Reforms to police departments across the country could be inevitable in 2020 and beyond as the death of George Floyd at the hand of Minneapolis police have sparked conversations about reforms in law enforcement.
DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker says one change he has been hearing proposed that he would support is the access records of officers moving from department to department. Currently, if an officer transfers their personnel files cannot be accessed, and he believes that would a very good step in the right direction.
According to the Sheriff, many things being talked about across the country are already being done. In his 30-plus years in law enforcement, he points out DeWitt County has regularly been a progressive, forwarding thinking department.
Body cameras are becoming more popular in the law enforcement community but are not universal. Sheriff Walker says those have been part of their uniforms for several years now and after initial pushback from DeWitt County Sheriff's Office patrolman, they are showing to be very useful.
In terms of defunding the police, the Sheriff says abolishing the police would lead to more crime and the first impacts of any reduction in funding are going to be the reduction of personnel in these agencies, which will reduce response to times.
He also notes, costs are going to increase for departments if more training is added to an already extensive routine for them.