June 14, 2020

The Police Equation: Defund + Dismantle = Disaster

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 8:44 am

06-11-2020 - Branco - ChangingGuard

Protestors” are demanding the governing bodies over several large police agencies, notably New York City, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Los Angeles,  must defund or dismantle their police departments.

OpenCdA has some suggestions for questions or concerns that voters might want to discuss with their respective elected governing bodies in cities considering defunding or dismantling their police departments .

  • What condition is so imminently dangerous to our city that its correction can only be accomplished by defunding or dismantling our police agency?  What characteristics of that condition are so severe, so grave, that they justify the risks associated with removal of police authority and protection?
  • The police are accountable to us, the voters,  through direct oversight by you, our local governing body of elected officials.  We elected you to set the city’s policy, among them the objectives for law enforcement.  That makes  you responsible for the quality of service delivered by the police to us, the taxpayers.
  • If you agree to the demands for defunding and dismantling, it must be because you also agree that the police have failed to perform their duties sufficiently diligently to overcome the need to replace the police.  So why have you, our governing body of elected officials, failed in your oversight duties for so long and allowed the police performance to deteriorate to the present dangerous condition?
  • If you, our city’s elected governing body, have with sufficient clarity and precision identified the city’s criminal justice policy objectives to the police chief, why haven’t you fulfilled your duties as elected officials to diligently and timely supervise the chief to ensure the police department was making progress toward achieving those objectives? You are trying to blame it on the police to divert our attention from your own failure to perform your duties as an elected councilor.
  • Your public statements that you are considering defunding and dismantling the police department amounts to a statement of no confidence in the police and is thereby undermining the discipline and morale of the existing sworn and unsworn police employees.  Do you have the foggiest idea about how even seriously talking about defunding and dismantling affects departmental morale and safety?  Do you even care?  Once you have defunded and dismantled the existing police department, who will enforce the state laws in the city?  Who will respond to calls for service that used to be handled by the police? Who is ever going to want to work for this city government as a police officer again?
  • What federal and state law enforcement agencies are going to give our city access to sensitive law enforcement information and important services such as NCIC and NLETS if we defund and dismantle our police department?  What happens to our ability to participate in task forces such as JTTF, HIDTA, and OCDETF?
  • Assuming our state has standards for peace officer certification and training, how long will it take and how much will it cost to re-establish the “rule of law?”   Remember, councilor, your defunding and dismantling the agency removes everyone.  You’ve got to replace all line and staff employees, not just recruit new officers.  Even if some employees are rehired, they are going to have to be retrained into the replacement agency’s culture.  Who is going to do that, and how long will it take?
  • How will defunding and dismantling our police department affect mutual aid agreements with other police departments?
  • How will defunding and dismantling our police department affect the safety of other city employees including fire department, emergency medical service, water and sewer services, street and road services?  Who will ensure their safety by first securing a dangerous incident scene so the next responders can enter and then by remaining on-scene to protect the next responders from attacks by their victim and bystanders?
  • How will defunding and dismantling our police department enable you to ensure the security of city facilities and utilities?
  • How will defunding and dismantling our police department affect our city’s ability to attract new businesses and retain existing ones?
  • How will defunding and dismantling our police department affect our personal and business insurance rates?  For that matter, will defunding and dismantling cause some insurers to decline writing new policies here altogether?
  • How will defunding and dismantling our police department affect our ability to get personal and business loans at affordable rates if we can get them at all?
  • How will defunding and dismantling our police department affect the willingness of commercial cargo and passenger transportation companies to provide services and people to and from our city?
  • How will defunding and dismantling our police department affect our city’s own credit rating?
  • How will defunding and dismantling our police department affect our city’s ability to get federal and state financial support including loans and grants?
  • Once you have defunded and dismantled our police department, what is the alternative and how well will it work?

There are undoubtedly many more and much better questions that taxpayers and voters might want to ask their own elected officials.  It might be a good idea to ask them before the excrement hits the spinning impeller as it has already in Minneapolis, New York City, Chicago, Portland, and Seattle.


  1. When long standing problems can no longer be ignored, the ‘standard play book’ procedure is take a knee and then to blame someone else for causing them.

    Perhaps a good response by elected officials to your observations and questions could be for them to paraphrase Gov. Inslee. For example: Well, I’ll have to reserve any comment about those matters. As you can see, I am dutifully making a note of the observations and questions now. I haven’t given them any thought and my advisors have not provided me with any talking points.

    Comment by Tributary — June 14, 2020 @ 2:07 pm

  2. Tributary,

    The good response you mentioned is usually called kicking the can down the road. Politicians are good at that.

    Too often the public forgets that it elected a mayor and city council (or other authorized governing body) so that the powers to deprive citizens of life, liberty, and property in the name of the people are skillfully and lawfully used and not abused by any police employee. The mayor and council are the civilian oversight that so many citizens seem to crave.

    It is the duty of the elected oversight officials overseeing and directing the chief executive law enforcement officer to ensure the police use their powers and authority beneficially and lawfully. In the City of Chicago it costs at least $25,000 per officer just to recruit and hire a trainee officer and get him or her certifiable for duty. Thereafter, it costs just under $150,000 per year to “operate” that officer. If the elected officials can’t or won’t diligently and competently perform their duty of oversight over the Chief, then it seems to me it might be less expensive and absolutely more productive to replace the mayor and entire city council rather than defund and dismantle the police department.

    Comment by Bill — June 14, 2020 @ 4:13 pm

  3. Here’s an example of no police = no fire in Seattle. I’m sure the Seattle PD’s “investigation” of the battery, larceny, and arson will be just as diligent and aggressive as the patrol’s response.

    Comment by Bill — June 16, 2020 @ 12:44 pm

  4. Well, if we do not kick Inslee to the curb, Spokane will be our next Seattle, 20 minutes away.

    Comment by Stebbijo — June 25, 2020 @ 9:20 pm

  5. Stebbijo,

    It’s not just the Governor; Seattle’s mayor and city council also need to be replaced, especially Councilmember Kshama Sawant.

    Remember, too, that Amazon-dot-Ginormous has about 50,000 workers in its Seattle HQs, but it also has HQ2 in Arlington-Crystal City, People’s Republic of Northern Virginia. Jefe Jeffy wanted to have A-dot-G HQ2 in New York, but the brain-dead Congressman Allegedly Occasionally-Coherent representing the Bronx and Queens told him to get lost. If Seattle gets too slummy for Jefe Jeffy, he might pick up his HQ1 and move east to Cowplop-on-the-Potomac.

    Comment by Bill — June 26, 2020 @ 7:29 am

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