Left to Replace Cops with Social Workers. Anyone Else See a Problem with This?
By Steve Pomper
I was glancing at my Facebook page a few mornings ago. A leftist family member had posted an article that reported the Seattle City Council now has a veto-proof majority, and they have plans to vote to defund the police department by 50 percent (not a typo, 50%). This will essentially abolish the department, as officers will no longer have the infrastructure support or training they need to function properly. Infrastructure, training, and highly trained specialty units are always among the first things to go during police budget cuts.
According to the city, the Seattle Police Department’s current budget is $409 million. KING 5 News is reporting Mayor Jenny Durkan is proposing a cut of $76 million, a ridiculous cut of nearly 20 percent cut in the city’s most essential department.
An unconscionable fifty percent reduction would leave the SPD with a $204.5 million budget. Think about what cutting your own home or business budget in half would do to for your quality of life. Now, think about what that would mean if your business was protecting people and saving lives—from violent criminals.
My family member had added no comment, he just posted the news story. But a FB friend of his did comment. His friend posted what he probably believed was a thoughtful comment, but it was just… well, stupid.
I don’t want to be mean but come on…! The post went something like this: I worry about the arbitrary nature of choosing to cut 50 percent. I hope they at least studied what this would mean in reality. Don’t get me wrong; I support having dedicated response social workers and drug counselors instead of cops responding to certain calls. That would eliminate 20 K calls per year that don’t need guns. Hmm.
You know you’re a leftist if you read this and say, “That’s a fabulous idea.”
You know you’re a conservative if you read this and say, “Reduce the police by 50 percent? Are you nuts?”
You know you’re a cop if you say, “How do you know the cop won’t need a gun?”
I obviously thought the latter. But I also winced at the lunacy of slashing law enforcement budgets, or abolishing the police, especially at a time of increasing crime. The notion of abolishing police departments makes me feel like my head is in one of those junkyard car compactors. Have these people heard the recordings of people calling 911 for police help and the dispatcher telling them the police are not responding?
There was a 911 call from a frantic mother in Fredericksburg, VA, trapped in her car with her child. Violent protesters were jumping on her car, threatening her and her child. If you were that mom, could the feeling in your stomach be any hollower at such a moment? And, by the way, how badly would you wish you had a gun?
The dispatcher told her the police were not responding, because it was a “sanctioned event,” and she should complain to city hall. What? That call gave me chills. I immediately imagined the horror, if it were my daughter and one of her young children trapped in that situation. Slashing budgets or abolishing the police would make that mother and child’s experience the rule. The lack of critical thinking in our society, even by “educated” people, is terrifying.
Back to the FB post. Tell me, how can anyone determine a police officer won’t need a gun at a 911 call? It is only possible to know an officer won’t need a gun until after the call is completed.
I don’t know about you other cops and retired cops (well, yes, I do), but I can’t count the number of times I got dispatched to a call that turned out to be nothing like how it originally sounded. Another issue is police responding to a minor call that turns into a major call either en route or after the officers arrive. And then there are the incidents not connected to your call that erupt into violence near to where you’ve responded. All these things happen—a lot.
The fact, these leftists specifically want to dispatch social workers to mental health related calls, drug counselors to drug related calls, and so on, shows a colossal lack of thought and a disconnect from reality. There are no calls more subject to turning from peaceful to violent in a proverbial heartbeat than those with mentally ill people, those with drug or alcohol addictions, or those with domestic violence issues.
Look at the “drunk sleeping in his car call at a Wendy’s drive-thru in Atlanta.” That man, Rayshard Brooks, was very cooperative—until he wasn’t. And now the suspect is dead, and a corrupt prosecutor has falsely (and politically) locked up a police officer and charged him with the man’s murder. Would you have sent a drug or alcohol counselor to that call?
No officer knows they won’t need to draw their guns on a call until after they’ve left the call. They may even need their guns 30 seconds later, just a block down the street. People who think sending “community alternatives to cops” to 911 calls is a marvelous idea must have some kind of magic spell or crystal ball that lets them know an officer won’t need to draw his or her firearm on a particular call. If so, I wish they’d share their magic with the rest of us.
For law enforcement officers, shooting their firearms is a last-resort insurance policy. And as with any insurance policy, you don’t have insurance because you know something bad will happen; you get insurance in case something bad happens.
For example, if your family has two cars, would you “defund” your auto insurance by 50 percent by not insuring one of your cars because most times you drive you don’t need insurance? Or do you somehow know you will not crash before you arrive at your destination?
No. You only know you didn’t “need” your insurance after you’ve driven safely to where you’re going. Even then, your car might get hit and run or stolen where you parked it. Defunding your personal insurance policies makes about as much sense as defunding a community’s insurance policy against crime and civil disorder.
That FB post was written by an obviously intelligent person but one who fails or refuses to think things through thoroughly. He sold himself short by not engaging in broader critical thought about this crucial issue. After all, if the police are defunded, criminals will, for certain, hurt and kill real people—maybe someone you know or love.