Thursday, October 21, 2021

Guest column: When cops and politicians clash, the issues that matter often never get done

So it failed. The meeting between President Trump and Congressional leadership is coming up and possibly will go very poorly. The reason being the two sides refuse to accept each other’s parts of the proposal that was presented yesterday. To paraphrase John Adams, this agreement didn’t pass the smell test.

The reason they were talking about this is the need for police reform. At the current state of affairs, most people in D.C. feel as though they can’t go to their own office on weekends without getting attacked by an enraged policeman. The only time anything has been done to stop the violence is to increase force, such as when the City Council approved police helmets and body armor to protect police officers. Police officers do have access to mental health care in the District, although not enough for a very troubled community. That being said, that has to change. But right now we are getting little help from politicians who want “more force”.

Donald Trump was the leader in proposing police reform. But the Democrat’s on the Hill refused to support him. Democrats are locked in a never ending ideological debate. Yet, despite a show of unity at the Schumer-Trump meeting, the leadership of both parties put their ideologies above American public safety. Republicans on the Hill will be sorry to hear that as there is a strong majority of Americans who support reform.

It’s going to be really frustrating for the few brave cops still trying to do the right thing in D.C. without guns. Also it may present a chance for those in the police community who don’t want to put their men and women in harm’s way to take matters into their own hands.

This probably wasn’t the death knell for bipartisan efforts in D.C. This attempt at a “cultural change” is simply too late to make a significant difference in the situation. However, it does make clear that reforming the justice system for American citizens is a top priority for the current administration.

Maureen Hart serves as director of legislative affairs for the GSE Preservation Coalition

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