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Former ICE Director: Defunding police is not the answer to racism

Seattle police in Capitol Hill. (Hanna Scott/KIRO Radio)

Many activists across the country are pushing to defund the police, and many police officers are finding themselves facing increasingly hostile rhetoric. Former Acting ICE Director and former police officer Tom Homan joined the Jason Rantz Show to tackle the defunding movement.

“It’s a ridiculous position to take, because of a few bad officers you want to tear up the entire system? If you have a bad employee in the office, the whole office talks about the employee. But when you have a bad cop, it doesn’t make every cop bad,” Homan said.

“I spent 34 years wearing a badge and a gun and I’ve met very few bad cops. Ninety-nine percent of cops are there to serve the community,” he added. “It’s a higher calling for them, [they] put their lives on the line for people they don’t know, many people they’ve never met. They even protect people that despise them.”

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Regarding the recently formed Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone and other protests across the country, Homan believes politicians are creating a hostile environment for police, which doesn’t serve them or the community itself.

“Politicians are making these decisions, and are putting police officers in a bad way and, frankly, putting the community in a very tough situation. Look, you’ve got to take control the streets. If there’s not consequence and deterrence to illegal activity, that illegal activity is not going to stop,” he said.

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“We’ve seen that with the looting and arson. The first couple days, police were told to stand back. So the looters and people creating havoc say, ‘it’s OK, we’re not going to be arrested.’ … It wasn’t until they got the green light to take action … it dissipated.”

What kind of consequences would defunding the police have?

“Let’s say you take half the police budget away. Where is that going come from? Does that mean less patrol officers, does that mean less cars on the road? Does that mean longer response time because they’ve got to cut down how many units are having per shift?”

“Police departments work on a very thin edge of operations and funding. There’s no money left over at the end of the year. So when you cut their funding 50% that means they’re gonna have less salary, less patrol cars, which means less cops on the street to protect our communities,” Homan explained. “It’s ridiculous … Cutting police budgets is not the answer to racism in this country.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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