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GRWelsh

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Defund the police?
« on: June 07, 2021, 01:24:33 pm »
Lately, I've been thinking what a bad slogan "defund the police" is.  A slogan should be easy to remember and easy to understand.  "Defund the police" is easy to remember -- but what does it mean?  It's confusing.  Does it mean to merely reduce the budget of police departments?  That, in and of itself, doesn't seem to solve anything.  Does it mean doing away with police departments altogether?  Again, that doesn't seem like a solution because no police at all means lawlessness.  You can't just get rid of police and replace them with nothing... It will create a vacuum that will be filled by something.  If what we're really after is to change police culture, or police attitudes, then it isn't merely an issue of their budget or the size of the police department. 

So, what are some better potential slogans?  "Change the police" isn't specific enough.  "Retrain the police" is better, and probably closer to what is intended.  But I can imagine conservatives and the police pushing back on this, as well.  They may be indignant about the idea of needing to be retrained, or having people they believe are ignorant dictating how their job needs to be done.  And that may be a fair point.  So, how about "Hold police accountable"?  That seems very difficult to push back against.  I also think it more accurately describes the goal.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2021, 01:49:46 pm by GRWelsh »
The morning sun rose and burned off the ghosts; it seems they were nothing but shapes in the fog.

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AgapeFire

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Re: Defund the police?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2021, 06:44:46 am »
Lately, I've been thinking what a bad slogan "defund the police" is.  A slogan should be easy to remember and easy to understand.  "Defund the police" is easy to remember -- but what does it mean?  It's confusing.  Does it mean to merely reduce the budget of police departments?  That, in and of itself, doesn't seem to solve anything.  Does it mean doing away with police departments altogether?  Again, that doesn't seem like a solution because no police at all means lawlessness.  You can't just get rid of police and replace them with nothing... It will create a vacuum that will be filled by something.  If what we're really after is to change police culture, or police attitudes, then it isn't merely an issue of their budget or the size of the police department. 

So, what are some better potential slogans?  "Change the police" isn't specific enough.  "Retrain the police" is better, and probably closer to what is intended.  But I can imagine conservatives and the police pushing back on this, as well.  They may be indignant about the idea of needing to be retrained, or having people they believe are ignorant dictating how their job needs to be done.  And that may be a fair point.  So, how about "Hold police accountable"?  That seems very difficult to push back against.  I also think it more accurately describes the goal.
What about "Reimagine Policing," GRW?

I would surmise that "Hold Police Accountable" could be too "loaded" for some (implying one-sided wrong-doing). 

As a victim of crime (physical assault, attempted robbery, verbal threat of violence, and now just recently possibly cyber identity crime...yeah...I know....LUCKY ME, huh?), I am very thankful for the availability and presence of police in every day life.  Having smart, honest, and caring officers around is a tremendous relief and aid.  I also know how stressful and emotionally + physically challenging such a job can be and am thankful I don't have to be in the dangerous situations they face. 

Yet, I have also experienced very unpleasant and possibly profiling, racist, and bullying tactics by police before and some of the sadly run-of-the-mill even rudeness and power tripping that can be common and stereotypical of uniformed officers.  Many are major jerks and are verbally abusive. 

Emotionally, I am all over the place when it comes to police.  But, to simplify: 

-good officers are great for society (a tremendous boon); and
-bad officers are very dangerous (any bad character in a position of power is a natural societal threat)

For sure, we need to reform the bad aspects of policing.  Quotas-based policing needs to go.  It runs contrary to justice/fairness.  Racist policing needs to stop (e.g., enforcing petty crime laws mainly on the poor and minorities when those same actions done by others never get ticketed or charged).  I think a more de-escalatory approach to tension may be helpful vs. more immediately aggressive procedures.  Although, I confess that I'm not very knowledgeable in this area and certainly wouldn't want to see officers be put in a bad position unnecessarily.  I understand the need to "control" situations for their own safety.  I've seen plenty of "aggressive" actions by police that I'd deem justified, but there do seem just as many videos I've seen of them seemingly reacting way too aggressive in an unnecessary way.  I tend to think de-escalation should be a primary objective, but I'm open to learning more. 

I think we need to address mental health in America and find ways of separating out cases of people doing harmful things rooted in severe mental health issues vs. a malevolent type of criminal actor and get people who need mental health services affordable care (and not just lock them up).

On a rambling note, I've been very disappointed in how unprofessional so many people are nowadays in a lot of professions.  Or, maybe it's always been this way and I'm just now more exposed to it or noticing it myself now.  I come across so many workers with bad attitudes across all sorts of fields:  banking; medical; hospitality; law enforcement; construction/carpentry, etc.  It's really depressing and sort of tears at the social fabric of society when you cannot really trust or respect other people you economically interact with. 

Policing may need some reforms, but so do many other industries (and the cheating, rude, exploitative, etc. people in them).

-AF

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formerly:  wlcgeek; keegclw; and GodLovesU - Hopefully, fourth time's a charm when it comes to remembering login info.!
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 03:34:22 pm by AgapeFire »

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Spero

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Re: Defund the police?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2021, 12:00:57 pm »
I don’t know if most departments do this already, but I think stringent phycological testing should be conducted regularly throughout an officer’s career. When anyone does that kind of job, particularly in such a racially diverse country as the U.S., I would imagine one could easily become racist when they weren’t even close to being racist starting out. This goes for officers of any ethnicity.
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.

- Proverbs 16:18

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GRWelsh

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Re: Defund the police?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2021, 12:01:53 pm »
I like "Reimagine the police" as well.  That could be taken in a collaborative way.  For example, we could ask police offers to imagine how their jobs may be improved and made more efficient, and how their relationship with communities can be strengthened.  Make them part of the conversation instead of telling them they are evil, racists monsters.  Perhaps by comparing policing methods in different countries and how effective they are at certain tasks is a great place to start.  It seems like there is a lot of potential when it comes to de-escalation, using non-lethal force, and building trust in communities -- and also in not making the police responsible for such a broad range of tasks.
The morning sun rose and burned off the ghosts; it seems they were nothing but shapes in the fog.

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Gary.Anderson

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Re: Defund the police?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2021, 01:01:41 pm »
What an interesting topic, I was just thinking the same thing last week.
I think “Retrain the Police” should be the first slogan followed by “Reimagine Police”. But usually politics will overshadow any common sense ideas.

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wonderer

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Re: Defund the police?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2021, 08:14:55 pm »
The thing is, if we want to retrain the police, do better psychological screening, etc. it seems likely we should expect to pay more for our policing.  For example, if we want more continuing education for police, additonal officers will be needed to keep the same number of officers 'on the street' while officers in general are spending more time in class.  Furthermore, there will be the need to pay more trainers.

While it may make sense to shift some things from police to social workers it seems unlikely that the net budget for public safety would go down with such a shift.

Frankly, defund the police has always seemed like an utterly stupid slogan to me.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 08:16:49 pm by wonderer »
"The world needed that of us, to maintain—by our example, by our very existence—a world that would keep learning and questioning, that would remain free in thought, inquiry, and word." - Alice Dreger

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noncontingent

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Re: Defund the police?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2021, 12:10:46 pm »
How about we reimagine the ghetto family unit? Imagine what it might be like if every family had a father who had a job and was responsible w/his children?