Letters to the Editor

Rein in the power of police unions

No one wants to disband the police department. This is a lie told by Republicans to create more chaos. What many of us informed voters DO want is to abolish police unions in favor of police “associations.”

Police unions generally bargain for limits to managing power to discipline. Society needs to reject the principle that police have the legal right to use violence, often to address social concerns that this violence perpetuates and exacerbates. The public should have interest in regulating and limiting this violence.

All other unions, which Republicans have watered down to almost zero, are bound by legal standards that do not undermine the union, these are generally embraced as integral to effective outcomes. Collective bargaining by police unions strips voters from any power to shape public-safety policies and transfers that power to those with a vested interest in the outcome: the police themselves.

Abolishing collective bargaining will increase accountability in police departments, let the states and cities set legal standards for use of force, for reporting, investigating and punishing abusive police. Unions are the chief obstacle to fighting police abuse. They are a barrier to lawsuits and prevent penalties related to abuse of power by police.

We need to reallocate funding to other social services that promote safety and security.

Diane LaDuke

Iowa City

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