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FLEOA Statement on Movement to Defund the Police

FLEOA Statement on Movement to "Defund the Police”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              June 9, 2020 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Larry Cosme, National President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) -the nation’s largest non-partisan, not-for-profit professional association representing more than 28,000 federal law enforcement officers and agents across 65 federal agencies-issued the following press release in response to calls to defund the police:

"Right now, our nation is at a critical point where the actions of some law enforcement officers have caused a distrust between our community and the public. We must rebuild that trust; however, we must not diminish the funding and capabilities of law enforcement so much that they threaten public safety. ‘Defunding the police’ will do more to harm the public than protect it,” Cosme explained. 

"In America, it is law enforcement’s obligation to protect and serve the public.  FLEOA does believe we have to adjust our tactics and procedures to be more aware of citizen’s rights,” Cosme furthered. "We must remember that criminals do not adhere to any one set of rules, laws, or regulations, this is what makes the job of a modern day police officer so very difficult. Officers must make split second judgments to handle impossible situations. In those seconds law enforcement must be proficient at relying, not on their own instincts, but on proper training and expertise. Defunding the police will only make it harder for law enforcement to get the necessary training to respond appropriately and protect the public effectively.” 

"Many advocates for ‘defunding the police’ believe money would be better spent on social programs. Unfortunately, social workers are not trained to save lives during a violent dispute. We do agree though that more focus must be placed on crime prevention. This will make society safer for law enforcement as well as the public. FLEOA has consistently advocated for greater federal investment in programs such as the National Threat Assessment Center so our federal law enforcement officers can do more to prevent crime rather than just respond to it; however, funds should not be taken from first responders to do so. Crimes will inevitably happen in any society and law enforcement must be available to answer the call,” Cosme explained. 

"We must also remember that there are groups operating within our nation right now who would love to see the police defunded. The ‘defund the police’ rhetoric is being heralded and threatened by those who would prefer to see the police stand down, and we simply cannot allow that to happen if we want to protect law and order in our country.” Cosme concluded, "Individuals from dangerous places across the world come to the United States for the promise of a free and safe life. Law enforcement protects that promise. While no institution is perfect, law enforcement must be part of the solution for our nation’s current unrest, not expelled from it.”