I read recently where politicians in our state house want to get down to the nitty gritty on all the rise in violent crime in metro Atlanta.
Let’s see … defund the police, fire all the police and replace them with social workers, strip the police of qualified immunity so frivolous lawsuits can take a lifetime pension and put a criminal dirt-bag on Easy Street for a year or so. But still they query?
According to the story, murders in Atlanta have increased 50 percent while rapes have increased an astonishing 82 percent in our capital city.
Street racers dominate the public thoroughfares, leaving city leaders scratching their heads for a solution. One enlightened state representative blames our gun laws for “lots of crimes being committed,” drops the mic, and exits the room leaving us all to ponder her true meaning.
Several lawmakers blame the increase in crime on COVID-19 and the onslaught of poverty among those that have lost their jobs and suffered delays in receiving their state unemployment benefits.
With unemployment subsidies averaging over $15 per hour to sit at home on the couch and over 9 million available jobs at one’s disposal, we are to believe leaving the legitimate job market or riding the wave of benefitsville for a life of bopping strangers over the head for a buck is preferable? Highly doubtable.
One representative, who happened to be a former police officer, hit the nail on the head when he suggested the extraordinary exodus of police officers from local departments was due to discouragement and directly impacts the increase in crime.
Even our benevolent governor got in on the act, suggesting moving a mere $5 million from the Governors Emergency Fund to support the Department of Public Safety’s effort to bring crime under control in Atlanta. For those unfamiliar, that’d be the State Patrol.
I love troopers, don’t get me wrong. When I was in a high-speed chase while at APD, I would always call GHP for help. They could legitimately chase all-out, use the all-familiar PIT maneuver to wreck the suspect’s car … I mean conclude the offense of attempting to elude, and their brass always had their backs.
APD had an extremely narrow chase policy, we were never taught or permitted to use the PIT maneuver, and our administrators were seldom willing to approve of aggressive police work, in our later years. When I started in the late 80s, it was a wild west show, and we kept crime low.
But troopers do not handle anything but traffic-related enforcement. The violent crimes that are on the rise are usually committed outside of an automobile. Those millions of dollars would be better spent in police pay increases, hiring bonuses, newer equipment and funding a police defense fund to ward off legal attacks for normal actions taken by police during their routine watch and assignment. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to fund a civil law firm to counter-sue those who engage in frivolous legal matters against law enforcement officers.
Look, I realize these politicians need to seem like they are earning their keep, but the solutions are easier than these useless committee meetings will yield.
We need to flip the script on the criminals and stop making them into victims. We need to let police do what they do best without the body cameras, knee-jerk reactionary terminations of employment, and entertaining foolish rhetoric of defunding the police or redefining police work.
Want to legislate? How about a five-year minimum prison sentence for laying your hands on a law enforcement officer?
Let police … police. Now give me a hard problem to solve.
W.J. Butcher is a Coweta County resident and retired 26-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department. Send comments, kudos, and criticism to: email@example.com .