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Julie Slama

Sen. Julie Slama

District 1

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Week of August 31st
September 21st, 2020

Labor Day & Law Enforcement

While many of us celebrated Labor Day with friends and family, our essential workers remained on the front lines to provide critical services. Our corrections officers, military personnel, health care professionals, and other first responders deserve our thanks for their work every day to protect our society. Through unprecedented challenges, selfless leaders have answered the call to serve District 1 and keep us safe. This week’s article will focus on a group of brave men & women that have found their very profession in the crosshairs of a political debate: our law enforcement officers.

Many cities and towns around the country are considering “defunding the police,” and moving those resources elsewhere. This is an idea that absolutely boggles my mind. At a time in our country marked by riots and unrest, there are some arguing to defund the very men and women who are tasked with keeping the unrest under control. 

Seattle’s “autonomous zone” provided a case study on why law enforcement officers are absolutely necessary. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan permitted protestors to force out law enforcement and barricade themselves into what she referred to as “a block party.” Life within the autonomous zone was anything but sunshine and good feelings, however. Decades-old business were pillaged, infrastructure was decimated, and serious crimes were not investigated. The autonomous zone had descended into anarchy by the time it was finally broken up by federal officials. 

There are also those who argue that social workers should be the ones responding to calls of a person suffering from mental distress, rather than the police. We better understand the devastating impact of mental illness now more than any other time in our country’s history, but a social worker entering a potentially dangerous situation by themselves is a recipe for disaster. Imagine an unarmed social worker attempting to disarm a person who, in the midst of a manic episode, has put a gun to their spouse’s head.

Violence against law enforcement officers even occurs in Nebraska. On August 26th, Lincoln police officer Mario Herrera was killed in the line of duty. Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line each day to protect our communities. It’s usually a thankless job, but today I’d like to send a message to our law enforcement officers across District 1: thank you.

If you see our local officers around town, please take some time to thank them for their service to District 1. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the negative news in our world today- the best thing we can do is spread our own positive message in response. At a time where some lawmakers want to defund the police, I’m proud to defend our brave men and women in blue.

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509-4604; telephone 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov.

Sen. Julie Slama

District 1
Room 11th Floor
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2733
Email: jslama@leg.ne.gov
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