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As I See It

Defunding police not the answer

Scott Robert Shaw

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Nearly everyone agrees that police who misbehave need to be punished. But some want to go farther, by defunding police departments across the country. They argue we have gone well past the time for minor reforms, that the death of George Floyd shows the need to start over with how communities choose to police their citizens. But doing so would punish all police, and those they serve. Let’s not lump all police under one umbrella, just like we can’t say all of the recent protesters were thugs and looters. We need police to protect us, and nearly all do a good job of that. But if states cut funding to police, likely the first programs to see cuts will be those which serve those most in need of police services. Neighborhood resource officers in troubled neighborhoods, youth programs and mental health services would likely be first on the chopping block. Those neighborhood policing programs are designed to help build trust between police and the communities they serve. How would eliminating them help meet that goal? We need to improve policing in this country, and we need to hold accountable officers who go too far. But cutting funding to police across the board is not the way to do that.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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