My contention continues to be that “Defund the Police” was a disastrous movement for the very people they intended to help.

Without the support of the community, no one wants to be a police officer. Who wants to do a dangerous job and be reviled for it? Would you be a police officer in Minneapolis, Portland, or Seattle? (They’re all hiring.)

Of course not. Nobody would. Minneapolis had 900 police officers; now they have 560. They’ve lost more than a third of their force. Seattle police staffing is the lowest it has been in 30 years. Portland lost 229 sworn officers since July 2020. They’re authorized to have 882 officers; as of September 2, they had 108 vacancies.

Law enforcement is essential for a functional society. It can’t be put much plainer than that. Laws are the agreements we make with one another about how we’re going to live together. If there’s no accountability in law—which is part of what police provide—many people will stop following the law. 

I’ve posted previously about private security agencies being hired by the wealthy and by business owners. The rich will find a way to protect themselves and achieve a feeling of safety no matter what. The dismantling of public policing—much like what’s happening in public education—means we’re not all in the same boat any more. It’s a continuation of the stratification of society in a way that harms the most marginalized.