My Point of View: It’s our obligation to stand behind our first responders
My Point of View by Brad Kramer
The week of Nov. 30 has rocked our community to the core. In the early morning hours, law enforcement officers responded to a call of possible gunfire or fireworks, only to be brutally ambushed. Looking back at this event and hearing accounts and seeing the pictures and footage, we know that our law enforcement and first responders put themselves in harm’s way to rescue others. One of our officers took a bullet to his chest, and thankfully was not killed. The fast actions of law enforcement rescuing the two citizens who were shot is a testament to their training and dedication. Two things led to nobody being killed, including the shooter: the commitment by first responders and their training.
A few days later, a massive fire broke out in a warehouse. Fire crews worked throughout the night to contain the blaze that, amazingly, didn’t destroy people’s homes. All our community’s first responders played a role in controlling the situation, which again couldn’t have happened without their dedication and training.
On behalf of our community’s Republican Party, we wish to say thank you to our first responders who put their lives on the line while most of the community was fast asleep.
The Republican Party became the party of law and order. I have no idea how supporting police officers has become a political issue instead of common decency and civic pride. Yet, here we are. Law enforcement officers I know have voiced their pain and frustration of the anti-police propaganda the Democrats have spewed towards them. A yard sign showing support for law enforcement, along with an American flag, was seldom seen in yards that had Biden and other Democrat candidate support. One day our community was dotted with blue lights showing support for Officer Arik Matson. A short time later, many of those blue lights were turned off and replaced by propaganda that supported defunding the police. Social media is littered with the despicable phrase “ACAB.” They get accused of being “militarized,” but this equipment was used to get innocent residents to safety, even as it was shot at.
While there are undoubtedly improvements that can be made to policing, and there should be more resources to get to the root of some problems before they become law enforcement’s to deal with, such as mental health care, the cry to defund police is akin to throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It is a gross slap in the face to the 700,000 law enforcement officers in the U.S. and almost 300 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2020 so far.
These past few days, it was not just police officers putting themselves in harm’s way. It was their spouses and families at home doing all they could to keep themselves together. The adrenaline and fatigue impacts their bodies and minds for days. The mental anguish that comes from second-guessing decisions, almost seeing themselves or fellow officers or citizens killed, and the reality that they almost had to take a life is immense.
One only needs to turn on the news to see crime spiking in the Twin Cities as law enforcement budgets are cut. Carjackings are up over 500% in Minneapolis. Violent crime in communities is surging. Riots and looting have become part of life. Good law enforcement officers are leaving the profession they love and will not be replaced. Young people will not step into this career knowing they may be sacrificed by liberal politicians and activists. COVID-19 restrictions, such as business closures and job loss, restrictions on personal freedoms and panic pushed by politicians and the media will only amplify the number of shootings and acts of violence, addiction, suicides and other crimes. And while the ridiculous Minneapolis City Council argued to defund police, they supported spending over $150,000 to provide private security to their most vocal anti-police members. Let that sink in. As they supported measures that increased crime and cut police budgets, they budgeted money for their own personal protection.
As a community, it is our obligation to stand behind our first responders, to provide them with the equipment and training they need to do their jobs, and the knowledge that we will support them and not throw them under the bus as political pawns. With everything going on in the world right now, we need good law enforcement officers more than ever. The breadth of training they require is greater than ever. They deserve to have our support more than ever. Their families need the peace of mind that we support them more than ever. Our young people need to be taught to trust and respect them more than ever.
Rest assured; our Republican Party is here to support law enforcement. Will the Democrats echo that?
Brad Kramer is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.