The “POLICE” is a singular noun. It refers to the system where some humans police others. It is like the old Hitchcock movie, “The Birds” is coming. So when we speak of speak of the police needing reform and re (de)funding, how and where they do that is what they mean. The POLICE must be tamed, retrained, and reassigned. Most schools do not need them.

What comes next is entirely anecdotal from the 1970’s up to ’86. Things have gotten worse since then because of the militarization of the police as armored troops by mayors such as NY’s Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, especially post 9/11.

Back then, in the BX in A.E. Stevenson HS, we had School Safety Officers who were community men and women trained in negotiation and de-escalation to work the hallways of a school with 3,600 kids. But there were never enough of them, and some us had to take on those roles, as “Deans”. It became our job to counsel and deal with disruptive kids, not arrest them. We lost teaching time to do that. LACK OF FUNDING!

Imagine if back then they had hired enough SSOs trained that way.
Imagine if that was now. DEFUNDING THE POLICE COULD DO THAT.

A Police Officer is a singular human. I worked with two Police Officers shower both respected and actually liked because of their ethic, their morality, their humanity, and how they interacted with our kids.

We were in a high crime South Bronx neighborhood. Their presence, based on the respect they earned on our tough streets was one reason we and most of our kids were all ok with them and the School became a haven for students.

Could we have done as well without them there? Maybe, but it would have been much harder, because we would have had to “police” our building more. LACK OF FUNDING!

The POLICE MUST BE REFORMED, but I would add that that reform should include, if not be led by, righteous “Police Officers”. And to do that, all the $$$$ now going to tanks, armor, military style equipment and that training should be DEFUNDED and REFUNDED to more appropriate areas.