Have you ever watched a British police show? Off topic for a minute, the writing is extraordinary. They are fascinating to watch if only for the differences in the method of policing and investigating. If they are investigating a crime and you catch their attention, they can get your phone records and your bank records from the get go. Then, when you’re brought in, your lawyer has to, more or less, just sit there while you’re questioned. And then you hear this phrase, “We need to keep our inquiries within budget….” That’s right, each investigation has an actual budget. And, if they hit the budget, that’s it, game over.
Now, back to the issue at hand. Our police departments also have a budget. And, let’s not kid anybody, police departments can be a revenue stream for a municipality. Fees for alarm permits, job application finger print cards, accident reports, and the good ol’ here’s your ticket to the policeman’s ball. Frankly, they’re already underfunded. And, this is what happens when they’re underfunded and there are calls to cut even more funding:
- Inability to properly vet applicants.
- Cut backs in applicant investigation squads have detectives racing through the application process. It is easy to see how bad eggs can slip through.
- Cut backs in the technology these investigators could have used in the form of databases makes it easier for a bad cop that got fired in South Carolina to show up in Montana and get another policing job.
- Inability to properly train officers.
- Officers coming from other jurisdictions are, most times, pushed through an accelerated academy so they can get them on the street quicker. Again, the ability to catch bad eggs during the training process is decreased.
- Sensitivity training.
- Teaching self defense moves to limit suspect injury while enhancing handcuff abilities. (Probably poorly worded but you get my drift.)
- Real, enhanced, civil rights training.
- Real, enhanced, criminal rights training.
- Real, enhanced, first responder training.
- Inability to equip officers.
- Body cams – enough said. They all need them and not all jurisdictions can afford them.
- Self defense and offensive weapons. Sorry folks, they need to be able to go on the offensive when necessary. Think back to that bank robbery in LA when the bad guys had full body armor and the advanced weapons. The cops had to go to gun stores and beg for loaners !!!! Insane !!!!!
- Patrol vehicles. These things run 24 hours a day. The wear and tear budget alone is punishing. Not to mention car accidents, vandalism, and theft.
- Slower response times.
- When you have to lay off officers there are cut backs in shift coverage. That means less officers available to respond during certain time periods. There is a police department on the east end of Long Island that has past experiences with one car, ONE CAR, covering the entire township during a midnight tour. One car. Where’s the back up? What happens if two calls come in at the same time? Funny story, one night the back up came from a Conservation Police Officer that just happened to be at a State Park close by and was monitoring the local police on his scanner. CRAZY !!!!! And, not so funny.
- Some jurisdictions have all volunteer ambulance and fire crews. Long Island, NY, for example, has historically been all volunteer. (Note: those volunteers are better equipped, better trained, and sometimes levels above their professional peers in quality of service). But, they sleep at home. So, when the car accident happens, the first responder is the cop, not the rescue crew. What happens when, due to defunding, the closest car is 5 minutes away?
- Call / Job Priority. With only five cars running when there should be eight, which call gets pushed to the bottom….. the bank robbery, the car accident, the dog locked in a car on a hot day, or “suspicious odor emitting from the residence of… (dead person)”?
You can be as political as you want. You can be as anti-cop as you want. But, at the end of the day, you’ll be the first one to dial 911 when someone is breaking into your house.
We don’t need defunding. We need MORE funding. And, for those of you who are still so anti-equip-the-police, perhaps the better thing to do is monitor where the money is being spent and hold police departments accountable to prove money was used to hire a sociologist to teach at the academy regarding the local population specifics; law experts to teach civil rights training; body cam purchases; etc.
The police are the figurative line between chaos and civility. You can try to pretend otherwise all you want. They need more funding.