Calls for Defunding the Police Are Now a Trend and Here's Why That's a Bad Idea

AP Photo/Kevin Hagen

A foolish notion has now arisen that if we defund the nation’s police forces, we’ll be able to avoid the death of innocent black men in the future.

Nevermind that the deaths resulting from the riots have now surpassed all the unarmed black men that had been killed in 2019, the focus is solely on police departments around the nation.

Social justice groups and leftist advocates are taking to city council meetings and social media to demand the police lose their funding. KSAT in San Antonio reported of one such council meeting where social justice protesters showed up to demand police be defunded and even booed the idea of their being good cops:

Thursday’s demonstration is the latest in San Antonio that has protested the death of George Floyd, which has sparked turbulent protests around the world against racial injustice.

Speakers urged councilmembers to “defund the police” and shouted over them as they made remarks.

At one point, they booed District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez as he advocated for good cops.

Former Senator, Clinton press secretary, and Executive Director of Demand Justice Brian Fallon also sent out a tweet advocating for the sentiment.

It was recently shouted at New York Mayor Bill de Blasio as he was giving a speech at a memorial for George Floyd.

Let’s say we did that. Let’s say we demolished the budget of police departments around the nation, limited their resources, and weakened their ability to respond. What would happen?

Steven Pinker in his book “The Blank Slate” gives us a pretty good idea based on what happened when the Montreal police went on strike back in 1969:

“As a young teenager in proudly peaceable Canada during the romantic 1960s, I was a true believer in Bakunin’s anarchism. I laughed off my parents’ argument that if the government ever laid down its arms all hell would break loose.

“Our competing predictions were put to the test at 8:00 A.M. on October 17, 1969, when the Montreal police went on strike. By 11:20 A.M. the first bank was robbed. By noon most downtown stores had closed because of looting.

Within a few more hours, taxi drivers burned down the garage of a limousine service that competed with them for airport customers, a rooftop sniper killed a provincial police officer, rioters broke into several hotels and restaurants, and a doctor slew a burglar in his suburban home.

“By the end of the day, six banks had been robbed, a hundred shops had been looted, twelve fires had been set, forty carloads of storefront glass had been broken, and three million dollars in property damage had been inflicted, before city authorities had to call in the army and, of course, the Mounties to restore order.”

“But Brandon, that’s when the police went on strike,” you say.

Yes, but decreased funding means fewer officers, and since we’re not omniscient beings, there can only be so many police to assist anyone at any given moment. In the city of Dallas, the city police departments as severely understaffed, and as a result, crime began rising rapidly.

Nick Novello, a former Dallas PD officer, blew the whistle on his department’s defunding and gave me the results of it in an exclusive interview:

Among the facts is the revelation that there are less than 1,200 officers attempting to patrol a city filled with 1.4 million people. Novello also reveals that as the murder rate spikes, Dallas detectives are short-staffed by 40 to 60 percent. He also reveals that emergency calls that go unanswered by police due to a lack of officers present.

“I work the slowest watch in the city and I am in possession of hundreds of emergency calls with the same language, “supervisor notified, call expired, no elements or officers available,” wrote Novello. “Now if calls for police service go largely unanswered in a timely manner at central, what do you suppose is happening across the city, particularly during busy periods or when one emergency ties up scarce resources?”

(READ: A Whistle Blowing Dallas PD Officer Is Coming Forward Against His Chief as Dallas Falls Deeper Into Crime and Murder)

Police are often described as a “thin blue line” between civilization and chaos, and the metaphor is apt. The threat of police showing up often stops many people from committing crimes before they happen, and the threat of police presence forces ongoing crimes to cease. People would rather avoid jail or winding up in handcuffs in the back of a police car for any reason.

When something dangerous goes down, police officers are the ones who put on gear and stand in the way of it in order to protect us, the everyday citizen. It’s true that mistakes are made and some dishonorable people put a badge on who shouldn’t. Abuses of power happen when power is present.

However, the police aren’t the dictatorial force they’re made out to be. They can be dangerous, but that’s the point of them. Danger is a neutral force. People want to use it for evil means and the police use danger for good when used correctly.

Those in blue cities where the rioting is the worse should be well aware that if their city refunds their police department, things will get worse, not better. Rioters and looters aren’t reacting to injustice, they’re acting on opportunity.

(READ: For Rioters, It Was Never About George Floyd, Justice, or Black Lives)

This isn’t to mention that it’s likely that should police become defunded that the resulting rise in crime would cause citizens to take matters into their own hands. Shootings would increase significantly, not just from criminals, but from regular citizens utilizing firearms for self-defense.

If you’re trying to save lives, then defunding police should be the furthest thing from your mind.