Opinion: Think twice about defunding the police

Dylon Melton, Staff/Reporter

Do not defund the police. Consider this: Two people in dark clothing are spotted shooting in a Walmart. They have long rifles and body armor. No one comes to help, but why? Because the local police department was defunded.

They now have only two patrol cars, no body armor, no long rifles and, worst of all, hardly any training. This is the result of police defunding, which is now a common topic with many social justice groups that haven’t the slightest idea of the consequences that follow. Police need funding for training, equipment and, of course, pay. I did my research and looked at many videos of police officers on YouTube, which explained why defunding police is the dumbest idea for ending police brutality.

One of the biggest things for building a better police force is training. You need to know when to be hands-on, how to remain calm, and when to resort to lethal force. Now, how do police get trained? Through funding. This funding can cover hands-on courses such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which is one of the best things for an upcoming police officer, as stated on rmbjjacadamy.com. This training can give you the confidence to handle someone without killing them.

Equipment can mean life or death for the suspect and the officer. Some police departments have low funding already, and some can’t even afford tasers or body armor for every officer, according to houstonchronical.com. Body armor is crucial in this field. In the 2016 Dallas ambush, five officers were killed and 19 others were injured protecting a Black Lives Matter protest. According to dwf.cbslocal.com, body armor could have saved at least one of those officers. Other equipment includes patrol cars and extra non-lethal weapons like 40mm rubber bullets and beanbag shotguns. These extra non-lethal options are more effective than tasers, because they don’t have to connect the two prongs to work.

Now, police earnings are already bad in most places, including our home state of Mississippi. Actually, it’s the lowest paying state for police with an average of $33,000-35,000 a year, according to cheetsheet.com. That’s almost minimum wage to put your life on the line. In larger cities, the pay is higher. California has an average of $93,000-100,000 a year, but they deal with much more crime than Mississippi cops, which balances out. Now, imagine a nationwide budget cut. Cali cops would still be able to manage, but half of the country’s police force will be working for near minimum wage. That’s only $7/hour to be yelled at, spat on, shot at and scrutinized by the general public. That kind of budget cut could kill police departments all over the United States.

Some may say that social workers are the way to go, but what is an unarmed therapist going to do against riots, a shooting situation, or even just a simple traffic stop? According to www.latimes.com, police deal with things that no one else should have to deal with. They need effective gear, income and training to have the best of the best.

People who call for defunding also say that it will make better neighborhoods with less crime. However, this turns into an unprotected establishment where crime will grow, not shrink. Many cities have tried and have seen a massive increase in crime. According to shreveporttimes.com, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Portland and Baltimore are now regretting the action after people died and buildings burned.

Overall, defunding the police is a bad idea. It takes away gear, salaries and training from police officers. So please, think twice about being “progressive” and wanting to defund your police, because it’s an awful idea.