Federal government shouldn’t be involved

In many towns and cities, some members of minority communities do not trust police officers, even as many in law enforcement work to build trust among those they serve.

Clearly, however, enforcing the law is the department’s overriding priority. We pay police officers and sheriff’s deputies to keep us safe, not necessarily to be our friends.

During former President Barack Obama’s administration, it at times seemed police departments were being urged to make law enforcement a secondary consideration. More important was avoiding complaints from within their communities, some in Washington appeared to suggest.

To that end, the Justice Department created a “collaborative reform” program. In essence, it offered communities help with community trust issues — if they requested it. Now, under President Donald Trump, there will be less emphasis on that program, it was revealed last week. More resources will be devoted to helping local agencies in law enforcement.

We appreciate the switch in priorities, but still have to question why the federal government has to meddle in the affairs of local jurisdictions. The federal government is: 1) broke and 2) not exactly competent in a wide variety of endeavors. What makes anyone think federal involvement will solve anything? It seems to us law enforcement is a local matter. If there are any real problems in the fair administration of local law enforcement, it seems to us that state governments are well-positioned to step in.