LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Think carefully before defunding police

To the editor:

There is a lot of rhetoric about defunding the police coming from political circles, including Richmond, and all around the United States. 

Before the politicians blunder into passing laws and making budget decisions about their departments, they need to know that Americans have been safe and have enjoyed freedom of movement around the country largely because of the high quality of our police departments.

Most departments, of any size, train officers in an academy before they go into the workforce and usually start them out on a probationary basis. Many of those officers have a college degree. The training continues throughout an officer’s career and is provided by state and federal authorities in addition to their own training officers. Additionally, the various departments and federal partners work together and share a number of systems to assist in apprehending interstate criminals.

That is not to say there are no problems in any departments. We have recently seen a few examples of bad behavior and failure to follow approved procedures. These things need to be investigated and appropriate action taken. 

Policing is a difficult profession. You are often presented with situations that call for immediate decisions and they are often life-threatening events. They have to be on the alert most of the time.

Doesn’t it seem curious that all of a sudden, politicians all over the country are calling for the defunding of police? This action does not even relate to the situations some people are in the street protesting about.

Has anyone considered that there may be an organized effort by left-leaning political activists to damage our security structure by minimizing the effectiveness of our police? 

I would caution our political establishments to thoroughly investigate their local situation before they rush into action. I believe most Americans rely on our police departments.

Jim Hogan


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