Rutherford H. Platt: Keep police budget intact

Published: 2/19/2021 2:02:44 PM

As a card-carrying liberal with a long record of participation in marches, vigils, protests, and demonstrations dating back to the 1968 anti-war protests in Grant Park, Chicago (which I observed from the sidelines), I am underwhelmed by the proposal by Northampton Abolition Now to cut the Northampton Police Department budget by half.

Their “Demands” statement begins: “Police reform efforts — from Minneapolis to Northampton –– have failed. To stop police violence, the police must be reduced in size, in budget, and in scope. They are rooted in violence against black people.”

With no supporting evidence, this reminds me of the “Music Man” riff “We’ve got trouble, right here in River City ... Trouble spelled with T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Pool.”

After I attended the BLM protest on Center Street last summer, I wrote Councilor Rachel Maiore and Police Chief Jody Kasper that “I was proud to see an orderly, well-masked assembly of concerned people of all ages and ethnicities. To my observation, the Northampton Police Chief and her department remained in the background and allowed freedom of assembly and speech to proceed without incident.”

Nothing reported since then has changed my opinion. Keep the police budget intact.

Rutherford H. Platt


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