The President put together a quick preview of what is to be expected in his police reform bill. There is a balance to be used here. We know the police need reform and we know there are bad people. We also know that the culture of policing has changed over the years as crime has risen. Thus, it is important to provide some metric changes as well as help for community members when smaller crimes are committed that are more due to mental health, poverty or addiction.
We also know that bad apple police seem to create multiple problems throughout their careers and have some kind of immunity and protection. While I don't believe police officers should be removed for mistakes I do think they need to be removed for malicious intent. We know the difference between right and wrong.
On the flip side, we shouldn't be profiling people based on color and income. We should be engaging with people and trying to understand them well before acting. It is tough for police to be all to everyone but they do a necessary job. It would be great to have no police in a Utopian society. Were not there yet so they have an important job to do. They should do that with compassion and kindness.
This reform package isn't likely to be the last word but is likely to be a significant part of the conversation. Congress will hash out additional details. Getting into the conversation early allows information to be framed in a way that is likely influence the outcomes. We have to take both perspectives of Republicans and Democrats, and other minority/majority, stake holders to create a system that is trusted by everyone.
Remove bad policy and promote good police is important. Other issues will be the need for prisons versus mental health/addiction help. A soul that is in pain but wants to recover is different than a soul that is bent on hurting other people. Thus.....prisons are necessary and very expensive. They should be saved for those who cannot commit to change and improvement.
2. Social workers to work with law enforcement.
3. Referrals to mental health institutions.
4. Federal grants to agencies that engage in reform.
5. Expectations of Congress to pass additional legislation to address broad racism.
6. Investing in minority communities.