Police forces are tasked with the goal of protecting and serving their communities, an overwhelming, vague job description. As a result, police forces are often expected to respond to events for which they have minimal training, leading to conflict and inefficiency.
Police are told to respond to homelessness, but even when the callers intend to help those who are homeless, more often than not, citations are given instead of support. They are expected to respond to addiction and overdose cases with no method of assistance. They are called to respond to simple child misconduct and conduct public offense arrests for events that should be addressed as school disciplinary issues. This is not what policing was meant for.
Modern media tends to overly politicize the "defund the police" narrative, prompting confusion and unnecessary polarization. While some of the movement's supporters believe that law enforcement should be abolished entirely, I disagree. I believe law enforcement is necessary for society to thrive, but police alone are not equipped to solve every social issue. As a result, the current police budget should be partially divested and reinvested to other areas to reduce their responsibilities.
Additionally, defunding the police should not be seen as a punishment for police officers. In fact, doing so would benefit the police force as much as it would everyday citizens by giving certain responsibilities to individuals who are trained to handle specific issues, like social workers and mental health professionals. Police officers cannot be expected to efficiently respond to homelessness, addiction and child discipline.
Some police agencies agree that they are expected to do too much. In a briefing, the Dallas police chief said, “Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve. Not enough mental health funding, let the cops handle it. … Here in Dallas we got a loose dog problem; let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. Schools fail, let’s give it to the cops. … That’s too much to ask,” The Washington Post reported.