Have “defund police” activists considered what society would be losing?
By Rebecca Bushway Bissonnette
During my years of service as a volunteer EMT, I worked closely with law enforcement. My crew at Colchester Rescue was quick to respond, but because the police officers were already out on the road, their response time was quicker. For the vast majority of calls, an officer was already on scene when my crew pulled up. And what were my officers doing? (Yes, “my officers.” Part of my team.)
My officers were comforting an elderly person with chest pain, who felt scared and alone. Coaching her to look them in the eye and slow her breathing until we could get oxygen on her.
My officers were soothing a child who had gotten hurt when he fell off a jump on his skateboard.
My officers spent hours talking with a suicidal man who was up in a tree, threatening to kill himself. Their patient conversation eventually led to the man agreeing to climb down and go to the hospital.
My officers broke up a fight and rendered first aid to a transgender man who had been attacked at a bar.
My officers responded and made the scene safe in various domestic disputes, where one member of the household was using violence against another. They separated and calmed the aggressor and provided reassurance and first aid for the victim(s).
My officers held the hand of a terrified parent in the driver’s seat, and/or brushed the hair out of the face of a terrified child in the back seat, after a car crash.
My officers stepped back from those car crash victims and watched my back while I tended to them as an EMT. They ensured the scene was safe so I could give those patients the medical care they needed.
My officers gave up their off-duty time to volunteer on rescue, with a fire department, or with the technical rescue team.
My officers got under-the-influence drivers off the road, so I didn’t have see, and forever live with, the images of children who could have been killed by these people.
This is just an example of what police officers do, day in and day out. I witnessed these, and countless other caring and professional acts, during my time on rescue. I’m not saying that bad choices aren’t made. They are, and they need to be addressed.
It astounds me that some people — apparently intelligent, logical people — are jumping onto the current popular bandwagon without stopping to think things through. It’s as if they are trying to be part of the popular crowd. But it’s not a good look. Intelligence, logic, and real solutions look much better.
The author, a home educator, United States Air Force veteran, and former member of the Colchester Rescue Squad, lives in North Hero.
Photo Credit Burlington Police Department Facebook Page