Deb Billado: This badge means so much

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Deb Billado, chairwoman of the Vermont GOP.

When I consider the calls for defunding and disbanding police departments, I cannot wrap my head around what those people are thinking. How do they imagine they will be safe in their home, work and play without the protection our police provide? I would not be able to sleep soundly at night if I knew our police were not there. Just being there serves to provide a sense of security and well being. Without them, we would have chaos and anarchy.

The primary role of government is to protect the public so they can live safe, productive lives as they build their community, state and nation. The founders understood this, and the police powers they created  are essential to what has made America great and safe. Imagine a world without our police? Without them, all individuals and households would have to be armed to the tooth to protect their very existence. These are unsettling times and so many people have lost their way and have no respect for human life and what it means. To suggest that in these times of crisis we should eliminate the stabilizing force of police in our land is irresponsible.

Deborah Billado, chair of the Vermont GOP

While no one should die at the hands of the police, the nature of the role law enforcers are asked to perform sometimes brings the need for use of deadly force to protect public safety. Most do not, but some fail in the use of that power. George Floyd should not have been killed by the officer arresting him. We must not, however, paint all law enforcement with this tainted brush, and see only the bad acts and forget the countless good our police have done. Humans by nature are imperfect and people in all professions fail and disappoint us. How would you feel as a teacher that you were condemned because a teacher abused a minor in their charge? What if you were a surgeon who was condemned because another surgeon committed malpractice, and someone died? Because some business people are crooked, would it be right for you to be so accused because you own your business? We hold the bad apple accountable and try to build into the system a better way to prevent such wrongful acts in the future. That is the way it should be with our police.

We all know that this wrongful act by the arresting officer is being used by criminals, anarchists, terrorists, and haters, to kill, burn, loot, and destroy. Some are intent on creating chaos, but we should not be a party to this. We have a right to protest and sometimes, the louder the better. But we must be alert not to be used by those who would destroy our way of life. Police are targets from those who benefit from uncontrolled chaos and we must not let this dim the truth that police provide deterrence of criminal acts by some and protect us each and every day while putting their own lives on the line. While we are legitimately concerned about any wrongful police action, we must not unwittingly join in the call for a form of justice that would eliminate those who bring justice to the people.

Justice can never be at the hands of a mob or outside the good order that society has established in dealing with it. Justice is supposed to be blind.  It is not driven by emotion, fear, and hate. The justice in the streets where buildings and cars are burned is not justice but is hate and revenge.  The officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck until he died, is and should be prosecuted. That is where justice will and must be had. If we reject that ideal, then we are doomed as a civilized nation. Even this officer is entitled to due process and a trial before his peers to determine his guilt. It cannot be decided by those rioting in the streets or by a biased press who seem to want the role of prosecutor, judge, and jury.

So, in closing, the words in “This Badge,” written by an unknown author are worthy of presenting to speak of the overall value and service of our police.

Let me tell you about the badge and the thousands of good men and women it represents.

This badge ran towards certain death as the Towers collapsed on 9-11.

This badge ran into the line of fire to save the people in the Pulse Night Club.

This badge sheltered thousands as bullets rained down from the Mandalay Hotel in Las Vegas.

This badge protected a BLM rally that left five officers dead in Dallas.

This badge ran into the Sandy Hook School to stop a school shooter.

This badge killed the Oregon District mass shooter in seconds.

This badge has done CPR on your drowned child.

This badge has fist fought the wife beater who left his spouse in a coma.

This badge has run into burning buildings to save the occupants.

This badge has been shot for simply existing.

This badge has waded through flood waters to rescue the elderly trapped on the roof.

This badge has intentionally crashed into the wrong way driver to protect innocent motorists.

This badge has helped find the lost child so his mother would stop crying hysterically.

This badge has helped the injured dog off the road and rushed it to the vet.

This badge has escorted the elderly woman across the street because she could not see well and was afraid to cross.

This badge has bought food for hungry kids because they had been abandoned.

This badge has been soaked in blood and tears.

This badge has been covered by a mourning band to honor those who have sacrificed everything in service.

You may hate me because I wear it. But I wear it with pride. Despite your hate and your anger, I will await the next call for help. And I will come running without hesitation. Just like the thousands of men and women across this great nation.

— Author unknown

Please remember that what happened in Minneapolis was the action of one bad person and should not be attributed to those police who are our family, friends, neighbors and protectors. May God bless and protect them all!

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25 thoughts on “Deb Billado: This badge means so much

  1. The officer who killed George Floyd was wrong, and needs to be tried for his crime. It’s possible that at least some police departments need better training in dealing with the stress that these men and women are frequently subject to, and a way to weed out the few who aren’t suited for the job, before something unfortunate happens.

    While all of us feel justified outrage over this incident, painting all white people as racist because a few are, or all police as bad because a small percentage of them have abused their power, is just as much discrimination as what the BLM crowd accuses the rest of us of.

