APOA - Op Ed Daniel Stuebs

Defunding Police

In recent news the police have been under much scrutiny. This all started with the death of George Floyd. As a result of this, some major cities have been taking steps to defund their police departments. This is a vast knee jerk reaction to events that have been unanimously agreed on as an example of bad policing. Two of the leading states on this movement are New York  and California. These two states are starting to set policies in motion to start defunding the police.

In New York city, the city council has proposed cutting $1billion dollars from the New York City Police Department. This is a major budget cut to the NYPD. The cuts include funding to reduce uniform head count, cutting overtime, and shifting responsibilities away from the police. This is bad news for the NYPD. The most worrisome cuts are to the uniform headcount. This will have a drastic effect on NYPD officers and on the city itself. With less officers, the remaining officers will have to work more in order to make up for the loss in man power. This will have a negative effect on officers’ morale.

In California the city of San Leandro has voted to cut the police budget by 1.7 million. The police chief will have to look at how this will affect his department. One of the possibilities will be pulling officers of school campuses. This could be very dangerous for schools. Sometimes the presence of officers on the campus will prevent students from  doing irrational things. These officers also will help break up fights between students. Without officers at the schools, teachers would have to break up these fights and take on a bigger role in disciplining students.      

This rush to defund the police without having rational discussions about it will only end in disaster. Many areas that rush to defund the police will most likely see a rise in crime. If a community wants real change with its police, they must work with them in order to secure a better future, not rush to defund them. Police officers around the country will stand against bad officers when they do bad things. We must rationally think about the situation and not rush to decisions.

In these times of COVID-19, most of the news is dominated by the deaths of those people who have died. Police officers make up a staggering number of those that have died from the deadly virus. It is currently up for debate by politicians on whether to classify officers who have died to COVID-19 as LODDs (line of duty deaths). Read more here.

American Police Officers Alliance