Applaud the Men in Blue

Bill Neinast

An organization with 865,000 members is large by any standards.  It is equivalent to 58 average sized army infantry divisions.

Any organization that large is destined to have several hundred, maybe even a thousand or so, misfits.  Unfortunately, in some cases those misfits become the standard bearers for their organizations.

That is the picture in this country today.  As of 2018 (latest available) there were 865,000 certified law enforcement personnel in the country.  This ranged from the FBI and Secret Service at the federal level to the constable at the smallest hamlet in the 50 states.

Today, those thousands of men and women of multiple ethnic groups who wear a law enforcement badge are judged on the actions of four rogue cops in Minneapolis.  There are demonstrations and demands that police forces be reformed or, even worse, defunded or disbanded.

As violent crimes and homicides are on a precipitous  rise in our major cities, imagine handcuffing the police instead of letting them handcuff criminals.  Even worse is the practice in some cities of reducing the number of law enforcement personnel on patrol.

When asked how they would protect themselves if there were smaller or no police officers in their neighborhoods, some claimed something like, “Oh the neighborhood watch groups will take care of that.”  In other words, there would be “self policing.”

They apparently never consider the composition of those neighborhood watch groups.   How many would include individuals like Gregory and Travis McMichael and William R. Bryan.  These are the three men on “neighborhood watch” who killed Ahmaud Arbery, the Black man jogging through their neighborhood in an Atlanta suburb.

 Thankfully, there are just a tiny number of smaller cities that are even considering disbanding their police forces.  Nearly all, if not all, of the major cities, however, are in the process of defunding and reforming their police forces.

The worst of these reform efforts is coming from the federal government.  The men and women in Congress on this crusade seem unconcerned about their lack of authority to intrude in this matter.

The 10th Amendment to our Constitution provides, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

If there is anything in the Constitution that gives the federal government power to regulate the Texas Rangers, the Washington County Sheriff, and the Brenham Police Department, I cannot find it.  So why does Congress even have an item to establish policing guidelines on its agenda?

Locally, because of size and population, the needs and operation of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department and the Brenham Police Department are substantially different from those of Harris County and Houston.  So the state should not be trying to make one shoe fit all.

All of this meddling is being done by elected officials who never had to make a split second decision of what type of force to use in an unruly, possibly deadly, confrontation. 

Now add this official meddling to the mob driven hysteria about the “evil” police.  The result will be shrinking police forces because no one will want to volunteer for such abuse.

Who will protect us then?  Who will volunteer for those neighborhood watch groups?

So here’s the perspective.

The brutal killing of George Floyd by four rogue policemen is inexcusable. What they did was already prohibited and they are now under indictment and awaiting trial.  So why use that as an excuse for amateurs telling experts how to do their jobs?

Instead of applauding those demonstrations against the police, calling them pigs, dousing them with water, throwing rocks and other items at them, and marching against them, we should have more Night Out affairs for the communities to show their love and support.

The amateurs in Congress, state legislatures, and county and city councils should simmer down, sit back and applaud the men in blue.

Putting elected officials in charge of law enforcement is like putting a high school drop out in command of 58 infantry divisions. 



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