    If the police are defunded, who will take over their job? Will each person be on his or her own, or can we expect street gangs to enforce their own version of law and order? Good luck with that! This is a crazy and dangerous idea that can only result in anarchy and more innocent people of all colors losing their lives.

  2. Fundamental to our survival as a nation is respect for the rule of law. For all people. Equally. The melatonin content of your skin doesn’t matter. There is one justice… for all. Carving out exceptions thru violence is not ok. Similarly, all lives matter. Equally.

  3. Defunding the police departments is an insane idea, though I’m all for ramping up the de-escalation training for officers. Looks like the discussion is moot anyway: Hundreds of police officers all over the country are throwing in the towel on their own volition… because they’re sick and tired of being treated like the scum of the earth, even by the cowardly state and municipal governments that should have their backs.

    Now the police unions say we can’t insure you anymore, so if they get injured on the job, they won’t get paid. That’s plenty enough reason to walk away, in my book, so I can’t blame them for handing in their badges. It’ll be interesting to see what’s going to happen in the cities with soon-to-be woefully understaffed PDs.

    My prediction: Once armed Americans start stepping up and protecting themselves, there will be a huge Progressive outcry on behalf on the poor, victimized criminals—and next they will demand to disarm all of the citizens. You’ve read it here first.

  4. Unfortunately all police are being judged by a few bad apples. The hype of these demonstrations has evoked confusion and despair. People have been caught up in the wave. It has bred distrust and anger toward all police, whereas 90% of those officers who serve are doing the job of protecting the public and promoting peace and justice. I feel bad for those fine officers. I hope that they will not be too discouraged and will continue their service.

  5. Yes, there is racism in our country. And yes, there are police killings of George Floyd and others that should not have taken place. But just how accurate is the current meme about police fatalities?

    THE TRUTH BEHIND RACIAL DISPARITIES IN FATAL POLICE SHOOTINGS
    https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2019/the-truth-behind-racial-disparities-in-fatal-police-shootings/

    The article begins: “Reports of racially motivated, fatal shootings by police officers have garnered extensive public attention and sparked activism across the nation. New research from Michigan State University and University of Maryland reveals findings that flip many of these reports on their heads – white police officers are not more likely to have shot minority citizens than non-white officers.”

  6. “This Badge” is an article that upholds the integrity of our policemen across this nation. It should be read everywhere before angry crowds do more damage that most of us the “too silent majority” do not want to see on tv again tonight. Thank you, Debbie, for your thoughtful, yet urgent message.

  7. If you find a bad apple in a crate of apples, does that mean that you throw out the entire crate of them?
    No, but you should search the entire crate in case there are other bad apples hidden in there and get rid of those as well.
    Doing this you will normally find that almost all the apples are fine.
    The same goes for human beings, be it policemen, teachers, public servants, etc.
    Almost all of them are good folks, but the “bad apples” tend to get too much attention in times like these.

  8. Deb, it’s encouraging to read your thoughtful and sensible response to the Anarchy that most media is manipulating as free speech. Conversely, it is a sad fact of political life in Vermont that few, if any, of our top level politicians do not share your view.

  9. Dismantling police is an irrational stance. Our nation is founded on liberty and justice for all. The police are the muscle, the enforcement to uphold this. None of us wants to be robbed, raped, pilaged, gunned down, without having police around to come to our rescue and track down the responsible parties and bring them to justice.

    Some tactics should be refined and some internal injustice within some police departments should be removed, but to dismantle the whole department is an infraction of the constitutional rights & freedoms we all have appreciated and many fought to preserve.

    Dismantling the police is a rally cry that every citizen should eamine and take a close look at the leaders who promote this. They are not friends of our freedoms.

  10. Deb, When all hell breaks loose, these idiots will scream the loudest for protection. Sanity just can’t prevail.

  11. I think it all boils down to obtaining control. To defund the police, removal of firearms is just the first two steps of gaining that control. In any profession there are always some bad apples. There are bad plumbers, bad electricians, bad lawyers, bad politicians. It doesn’t mean the whole tree is rotten. The men and women in blue go out every day and risk their lives to uphold the law and order. I can’t imagine what it would be like if we had no police. Just a simple modification in Police training could help the situation. Maybe a more thorough background investigation should be done on those police officers with a past history to weed out the few bad cops. Defunding the Police is not the answer.

  12. Thank you Deb. You’ve thoughtfully articulated what should be common sense.
    Opposition to the rule of law must be recognized as a threat to our society and confronted by all peace-loving citizens.

  13. Patriots from all over Vermont need to “gird up their loins” and enter the fray, our precious freedoms are under attack. This next election cycle has the potential to silence these ungodly loudmouth calls from the LEFT that seek to dismantle our Constitutional Republic.
    Stand for liberty now or fall for evil tomorrow.

