Our police officers put their lives on the line daily for us, and I support them. While there have been abuses, and we must never let wrongdoing lurk behind a badge, we must also recognize the vast majority of our police officers undertake the thankless task of ensuring civil order in an increasingly fractious society. We cannot suggest they are, as Senator Warren has insinuated, as an “occupying army”. The police are our first line of defense against those who would commit crimes, and they are our last hope for ensuring social order.
We have made progress in criminal justice reform, and I favor efforts to reduce the rate of imprisonment, especially for non-violent crimes. We must also address the genuine unfairness that our approach to criminal justice has created. We have to heal the distrust and divide between the police and our communities. And we’ve locked up far too many for far too long, and they are released into a society ill-prepared for their return. It’s an unconscionable waste of our youth. If we don’t invest in education, mental health services, and job opportunities for those who need our help, then it’s an invitation to social disaster for all of us.