Sunday, September 20, 2020


Carefully Considered Reform

Actions have consequences. That falls pretty squarely under the “super obvious” category of life lessons we can all agree on, right? If you do something wrong or make a mistake, you face consequences. And a lot of people look at the “defund the police” movement as a consequence to the actions of some bad-apple officers. There are officers in our country whose actions have hurt our citizens. There must be consequences for that. There must be a response.

Here’s the problem, though. You might view “defund the police” as the consequence, but don’t forget, “defund the police” is also an action, and it will come with a consequence of its own. If we take the action of defunding our officers, make no mistake, good officers will leave the profession. Potential new good officers will avoid the profession. Hartford’s current new legislation allowing police to be sued will stop officers from intervening in moments of crisis. Today’s “defund the police” moment is happening because some of our community don’t feel safe. By the time it’s done, that sense of lost safety will be felt by even more of us.

So yes, actions have consequences. And I agree that some type of consequence is needed to restore community faith in our officers, but defunding our officers and causing them to question their own economic and legal safety is not the right action. Marc Riccio is one person who understands this, which is why I’m giving him my vote for Branford’s state representative in the 102nd District. With Marc Riccio, I feel confident that any police reform will be carefully considered with an eye toward future possible consequences.

James Stepanek