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Defund the police? Are you kidding?!

“Defund the police!” some recently suggested. While most people would probably shrug off that idea as highly irresponsible, on Sunday, a veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledged to do exactly that!

Let’s be clear: these city council members aren’t talking about citizens having a primary role in determining how their community is policed. If they were, that process wouldn’t begin by abolishing the police.

Instead, news reports say they’re going to use the budget process to start defunding the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with some type of “community-led public safety program.” (Of course, what that’ll look like wasn’t actually defined before making the pledge, but never mind those important details.)

This isn’t difficult to predict, but I think we’ll see officers in the Minneapolis Police Department start to leave in droves now for other agencies and careers. (Why on earth would they stick around?) I think we’ll see an even larger law enforcement gap in that city, as they’ll have decimated their police force before city council even defines what the alternative will look like. And if this goes through, I think Minnesota state authorities will be needed to clean up the inevitable mess and maintain order.

As I listen and pay close attention to what’s happening all around us, some truly outstanding voices have emerged with thoughts and ideas for how to bridge gaps, heal as a nation, and – especially – care for one another.

Friends, there MUST be mutual (two-way) appreciation, respect, and accountability between law enforcement and those they serve. Anything less is completely unacceptable, and anything we can do to help strengthen those relationships is a good thing.

All ideas should be on the table… except for this one. Dissolving police departments is not the answer.