Author Topic: Defunding the Police  (Read 9069 times)

D. Engebretson

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Defunding the Police
« on: June 06, 2020, 09:41:37 AM »
Recently there has been a call to "defund the police."  From its most radical expression that would mean the abolition of law enforcement.  But that is unlikely to happen, although the call is going to remain among some.  In a more moderate direction it means the reallocating and redirecting of money in police budgets to other areas outside of law enforcement. 

In an article by Vox it states: The “defund” slogan dances ambiguously between abolition-type schemes and just saying officials should spend less money on policing at the margins. The Black Lives Matters #DefundThePolice explainer page argues that “law enforcement doesn’t protect or save our lives. They often threaten and take them.” By contrast, a Justin Brooks op-ed at the Appeal titled “Defund the Police Now” is an extended argument for spending somewhat less money on crime control and somewhat more on social services, as a win-win resulting in less crime, less punishment, and less police violence against civilians.

Right now there is a lot of backlash against law enforcement from certain parts of the country.  However, as the article also notes:
In Gallup’s annual polls of public confidence in institutions, “the police” rank high — below the military and small businesses — with ratings that soar above the Supreme Court, newspapers, Congress, or other entities that might check them.

Confidence in policing appears to be in gradual long-term decline, and Gallup does these polls every June, so we don’t yet know if the most recent unrest will change opinions. But historically, the police have been a potent force politically, which helps explain why police unions are politically powerful even as they take stands that tend to be at odds with the racially progressive views of the big cities where they often work....Most voters have mixed feelings, and say that while protester grievances are merited, they also like their local police...If you look at expert recommendations for improving policing in the United States, calls for broad-based budget cuts are often not on the list. And by the same token, the evidence that putting more cops on the beat helps reduce crime is fairly overwhelming.

Note: Lines in bold are from the original quote.
https://www.vox.com/2020/6/3/21276824/defund-police-divest-explainer

What are your thoughts?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 09:50:43 AM by D. Engebretson »
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Daniel Lee Gard

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Re: Defunding the Police
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2020, 09:49:04 AM »
This is insane. I have never owned a weapon but, if a police force no longer existed, I would be armed to the teeth as our country descends into anarchy and vigilante and lynch mobs.

John_Hannah

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Re: Defunding the Police
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2020, 09:50:25 AM »
I agree with Governor Coumo. 99.99% of police officers are good and do good. We need to keep funding their departments. But. . . .

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

D. Engebretson

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Re: Defunding the Police
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2020, 09:51:31 AM »
I agree with Governor Coumo. 99.99% of police officers are good and do good. We need to keep funding their departments. But. . . .

Peace, JOHN

But....?
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

peter_speckhard

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Re: Defunding the Police
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2020, 10:11:15 AM »
From what I've heard, the actual proposals are not to get rid of police departments and salaries etc. but to take some of what is spent on extra patrolling, weapons, and jails and redirect it toward crime-prevention initiatives. Still not a good idea because it stems from the Utopian idea that crime is just a symptom of fixable injustice caused by bad policy rather than a symptom of the human condition. Looking at it with such a lens treats criminals like the victims of crime, and the crime as lack of socialism (which is ALWAYS ultimately the answer for today's Utopians). Where there is freedom, justice and rational decision-making, deterrence is prevention. If the duly voted on and enacted law (not arbitrary order) says, say, that shoplifters will be prosecuted, then the prosecution of shoplifters prevents crime. It isn't the job of the store or the larger society to make it so that people don't feel like shoplifting or to give them something to do besides steal things. But regardless of the idea's merits or lack thereof, I don't think Defund the Police means simply not having police departments. 

Michael Slusser

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Re: Defunding the Police
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2020, 10:13:29 AM »
Saint Paul police are underfunded, but they do not have the same problems as Minneapolis police. I wish St. Paul would increase its funding for its police, because I trust their leadership and the culture that the department has built up over decades.

Cities are going to have to defund something, because the economic stimulus money designated for states and municipalities is way short of making up for the impact of the coronavirus on their budgets. So the question is really, if cities are going to have to decrease funding for all or most of their services, should part of the cut come from the police?

