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Local leaders respond to groups calling on local governments to defund law enforcement

Several groups across the country are calling on local governments to de-fund local law enforcement. It's a growing conversation after the death of George Floyd. News 18's Marvin Bills spoke with local leaders today about why de-funding the police wouldn't be a smart idea.

Posted: Jun 8, 2020 6:00 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—"I personally do not understand that and that's not something that I would even quite frankly remotely consider doing here at the City of Lafayette," said Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski. 

Roswarski is talking about de-funding local law enforcement. A call many groups around the country are asking for and something Roswarski said isn't wise.

"Again I want to reiterate this cause I think it's is important, a lot of things that we are doing here that when you see that they are calling for in these national movements we already do," said Roswarski. 

Roswarski said de-funding the police department in the City of Lafayette would mean cutting community outreach programs and laying off a significant number of officers. Tippecanoe County Commissioner Tracy Brown co-signs. However.. he feels there is always room for improvement.

"I think what we have to do is we have to be open to doing things differently and we have to constantly have an ear to the ground and have contact with our citizens to know when they see things that they aren't comfortable with," said Brown. 

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said there are other avenues police can explore.

"I think one of the biggest issues that we have right now is not necessarily in law enforcement here locally but on greater level the national scale is training," said Dennis. 

Sheriff Bob Goldsmith said if local governments de-funds law enforcement agencies the ability to change becomes harder.

"You are probably going to cut pay," said Goldsmith. "Your quality applicants is going to decrease. So it's just a bad situation all around. Training, we have mandatory training every year and then everything else you need to be trained on gone, equippment gone."

For more information click here. 

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CountyCasesDeaths
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