I still remember when President Biden noted months ago how important it was to “fund the police”, after so many – including himself – had unfairly decried their actions over the past couple of years. And yesterday, during his State of the Union address, he tried to make that call again, noting that America needs to “finish the job on police reform.”
“I know most cops and their families are good, decent, honorable people. The vast majority. They risk their lives every time they put on that shield,” he said at one point. “But what happened to Tyre (Nichols) in Memphis happens too often. We have to do better.”
To further strengthen his point, he even invited Nichols’ parents to the address, in an effort of driving home the idea that things have to change.
I’d love to believe Biden’s words. But there’s a big problem there – it’s just words.
For months now, Biden’s been saying a lot of words in an effort to build up morale in this country, especially now with inflation going out of control and crime running rampant in key states due to lack of support for our officers. And last night, he said even more words, but they just didn’t have the proper weight.
Oh, sure, media outlets seem to be under the idea that Biden “means it this time” and wants to do what is right for the country. But let’s look at how some of his statements come off more as problematic than hopeful for some.
He noted how he supports law enforcement officers – again, just months after the “defund the police” riots by BLM and ANTIFA tore the country apart. But he didn’t detail how he supports them. And now he’s calling for extensive training and funding to get them where they need to be.
Now, he’s talked about “fund the police” for months, but we have yet to see any action on that. As a result, police stations have gone to drastic measures to put people on the streets – and judging by what we’ve seen happen to Tyre Nichols in Memphis, that just doesn’t get the job done.
So it would’ve been nice for Biden to detail this funding more. When, exactly? And which departments? Would Border Patrol get any of this, for that matter?
Also, let’s discuss the training for a moment. I can totally understand making sure rookie officers know what to do on the job. But it’s questionable making everyone go through steps that could endanger them in a life-or-death situation. Having that fear in the back of their minds if they’re following procedure when they have someone waving a weapon in their face…well, you can imagine the pressure.
If Biden’s serious about supporting our officers, he needs to make sure everything is where it needs to be. Funding for gear and weapons. Funding for mental health support. Taking care of officers that were unjustly fired during the pandemic (especially New York – they’re still awaiting an apology!). Training where it’s absolutely necessary, and not going to waste.
For that matter, he also needs to accept the fact that America is not the safest nation in the world. He tried to drive this silly point home in spite of several states seeing crime spike to all-time highs. And, in some places, completely out of control of the police. And, for that matter, that count of “active shooter” events is still way too high, and he’s doing very little – aside from calling for a ridiculous gun ban that would have zero effect – to stop that.
Biden believes he spoke with passion behind it, but I want to see him deliver more than just words. Take care of our police officers once and for all, as well as the Border Patrol agents that he called out for all the wrong reasons. For that matter, providing the gear and support to keep these officers going so they won’t leave their jobs in droves. And, finally, just accepting that America has some work to do. It’s hardly the safest place to be anymore, but, with a little effort on his administration’s part, he’d probably be shocked at what could change.
The time for words is over, Joe. Take to action.
Michael Letts is the Founder, President, and CEO of InVest USA, a national grassroots non-profit organization that is helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience under his belt, hence his pro-police stance for his brothers and sisters in blue. Those interested in learning more about Letts can visit his official website here.