by Ian D Scofield
The recent incident of the police being called to a Starbucks in order to remove a couple of non-white men for loitering has sparked anger around the world. Law enforcement and Starbucks are both being said to be at fault. Whether or not you think either part was in the right or not, this has been another straw in the tension between LEOs and the public.
Officers responded to a citizen complaint and removed the individuals at the request of the Starbucks.
Now a group of California churches has decided that it is no longer going to call law enforcement when they need help. These churches don't give a specific event that triggered the decision to not call law enforcement. Instead, they are saying that all of the recent events have lead to the decision to keep cops out of churches while on duty.
But what if someone is suffering from a mental health crisis? What if there is a violent crime? From all signs that we have seen, the church will not call police. So far the churches have said that members are okay to call law enforcement from outside of the buildings or off property, but they also encourage practitioners from calling law enforcement from within the church.
Churches not calling law enforcement could pose an issue when people's safety is at risk. Who is going to keep order in the church?
The churches have further elaborated on their reasoning for not calling law enforcement. According to these establishments, they believe that American law enforcement has become too problematic. Some people are scared of the cops, some people don't trust the cops, some people think cops are bad people, etc.
Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) is leading this march to reduce and/or eliminate calls to law enforcement. They are a national organization with a mission statement to undermine white support for white supremacy and to create a racially just society. Take a look at a page on some of their information on the SURJ website.
Extra patrols in these areas might need to be conducted in order to ensure safety and security in these areas. If criminals know that these areas are law enforcement free, they may make them a higher target or use them as places to lay low.
Another question that arises from this, will other businesses or venues start taking this stance? A large safety concern arises when people decide to stop calling the cops. The whole situation is further confused when you ask where the entity draws the line between when to call the police and when not to.
Will you call the police for a shooting? What if someone is suicidal? Etc.
First Congressional Church is one of the churches to be participating in this law enforcement ban. A large homeless population turns to the church for crisis support and instead of calling 911 for these people, they want to come up with other ways to help those in crisis.
Lastly, there is a concern when law enforcement officers who are off duty go to church. Will these churches allow these officers to still worship there? Will officers feel comfortable worshiping in these churches? We will have to continue and see as time goes on.
About The Author:
Ian is a staff writer at APTI and hospital security officer at a major medical center who has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Specialization in Administration of Justice. He has held multiple positions in the security industry from patrol supervisor to auxiliary public safety officer. At APTI he brings his writing skills to help further the careers of others and provide quality content. Feel free to visit his freelancing site or his creative writing site.
Did you just get a job as a law enforcement officer or are you trying to get one?
Law enforcement is a very rewarding career, one that can enhance your life and benefit you greatly. Preparing for a job in law enforcement shares some similarities to other careers. At the same time it has unique challenges to overcome.
Let’s take a moment to examine how you can prepare for a job as a law enforcement officer.