A Montgomery police officer was killed recently during a routine traffic stop, a tragic event that left our community in shock. This death of a brave young man made all of us realize how dangerous it is for law enforcement personnel on the streets today as they go about doing their most important work. We depend on the men and women who work in law enforcement to protect the public. Unfortunately, we don’t always appreciate all that they do for us until a tragedy occurs. A friend of mine who serves as chief of police in a major Alabama city says that over 90% of the crime that occurs in his city is drug-related. I have heard similar comments from district attorneys from several Alabama counties. Without a doubt, the drug culture, which is like a cancer in our country, causes a great percentage of the criminal activity that affects every community in the U.S.
It’s essential that we support law enforcement at every level of government. The obvious place to start is by increasing the funding. Salaries for officers must be increased, the numbers of officers increased – the officers must be properly equipped – all of which requires adequate funding. I believe that a fitting tribute to the fallen officer – Keith Houts – would be to make the adequate funding of law enforcement needs a top priority at the federal, state, and local levels of government.
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