Reforming yes, disbanding or defunding the police, no, no, no, no!

Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender, a vocal proponent of disbanding the Minneapolis Police Department was asked by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota what would happen if a person needed help because someone had broken into their home. Ms. Bender’s non-answer answer was that calling the police and expecting their help comes from a place of privilege. What?  I can assure you as a former police officer that people don’t call the police out of any sense of privilege.

They call the police because they need them.

This latest overreaction to the terrible tragedy of George Floyd is now typical for many of our politicians. Pandering, overreaction, harmful rhetoric, and who can come up with the most radical idea first, has now taken the place of common sense and thinking through a problem. There is no question that what happened to Mr. Floyd was plain and simple murder and those responsible should be held accountable. That is how justice is supposed to work in this country. But this latest call to disband or defund the police which seems to be gaining more traction would overwhelmingly hurt the ones that they claim to want to protect the most. Minority and inner-city communities call the police and use police services more than any other segment of society as a percentage. Why?

Because that’s where the crime is and that’s where they are needed most.

Disbanding and defunding the police would lead to utter chaos and breakdown of the very foundation of any country…law and order. Without law and order, we have anarchy. 

On any given day, a police officer could be called upon to respond to stabbings, shootings, domestic arguments, burglaries, robberies, kidnappings, thefts, arsons, child abuse, suicides, homelessness, drug overdoses, motor vehicle accidents, lost children, neighborhood disputes and every other possible act of depravity, public disorder, and senselessness that one can imagine.

I ask you Lisa Bender what is your plan to replace this first responder? Who will come in the middle of the night to handle your problem?

Think about this, out of all the agencies in our government the police are the ones that show up to deal with all of society’s problems and they are the ones that catch all of society’s wraths. Lack of a good education, poverty, crime, a breakdown of the family and failed local policies and politicians are usually at the top of the lists of the reasons why some of our communities suffer. But these are not the fault of the police. They just have to deal with the results. Fine, we will take the heat but at least tell the truth. Out of the 275 million contacts last year between the police and the public, well over 99% were favorable. I would like to see any other profession match these numbers. Yes, we need better police training and oversight and above all, we need to get rid of bad cops. What happened to George Floyd should never happen to any other citizen. But this harmful rhetoric from elected officials is irresponsible and dangerous. It was stated recently in a press conference by the NY Police Benevolent Association that mothers were quoted as saying they prayed their children would make it home safely from school every day and not be killed by the police! Where is this coming from? The police are not going around killing school children! Sadly, many are buying into this false and dangerous narrative. I didn’t think I would live to see this day. Like my brothers and sisters in blue, I have on many occasions put my life and safety in danger to keep safe the life of a perfect stranger. That is what I took a sworn oath to do but that part of the story seems to always be left out. How many lives have been saved as a result of police actions? The police are taking guns and violent criminals off the streets, disrupting dangerous gangs as well as the flow of dangerous drugs that are killing our children and, in the course, losing their own lives.  I would like to see those statistics. Let’s punish those responsible for George Floyd. But let us not punish everyone else. I call upon every sensible state, local and federal leader, democrat or republican, left or right, to stop this harmful conversation in its tracks. It only takes up valuable resources and time away from the real changes that need to be made. Yes, we have work to do so let’s start.

Stephen Phillip Monteiro is a law enforcement, security and intelligence consultant. He’s held senior leadership positions with consulting firms in Washington, DC and is a retired Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service and a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Visit his website: https://www.thegoodamerica.com to leave your comments. You can follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stevemonteiro10