Cities Getting Rid of Resource Officers
We’ve all seen the aggressive and deadly actions by police officers but those are only the incidents that make the news. We have created a society where our children are being acclimatized to being overseen by police officers. I’m speaking about resource officers in schools. At the current time there are approximately 20,000 resource officers in schools. Some schools who have a resource officer don’t even have a school nurse.
The problem is, resource officers get some training in dealing with children but the majority of their training is still in the area of dealing with criminals. They are not qualified to handle issues with children. No child should be arrested, handcuffed, placed in a police car, fingerprinted all because the child had a tantrum, but it happens. That’s the only way officers know how to deal with situations. This police brutality is highly detrimental for the development of a child.
Denver, Minneapolis and Portland Public Schools have ended their contracts with the police. They will be looking toward hiring professionals in the field of child care to help address situations with students. All the police violence being shown in the news, and the outcry from their constituents, has encouraged them to make this move.
Cities Cutting Police Budget
Police budgets have kept growing over the years. Police staffing has continued to rise, all the while, crime has gone down. While pay and benefit increases account for some of the increase, as they should, the increase in staffing does not fit the circumstances. I know police are constantly saying they need more help but I also know of at least one place, a church, where SAPD officers like to go park, side by side, to sit around and gossip while getting that very nice pay and those excellent benefits. I know of at least one night when there were 6 (six!) police vehicles in that parking lot. At a minimum, if there was only one officer per car, there were six officers being paid to gossip. And that’s just the one place I know about. I have no doubt there are other spots where they hide.
If officers with the San Antonio Police Department are doing that then I have no doubt that officers with other agencies are doing the same thing. Regardless of whether it’s officers taking advantage of the system, police unions acting like hate groups (hey SAPD, heads up), or the police violence that we are seeing practically daily, cities are starting to act.
New York has cut 1 billion dollars from the police budget. The NYPD has a 6 billion dollar budget but when you are used to living at a certain level, even if you don’t really need that much, the loss of some of it will hurt. And all government agencies are taught to live up to their budget. If you don’t spend what is given to you then in the next budget cycle you will be given less. That is just how government agencies work. All of them. New York is not the only major city that is making cuts to the law enforcement budget. Los Angeles is cutting $150 million from their police budget.
Cities Cutting Police Staffing
The City of Burlington (Vermont) is going to see a 30% reduction in uniformed officers. On Monday, the city council voted on the reduction in force against the wishes of the police chief. I don’t blame the police chief for wanting to protect his officers but unfortunately, these are the consequences all law enforcement faces for the violence and brutality by their officers that they have failed to address. The $150 million cut to the Los Angeles budget is going to take uniformed officers from 10,000 down to 9,757. That’s a lot of people who will be losing their job.
Expect Vicious Retaliation
I would love to say that law enforcement has seen that they need to rethink their approach to policing, that they need to restructure their organizations and that they need to act swiftly and harshly against any officer who abuses his or her power but I doubt seriously that will be how law enforcement reacts.
We’ve all already seen the police unions basically threatening us by saying they will not respond. We’ve actually seen it happen in New York. Police unions will be pushing their members to dishonor their oath in a form of blackmail rather than insist officers act in a professional manner.
Naturally not all unions will act this way. There are some good ones. I have a lot of respect, so far, for the Deputy Sheriffs Association of Bexar County (DSABC). They have always taken a very realistic view of what the job should be. I have very little respect for the San Antonio Police Officers Association (SAPOA). Their president, Mike Helle, is the one who tried to defend an officer using the N-word by saying it is no different than someone saying god damn it. The entitlement to be racist and abusive is mindboggling.