by Brian Balfour
Senior Vice President of Research, John Locke Foundation
This week Pres. Joe Biden gave a speech in Pennsylvania in which he, among other things, openly rejected the calls by others in his party to “defund the police.”
“When it comes to public safety in this nation, the answer is not defund the police, it’s fund the police,” Biden said.
“I’m tired of not giving the kind of help they need. Folks, look, we’re in a situation in this country where we have to give them additional resources they need to get their job done,” he added.
Biden reportedly is backing a plan for a federal program to hire and train 100,000 police officers in the next five years.
While its important to oppose the federal funding of local police forces, we can agree with Biden’s sentiment.
Locke Foundation’s Senior Fellow of Legal Studies Jon Guze released a report last year that identified increasing “community policing” as an effective means to fight crime. Titled “Keeping the Peace,” the report identifies a four-pronged plan to beef up community policing:
(1) hire more police officers
(2) increase the pay for police officers
(3) arm police officers with state-of-the-art training, direction, and support
(4) deploy police officers as “peacekeepers” in communities that suffer most from crime and disorder.
Guze provides compelling evidence that community policing has a proven track record of making communities safer, a benefit especially felt in black and poor communities that bear the heaviest burden of violent crime.