No, we should not de-fund the police

It is right to be concerned about police brutality, but eliminating all police is not the answer and will cause exponentially more problems than it solves. In fact, it will not solve the problem of police brutality and will instead make things worse.

Do you want the Wild West, with untrained vigilantes everywhere forming posses to take down criminals without use-of-force and deescalation training? Because that is what you are going to get if you eliminate police. You will not have a lack of law enforcement. You will have people taking the law into their own hands to protect themselves, their neighbors and their property. This is bad for due process, bad for public order, bad for public safety and bad for innocent people.

We will also have a much higher crime rate and many of the same people who activists wish to protect from police brutality will be victims of violent crime, and many other innocent people will be maimed, raped and murdered. This short-sighted solution is built on moral superiority, not on objective policy analysis.

This brings me to a Monroe County Council meeting where over 250 people attended via Zoom to oppose the county hiring more deputies. The people opposing this were taking a national issue and imposing it on a local government action where it is not applicable. If activists were opposing hiring more officers for the Bloomington Police Department, the national discussion would be a bit more applicable – though I have seen little evidence that the BPD is unnecessarily brutal.

But the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department is a much smaller force with fewer resources and a dramatically larger geographic area to patrol. It is a much more difficult case to make against adding Sheriff’s deputies than city police officers. Of course, because Monroe County is run by Democrats, they immediately caved to the political pressure and abandoned the request and created room on the meeting schedule for people to rant. It was an embarrassing display. The people of Monroe County deserve better.