When the anti-cop social justice warrior crowd tries to poison your child's attitude about the police, you must ask yourself why that is. What is the motivation behind a movement that vilifies authority and makes police officers the bad guy? Why does the social justice crowd feel so threatened by those whose job it is to keep the peace?

The police are there to defend society from a minority of malcontents who threaten to destabilize that society. This is what we pay them to do, and when crime rates soar, the police get the blame. The overwhelming majority of citizens support the police, and frankly, would like to see more of them.

The Massachusetts-based Citizens for Juvenile Justice has issued a scathing report in which it accuses the New Bedford Police Department of being racist against young Black people and Latino people. It cites the number of "field incident reports" involving those groups to make its point. The CFJJ wants you to believe that the police are simply harassing these young people but doesn't address whether the groups actually warrant additional surveillance.

The CJJJ also wants to kick police officers out of public housing. Eight police officers currently live in public housing n New Bedford under a Housing and Urban Development program established under the Clinton Administration back in 1992. The idea is to create trust between police and the residents of public housing which can be a hotbed for criminal activity. The CFJJ doesn't want the cops living there. Why?

The objection to cops living in public housing is that they do so "virtually rent-free." When a police officer volunteers to live in public housing, it is a great personal sacrifice and a risk to their safety. Just ask the officer whose unit was shot up in the middle of the night at Brickenwood. It isn't about getting a good deal on rent. Why would the CFJJ want to rid the troubled housing units of police protection?

The CFJJ is also demanding that Superintendent Thomas Anderson remove school resource officers from New Bedford's public schools. School resource officers bond with and gain the trust of students to the benefit of the school community. School resource officers also guard against outside threats during the school day. Why would the CFJJ want to rid our schools of police protection?

The CFJJ is attempting to create racial division where it does not exist and is looking to drive a wedge between the minority communities and the police. Why do groups like the CFJJ want to sow distrust of the police with youths of color?  What is the motivation? All good questions but few real answers.

Be suspicious of anyone whose sole purpose appears to be agitation and fostering resentment between people who have co-existed in relative peace and harmony for so many years. Their intentions are most often less than honorable.

New Bedford has long rejected policies of division and distrust. Let's not allow outside agitators to change who we are and influence our way of life.

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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