Letter: Don’t defund police, but properly train them

Graphic by Lori Deaton

We were surprised to see an anonymous letter with inflammatory points, and one particular misleading reference included [“APD Cannot Silence the Voices of Change,” Aug. 19, Xpress].

Jerry Williams was shot and killed by the Asheville Police Department in 2016. This shooting was thoroughly investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation, which found the APD response appropriate. Mr. Williams fled the scene of an assault complaint, was chased at high speed through Asheville with a woman and child in the vehicle who did not wish to be in the vehicle and reached for an assault weapon when he was stopped. It would seem public safety was at stake — safety of the woman, child and police officers.

We urge Asheville City Council not to defund the police but make changes needed to rid police of the “bad apples” after due process, and to properly train officers going forward. There are better solutions.

[Signed], an anonymous reader who is solidarity with other anonymous readers.

— Name withheld
Asheville

Editor’s note: In order to further discussion on the issue, Xpress has agreed to withhold the name of this letter writer as we did for the writer of the previous letter referenced.

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12 thoughts on “Letter: Don’t defund police, but properly train them

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    NC House 114 Rep Susan Fisher recently pledged to vote to DEFUND the POLICE in a national democrackkk contest … to see how many evil democrackkks would do it I guess…she is evil.

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  2. Mike R.

    AMEN. Police are critical to the health and safety of all citizens. A few bad actors and very poor department leadership (prior current Police Chief) have led to bad reputation. But there are good officers too. Stop this nonsensical talk of defunding police and let’s get on with building the best police force we can.

    • Broadway Barney

      You’d be hard pressed to find a more liberal Democrat than me, but police are essential to EVERY community. Under NO circumstances should police departments be “defunded”. They need MORE funding, not only for on-going training, but to attract and secure quality personnel who are looking for a career and not just a job.

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      • luther blissett

        Police departments aren’t built, though: they’re inherited. Some are inherited in good condition; others are fixer-uppers; others need to be demolished and rebuilt from the foundation upwards. Their functions are also inherited: residents expect the police to do X, Y and Z because that’s what they already do, and then wonder if they should also be doing D, M and Q.

        Where is APD on that spectrum? I don’t think any of us knows for sure. What do the city’s residents want from the police? What is the function of policing? How important is it for officers to live within the municipality whose residents pay their salaries? If City Council provides a bunch of money for training, then how does it measure its effectiveness? Training requires officers who want to be trained, and a willingness to set standards based upon that training.

        The language here always treats “the police” as a “them”: it’s as if we pay the police and they decide what kind of policing we should have. Policing is a municipal service. Nobody says “fund the trash collectors” — what’s funded is the trash collection service. Fund policing.

  3. DreadT

    The police should not get funding for military tactical equipment. They should not be treated as a defacto army.

    The police are trained to lie as a part of their job. Until this changes, they will continue to do whatever they want, and cover it up when they are exposed.

    When the police commit crimes, they must be held to a higher standard, prosecuted, and if convicted, the sentencing must be strict without leniency.

    Without these changes, the status quo will remain the same.

    It is disingenuous to say the police are critical to the health and safety of all citizens. It is the intent of what police SHOULD do, but we all know they pick and choose who to serve and who to ignore.

    https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2019/09/14/buncombe-county-sheriff-lawsuit-deputies-violated-civil-rights-searches/2302344001/

    • Mike R.

      The militarization of police forces around the country happened after 9/11. Homeland Security showered police forces with money. I agree with you that most of this stuff is unnecessary and lends a bad light to policing. On the other hand, your comment about police are trained to lie is hard to accept at face value. What proof do you have for this statement.
      I think that many people entering the police force are doing it for the right reasons; however, there will also be a few bad apples that make it through. Those need to be weeded out quickly, I agree. The rest need to be supported; not denigrated and opposed.
      Policing is a tough and dangerous job. Unless you understand and accept that reality, your insights and comments are not fully grounded in reality.

      • DreadT

        Mike, first let me thank you for replying with thoughtful remarks. It is much more enjoyable to have a discourse on a subject rather than name calling.

        I agree with your points and would like to clarify what I meant about police being trained to lie. When police interrogate a suspect (one in custody or not) they have been trained and encouraged to mislead, misrepresent or even use untruthful facts and statements to get a suspect to admit crimes (whether they are actually guilty or not). Citizens with mental health issues or extremely low intelligence are the most susceptible in these situations. The police will tell a suspect, if they just tell the truth and admit to a crime, they won’t be in trouble. This is how they use lies as a daily part of their job. Once lying becomes a standard part of the daily routines for police, then lying becomes ingrained in all aspects of their jobs. This is when police begin to abuse their power. They know if they are exposed for doing something illegal/immoral, they can lie their way out of it, because the other officers will cover (lie) for them.

        Let me be clear, I understand the difficulties of being a police officer and the dangers they put themselves in. I also understand that many police officers are good people and try to do the right thing. But when it is legal for the police to lie, and they use that ability to get away with harming innocent citizens and covering up their own misdeeds, then we have a systematic problem that cannot be resolved until we address this issue. We have seen it occur here locally more than once, and I am sure it happens in almost every police department. We need a better system to keep our police force held accountable when they make mistakes, and a prevention program to prevent it from happening in the future.

        I think when someone wants to defund the police, they are really saying “we should not continue to give the police more and more money (rewarding them) for continuing to harm the people they swore to protect.” I don’t hear “the police should be disbanded, shut down, and never exist again.” That is anarchy, and most people are not asking for anarchy.

  4. Enlightened Enigma

    In recent days it has become necessary to alert the national guard to be on standby!

    City leadership (non leadership) is a total FRAUD. An EVIL Fraud. Citizen safety is their #1 job and they have failed to do their jobs.
    These are EVIL EVIL democrackkks allowing this situation! These are people FILLED with HATE for the citizens. And YOU people
    still vote for them ? Join me in boycotting the city council race Nov 3…NONE of them are remotely qualified to lead. Don’t vote for
    any of them.

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    • luther blissett

      Your semi-regular reminder that filing to run for City Council costs $75, which is not a lot of money to put where your mouth is.

  5. Enlightened Enigma

    Asheville was featured on Foxnews last evening too! Didja see it ?

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  6. Roxanne

    Defund APD and Fund AFD. Fire fighters are paid drastically less than a new coming officer out of a 4 month training. Ridiculous. APD has to learn how to better budget their funds. School teachers and social workers do. But at least they have a degree. And pathetically enough are still paying off their school loans 😒

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