Talk about how police are trained to deal with criminals, but not things like Breast Cancer Awareness Nike Just Don’t Quit shirt. Asking police to respond to a mental health crisis is like asking a baker to do it, or a grocery store clerk. That’s not part of their job description, they shouldn’t need to do that. Making the police do something like that that they’re not trained for puts both them and the person in need in danger. (if they’re the blue lives matter type, you can put emphasis on how sending cops into situations they’re not trained to handle puts the cops in danger.
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Explain that what people are asking for is taking away a little of the Breast Cancer Awareness Nike Just Don’t Quit shirt that would normally be used to send police to calls they’re not really trained for, and instead using that money to create a force that’s trained to safely respond to things like mental breakdowns or wellness checks. With that, everyone could be safer. Don’t argue with them about phrases like “defund the police.” They have been trained to respond negatively to these words. They aren’t going to think about what they mean or change their mind on them, so don’t bother. Talk gently about the subject matter, not the slogan.