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Better East Texas: The issue of Seattle police funding

Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 3:45 PM CDT
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(KLTV) - I used to hear the casual prediction that trends start on the west coast and make their way to Texas. But I am not sure there is much on the west coast outside of a few pockets that have milder weather that are needed in Texas.

Certainly, some of the recent protesting and rioting in some of the major cities is not something needed here in East Texas. While peaceful demonstrations can have an effect on a culture and on laws, what we have seen in cities like Portland and Seattle have gone beyond anything peaceful. And recently, the Chief of Police in Seattle resigned after the city council in Seattle cut funding to the police department there by $4 million which will result in a reduction of around 100 officers.

Sadly, Chief Carmen Best, a veteran announced her retirement citing that it was a lack of respect for the officers in her department that led her to the decision. And while the $4 million is only around 1 percent of the department’s budget, it obviously spoke more than that to Chief Best’s heart. It is safe to say that many police departments need to be restructured, redesigned, reimagined to meet the diverse community needs including mental health issues and inclusivity of under-represented communities, but just going out and cutting a department’s budget without a plan, an evolutionary plan, sends a sad message that, at least in Seattle’s case, leadership is not coming from within. Chief Best will end up somewhere for her next stop and probably be successful and Seattle has lost a champion servant.

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