Submitted by Ray Flynn former Mayor of Boston

Boston Police officers are the best, and do their best to protect the people of Boston — from the hard working poor and middle income families to the vulnerable elderly. They are the first line of defense against violent criminals and gangs. Activists nationwide are calling for police departments to be defunded in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis — and that message has been echoed here.  Demands to cut the police budget and diminish the effectiveness and professionalism of our police officers is one of the most absurd proposals I have ever heard.

Our police have done an outstanding job in protecting our decent, law abiding citizens and businesses, as they have for many decades. I’m certain that our fine Mayor Marty Walsh and City Council will not get caught up in the reckless rhetoric we are hearing on national TV nightly from activist groups and inexperienced politicians to cut the budget that our outstanding first responders need do to their jobs each and every day, including our outstanding firefighters and emergency medical professionals.

What happened in Minneapolis would not happen in Boston because of the leadership of Police Commissioner William Gross, his command staff and the proven outstanding character of our rank and file police officers.  I understand the new political environment in America and the demand for change at any cost, but we are Bostonians, and are smarter than giving in to knee-jerk reactions. We don’t have to go along with the views of extreme political activists on either the left or right in Washington or any other city.  Together, the city has overcome many problems of inequality and unfairness. We have come a long way, that’s why so many people want to live here. Certainly we have to give our kids a better public education, deal with the opioid crisis and pandemic of illegal drugs and get our youth athletic programs back on track to where they once were the best around. They kept our children and neighborhoods active, competitive and safe. That’s the real call for meaningful change, and helps bring people and families of all faiths and race together.

Boston raised thousands of the best citizens who served our nation with honor and pride — working to make our country a better place for all people. Today, Bostonians can continue doing the job. But it will take hard work, faith in God, our neighbors and pride in our great city.