Sen. Bernie Sanders says he does not support defunding or abolishing police departments. He then said he wants more training and better pay for the officers in an effort to push for criminal justice reform.
“Do I think we should not have police departments in America? No, I don’t. There’s no city in the world that does not have police departments. What you need are—I didn’t call for more money for police departments. I called for police departments that have well-educated, well-trained, well-paid professionals,” Sanders said in an interview with The New Yorker.
“And, too often around this country right now, you have police officers who take the job at very low payment, don’t have much education, don’t have much training—and I want to change that,” he then added.
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Sanders also pointed out that he “called for the transformation of police departments into—understanding that many police departments and cops deal every day with issues of mental illness, deal with issues of addiction, and all kinds of issues which should be dealt with by mental-health professionals or others, and not just by police officers.”
For him, we want to redefine what police departments do instead of abolishing them. They must have the support they need to “make their jobs better defined.”
“So I do believe that we need well-trained, well-educated, and well-paid professionals in police departments. Anyone who thinks that we should abolish all police departments in America, I don’t agree,” the lawmaker then added.