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Is defunding police a good or bad idea?

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In these disputatious times, it is difficult to reach consensus on much of anything. However, I believe the growing call to “defund the police” is so misguided that a majority of Americans may and should unite against it [“Call to ‘defund police’,” News, June 11]. It seems disingenuous to think that as violent crimes rise in some cities this year, defunding or cutting back police departments could be good, and it will likely be very bad for those living in crime-ridden neighborhoods.

Clearly, reforms need to be implemented throughout the nation’s police departments, an example of which could be banning certain dangerous chokeholds. And there are some bad cops who need to be weeded out. But the idea that we, as a society, will be safer with curtailed or defunded police departments defies logic. If any of us encountered a violent criminal or other dangerous situation, we would undoubtedly want to see the arrival of a police officer, as opposed to a social worker.

By all means, let’s thoughtfully explore policing reforms that are necessary. But defunding police departments is a bad idea that a majority of Americans, liberal, moderate and conservative, should be able to agree on.

Mark Haslinger,

Sag Harbor

Recent events have shown we certainly have to do a lot of soul-searching. Many issues now highlighted should be pushed to the front burner. The “defund the police” battle cry to shift more funding to social programs, however, is just another nudge by the far left to move this nation toward socialism. For more than 50 years, federal, state and local governments have increased funding to many social programs for the disenfranchised, inner city programs and other deserving people in need. Why hasn’t change occurred for the better? Why do the same problems exist? Instead of adding more money to social programs, perhaps the question to be asked is, “Where is the money?” I don’t think many politicians or activists will give an answer. Doing the same thing over and over is the definition of insanity. Let’s take the sane approach to solving our problems.

James T. Rooney,

Centerport

There are calls to defund the police, but the real problem is weeding out cops who are reckless, hateful and just plain bad. How does taking money from the police departments solve that? It makes no sense. It will make us less safe. We should be adding money, perhaps to provide periodic psychological testing to weed out police not up to the job.

Norman Cohen,

South Farmingdale

One way to have graduates celebrate

I have a solution for all Long Island’s H.S. seniors hoping to have some sort of graduation. It must be outdoors and also have a few graduates hold up some sort of protest signs.

Our governor doesn’t seem to mind thousands of protesters marching all over the state with no thoughts of social distancing, so why should this bother him? Just a thought.

Rich Corso,

Oceanside

These actions speak even louder

Let’s be frank here.

All the protests and hyperbole in the world won’t change anything until white folks start moving into predominantly black neighborhoods [“At least 6 protests on LI,” News, June 10].

Further, I don’t know of any of the banner-holding protesters or Hollywood elite sending their kids to Florida A&M, Howard or Morehouse, all predominantly black colleges or universities.

Talk is cheap.

Anthony Bordano,

Glendale

Protect your eyes from COVID-19

Protesting is a patriotic necessity protecting freedom and liberty, but one should not cause a safety hazard and unnecessary spike of COVID-19 while expressing opinions. Good protests have chants and yelling, but with the pandemic, it is important to realize this propels virus similar to coughing and sneezing [“Cuomo touts progress,” News, June 6].

Social distancing doesn’t happen when people exercise their civil liberties in groups. Recent protests revealed almost no protection of eyes that are open to contagions and close to others’ respiratory systems. This is not the time to wear contact lenses. Mask-wearing was intermittent, and incidence from COVID-19 asymptomatic carriers is unknown.

While covering mouths is common sense, adding sunglasses or prescriptive eyewear provides even more protection.

Dean Hart,

Glen Head

Editor’s note: The writer is an optometrist, microbiologist and retired professor at Columbia University medical school.

Different way to start NFL games

Just in time for the start of the NFL season, it looks like kneeling during the national anthem will be resurfacing.

I offer a reasonable compromise: Since the national anthem is sacred to many, everyone attending should stand while it is played. Following it, everyone should be requested to kneel for the playing of “Amazing Grace,” “We Shall Overcome” or another appropriate anthem. It would show how inextricably linked these two ideals are and send a powerful message of unity.

Steve Yandrich,

Farmingdale

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