Letter: Boost funding to educate, train police

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Most police, like most people, are good human beings. These hardworking individuals put a bulletproof vest on as part of their uniform. Every traffic stop and engagement with the public has the potential to escalate to a violent ending. Stop for a moment and put yourself in their shoes.

For years, there has been a degradation of funding for social services and mental health advocates. This is wrong and unfortunate, but funding should not come at the expense of law enforcement. In fact, funding for our people in blue should be increased to better educate them on conflict resolution and sensitivity training.

“Our” police risk their lives to protect and serve, and I am personally grateful for their presence.

— Karen Lepore


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3 thoughts on “Letter: Boost funding to educate, train police

  1. bsummers

    I was a spokesman for Asheville Justice Watch almost 20 years ago. We lobbied to get a citizens review board to address complaints of police violence, among other things. I advocated back then and still believe, that we should spend more on the type of training Karen talks about.

    I would also support paying police more in general, if it came along with a guarantee that bad apples would be weeded out toot sweet.

    • Fin

      Maybe if you put your energy into reducing violence in neighborhoods, police wouldn’t be needed as much. But that would require to get off your pedestal.

    • Michael Hopping

      I was also involved in and reported on local police violence back in the day. Under the then new APD Chief Hogan and BCSD Sheriff Duncan, better training of APD and BCSD officers trained in de-escalation strategies appeared to contribute substantially to a sudden reduction in people shot by officers. This was, of course, before the militarization of law enforcement.

      Now, the Us v Them problem has become general: Warrior Cops v Suspect Population. It’s an attitude apparent in the Letter to the Editor. Yes, They lack social services but . . . Of course, this would not explain police misconduct at last summer’s protests. That was a bumbling display of militarized dominance over a politically suspect Other objecting to police treatment of Black Americans.

      The militarization of law enforcement and the further entrenchment of the impunity that went along with it is an educational problem for police and citizenry alike and should receive immediate attention.. In addition, I think it’s critical to assess the legal and physical accoutrements supporting police militarization with a goal of reducing them and returning officers to status as community guardians rather than soldiers in the army of a racist status quo.

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