Kicking police officers out of a public schools to make a political point is dumb and dangerous.

The police in Northampton, Massachusetts believe that an increased presence in the public schools is a positive thing. It allows students and police officers to form a beneficial trust. It has been proven in other communities that having police in the schools makes those schools safer. The relationships formed between students and police result in a greater sharing of intelligence that can lead to the prevention of violence and other criminal activity, not to mention discourage potential offenders. The children and the officers form a bond that is beneficial to the entire community. Make sense?

Members of the Northampton School Committee and about a dozen parents disagreed and raised concerns recently about having police officers visit the elementary schools for what had become known as “High Five Friday.” While quite popular with most students and the community, some they felt that having uniformed police officers visit the schools to fist bump and high five students each Friday morning might somehow be threatening “students of color,” “undocumented immigrants” and “children who may have had a negative experience with police previously.”

Police say they have discontinued the program and will explore other ways to engage with young people. The cops say they will still trade high fives and fist bumps on the street with anyone who is interested.

The long term ramifications of idiocy such as this is that cops and kids will be less safe and there will be fewer top notch recruits for our police departments. The villanization of law enforcement must end or we are all doomed.

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