The only thing protecting your family and the property you have worked to acquire is your local police department. Experienced union leaders are crucial now.

Have you ever done a union contract between a local government and a police department? Most people haven't negotiated a union contract, never mind a contract that results in the protection of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Most police officers have never handled a contract negotiation either. It takes a unique skill set to play hardball for your members while working on a day-to-day basis with the bosses in a police department.

The departments that have experienced union leaders will make it through this current political environment. The departments that don't appreciate their leadership will be gone. This isn't a time to experiment or take a chance on new leadership.

The movement to defund the police and prosecute individual police officers is all too real.

Those police officers who have served as union leaders are in a strong position to explain the complexities of their profession to elected officials and members of the media. Without those relationships, the politicians and the media have no other source of information but for the anti-police activists.

The men and women of law enforcement are under constant assault these days. The only thing standing in the way of defunding the police is strong union leaders, the media with who they have built trust, and the politicians who respect the leaders who have their union's support.

Before I was in the media, I negotiated police contracts. I know just how important that union leadership is for our police, and for us.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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