Those who proposed defunding the police claim that certain emergency responders shouldn’t be police at all. Instead, they should be psychologists or social workers. President Joe Biden recently spoke on the matter at a gathering of mayors at the White House.
“When a cop turns up at a domestic violence case … they don’t need a cop. They need a psychologist,” Biden told his guests. “I’m serious.”
Sadly, President Biden – and those who support defunding the police – are indeed quite serious.
Opponents of the idea claim, particularly police officers, that this is actually quite the opposite of the truth. Domestic violence calls can become very violent, very quickly – placing not only the members involved in the dispute in danger but also the responding officers.
The people involved in domestic violence situations may have weapons. Drugs and/or alcohol may be involved as well. Placing a psychologist in that situation could put the individual in great danger, particularly if they are unarmed (which proponents of sending social workers or psychologists into the midst of these positions advocate).
CNN reported one year ago that even experts point to the danger of responding to domestic violence calls. Two New York City police officers responded to a call in Harlem. One was shot fatally by one of the people to whom the officers were responding. CNN cited data from the FBI showing that between 2011 and 2020, 43 officers were “feloniously killed” in the commission of responding to a domestic violence call.
In the early 2022 incident in Harlem, a woman had called 911 due to an argument she was having with one of her sons. Three officers responded. They spoke briefly with the mother and another of her sons. Eventually, the officers made their way to the back of the apartment, where the suspect was hunkered down.
As the officers approached him, the man swung open a door and began firing shots in their direction. Two of the officers were struck during the firestorm, and the third officer shot the suspect.
President Biden’s “I’m serious” comment appears flippant to those who deal with these volatile situations regularly. Officer Jason Rivera died from his injuries, and his partner was critically wounded.