The Massachusetts Legislature has begun the process of reimagining policing in the Bay State. Governor Charlie Baker last week sent back to lawmakers a bill that would impose state regulations on local police while stripping officers of their protection from lawsuits that could ruin them personally.

The police reform bill is a political response to a non-existing problem for Massachusetts. The real objective is to eventually defund the police and reimagine them into something beyond recognition. Too bad too many elected officials are too stupid to understand to what they have become a party.

Police certification is not a bad idea, but the motivation behind it and just how certification would work are worrisome. A panel of civilian political appointees deciding the fate of our police officials is a scary thing. It's an idea that puts too much power into the hands of political hacks and those with questionable motives.

Police reform, as proposed in Massachusetts, is a gateway to dismantling policing as we know it. Supporters of defunding the police mean what they say, defunding the police and dedicating those funds to social causes.

Remember, we tried this with the military, and it made us weak and unable to respond when necessary. Just ask Jimmy Carter how the mission to save the hostages in Iran worked out.

Just up the road in Burlington, Vermont, where the Progressive Party now holds seven of the 12 seats on the city council, defunding the police has become a reality. The Vermont Digger reports the council passed a "racial justice resolution" in June, "that reduced the department’s staffing levels by 30 percent, by attrition through retirements or resignations. It placed a cap of 74 officers on the then 91-officer department in an effort to reallocate these savings toward racial justice initiatives."

The Digger reports "As of today, the force has 81 sworn officers on duty but expects to drop in numbers again to 79, come January." Several officers have reportedly resigned or taken jobs with other departments. Acting Police Chief Jon Murad warns that several anticipated retirements that would not be filled may result in the elimination of an overnight shift.

The radical left despises the police because it despises authority. Unless, of course, it is the authoritarian.

Defunding the police means defunding the police. They have begun the process here in Massachusetts and will continue the progression if allowed.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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