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Jun
27
2023

Editor's Letter - Pendulum Swings From Defund to Refund the Police

Posted 303 days ago ago by Admin

Remember the “defund the police” movement that began back in 2020? I remember thinking at the time, “This really seems like a dumb idea.”

I recall learning “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” while taking a college psychology class. It’s a theory comprising a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid. I remember that safety/security is the second most important foundational layer.

Where does that security come from in our daily lives? I believe it starts with the individual. However, there are limits on what we can do as individuals. As a society, the rule of law is the foundation for our security, and it’s the law enforcement agencies on the streets—and in the air— who do the actual work of enforcing those laws to protect us.

Thankfully, it appears the “defund” experiment failed and the pendulum is rapidly swinging back in the opposite direction and there have been nationwide calls to refund the police at the highest levels. In fact, Resolution H.R.6469 was referred to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security by former Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) titled Refund the Police Act of 2022.

I will admit that I have a bias for several reasons. First, I did public service work for 19 years of my career. Second, a good portion of this vertical-lift industry that I love, has a public-safety sector made up of operators in law enforcement, firefighting, SAR, and HAA. Lastly, I have a daughter who’s a deputy sheriff in my community and I prefer that she have the best support and equipment to keep her safe while working the streets.

As the “defund” political pressure took hold, we saw what many believed to be knee-jerk budget reductions at law enforcement agencies all across the country with potential ripple effects for aviation units. Now, at least anecdotally, less than three years from the start of that movement, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction and there is a full-fledged sentiment to “refund” the police.

We are now seeing a resurgence in airborne law enforcement activity in both manned and unmanned spaces. If you would like to learn more about this subject, then you should definitely attend the Airborne Public Safety Association’s APSCON event in Orlando, Florida, this July. This event will have 170 exhibitors (Rotor Pro being one of them) and seven aircraft on the showfloor. One of the big themes this year from an education standpoint will explore the topic of merging manned and unmanned aircraft operations within a law enforcement aviation unit.

Rotor Pro definitely appreciates the APSA for all it does for our men and women in public service, especially in law enforcement. I know it may be cliche, but I do honestly believe that cops are the “thin blue line” which keeps society from descending into violent chaos, and for that, we salute you!

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