Opinion

Opinion: Why are cop supporters conceding to the radical Left the need for police reform?

We need for our conservative leaders to stand up to the Left’s current violent, destructive juggernaut against American traditions.

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Hello? Where are all the Republican leaders, usual law enforcement’s most trusted allies, during this Democrat-supported insurrection? Hello? Normally, Republican supporters of law and order appear nightly on news shows, speaking about the issues of the day.

Now, it seems, I’m only seeing President Donald Trump, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) regularly speak out about the ongoing leftist radicals’ rioting, sacking police precincts, occupying city neighborhoods, and tearing down historical statues.

To be fair, some Democrats have spoken out, at least, about defunding the police. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) publicly stated defunding the cops “is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my life” (but he’s supporting Biden, so…). Also, ironically, the barely there leftist mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, even admitted (in front of a hostile leftist crowd) he doesn’t support defunding the cops.

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The primary thing I hear Republicans doing these days, sadly, is pushing for “police reform.” Why did the president and other cop-supporting political representatives concede that point so quickly? Why do supposed cop supporters argue that wanton police abuse is a myth while simultaneously surrendering that “police reform” is necessary? Political expediency seems the only explanation.

The Democrats are disingenuously obstructing even Republican police reform legislation because they need the issue for the November election. For the Democrats, this is not about police reform; this is about gaining political power any way they can, and it’s now obvious with their support for rioters (sorry, I mean mostly peaceful protesters), they’ll pay any price to get it. Even the integrity of our nation.

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If cop supporters believe the assertion there is an epidemic of systemic and institutional racism in America’s police departments is a myth, then why the need for “reform”? I won’t go over the statistics regarding police use-of-force against black suspects again. It’s been done ad nauseam. Readers can check out the easily available statistics at the Bureau of Justice Statistics for themselves. Bottom line: Statistics and academic studies show an epidemic of police abuse against anyone is a myth.

Leftists like to frame the issue as If you are not in favor of police reform, you are a racist and support the current state of wanton abuse of minority folks. That is pathetic. But what’s more pathetic are otherwise normal Democrats who choose to believe that myth. They are pathetic because they won’t even explore the facts. To say law enforcement doesn’t need reform is just acknowledging a truism—a state that exists in reality.

When I tell people police reform is unnecessary, they ask, “Don’t you want law enforcement to be better?” Yes, but “reform” consigns to the issue a negative connotation. Organizations in need of reform are either being run inefficiently, ineptly, or corruptly. That is not the case with the vast majority of law enforcement agencies in the United States.

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Not that law enforcement cannot improve. It can, and it should always strive to improve. So can any industry, occupation, or profession. If not, at the end of my career, instead of on a laptop, in-car, or desktop computer, I would still have been writing by hand or typing my incident reports on a Smith-Corona typewriter and getting ink ribbons and correction tape from the stationmaster.

Improvement means more than typewriter technology or shifting to other technologies. I know that, but you understand my point. Cops welcome improvement but not change for its own sake, especially if it’s politically motivated. The city mandated new policies, often for political reasons that changed how we did things but did not improve how we did things.

For example, some years ago, the department switched our uniform pants to cargo style. These pants were not only more practical, with additional pockets, but they were also much more comfortable to work in, and we could wash rather than have them dry cleaned. In police work, practicality and comfort are important. This was a good change and an improvement for officers. We didn’t “reform” our pants; we improved them.

To the contrary, another change handed down, ostensibly to prove officers weren’t (but probably were) racist, we could no longer give verbal warnings to traffic offenders. Every stop had to result in either a citation or a written warning. This is so the city could gather racial data on the drivers we stopped.

Verbal warnings served an important public relations function. When an officer stops you, walks up to your door, smiles, lets you know you have a taillight out, and tells you to get it fixed when you have a chance, that friendly encounter leaves both the cop and the violator with a good feeling. For the officer, public safety and public relations are advanced. And for the driver, a police officer stopped him or her (which no one likes) but the driver continues his or her day with a positive feeling about the cops.

If an officer can only issue a written warning, this reduces positive public relations. It takes away from the informality —and quickness— of a verbal warning. Violators may drive away feeling they have been “punished,” even though it’s not a ticket. It’s still a written “hand-slap” from a police officer. And, if the officer has to write paper anyway, why not write a citation which counts more for the officer’s weekly stats than does a written warning?

Incidentally, after the city collected the data, word was, it showed the cops weren’t racist —or, at least, they couldn’t prove we were— like they so desperately wanted to. Incidentally, the study vanished. The city never published the results, but they kept the mandate to issue only written and not verbal warnings.

So, to our cop-supporting Republican/conservative/libertarian leaders, please refrain from conceding any ground on “police reform.” We’ve already surrendered too much as it is. We need for our conservative leaders to stand up to the Left’s current violent, destructive juggernaut against American traditions. Our nation rests on a precipice as to whether America will continue as a nation dedicated to individual liberty. Otherwise it will become the generation that loses the experiment in self-government our brilliant founders created—for us.

meet the author

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer. He's served as a field training officer and on the East Precinct Community Police Team. He's the author of four books, including "De-Policing America: A Street Cop's View of the Anti-Police State." He's also a contributor to the National Police Association.

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