To the Editor:
As an active Octanarian, I have been closely watching our country heading "to hell in a handbasket." The latest being the issue of police brutality, which has initiated a call for "police defunding." This was the last straw for me.
We need our police forces and I feel that the nation’s police departments need to revisit how they are currently enforcing the laws of the country. However, to think of reducing the police departments by refunding the monies to other community agencies has merit but not at the expense of drastic reductions in police officers.
I, as a retired school counselor, certainly concur that monies could be earmarked to other community members with skills that could indeed perhaps prevent certain confrontations between individuals before they go ballistic.
However, we need our police departments nationwide to "weed out the bad apples" that now knowingly exist in departments throughout this country of ours. Believe me, I know that people "in high places" know who they are. Then at the same time "police vetting councils" should be formed, whose charge would be to review every new applicant who wants to serve their public as a police officer. With proper ways of doing so, checking people’s backgrounds, etc., we would eliminate those who’s behaviors/personalities would be "red-flagged."
Finally, don’t start from square one. Put those policemen, and there are many of them who do their jobs professionally, into the communities that they are assigned to and recreate what I as a youngster remember. The "cop on the beat" who walk neighborhoods getting to know people as a friend, not a foe. Let’s return to the "old normal." It’s worth a try.
Peter W. Michel