Protesters carrying “Defund the Police” signs have alarmed people who are concerned about their safety, especially in large cities. Signs with those words have not been seen at peaceful protests in Franklin County.

To law enforcement officers those signs are insulting! Even if they are not being seen in Franklin County.

It also is insulting to county and municipal governments that fund law enforcement officers. What about the people in Franklin County who voted for the proposition that increased the pay for law enforcement officers? What are the signs saying to them — that they were wrong? We know most Franklin County people don’t agree with those signs. Law enforcement officers are respected in this area. There have been no police brutality incidents here.

Those signs are being seen in other places in the state and country where conditions are different. The ongoing protests stem from the brutal killing of a black man, George Floyd, by police in Minnesota. We don’t think the local protesters want to defund police departments here.

According to the Associated Press, the signs are not necessarily about police budgets. The “Defund the Police” supporters, according to the AP, say it isn’t about eliminating police departments or stripping agencies of all of their money. “They say it is time for the country to address systemic problems in policing in America and spend more on what communities across the U.S. need, like housing and education,” according to the AP.

It was reported Monday that a majority of the city council members in Minneapolis support disbanding the city’s police department because of the death of Floyd. The state has launched a civil rights investigation, the AP reported.

Dismantling a police department could lead to vigilante “policing” and bloodshed. We hope cooler heads step forward in this emergency and retain police departments.

Some reforms may be justified in some departments but to dismantle a department is foolhardy, and would lead to anarchy.

Brutality by police must never be tolerated and officers who cross the cruelty line must be held accountable. If found guilty, they should be given appropriate punishment. Racism should never be tolerated in police departments and in the handling of suspects.

The majority of Americans do not want to live where there is no police protection. They want law and order. In Franklin County citizens have proven they are willing to pay more for law enforcement protection.