Photo of a DCPD SUV.
Photo courtesy of Alex Smith / flickr

In April, I shared my life experiences that show why good police officers are important for communities. But recently, people have been talking about defunding the police department. Can you imagine calling 911 and no one comes, because nobody’s there to answer? 

I want the police back on the street. The only way this is going to happen is if the community gets involved. Everyone has to get involved — yes, that means you, too. We can’t wait any longer for someone else to do it.  

Everyone in Washington D.C. should be appalled at what happened at the Capitol on January 6th. I was at home when my regular television program was interrupted and, to my astonishment, there was a crowd of people demonstrating on the Capitol grounds. Later, a mob of protesters became very violent.

But this wasn’t an ordinary demonstration. The people who stormed the Capitol while Congress was in session wanted to stop the vice president from confirming a legitimate election. Had it not been for the Capitol Police controlling the situation until the National Guard and local law enforcement could arrive, this mob would have destroyed the building and people in it.

One particular officer, Eugene Goodman, all by himself held off an angry mob that might have created a catastrophe resulting in the death of both Senators and members of Congress.

President Trump encouraged this mob to act “wild” because he claimed the election was stolen. But the election wasn’t stolen. That’s why this mob was an insurrection, and had it been able to stop the electoral vote count and tear this country apart, different types of people would be governing this country. Can you imagine us being a country like Mexico where the cartel runs a lot of it and the police department is very corrupt?

As a society, are we asking our police to do too many jobs? Is there a breakdown within the police department itself? Could we be over working our police departments, while they ask us for help indirectly by hurting other people? There are so many reasons for what appears to be a breakdown in the police department.

Recently, a lot of attention has been placed on law enforcement all over this country and the world. The murder of George Floyd is only one reason why people are asking for reform. But it’s possible that calls for a decrease in police funding are also fueling an increase in street violence. 

We ask the police to perform a lot of different services, from being traffic cops, to social workers, to psychiatrists. Even the police know that they are overworked.

The solution is getting the police involved with the community. During social and sporting events, the police department should walk around and meet the people in their community and get to know them.

This won’t be resolved right away. But thinking about new ideas to improve our police department with the whole community, and working together, will bring about positive results.

Ayub Abdul is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media.