In the midst of the protests over the death of George Floyd, there have been calls for defunding various municipal police departments, which of course means getting rid of them.
I’m not sure how exactly such an idea will be beneficial, other than easing the burden on the taxpayers.
As much as some people despise the cops, they are in fact a beneficial component of society.
Naturally, they patrol the streets, investigate crimes, arrest criminals, and in certain situations provide police protection.
They also handle traffic accidents, help provide security at various public events, and have carried out live-saving duties (e.g. giving medical attention, assist in search and rescue operations).
There are some parts of the country that have smaller municipal police departments (or none at all) since because they have smaller populations, and therefore can rely on law enforcement from the county or state level. In contrast, municipal police departments are necessary in cities with larger populations, because county and state law enforcement do not have enough personnel to provide services for them.
Needless to say, abolishing municipal police departments in various cities will result in lawlessness in those cities. Crime will skyrocket, traffic accidents will be unrecorded (since accident reports are required for car insurance claims), and anarchy will be the result. In fact, they might even have real-life purges.
Citizens of cities without police departments will have to purchase firearms to protect themselves from criminals, unless such cities have strict gun control laws. But then again, how will such laws be enforced if there is no municipal police department to enforce them, since county and state law enforcement might not have enough personnel to enforce such laws, let alone provide services for those cities (as previously mentioned)?
If certain city police departments are defunded (and hence abolished), where will the money that was previously used to fund them be spent? And will such money be spent wisely?
And if city police departments are defunded, will law enforcement at the federal, state, and county levels be next?
I should add that defunding city police departments will also put many people out of work.
There is a chance that the money that was provided for city police departments via federal or state grants could not be given to their respective cities if their officials choose to abolish their police departments.
And that is where the federal and state governments could place pressure on such cities: either keep the police departments or risk losing funding, regardless of what the money is to be used for.
In conclusion, defunding and abolishing city police departments is a terrible idea.