Funding cuts not the answer
Calls for massive “defunding” of law enforcement are simply insane. When political correctness addles our brains to the point we fail to recognize the critical need we have for the “thin blue line” to safeguard us from crime, we Americans will be in real, imminent danger.
Yet some politicians not only are listening to calls that law enforcement agencies be destroyed, they are leading the charge.
A few days ago, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti proclaimed his eagerness to slash $150 million from his police department’s budget. “To see legislators who aren’t even necessarily on the left supporting at least a significant decrease in New York police department funding is really very encouraging,” New York state Sen. Julia Salazar told a reporter.
Clearly, a tiny minority of police officers guilty of unnecessary brutality ought to be forced to turn in their badges. Police chiefs, sheriffs and politicians who protect them ought to be fired, too.
But hamstringing law enforcement generally would be a gift to criminals of all stripes, including some fond of using violence to get what they want. Try jerking the financial rug out from under a police department or two and see what happens quickly.
That said, business shutdowns in the name of battling COVID-19 already have done serious damage to many municipal, county and state budgets. Worse is to come.
Local and state officials will have no choice but to reduce spending. Law enforcement properly will be called upon to bear part of that burden.
Slashing police and sheriffs’ budgets for political purposes is a different thing entirely. It amounts to punishing the public so a few politicians can claim to be punishing bad cops.
It also enables the same politicians to avoid the difficult work of actually addressing the problem. Eliminate funding for a police department and you don’t have to worry about cleaning it up, after all.