuing to back the Blue, and bring you the stories the mainstream media will not touch.
Now to small businesses who are sick and tired of watching our cities burn as the “defund the police” movement spreads.
For business donors, we are pleased to offer a unique opportunity to make a difference in police departments across the country.
“We wanted to make sure small businesses could get in the fight, so we are rolling out the ‘adopt a police department’ program.”
Your business donation will be used to cover stories in the community of your choice, and expose those who are attempting to defund the police. Those stories, if you choose, will also include a thank you to your business and a link back to your business website.
In addition, your generous business donation will go toward advertising campaigns that highlight the negative effects of demonizing and defunding the police.
This will give you the opportunity to show to millions of Americans that, unlike “woke” anti-police organizations, you support and appreciate law enforcement.
Reyes points out:
“Corporate America rallied around the Black Lives Matter movement, donating hundreds of millions of dollars to a campaign that brought widespread looting and destruction in our cities.
“This is an opportunity for businesses to show America that law and order and keeping people safe still means something to them.”
Please join your voice with Law Enforcement Today in this campaign to support all those who protect and serve us.
We invite you to visit the Re-Fund the Police website for further information.
If you have questions, or you want to start your own fundraising team, feel free to email us at [email protected]
It’s time to get in the fight.
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