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RATIONAL POLICE REFORM

 

CRC

There are legitimate calls for reform in how law enforcement agencies police our communities. There is reasonable change needed to restore trust within impacted communities. 

Majority of people can agree that police officers should be held to a higher standard of conduct than the average citizen because of the role in society. 

At the same time, one must understand the difficulties and challenges police officers face in their daily service, ranging from routine interactions to possible fatal engagements. 

Majority of arrests or police interactions around the nation are incident free. Others involve incidents with harm to either the officer or the suspected criminal. 

One of the challenges society is attempting to solve is the occurrence of excessive or fatal force used against suspects who appear to be in controlled situations. 

The rational approach to this problem involves both improving use of force standards and reducing barriers to charging bad actors that blatantly violate the law. 

By no means should police officers be willing victims to criminal intentions of people seeking to avoid arrests with the use of violence. 

At the same time, police officers need to be able to show restraint in situations to avoid executing suspects without a real or present danger. 

Our constitution entitles Americans to due process, adjudication by a judge and jury, and the presumption of innocence. Principles denied when suspect is killed during arrests, especially when unarmed. 

Cases where police mistaken a phone for a gun is quite troubling. Should the officers empty out the cartridges in these situations? We can agree this should not happen. 

There is reasonable need to improve the level of training for de-escalation techniques during the academy rather than waiting for an incident to happen. 

In the case of George Floyd, there was a clear lack of humanity in the arrest, where a police officer knelt on the neck of a handcuffed suspect even against warnings from his fellow officers. 

Like all profession, there are bad actors that need to be removed or even prosecuted for their behaviors. Law enforcement needs to follow suit for their bad actors. 

Some municipalities have processes in place, but those can be a rubber stamp for police brutality if the union enjoys overt influence. This may be the opportunity for meaningful reform. 

Any type of change requires strong leadership, which is lacking in many of the local leaders in the impacted states and local communities. Many of them pass responsibility to other levels of government for actions taken by people under their purview. 

Some of them accepted the irrational response to this situation by seeking to eliminate or weaken police forces, who overwhelming serve communities without major incidents. 

In fact, the ability to achieve useful and sustainable reforms will require increased investments into the law enforcement realm funding training and review boards. 

The radical movement to defund police departments is proving to be a toxic policy approach, leading many prominent national candidates to back off their initial support. 

Some of these local leaders backed off their initial support once the angry and violent mob appeared to close for comfort. Experiencing the threat posed by rioters directly. 

The reality is people do want communities with effective police departments. At the same time, people want equal application of the law. 

A victim of a crime, especially a violent crime, probably prefers the police over an underpaid overworked social worker with a whistle to respond to their call. 

Local leaders need to show better leadership than deferring responsibility to other levels of government for behaviors of people under their purview. 

The path forward needs to be stronger focus on how society trains and selects our police officers, improve accountability protocols to remove bad performers, and prosecution for actions deemed blatantly criminal.

Agencies recruiting better educated candidates show lower rates of incidents and brutality than departments that lowered standards to expand the sizes of their forces. Educated candidates can handle tense situations more effectively.

While there is great hysteria out there, the rational set of people seeking reform simply want there to be transparency and justice when people entrusted to protect our communities criminally injure or take a life. 

Understandably, police officers face great dangers and at times must use force. They deal with a wide range of suspects from the average person making a mistake to people who repeat violent offenders. 

The decision to use force must be justifiable. One can expect our law enforces to show more restraint and judgement that the person they arrest. This not unreasonable.

States might want to consider establishing more transparency in how cases involving force are evaluated. The facts can help reduce the level of hysteria surrounding these cases, as the gap of information is exploited.

Society must protect residents from the violent offenders. As communities grow, more police are needed not less. As criminals become more sophisticated and dangerous, our law enforcers must have the equipment needed. 

In our current environment, the roles of our police officers steadily increase with the need to enforce mask requirements, social distancing, and in NY, determining quarantine requirements for out of state travelers. 

Communities should not defund their police departments, but implement rational reform that can ensure equal and fair treatment, while being able to fairly remove bad actors if their actions are criminal.

The majority of police officers do the job the right way. Majority of police officers heroically help their communities day in and day out in a thankless job. 

Police are our heroes. Our heroes deserve respect and the ability to work in environment where those in the profession that cannot live up to their standard are removed.