May 1, 2023
Dear Members of Congress,
Independent Women’s Voice, which fights to enhance people’s freedom, opportunities, and well-being, supports H.Con. Res. 40, sponsored by Representatives Ken Buck and Andy Biggs.
This concurrent resolution expresses support for local law enforcement officers and condemns efforts to defund or dismantle local law enforcement agencies.
It is shocking that such a resolution is necessary, but given efforts to defund and disparage law enforcement over the last three years, it is. And it is no wonder law enforcement morale is low with departments and agencies struggling to recruit and facing unprecedented rates of resignation and retirement.
H. Con. Res. 40 bolsters support and directly acknowledges the essential role local law enforcement officers play in maintaining safety and order in our communities. It sends a clear message that we value and support their work.
By condemning efforts to defund or dismantle law enforcement agencies, this resolution emphasizes the importance of maintaining strong, effective, and well-funded police forces.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics reveals a marked increase in violent crime rates. Over the past two years, major U.S. cities have seen a surge in their murder rates—a trend that is predominantly observed in areas where policies tend to be less punitive towards criminal offenses. This uptick is a clear indicator that cutting police funding could exacerbate the issue, leaving communities vulnerable to crime and reducing public safety.
It is well-known that adequately funded police departments are better equipped to respond to emergencies, investigate crimes, and maintain public order. They have the resources to invest in the necessary training and development of their officers, enhancing their ability to serve and protect their communities effectively. Further, they have the capacity to fund community policing efforts, which data show can help build and establish trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Defunding police departments can lead to a decrease in the number of officers, slower response times, and a reduction in services. These outcomes can leave communities less safe and erode trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they serve. Instead of solving the issues at hand, defunding the police may exacerbate them. It also runs counter to what most Americans want with the vast majority, regardless of race, desiring the same amount or more police presence in their community.
Police reform is a serious issue that deserves fair and open debate but it is clear defunding is not the answer. Reforms require financial resources. Rather than reducing funding, it would be more beneficial to allocate funds towards these initiatives that build trust and community engagement.
H. Con. Res. 40 recognizes that the ongoing effort to demonize and hamstring law enforcement has been a catastrophe. To curb the violence and increase the viability of local law enforcement agencies, proactive policing must be supported, encouraged, and funded.
Thank you, Representative Buck and Representative Biggs, for expressing support for our law enforcement officers and opposing any and all efforts to defund or dismantle law enforcement agencies. We urge all members of Congress to support this concurrent resolution.
Hadley Heath Manning
Vice President for Policy
Independent Women’s Voice