So, everyone, how is retirement? Traveling much? Loving the outdoors? Fulfilling those dreams? Here is where everyone lets out a heavy sigh and says, “COVID” — the new five-letter four-letter word.
Like many of you, we canceled plans, had to avoid gatherings, wear masks and all that. As retirees, we are at a little higher risk, and some of us are at much higher risk of getting really, really sick, so we have basically stayed inside since March. I hope you are all finding things to do to keep busy. I can say our home is cleaner than ever; the honey-do list has gotten down to the “clean lint from toes” level and nothing is broken around the home. (Gail is great at handiwork!)
I wanted to touch base with you all about the things going on. The LACERA election is going on right now, and I hope you all voted for the safety members who have shown your best interest to be their priority, not politics. The new voting system over the internet is confusing to many, especially those retirees whose idea of technology is a solar-powered calculator!
The LASD and County are once again embroiled in the battle of the budget, and the County seems to be trying to “defund via redirect” funds. I personally would have had no problem being a trash collector in a crime-free world, but we don’t live in one, and I feel the short-sightedness of the board, if successful, will implode public safety in L.A. County. It is an unnecessary move to appease the loudest of the loud. There are other ways to accomplish their goals without taking the easy road of vilifying law enforcement. I think everyone reading this agrees that there could be more done in areas of Los Angeles to better education and jobs. But those goals should not be attempted with further risk to public safety. Large companies that enjoy incredible wealth in the state are having no problem advertising their support for current political movements and increased criticism of law enforcement, but you don’t see their offices or training centers invested in some of these impacted communities. I personally believe that law enforcement is so visible and necessary in these communities due to the complete failure of other systems. I hope moving forward that politicians realize the police are not the evil they are being portrayed to be. Could there be better training? Of course, and we welcome it. But to expect us now to do even more with even less is completely inappropriate. The idea of sending a social worker to a domestic dispute has a very high probability of not ending well. Maybe not on the first call, but we all know how bad the real world is. The new ideas being pushed forward are from people who have never experienced how bad things can change very, very quickly.
I encourage all of you to be ready to vote when the time comes. Try to convince family members who don’t understand that you, too, would be willing to redirect resources if the police weren’t so necessary in the short term. We have received support from at least one of the Board of Supervisors members (thank you, Supervisor Barger) over the past few days when she acknowledged that law enforcement is getting their hands tied and will be more concerned about their family and freedoms before they take those extra steps to combat crime.
Yes, we will do our jobs, but every action will be precluded by these thoughts. And in our job, delays — even slight ones — can be deadly.
Until next month, please try to enjoy retirement every day. Inside, outside, front yard, backyard, kitchen, pool, RV, whatever your personal circumstances may be. This will all end hopefully sooner than later. What is important now is to stay safe.