Incarceration Nation

Abolish Police Unions

By Shakaboona

Parts of the American nation are calling for “De-funding The Police.” Federal and State Legislatures are currently crafting and submitting Policing Reform Bills that are making defunding police departments a central piece of the bills. But are the bills’ centerpiece putting the cart before the horse in placing “defunding the Police” over abolishing police unions?

Black community activists are pressing the political establishment for the defunding of police departments across the country over abolishing police unions, but are such activists placing the cart before the horse in failing to see that police departments’ ballooning budgets and militarization stem from police unions’ ability to effectively manipulate the American political system to acquire the tremendous amounts of federal/state funding and massive amount of political power and influence over state/federal governments they have gotten in the first place?

Historically, with the advent of police officers being permitted to form police unions, the police unions have managed to become a major political force in American politics through lobbying, political funding, and direct political action. Police unions have become so effective at political gamesmanship, that they now have a monopoly on all that encompasses law and order in America, and greatly determine passage of laws, policies, practices, and funding regarding the “Law and Order Industrial Complex (LOIC).” Due to the political activity and influence of police unions in every major City/State of America, police departments are now the recipients of huge federal/state funding, massive policing budgets, increasing federal resources and training, and federal-aided militarization in training, weapons sales, and technology. If community activists manage to have laws enacted that defund the police, in ten years the police unions will have those defunding laws either greatly weakened or rescinded altogether.

Therefore, the core problem is not necessarily the funding that the police departments receives per se, the core problem is the police unions who have determined to become a powerful political group or party within the American framework by greatly expanding police department’s scope of policing duties (relevancy in society), personnel, training, weapons, resources, financial budgets, and militarized culture.

Police unions have sought for police officer membership to be seen as a hybrid group of “workers” and “essential government service members” to enjoy the benefits of both, and the constraints of neither. On the one hand, police officers want the benefit of being treated like front-line U.S. Army service members are treated by being given broad powers and absolute immunity, but without the Army’s federalization of service people that doesn’t permit unionization of service people. The federal government doesn’t allow federal workers to form unions, to eliminate the problems we’re now seeing with police officers and their police unions at county/state levels of government. On the other hand, police officers want the benefit of being treated like a regular “worker” to enjoy all the benefits that unionizing bring—mainly to be permitted to political lobby for their interests and make it nearly impossible to lose their jobs as cops.

Consequently, police officers currently enjoy the best of both worlds—being treated as essential government service members with broad powers and absolute immunity for their actions and as regular worker class citizens to form unions to expand their base and power.

Hence, to win at defunding the police, we must abolish police unions. if not, the many problems we’re facing with police departments across America will persist and grow.

Write to Shakaboona:

Smart Communications/PA DOC

Kerry Shakaboona Marshall #BE7826

SCI Rockview

P.O. Box 33028

St. Petersburg, FL 33733