Dear Editor:

I listen with disgust to those who are carrying the water for the “de-fund the police” crowd as we see looters and rioters overpowering the peaceful protesters. Remember in some worlds, bad news makes good news. We have also seen the loud mouths and destructive crowd drown out and overpower voices that ask for law and order and the right to peaceable assembly. Is there time for a deep breath?

Any death is tragic and any abuse of authority deserves swift and appropriate punishment. Knee jerk reactions only compound the problem. We need to take a measured and realistic look at the situation instead of letting those who would tear down the fabric of our republic for their own purposes, take the lead. They will just leave a mess for the rest of us to clean up.

First off, if you are a person with a moral base you know that scriptural teaching says that “all lives matter.” It also says that there are appointed among us some who will provide leadership and have authority to enforce our laws to protect the common good. Our Constitution, state and municipal laws reinforce this. We are also reminded that among all men there are those who will abuse authority. This is at every level from political, common citizens, military and law enforcement. Here again, they are to be held accountable by the law-abiding population. Fortunately, bad actors are the exception rather than the rule. My focus today is on law enforcement and the cry from the left to de-fund the police. I ask, what do you know about the police departments?

With Atlanta being the focus of national attention let’s start there. Since protesters seem to single out the black population I will also use mostly that demographic. The population of Atlanta is approximately 51.5% black with caucasians making up some 36.7%...The Atlanta police force is 59% black with some 37% caucasians. So there is no racial bias in hiring or policing. Therefore, representation should not be an issue. It appears across the nation that ethnic neighborhoods are usually patrolled by similar ethnic officers. This has proven to be good policy. Now, who are the police officers?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statics nationwide study, the average police officers median annual salary is $63,380. The entry level salary can be as low as $36,550. Overtime can enhance these salaries. As a comparison the same source identified that in 2018 median annual income of elementary teachers was $58,230. If you base this on a 10 month year and then factor for 12 months the salary would be about $69,800.

Quentin M. Thomas


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