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The question of defunding police departments needs to be reframed as reorganizing police departments. We ask too much of the police.

I compare this to teachers. People sign on as teachers because they want to educate children. But then they get asked to be babysitters, psychologists, social workers, drug counselors, historians and defenders against shooters.

People sign up for the police because they want to protect people. And yet they are asked to be domestic-violence specialists, drug counselors, psychologists, social workers, historians, defenders against shooters and, on top of that, they are given tear gas and military-grade weaponry, and strapped into war-making gear, which distorts their original purpose.

A truly healthy society will provide support for social and psychological needs and community needs. And, yes, the government has to do it, so that teachers can teach and the police can protect and not oppress.

Denise Giardina