Commentary: Defunding The Police

I actually agree with defunding the police.  However, I do not agree with getting rid of law enforcement.  Having law enforcement is a natural state of society.  The question I have is, “do we need so much of it?”.  If you have so many police that the police can sit for hours at some obscure stop sign, where they have the perfect view of you but you cannot see them because of a sign, wall, or fence that is blocking your view of them, then I think you have too many police.


I ask politicians about this at townhall meetings.  They respond, “What?  Police patrol the surface streets, highway patrol cover the interstates, and sheriff covers the county roads.”  Wrong.  On I-45 North, in Houston, I have seen people pulled over by all three agencies in the same general area.  On the north Sam Houston toll road, I have seen folks pulled over by Metro (this is the transit system police), and the Harris County Constable.

I live in rural Texas, north of Houston.  There is a medium sized town that I have to stop at before I pick up the 20 mile hwy to my house.  On this 20 mile stretch of road (speed limit was once 60, but now it is 55), I have been pulled over by state police (highway patrol), county sheriff, 2 different city police departments, county constable, district attorney office police, and even the game warden.  Offenses have been for simple things like 5 miles over the speed limit and expired registration.  I was once pulled over by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy that had police lights put into his personal truck headlights.  Who takes their job that seriously on a sunny summer Sunday afternoon?

I really got to ask, “do we need so much police?”.  Getting rid of city police sounds like a good idea.  I say this because, technically speaking, the sheriff is the final authority for the county.  In downtown Houston, the sheriff and the police have overlapping areas of responsibility.  If you live in rural America, the sheriff is who answers your 911 call.  If the sheriff is unavailable then the state police answer the call.

I asked a constable once, “who do you work for?” and he said, “we are just another law enforcement agency”.  Wrong.  The constable works directly for the justice of the peace.  His main job is to do things like deliver a summons or arrest warrant for that court.  Yet, the county constable has huge command centers on Beltway-8 and is just gobbling up the tickets.  I am not lying to you, I have sat there and watched them for hours.

Fighting a ticket in court is a good idea.  Do whatever you can do to get it off your record.  Just a couple of tickets can sorely affect your car insurance costs and sometimes even job opportunities if you need to drive a company vehicle out in the oil patch.  Collecting tickets and building a new police weight room with the money is not worth the lives that are very negatively affected.

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