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Why the National Police Association Works to Eliminate Anti-Police Sentiment

Why the National Police Association Works to Eliminate Anti-Police Sentiment

Over the years, anti-police sentiment has grown in some areas around the United States, and it’s negatively impacting the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. To combat this problem, the National Police Association is working hard to foster a positive sentiment among Americans in several ways:

·  Filing lawsuits that have the potential to produce a favorable outcome

·  Filing FOIA requests

·  Reviewing lawsuits that have the potential to create negative precedents where officer safety, public safety, and Constitutional rights are concerned

·  Entering as a friend of the court to provide support where needed to prevent an adverse outcome

·  Providing grants to law enforcement, including to reserve divisions, cadets, chaplains, explorers, and more

·  Publishing books

·  Running a podcast

·  Reviewing new bills

·  And more

All of this work looks simple in writing, but it’s a massive, concentrated effort that takes time, money, and energy from a large team of dedicated individuals.

Why does the National Police Association (NPA) work so hard to combat anti-police rhetoric?

To understand why the NPA works so hard, it’s important to understand why anti-police rhetoric is damaging to society.

A popular movement spreading across the United States calls for the police to be defunded. The people spearheading this movement believe that society would be better off without so much police presence, and that certain crimes should be reported to other agencies rather than the police. For example, if someone is having a mental breakdown, a social worker should be dispatched to the scene. However, this is problematic because what happens when that social worker finds themselves in the middle of an escalating situation and the citizen starts wielding a knife or a loaded handgun?

It’s not safe to put social workers (or other untrained professionals) in a situation that could potentially turn violent. People who want to defund the police don’t realize what they’re advocating for.

The other problem is that in the last five years or so, we’ve seen thousands of police officers quit because they were being demonized for doing their jobs. They don’t want to work a job where they are going to be regularly characterized as criminals. This has led to departments all over the U.S. being short-staffed and certain departments have been forced to reduce or eliminate funding. For example, in many rural areas, animal control enforcement was the first budget cut made to deal with the shortage. In some areas, police are not allowed to respond to a crime unless the perpetrator has been seen by at least one witness.

When did anti-police rhetoric start?

It all goes back to the 1960s when political tensions were high and police were seen as the bad guys. The mainstream media also contributed to this reputation. At this time, police were being scrutinized for their actions where force was used, and in some cases they lost their jobs and pensions justifiably. However, sometimes police were punished for making decisions in mere seconds that were clearly honest mistakes made in a high-pressure environment.

Most police officers aren’t acting with malice or intent to harm. They are constantly on guard because people are unpredictable, and what appears to be a simple encounter can turn chaotic in a split second. They have to view encounters through the lens that they could be facing a threat at any second, and sometimes they interpret a citizen’s actions as a threat and respond too harshly. However, this is what it is to be human and make mistakes. The anti-police rhetoric makes it seem like law enforcement officers are always out to get people, and that’s just not true.

People are forming opinions without experience

When you look at the hatred for police, you’re looking at the power of social proof working in society. The more people express their hatred for cops, the more people believe they’re all bad and even start forming their own opinions with no basis. Most officers have good intentions, but that doesn’t matter when communities are convinced otherwise.

The root of the issue could be a lack of training, as some people have suggested. Police officers in the United States don’t receive as much training as they should. They get about 17 weeks of training, while European nations train their officers for a full two-and-a-half to four years in a university setting.

Law enforcement officers deserve better

Police officers choose to go into a high-stress position and risk their lives every day, and they don’t deserve to be vilified for the actions of others. Hopefully, the NPA and other organizations will continue turning this anti-police sentiment around until our law enforcement heroes get the respect they deserve.