According to the Pew Research Center, most Americans do not want to see police defunded or police budgets decreased.
Many do want more accountability, transparency, and better training.
Quality recruiting, applicant screening, and training cost money. So if the public is serious about improving police departments, this will require more financial investment, not less.
Many are also calling for police officers to be personally, financially responsible for lawsuits.
Colorado and New York have already passed laws requiring officers to be personally liable for lawsuits or carry personal insurance for lawsuits they are named in, while at the same time removing some qualified immunity protection at the state level.
Qualified Immunity is misunderstood. It prevents frivolous lawsuits for police officers found to be acting within the course of their duties or not willfully or grossly negligent in their actions.
It does not protect officers found to have blatantly violated policies or criminal statutes. Officers who are grossly negligent or criminal in their actions are not protected and are open to lawsuits.
Requiring officers to personally carry insurance for lawsuits is a cut to pay that is arguably already too low for a dangerous job. To recruit quality candidates, pay will have to increase.
We want our members to have safe working conditions and adequate compensation to care for their families and retire with dignity.
We also want the community to be safe. Drastically cutting police budgets will lead to an increase in violent crime and is not fair to the most vulnerable victims.
If you don’t believe that cutting police budgets correlates to an increase in violent crime, look at the violent crime rates in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and other cities were police budgets have been slashed.