OPINION: Businesses Like Wal-Mart Should Put Safety First

Many conversations are being had about policies being implemented moving forward. Walmart recently changed its policy on hair products being kept in secure areas. Walmart kept its hair care products in cases for the safety and protection of its customers.

This sounds like a typical hand waving answer, but how inaccurate is it? 

These stores have been through the worst safety hazards throughout these riots and it’s not smart to let your guard down when people are on edge from lockdowns and media coverage.

It’s not worth going after Walmart for racism, because no company should have to surrender their security to prove how tolerant they are.

Policies that reduce restrictions have unintended consequences and the current climate should not overwrite precautions that defend customers of all races.

There doesn’t have to be destruction in order to prove a point.

Crime can be stopped. There is strong evidence to support the idea that America can lower its crime rate further—an enormous boon to every community, especially disadvantaged ones—by spending more on police.

When the 2008 federal stimulus gave $2 billion into COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) cities that received money saw a 3.6 percent increase in police, resulting in a 4.8 percent decrease in violent crimes.

The evidence overwhelmingly supports the decline in crime. One 2006 paper found that when police pay decreases—”arrest rates and average sentence length decline and crime reports rise relative to when they win.” It even applies in other countries: Adding resources to help cops fight street crime in parts of England and Wales caused a significant decline in robbery rates.

The problem with defunding the police and making it easier to prosecute officers that goes unreported is that it hurts neighborhoods that most need protecting. People are protesting because the public has been led to believe that cops are bastards, yet the available evidence shows that police use of deadly force has decreased in recent decades.

Even Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) supports an increase to police wages as part of a reform plan put forward earlier this month, writing that the nation’s police forces must “attract the top-tier officers we need to do the difficult work of policing.” Joe Biden has also promised to spend $300 million on community policing across the country.

It does not make sense to accuse Walmart of being racist when they are just trying to maintain a safe work environment.

It’s important to not let the news cycle get to you because things are changing on the inside. If people want safer communities and better officers, they need to rethink the negative stereotype of cops and look at the data that leads to less crime. Giving police less power will hurt the vulnerable and ruin the community they’re trying to look out for.

Aaron Cummings