MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Whether you agree with it or not, “defund the police” has become a new battle cry for many during these trying times. There are those who truly believe in the mindset, and then there are those in the liberal arena who believe it is the best course of action to secure votes.
Regardless of why it’s being tossed around, we know that the notion is dangerous for the law-abiding majority of society.
There are differing opinions on what defunding the police actually means. Some believe that it means cutting funds from police budgets to reinvest it into other community programs such as for mental health and youth programs, or straight into “minority communities.”
Others believe that defunding the police is exactly what it says: No more money to police agencies, thus, disbanding all police forces throughout the country.
The north end of Minneapolis, which is known for a higher crime rate, has citizens concerned for their safety. They hear the rallying call for defunding the police, and it seems they realize that in reality, that means no police service to those areas.
With no police service to those areas, and no repercussions for criminal behavior, it wouldn’t take long for crime to rise significantly.
On Minneapolis' North Side: "I'm scared if you defund the police … Is it going to turn into World War III over here?" https://t.co/pfE9UJANeX
— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) June 24, 2020
Keion Franklin, a resident in the north end of the city who participated in the protests that followed in the murder of George Floyd, stated that he thinks defunding the police altogether would lead to a significant rise in crime in his area.
“I know on one side of the city, it looks beautiful for defunding to happen, But here on this side of the city, I’m scared if you defund the police … Is it going to turn into World War III over here?”
There are many that believe that disbanding police agencies is the right way to approach things. They believe that the police are inherently racist, that they do not stand for justice and, as John Legend so kindly puts it, they rarely tell they truth.
Policing in America has become just another way to keep minorities in their place, arrest or kill them or, at the very least, control them.
When you defund the police… pic.twitter.com/O34d7DFio8
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) June 26, 2020
Others don’t necessarily want to disband police, but think there are better ways in which they should be utilized. For example, something like a mental health emergency or suicidal call, as non-criminal situations, should be dealt with by mental health professionals instead of the police.
Most police officers would probably be all for that idea, except for one problem: Regardless of how the call gets dispatched, there’s always the chance that they will end up getting called anyway because the person is out of control or violent. Not to mention the possibility of a criminal element before or during the mental health person is on scene.
People in the areas which have been taken over as autonomous zones have complained because police and fire services are not being rendered. Recently, citizens and business owners in those areas have actually talked about lawsuits against those cities for failing to safeguard those areas.
Conflicting stories have emerged regarding old story Mafia type mentalities of businesses having to pay for protection or to operate in these zones. There have also been reports of violence which has happened and people who have died as a result of first responders, police and fire, being unable to respond into the scene to conduct an investigation and render first aid.
Franklin, mentioned above, brings up another point: He believes if the officers that are patrolling the community lived there, they may have a different point of view. He may be right.
Many of the officers that patrol Minneapolis live outside of the city. That could mean that they do not have ownership of the area in which they serve.
One theory has floated for years that officers who live in the same community they serve would be more likely to ensure that they engage with the community members, working hard to make it safer for themselves and their own families, thus, ensuring that it is safer and fairer for all.
And now this. Hail of gunfire in Uptown killing one person and wounding 11 others. One of six separate shooting incidents POLICE—not council members, not Dr. Phil—responded to across Minneapolis overnight. Time for the grownups and it better be soon. https://t.co/ivg1OEH37F
— Jason Lewis (@LewisForMN) June 21, 2020
It’s unknown if officers living in the area they serve would make a difference in crime overall. But, I do believe that officers taking ownership in the jurisdiction they serve, does matter.
Which is one reason for beat or district assignments. When it’s an officer’s beat, his own responsibility, he’s likely to take ownership in it and want to police it effectively.
However, no matter where an officer lives, police need to fully support the community they serve. That means investing time, on and off duty, concerned about what happens in that area.
Of course, police also need the support OF the community, but a great way to make that happen is for the officer to invest in them, thereby building trust and a strong relationship. It’s important for police to go to community forums, engaging with the community groups in the area, and finding ways to show that they’re there to serve and protect.
Commanders just may be on to something when they say they want to see more community policing.
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