Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart took to social media yesterday to give these thoughts, that he stated online they were hypothetical in nature, on the upcoming ballot initiative in Minneapolis regarding its police force. While Sheriff Stuart certainly is open to discussions regarding different ways to protect residents from criminal behavior, he also shares his thoughts on certain questions that need answers before anything does change.

The post, which is quite lengthy, goes into some depth about what questions he has, and what answers are needed before anyone was to "abolish any current processes that are critical to public safety."

TO SERVE & OBJECT

These are interesting times that we live in and my commitment to serve & protect the families in my communities remains stronger than ever and truly is my honor.
As I consider the numerous discussions that I routinely participate in, with an array of people from around the country, I seem to have more questions about our societal direction each day.
For example - Wouldn’t ‘common sense’ dictate that before you abolish any current processes that are critical to public safety, you would have a new, measurable and solid plan in place?
I think most people, including our protectors, would like improved police / community relations with enhanced accountability. The vast majority of our protectors work very hard, every single day, to do the right thing and ensure the safety of our families.
I think most people would like to see people take responsibility for their own actions. This includes criminals. Prosecutors need to own their part in the modern day empowerment of criminals.
I also think most people would like to see a comprehensive approach to public safety to include mental health workers and prevention efforts to provide early intervention and prevention efforts.
We ALL want safer communities and would embrace a utopia where cops are no longer needed. Unfortunately, that world only exists in a state of delusion. That is because evil exists and will always seek to prey on the weak, vulnerable, inattentive or available.
Additionally, our world will always have what we call “No” people. That is, every day, some people reach a tragic breaking point. They may have mental health issues, be struggling with drug addiction, or a combo of both. This has driven them to a state of chaos, or “No”. They will engage in behavior that requires others to call for help.
Who is going to respond?
The “No” person does not care if the person responding is a mental health worker, police officer, clergy or offering pizza. They have arrived at a state of irrational crisis and can be dangerous.
Our protectors have a strong history of running toward danger to safeguard our communities. I greatly appreciate their sacrifice every day!
But, maybe there are options. Maybe they are worth exploring. Maybe.
If we are to send in someone other than the police, shouldn’t we seek to answer some questions FIRST?
Questions like- WHO will we send?
Will anyone actually want that job?
Will they be willing to respond and work 24 / 7 / 365, including weekends and holidays?
In the strong likelihood that the situation becomes physically dangerous, are the police expected to respond to save the day?
If so, is the outcome the same as it would be today?
How do we change effectively without a detailed plan?
I have been privileged to play a role in police reform at the state and national levels and do NOT pose opposition to positive reform efforts- at all.
However, I do take issue with any city creating a safety deficit that may require other cities, and statewide tax payers, to have to step up and play “clean up” (Again).
IF a city chooses to pursue a path in which they are intentionally setting themselves up for an inability to adequately deal with crime, unrest and evil within their own city, why should it become everyone else’s problem?
Want change?
Identify a solution with clear goals, expectations and action steps. Once you have implemented the new programs, met targeted measurements and have also clearly demonstrated a reduction in law enforcement calls for service and crime rates, THEN you can explore a reduction in law enforcement services. Not before…
To do otherwise is reckless and lacks concern for the safety of the citizens that are supposed to be served and protected by government entities.
If ANY city chose to abolish it’s police department without FIRST having the proper action steps in place, I would be very concerned about the safety of its citizens and question the ability of its elected officials.
Just my “Hypothetical” thoughts for the day…
Pay attention America- your safety matters and deserves better than potential improvements!
It's an interesting and thought-provoking post, that leaves many who read it asking some of the same questions, and some of the same concerns Sheriff Stuart has.
Of course, at the end, Sheriff Stuart shares with the reader that his thoughts are simply 'hypothetical'.
Hypothetically speaking I think many Minnesotans agree with what Sheriff Stuart wrote when he stated:
"Identify a solution with clear goals, expectations and action steps. Once you have implemented the new programs, met targeted measurements, and have also clearly demonstrated a reduction in law enforcement calls for service and crime rates, THEN you can explore a reduction in law enforcement services. Not before…

To do otherwise is reckless and lacks concern for the safety of the citizens that are supposed to be served and protected by government entities.
If ANY city chose to abolish its police department without FIRST having the proper action steps in place, I would be very concerned about the safety of its citizens and question the ability of its elected officials."

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