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Defunding Police is Not the Answer

Whatever the Question, Defunding Police is Not the Answer

An Article Written By Sean Lavin – Originally released Sun Aug 2, 2020

 

The radical left, under the leadership of now President Joe Biden, and an increasingly hostile mainstream media continue to engage an aggressive oppositional movement against the ones on the frontlines of protecting our communities—the brave men and women in law enforcement.

The law enforcement community, right here in North Carolina, and across this country, needs our support now more than ever. Many everyday Americans from all backgrounds understand that these heroes leave their families and loved ones daily and risk their lives every second of their shift while maintaining vigilance and awareness of their own safety and well-being, even when off-duty.

We must do all we can to protect those who protect us. When those who serve and protect are threatened, we are all threatened.

Now, more than ever, we should look for ways to let them know we are behind them and appreciate the jobs they do every day. We also need to see police beside us, interacting within our communities, within our schools, churches, and charitable organizations.  We must see more of the positive, human experiences and interactions between those in law enforcement and people in our communities. These interactions are not nearly getting the coverage as the attacks on our protectors.

We must be honest and transparent in all dealings with the local populous. Funding for equipment like body cameras, for continuous improvement in tactics and training, continued training to communicate and de-escalate all sides of an altercation, and funding for community relation building programs, all have to be a part of the solutions moving forward. Police officers need to also feel comfortable learning from their interactions and working to better them. This includes being able to confidently admonish situations where boundaries were overstepped by fellow officers.

The current narrative must be torn down in order for any reconciliation to occur.  In the last year, Biden referred to local law enforcement dressed in protective gear as becoming “the enemy.”  These are the same officers who patrol the neighborhood beats, run domestic violence investigations, are school resource officers and are coaches and mentors in afterschool programs. Communities must learn to view law enforcement as a resource in their community, working to build trust with those on patrols and developing relationships that contradict the narratives being shown by those who only seek to divide us.  As well, the police must convey their appreciation to community members, both to communities at-large and individually, one interaction at a time. 

I’m proud of the law enforcement community in this area of Northeastern North Carolina. They are a great example of people from our community working together to PROTECT and SERVE.

Other communities must work to emulate our fine local examples and to allow their citizens to see the same faces in uniform that reflect the communities they serve.  Law enforcement agencies must take up roles within outreach organizations to mentor and exemplify positive, successful role models.  We must recruit from within those disadvantaged communities and show that there are other opportunities and pathways out of their current struggles.  They will be successful with that endeavor after the commitment to rebuild the trust and forge a new relationship moving forward is shown on both sides.   Many departments have been reaching out for years.  It’s time we recognize the efforts being made and have the community reaches back out to reciprocate as well.  With a renewed spirit, we can all move our communities forward together.

For those law enforcement officers who have served and/or continue to serve honorably, we thank you for your courage.  And know, many of us have your back.

 

Sean Lavin is a Pasquotank County Commissioner