Be careful what you wish for.
The call to defund, dismantle and redefine the police has been heard. I can safely say that in years past, if this were uttered by anyone, they would be met with blank stares. Now this is a solution to a false narrative that has been created by political movements and motivations.
Many might be surprised that I would actually agreed with police reform. I do not agree with it for Minneapolis, for they are the 4th most progressive department in the nation. I do however think that many of the suggestions that are being talked about make sense for departments that are not. What many do not know or fail to hear is that these already take place within the Minneapolis police department.
They already have community support teams that work in tandem with the officers for social service based calls. Minneapolis police leadership has seen this need for many years and has made changes to help the community. What many do not realize is that all that the administration has agreed to change has already been implemented. They have agreed to nothing in essence because the system is not broken. It actually leads the way for many in law enforcement.
The union is not a safeguard for bad behavior, it is to guarantee that there is a process that is agreed to among the many. It is careful and redesigned every time the contract ends. The scapegoat of the union is a weak argument. It is deliberately made to distract you.
The Minneapolis police department also leads the way as far as training and recruiting goes. There are rigorous steps taken to become a police officer. It takes about a full year to pass a background investigation into the officer, not to mention most if not all have 4 year college degrees, with 2 years being the minimum requirement. The 16 week training program that many say is the only training they get is false. They do have a 16 week training, but this is only part of the year long, on the job vetting that happens before they are on their own. They are highly skilled, trained and prepared. They continue this training all throughout their careers, often many, many hours each year in addition to the required state board trainings. They are one of the most professional and well-respected police departments in the nation. To dismiss this is just unjustified and politically motivated.
It should be a requirement for any council member or politician to ride along with these officers at least twice a year for a full shift. It would add perspective to their decision making efforts. I would also like to extend an open invitation to any citizen to also request a ride along with their police department, or even Minneapolis police department for that matter to see what really happens in the community and in this job.
I challenge the armchair quarterback and social justice warriors out there if you want real solutions to happen, look at both sides and experience both worlds before protests and blanket statements. It may not change everything you are saying, but I guarantee you cannot walk away unchanged.
Maybe those who are shouting the loudest know all of these things, but are screaming change anyway. I really do hope not. It will hurt the communities that need this protection from violence and pain the most. It will bring death, anger and deeper separation between classes. It will set everything back so very far.
Change has already begun in many ways. There is hesitation and quiet. There is distance and strife. There is a silence that now echoes in these neighborhoods. You should proceed with a caution like you never have before. The men and women you have vilified may be present but not really. This is the fault of those screaming and yelling and blaming. This is not just happening in Minneapolis, but also your very neighborhoods, I guarantee you.
I say to anyone listening, if there is anyone left at this point to hear this:
Be careful what you wish for. In the hearts and minds of the peacekeepers, this change may have already taken place.