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Cops face relentless threats as politicians sway toward criminals
E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Cops face relentless threats as politicians sway toward criminals

The defund the police movement remains alive and well. It’s time for politicians and policymakers around the country to wake up and restore the rule of law.

Last week was National Police Week. It was an opportunity to recognize law enforcement agencies and officers around the country for work that often seems as thankless as it is dangerous — highlighted by the 282 names just added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial. Beyond honoring the fallen, policymakers and everyday citizens would do well to consider our society and culture’s relationship to the rule of law and where things need to be for a civil society — because they need to be in a much better place.

Following the recent chaos of the pro-Hamas protests on campuses across the country, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill did something completely unexpected: Officials decided to shift money away from the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion office and redirect some $2.3 million back to public safety. While we’re sure this comes as welcome news for law-abiding students and faculty, it’s unfortunately a surprising development when too many local jurisdictions are still clinging to the defund-the-police movement.

Without men and women willing to put their lives on the line, the laws that are meant to preserve the safety of our communities are merely suggestions.

So let's look at the current facts: 138 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty last year, and another 378 were shot. The chaos needs to stop. The typical fallen officer has 15 years of service and leaves behind two children on average.

Following the initial push to defund the police, cities around the country cut millions from law enforcement budgets in an effort to appease the demands of the radical left. Unsurprisingly, crime went up around the country as criminals were emboldened.

In another unsurprising development, many law enforcement officers were discouraged from actually enforcing the law, either through political directives or, more often, by the underlying knowledge that state, local, and national politicians were more likely to side with criminals than cops if forced to choose. Feelings and mob rule, rather than facts and evidence, won the day.

Now, the threat of defunding also comes from a less direct but still political source: the border crisis. Denver recently cut a whopping $8 million from its police department to subsidize the influx of illegal aliens into the city — and is standing by that decision.

Laws don’t enforce themselves. Without men and women willing to put their lives on the line every single day to protect and serve their fellow citizens, the laws that are meant to preserve the safety and well-being of our communities are merely suggestions. As long as human beings have a fallen nature, there will always be those who seek to do evil and violence for their own purposes. And as long as those people are out there, we’re going to need police.

No amount of criminal-coddling policy experimentation is ever going to change the facts about human nature. This is the way things have always been throughout all of recorded human history. To think otherwise is a reckless form of pride that puts police and law-abiding civilians at the mercy of the lawless — which is exactly what we’ve seen play out across this country since this defund-the-police movement started.

That’s why the Pipe Hitter Foundation exists. We stand with law enforcement officers in an age and era when too many others won’t. We provide financial support and legal defense for officers who have been unfairly targeted by anti-cop politicians and policies. We also relentlessly and unapologetically support our service members and first responders — to promote and defend them, their families, and their integrity

A business that never takes inventory is going to go broke. A country that never takes inventory of its public safety is going to see the rule of law vanish. That’s exactly what we’ve watched play out for four long years. UNC Chapel Hill got a wake-up call, and it actually heeded it. It’s time for politicians and policymakers around the country to follow suit.

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Rob O'Donnell

Rob O'Donnell

Rob O’Donnell is a retired NYPD detective, board member of the Pipe Hitter Foundation, and host of the Rob O'Donnell Radio Show.
@odonnell →