Should police departments be cut to fund community programs? | The Tylt

Should police departments be cut to fund community programs?

Popular demand has emerged in the wake of protests decrying the police killing of George Floyd: defund the police. While there is a large spectrum in terms of what this actually means, proponents are in agreement in one principle—police budgets should be reduced (some say police should be defunded entirely) and the money should instead be reinvested in community programs that actually support people instead of criminalizing them.

Calls for defunding police recognize that police are overused to address too many societal problems—homelessness, drug use, and many other petty crimes do not require armed police to address. By funding mental health programs, getting people into homes, and actually addressing the root problems of crime, cities will be able to keep people safe without being overly reliant on police.

However, not everyone is on board with this idea. President Trump and many conservatives argue police are an essential part of society. It is an unfortunate fact of society that murders, assaults, and violent crimes occur. Police are needed to protect people.

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Should police departments be cut to fund community programs?
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Should police departments be cut to fund community programs?
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Arguments for defunding the police, regardless of how much to defund them, are grounded in the fact that many police departments actually fail to do their jobs of preventing and solving crime. For example, people often point to issues of violent crime like murder and rape. If there were no police, who would solve these cases? However, the reality is that in many American cities, the clearance rates for solving and arresting crimes like murder and rape are dismally low. In Chicago, police failed to solve more than 1 in 6 homicides. It is not much better in many other cities. While they are failing to solve crimes, they are repeatedly killing Black men and women, often for petty crimes. 

It is infuriatingly common to see stories of police departments with years or even decades-long backlogs of rape kits that have not tested or investigated. In one case, police left Lavinia Master's rape kit untested for more than 20 years. These are not aberrations. They are a common feature of policing across the United States, and it is only the tip of the iceberg. The full depth of police misconduct and incompetence can fill volumes—it is worth digging into yourself. 

In light of how police violently attempted to suppress free speech across the nation, it is worth asking: are the police worth the money we spend on them?

#FundCommunityNotCops
#FundCommunityNotCops
#FundCommunityNotCops
#MaintainPoliceFunding

Those opposed to defunding the police argue that at some level, having a police force is a necessary part of society. Defunding police would ensure that police have less training and fewer resources to do their job, potentially putting everyone at risk. Proponents of police point to studies which show that how policing happens has a direct impact on crime levels—that is, there are specific skills and methods to policing that lead to better outcomes for people and police.

Instead of defunding the police, those more sympathetic to cops argue what is actually needed is serious reform. Without a clear plan of what would replace police, or how investing in new programs would actually keep people safe, people are wary of what may happen. 

#MaintainPoliceFunding
#MaintainPoliceFunding
#MaintainPoliceFunding
FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should police departments be cut to fund community programs?
#FundCommunityNotCops
A festive crown for the winner
#MaintainPoliceFunding