Police are resigning because of scrutiny, not “defunding”

In this case, one bad apple really spoils the bushel.

As is usual for Dan Shannon, he looks at the facts and immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion, that is the conclusion that fits the narrative he wants to push (“Police reform has gone too far, and it’s making our communities less safe,” published June 8).

Police officers are leaving the force in record numbers so defunding the police must be the cause. While I’m sure that may be the case in some rare instances, and I’m even more sure that is what the officers want us to think that is the primary reason, I think it more likely that the main reason is the continued scrutiny of police tactics that are way overdue.

Police for way to long have gotten away with murder and intimidation and those tactics aren’t hidden from the general public anymore, mainly because of the proliferation of cell phone cameras and body cameras. In my opinion there are three major problems regarding law enforcement policies: inadequate screening of candidates, the increased hiring of former military personnel and the “Thin Blue Line”.

There seem to be an abundance of white supremacists allowed to become officers which, of course, shouldn’t be acceptable. Hiring former military seems like a good idea on its face but if you think about it for a moment, a military man’s training makes his answer to conflict killing the protagonist, which is not the answer in most cases. The third, and to me, the most pressing problem is the accepted policy of not speaking out about a fellow officer whose tactics are brutal and sometimes deadly. There is an old saying that “one bad apple spoils the bushel,” and I believe that the many good officers that I know are out there should be encouraged, not discouraged, to report fellow officers that display such tactics.

If that were the case than we wouldn’t need civilian panels to oversee policing policies, the bad and/or incompetent officers would be weeded out and we wouldn’t have the George Floyds and so many others in our country that have paid the ultimate price for minor offenses or, worse yet, no offense at all. Those are the conclusions that I draw from the situation. Just sayin’.

Larry Benson