Op-ed by Rev. Michael Vaughn
Every since the George Floyd murder there has been growing calls in many major American cities for defunding the police. This actually has been tried in some of these cities and when crime skyrocketed, they stopped pandering to a liberal, nonsensical base and an evil media and decided to restore some of the funding that was taken away! Here in Rochester, we have seen what can be categorized as an unprecedented surge in violent crime. There have been more than twice the number of shootings this year in Rochester than during the same period last year. This amid a backdrop of groups calling for the defunding of the police, revamping the police department, etc. What boggles my mind is how do these folks that “hate” the police believe that law enforcement should be done?!
I have never been a police officer but I do know that they are dealing with situations that can turn deadly in a moment’s notice and a decision has to be made that quickly that can result in the loss of life; the perpetrator or the officer. When life is lost it is tragic, so when the actions of some officers on tape are shown, it looks very bad for the profession. But we mustn’t jump to conclusions and denigrate an entire profession for the actions of a very few. What folks forget to realize is that every police officer that wears the badge is first and foremost a human being. As such they want to do a good job and feel rewarded for it. When we have politicians and activists hamstringing the police from doing their jobs and calling the horrible names, it can only lead to extremely poor morale and an extreme hesitancy to do the job they desire and have been trained and want to do. What does this mean for the public; an empowerment of crime!
In New York City police officers have been attacked to their faces because criminals know that foolish politicians will take the side of the criminal over that of the police officer. Here in Rochester when there was the siege at Wegmans on East Ave. law enforcement did nothing to disperse this crowd and release the hostages that were captive in that store. This only serves to empower those that desire to break the law. Therefore, maybe the increase in lawlessness is a direct result of the dishonoring of police. Criminals feel embolden while the public feels fearful and the politicians feel comforted that they are doing what it takes to get reelected instead of ensuring that their constituents are safe! In every profession you are going to find people that are not upholding the values that the position demands; doctors, lawyers, politicians, teachers, police officers, etc. However, one doesn’t throw the entire profession away, they deal aggressively with the “bad actors” to help remove those folks from the ranks. This keeps the public trust high as well as helps build the moral of those “good” ones in the ranks.
It serves a negative purpose to incessantly bash the police and strip them of their police powers because of a political agenda. What is needed in Rochester is a heavy police presence that lets the citizens of Rochester know that this is a safe city where the police are supported and are fully authorized to use their police powers against criminals. It would also let criminals know that they will be caught, arrested and brought to justice in the swiftest manner possible. It works a win-win; for the residents and the police officers!
Lawless is part of the human experience and it takes law enforcement to combat that to ensure peace and calm within our cities. However, we cannot on one hand tear down the men and women of law enforcement while on the other hand expect them to have high morale and do their job with excellence! They need our support and we need theirs; let’s give honor to whom honor is due and lift the arms of our police officers. From there, I’d expect that the notion of a “job well done” will translate into lower crime rates in our city!
Rev. Michael is senior pastor of New Wineskin Church. Contact him at email@example.com
(The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)