Statement from Mark Mantovani: On Defunding Police Departments
While the definition of the term varies, I am opposed to “defunding the police.” Only three years ago, St. Louis County residents voted overwhelmingly to expand our community’s investment in the County police force. Everyone agrees that police brutality is unacceptable and accountability is appropriate. A thoughtful review of policing and de-escalation training are in order, but I am opposed to reducing funding for the St. Louis County Police. Not now! Every survey suggests that County residents consider crime to be our region’s biggest challenge. In light of St. Louis County’s growing homicide and crime rates, the recommendation for fewer police officers is a non-starter. It’s imperative that our community consider the causes of poverty, racial disparities and other factors that contribute to crime in our community, but I don’t support the movement to defund the police.