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

D. Engebretson

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Re: Defunding the Police
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2020, 10:16:34 AM »
One of my concerns is the idea of redirecting some calls to social workers, nurses, etc. with the idea that they are mental health issues and not criminal acts.  Yet as an emergency service worker who listens to his pager a lot, I know that even the paramedics will call in the police on some calls.  They are not equipped to handle violence, even if it comes from a mentally unstable person who is not technically a career criminal.  I think in those cases we will put people at unnecessary risk.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Charles Austin

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Re: Defunding the Police
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2020, 10:33:15 AM »
We need to be putting more money into police departments, not less. But the money shouldn’t go for combat style weapons, or more riot gear.
Screening of candidates, more training, continued training, or community based policing. Require the cops to at least live in the town that employs them.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Defunding the Police
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2020, 10:49:51 AM »
We need to be putting more money into police departments, not less. But the money shouldn’t go for combat style weapons, or more riot gear.
Screening of candidates, more training, continued training, or community based policing. Require the cops to at least live in the town that employs them.
I agree, but I think to address the “systemic” issue, there should be no public service unions, including police unions. Internal investigations incentivize finding no wrong-doing in a union setting. Also, the requirement that the police live where they work is good in theory but not for some of the more desperate communities. What would happen is that they would just rely on County or state police because there would not be enough really solid candidates willing to raise their family in a bad neighborhood while being a marked man. And if you paid them enough to do it, the cop in a nice house next to his neighbor’s hovel would only increase the resentment.

Richard Johnson

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Re: Defunding the Police
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2020, 11:10:55 AM »
And if you paid them enough to do it, the cop in a nice house next to his neighbor’s hovel would only increase the resentment.

Boy, is that the human condition. I recently learned that the guy that lives in a house up the street, much bigger and "nicer" than mine, is a local police officer. My immediate thought was, "A cop can afford a house like that?" Not a pretty thought, but I confess it went through my mind.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

peter_speckhard

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Re: Defunding the Police
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2020, 11:33:48 AM »
And if you paid them enough to do it, the cop in a nice house next to his neighbor’s hovel would only increase the resentment.

Boy, is that the human condition. I recently learned that the guy that lives in a house up the street, much bigger and "nicer" than mine, is a local police officer. My immediate thought was, "A cop can afford a house like that?" Not a pretty thought, but I confess it went through my mind.
Been there, too, almost exactly. The human condition is indeed the fly in the ointment of every system or policy. We’ve all probably been on the other side of it, too. “How can the pastor afford that and then ask us to give more?” Even if the pastor inherited it or whatever, the optics of the nice things stick in some people’s craw. My suggestion to such people is that if you think church work is such a gravy train, you ought to get on it.

Then if you do find people willing to make it their family mission to live and work in a bad neighborhood, the human condition brings in the savior complex. These people need me. I’m doing them a service by consenting to live among them. And they notice the do-gooder prig in their midst.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Defunding the Police
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2020, 11:38:13 AM »
We need to be putting more money into police departments, not less. But the money shouldn’t go for combat style weapons, or more riot gear.
Screening of candidates, more training, continued training, or community based policing. Require the cops to at least live in the town that employs them.

I think that we can certainly go overboard in this area.  That said, I do want my police to be protected when they must face grave and unusual danger.  There needs to be a balance.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Robert Johnson

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Re: Defunding the Police
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2020, 11:47:57 AM »
Any city that literally removes their police department will quickly find out why there was one in the first place.

But, as noted above, the relatively high opinion of police generally can be tempered by issues surrounding the police unions.  One of those is when people discover how astonishingly generous police pensions are compared to private sector jobs.  The other is when a union accomplishes something genuinely evil, like getting reinstatement and back pay for the Florida deputy who hid in the parking lot during the Parkland school shooting.

James J Eivan

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Re: Defunding the Police
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2020, 12:05:38 PM »
This is insane. I have never owned a weapon but, if a police force no longer existed, I would be armed to the teeth as our country descends into anarchy and vigilante and lynch mobs.
First a pandemic, then civil unrest: Gun sales spike again” ... actually it is already happening.


Actually what is even more scary than that is when elected city officials ask the city police chief why force was not used in a peaceful KKK rally when force is used at a violent rally where damage to public and private property occurs ... where looting occurs, where an interstate highway is closed ... endangering the public by cutting off access to hospital emergency room and other public safety functions.


By the way Rev Austin how about getting your high horse and disarming the thugs who are throwing rocks, bricks, frozen water bottles, and other containers containing flammable and caustic materials.  Your lack of contempt for these violent scum Bag thugs is exceeded only by your lack of appreciation and support for law enforcement. Your apparent desire is to tie the hands of law enforcement in such a manner as to neutralize/negate any Upper Hand they may have in defending themselves and the public.  Hopefully it will not take the looting of Trillium Woods for you to see the error of your ways!
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 01:30:27 PM by James »

Matt Hummel

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Re: Defunding the Police
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2020, 12:09:28 PM »
I was wondering where I had encountered the internal logic of the "Defund the Police" advocates before. And then I recalled:
https://youtu.be/tO5sxLapAts

Phase 1: Defund the Police...
Matt Hummel


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