    • Charles Russell is one of those patriots and is running for the House of Representatives for the Randolph-Addison-Washington District in the upcoming election and we need him there.

  14. We have to stop judging our institutions and professions by the bad apples. If we don’t we won’t have any law enforcement, teachers, doctors, nurses, and even politicians. Good thing we don’t judge all football player by OJ, or all teacher by Mary Kay Latourneau, or all politicians by Teddy Kennedy.

  15. “At least twelve police officers have been shot in the line of duty as riots and protests raged throughout the country following the death of George Floyd.”

  16. Consider the thousands of police officers in the last decade who have been killed in action defending our citizens and are listed on the National Order of Police Roll Call of Heroes. To date in 2020 there have been 53 officers who have died in the line of duty. In 2019 there were 185. In 2018 there were 227. In 2017 there were 199. In 2017 there were 127. In 2016 there were 234. In 2015 there were 137 and in 2014 there were 131. How many police have died during these latest demonstrations but how little do we hear about them? I read “At least twelve police officers have been shot in the line of duty as riots and protests raged throughout the country following the death of George Floyd.” I also heard that 5 police officers have died. Where are the protesters for these people who died trying to maintain order?

  17. I have to agree. While what happened was tragic and uncalled for, and the officers in question should be punished, let us not throw the baby out with the bath water. Most officers are professional, compassionate, and there to serve. As a whole they are very good, but they are human, and therefore there will be, on occasion, errors of judgement, mistakes, loss of temper or, as in case, one who is just bad. When those things happen, they must be addressed, and if appropriate, punished.

    Police departments are needed, I know, I know, many are saying they do not mean abolish when they say abolish. (Double talk much?) But even if they really mean reorganize, many of the proposals out there make no sense at all. To chose just one, “send social workers to respond to domestic disturbance calls.” Do you know what call is most dreaded by the average officer? Yep, that’s right, domestic disturbance. They are considered one of, if not the most dangerous call to respond to due to their volatility, emotionalism, and unpredictability. So let’s send a person trained in deescalation, but without the physical training, situational awareness, and equipment of a cop on those calls. Talk about your recipe for disaster. No thank you.

  18. I am certain that there will be those who twist my meaning or intent here goes. I would be willing to wager that those who want to defund police are the same people that want to disarm the public and take away our 2nd Amendment Rights. These two positions show a defect in their thinking process but even if we would agree with their desire to reduce guns in society, defunding police is a sure-fire way to increase sales of firearms. I bet the gun stores are having a real good month. How can anyone make any sense out of any of this? Thanks Lynne. We need to be grateful there are those willing to put themselves on the line, even give their lives for us on battlefields abroad and now on battlefields in our own nation. My thanks to all the men and women in blue. We truly love you and we need you!

  19. Deb Billado is a mature, common sense adult who speaks volumes of truth. Without police, lives would not be saved in emergency health situations. Furthermore, too many ‘thugs’ with no conscience would take advantage of no policing and would run rampant in their looting, killing, and in short, contribute to the total breakdown of society. Alex, is it possible that you’re in your teens or twenties–idealistic and inexperienced, doing the same as your peers because it just ‘seems’ good? The articles that you gave links to are totally unrealistic as are their authors. Time to get out of fantasy land. This is real life. Are you also not aware that there is an extreme socialist/marxist agenda to this whole thing? But then that’s another story.

  20. I am a strong believer in having police in every county to protect the people within. This whole thing that has gotten so much publicity is disgusting! If a police officer does something wrong he should be made aware of his duty. Killing someone that is not trying to kill you is wrong. This man should be tried but not all police in all states! We need to stand up for our police. They risk their lives to protect us and many have lost theirs but you didn’t find the whole nation getting involved. This is a political move to destroy the United States. When Commissioner Baumann organized the first Aux. Mounted Police 3 of us from Lamoille County joined. I am now 87 and am honored in being part of the Vermont State Police. Don’t even consider removing the police we have from our state!

  21. so who does the ” Voluntaryist” call when someone is trying to attack your property or family?? freedom isn’t free and i don’t understand why one week we are praising essential workers including law enforcement and the next week wanting to abolish our essential defenders? Lawlessness doesn’t work which is what we will have with no law enforcement.

  22. I am in agreement with this author’s statements. This is a fair representation of the truth in this matter. Without our police we will be doomed to the anarchists – liberals/progressives.

    We hold the bad apple accountable and try to build into the system a better way to prevent such wrongful acts in the future. That is the way it should be with our police. My hope is the Green Mountain State residents will not allow this to happen here. This state need to change its heart and hear the real truth.

    Otherwise, we may have a civil war in our state and our country. Enough is enough.

  23. There is so much wrong with this it’s hard to even know where to begin. This is why I’m a Voluntaryist, and not a Republican.

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