Don’t Defund The Police

Carolyn Bonafede, Copy Editor

It is unnecessary to reiterate the tumultuous and tragic events centered around the police which have sucked Americans into their news feeds for the past six months. A discussion of the “defund the police” movement’s logical fallacies, however, is quite worthwhile. Defunding the police is inherently backwards because it would only lower the quality of police departments, which are necessary to maintain a functional society. 

Some activists are calling for a radical (literally, from the roots) restructuring of society by abolishing the police altogether. However, this approach fails to take into account the negative side of human nature. Humans are inclined to disobedience – even a well-raised, one-year-old child will look her mother in the eye and deliberately grab something she has been told not to touch. Those who would hurt others in violation of natural moral law, that is, criminals, will always exist and must be countered in order for organized society to be sustainable. Therefore, police departments are essential.

Since police departments are essential, efforts to solve problems related to policing must aim to improve police departments, so it is illogical to support defunding them. 

After some Americans said the police need to be defunded, Republicans in turn said to “back the blue” and defend the police. Image by Naomi Scully-Bristol

What is needed from the police is professionalism, which is displayed by an overwhelming number of officers but whose glaring absence in a small fraction is widely decried. Defunding, as well as hostile anti-police movements, will only increase the difficulty of attracting quality recruits of sound character and integrity to an already dangerous job. 

Defunding will also deteriorate departments’ ability to give these recruits the proper training and equipment they need to act professionally in tense, life-threatening situations. Some reforms may be appropriate, but better policing will ultimately come from support, not destruction, of police departments.

Many activists support the channeling of funds away from the police as a means of investing in public projects, with the end goal being a reduction in crime rates and thus a decrease in police confrontations. However, while community projects sound like a worthy cause, their effectiveness is questionable when carried out by the government. Non-governmental community organizations are better suited to provide individuality in their services and relational counseling.

Emotions churn in discussions of the police right now, and that is understandable. Those on either side of the issue view the other as a threat to their safety. Although not even the best policies can remedy the true root cause of crime and violence, the creation and enforcement of just laws – the fundamental purpose of government – is necessary to preserve a stable society in which people can be safe enough to enjoy life, liberty and property.