With all of the turmoil in the country regarding police violence and police’s relationship with citizens, it has become clear that there are many issues contributing to the underlying problem — some of which may not be as apparent to those not serving in law enforcement. I propose several thoughts and solutions to this problem. These come from a real-world perspective in response to those demanding significant reform such as entirely defunding police forces.

What is law enforcement? It is the duty to uphold the law carried out by people. Lately, Police officers have been under attack by the media and black lives matter groups. Those same people are now calling for change based on a handful of isolated incidents and are somehow classifying all police officers as racist.

Police officers enforce the laws in cities and states governed by elected officials. In larger cities, the departments are feeling the brunt of these protests and attacks, yet they are just doing their job. These same departments are some of the most diverse in the world, oftentimes reflecting the population they are serving. This is especially true in the NYPD where minority officers make up the majority. How on earth could a fellow black police officer be racist to a black population? Many of these officers have chosen the profession as a way to give back to their communities and break the cycle of systematic racism from the past. The simple but honest answer is that the people rioting and protesting either do not want law enforcement at all or are clearly being misinformed. I believe the issue has less to do with race or the people enforcing the law, but rather more to do with the governing body that creates the laws.

The politicians who use this turmoil as a means for political gain are allowing their own cities to burn and the law-abiding business owners to suffer. Yet, rather than taking responsibility for the underserving, low-income neighborhoods, where almost all of these complaints of “police brutality” stem from, the politicians are choosing to neglect such constituents. The issue is not with the police, it is with politicians — it is with the same people who ask for your votes yet seemingly continue to underserve you, and channel money away from the low-income neighborhoods and schools that need it most. Police officers are the scapegoat, not the source of the real issue.