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Vote 'no' on Tuesday to support New London police

As a retired police captain, the first Crisis Intervention Team trained officer in New England, and the former statewide CIT Team coordinator, I have often stated that police officers are unfairly burdened with being the gatekeepers of the mental health system. If this complex, time consuming and often dangerous task could be performed by others, then yes, the defund movement may make sense. Unfortunately, neither the means, nor the capacity, exists anywhere today.

Peer navigators are a great idea, and I am sure they will help dozens of people. That only scratches the surface of the hundreds, or thousands of people needing help and does not start to address the violent crisis calls that officers are forced to respond to. We can be like those cities that demonized and drove away good cops. They are now begging for help and asking for more cops because they learned the hard way the officers were the only thing that stood between them and violent chaos.

The communities that suffer most from a lack of police presence are low-income neighborhoods. Voting “yes” on Aug. 10 is just a symbolic slap in the face of New London police officers. I urge you to vote “no” and show them you care about and support them.

Ken Edwards Jr.

New London

 

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