11.14.22 – KLIX
This is happening across the country. Staffing shortages beset law enforcement. Local police may not be able to respond to an intruder alarm unless you can see that someone is physically inside. Police and deputies often need to run triage, or prioritize calls during busy shifts. Like the night they experienced last Wednesday night when local roads iced over and there were 37 accidents throughout the region.
At the city level, for months on end, there were more than a dozen vacancies. There are several factors. Pay is low and housing expenses are high. Respect for law enforcement has plummeted because in some parts of the country, opportunistic politicians believed verbally attacking police would win votes. Many in news media and entertainment joined the assault.
One place to start when it comes to a remedy would be to say you’re sorry. It’s free and could go a long way to healing the divide. The second option will cost us a few more dollars. First responders would welcome raises. Higher salaries would likely help with retention and with hiring. Are you willing to pay more in city budgets to protect your business or church when there’s a break-in? Or perhaps you would accept shifting money from elsewhere in the budget.
While we haven’t reached anything like the imagined lawless world of the Purge movies, a friend sent me a link out of California, where one Sheriff can’t provide service on a 24/7 basis. Jail services have also been cut. My buddy now lives in Idaho but the county in California is his former home.