After viewing footage of shootings by police in our country, many concerned citizens have offered “defunding police” as the solution.

A better choice is for us to provide comprehensive training to potential officers before they are certified and in contact with the women, men and children they are meant to protect. Currently, Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) trains new officers in an approximately 4 ½-month program. In contrast, Norwegian Police University College training is a three-year university level program. The first and third years are on campus, and the second year is on-the-ground training.

Is this initially more costly? Yes, but investing in our officers’ training will create improved community-police relations and will save lives on both sides of the badge.

Gloria Koll, Freeland