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Dallas Police Chief: “We’re asking cops to do too much”

Dallas police chief David Brown held a candid press conference yesterday. The video above is a remarkable excerpt in which he says:

I’m a person of faith. I believe [the fact that] I’m able to stand here and discuss this with you is a testament to God’s grace and his sweet tender mercy. Just to be quite honest with you…

We’re asking cops to do too much in this country. We are. We’re just asking us to do too much. Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve. Not enough mental health funding? Let the cops handle it. Not enough drug addiction funding? Let’s give it to the cops. Here in Dallas we got a loose-dog problem. Let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. Schools fail? Give it to the cops. Seventy percent of the African-American community is being raised by single women. Let’s give it to the cops to solve that, as well. That’s too much to ask.

He is absolutely right about this. We need the police. We need them big time. But the biggest problems we face as a society cannot be solved by better policing. Mental health? Fatherlessness? Drug Addiction? Failing schools? The police can punish public vice, but they cannot cultivate consciences. They cannot form character. They cannot create the culture of virtue necessary for the flourishing of a free people. The sword of Caesar is powerful, but not that powerful–not by a mile.

No the biggest problems we face are fundamentally spiritual in nature. If we fail to see that, we fail to see things as they are.

5 Comments

    • Sandra Burk

      Very insightful. My thought is that society has made this same mistake with teachers for recent decades. Teachers have been the fall guys for student failures. They have been given impossible tasks and taken the blame for parental and cultural failures. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Teachers strive to pull students out of the muck and mire in which parental failures and a degenerating culture have put children. Impossible tasks. Our police forces face this same dilemma: invest and risk their lives for citizens who no longer take responsibility for their own actions and who have no respect for those who try to help them.

      • Christiane Smith

        I can agree with this. I think it is within the nature of many teachers to reach out to children who need extra support, and I personally know many teachers who have done what is above the call of duty to assist a parent and a child in special circumstances.

        Our guidance counselors also in the inner cities are in many cases devoted to children in a way that goes far beyond ‘professional’, and I cannot say enough good about the ones at my last school assignment. Angels, they were, to the children.

        School nurses . . . the lunch lady who puts a little more on the plate of a thin child . . . the volunteers who come in to tutor reading in the school library . . . . so MANY who give above and beyond what is ‘required’. So many.

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