The nation is gripped in the throes of protests from the disaster of police killings of people of color. Throughout the country, and yes, the world, protesters demand change.
The list is long and varied depending on the source, but one demand is constant, the redesign of police departments as we know it today.
Without a doubt, the few very bad apples of policing are truly dangerous people. Likewise, some protesters and criminals are also very dangerous people. However, the vast majority on either side strive to live within the guidelines of the law. Police are faced with enormous demands to their sanity and well being every day.
Perhaps the answer to these senseless acts of violence is to have a National Protocol installed on a local level for police on the street. This would involve routine and reoccurring inspection of officers, including updated interviews, psychological testing, record review of complaints, and their social media accounts. This could determine who is and who is not fit for employment in sensitive areas.
However, the idea of defunding police departments and replacing them with community based patrols is a hazard, and misleading to the public on many issues. How would community members, without training and knowledge of tactics and weapons deal with murderers, rapists, arsonists, gangs, organized crime, the mentally ill and terrorists?
The idea is somewhat like the inmates controlling the asylum. Furthermore, there is no clear path of how monies taken from defunding police would truly get to the people in need, instead of go- betweens. Certainly, people of color need better access to quality health care, schools, and a more just social system.
Both parties in this situation need to respect each other. Police need to have a better means to deal with communities in danger, and those communities need to trust and respect the cops so that all can learn from this current debacle.
Sadly, there’s little common sense being said, but a lot of hot rhetoric. If we cant love and respect each other, then we need to have the means so that we can all deal with each other with cooler heads.
Taken to the extreme, if police are pulled off the streets, or greatly reduced in manpower and resources, the next possibility is a constant presence of state police and National Guard. Conceivably, though very unlikely, the military might be brought into play. So folks, then we are talking about a police state to make sure the wheels of civilization as we know continue to roll. Is that what we really want? I think not. It’s time to come to the table with real, workable ideas that respect both sides, and insures the progress of the American Way of Life, before it blows up in our faces.