Address root causes of society's problems
Police are on the defensive for the detestable and unacceptable actions of those in their ranks and protesters are calling for the dismantling of a system they do not fully understand with a system that has yet to be defined.
Dealing with the police and making appropriate reform is very important, but the police are a symptom, not the cause of the issues that face us. The use of the police in the United States seems like using a hammer to drive in a screw. The wrong tool for the wrong job.
Richard J. Daley may have actually been prophetic when he said "the policeman isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder."
On a daily basis, the police are dealing with the mentally ill and the homeless. They deal with truancy, drugs and violence of all sorts. More recently, they have been asked to enforce hate crime laws.
Agencies that are tasked with dealing with these issues are woefully underfunded. So the police are left holding the bag. Why? Not because they are the best at dealing with the root causes. It is because they are the cleanup crew and are the best at preserving the valued not-in-my-backyard culture and, importantly, they are seemingly the cheapest.
If the police are reformed to a standard acceptable to all, will the mentally ill go away? Will the homeless? Will truancy, drug use and violence decrease? After treating the policing symptom, we will still need to treat the actual root causes.