5 Reasons Why Defunding the Police Won't Work
I think desperate times call for desperate measures. Unfortunately, current times have been labeled desperate by media outlets, various politicians, and loud voices that aren’t necessarily telling the truth. They say that our country is deeply affected by ties to an apparently unshakable racism seeping into every corner of our lives. They tell us that white people are out to get us, consciously (or unconsciously) leveraging their privilege over us. The same voices then tell us that the only way to stop this is to abolish everything they deem dangerous, antiquated, or fascist – including familial patriarchs, freedom of speech, and the police.
Now, I’m someone who thinks dads, free speech, and law enforcement are things that can create solutions to the problems we’re facing. But not everyone thinks so. In fact, many cities across the nation are dealing with movements fighting to defund the police because all cops are b-----ds, killers, racists, and pigs.
And that’s a lie. A desperate call made by people desperate for control.
By decreasing police funding, more money could be directed towards social programs and public initiatives to help solve the mental health crises that may influence the underlying causes of criminal behavior. At least, that’s what I think the plan is. Still sounds like it’s probably not the best idea.
Here’s 5 reasons why:
1) Reducing police presence creates more situations in which people think it’s necessary to take the law into their own hands.
We all remember Ahmaud Arbery and the tragedy that resulted after civilians turned into vigilantes. Do you think the same incident would have occurred if a police officer were on the scene? Maybe his death could’ve been avoided. What if defunding the police actually produces more cases like Ahmaud’s? Misguided people need guidance. They need the boundaries of the law kept intact, because they may not be able to maintain those boundaries themselves.
2) Defunding the police does not automatically mean black communities become better.
I’d argue that removing police from particular communities seriously worsens the problem. And so do 61% of black Americans. Those people want to see the same, or even more of a police presence within their neighborhoods. Because while we recognize its imperfections, we know the system keeps us safer. I hope people know that using an exception as the rule is naïve. Bad cops exist, but most police officers do care for the communities they serve. Instead of removing funding, what if we were to invest more into police forces? What if we could use the funding to increase particular training initiatives or appropriately compensate exemplary behaviors? We might see more positive changes in our communities.
3) Fewer police means our neighbors aren’t worth protecting.
In general, law enforcement officers detain and arrest criminals, not the law-abiding citizens minding their own business. If the police are keeping the riffraff off the streets, what happens when they’re no longer around? The riffraff keep up with their riffraff behaviors and continue doing riffraff things. And who suffers because of it? The rest of the community.
4) What can therapists and social workers do (in the moment) to save a victim without becoming one?
One popular anti-police point celebrates social work as an equal replacement for police forces. According to this idea, funding those programs is a better use of money than funding law enforcement. I’m not so sure. Theft, physical violence, rape, and other crimes happen on a daily basis. Police offers are trained to deescalate these types of situations to preserve the victim’s safety. I don't know if social workers would be prepared to answer such a call for help. Social programs and initiatives have their place, but I don’t think that place is at a crime scene or local dispatch center.
5) The answers to our problems aren’t found in more social-government involvement.
The answers begin at home. If the individual units of a community (the families) are stable, balanced, and have strong foundations, then the community as whole will be stable, balanced, and strong. If those individual units are broken and weak, then the community will mirror those same issues. It’s a simple correlation that can be studied all throughout history – especially black history, past and present. When families are great again, America will be great.
To finish this up, I think decreasing, defunding, or decimating police forces would be disastrous. It’s a sad attempt to fix an imperfect world, a world that will never be perfect. It’s impossible, because humanity can’t solve humanity’s problems. But the Answer is there! We just have to accept It.
As always, thanks for reading!