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Megan Soultz ’10


The May 25 death of George Floyd, a Black man in police custody, set off international protests, community conversations and, perhaps, individual examination of conscience about racial justice in America. We asked members of the DePauw community: Will you share your reflections on George Floyd’s death, the aftermath or any aspect of racial justice?

Megan Soultz ’10 is a Carmel, Indiana, police officer.

“Defund the police.” That’s a curious demand, if you ask me.

Contrary to current rhetoric, a poor decision made by a cop is rarely malicious. More likely, it’s a reflection of their training. Good people can make bad decisions, and bad cops exist, but we’re not all evil. We also are not superhuman robots. We require training.

As a defensive tactics instructor, I spent an entire week helping 120 officers improve their response to high-stress incidents by conducting scenario training. A mentally ill person holding a gun to their head, a disgruntled homeowner charging with a knife and an attack in a squad car are all scenarios that should sound familiar. The challenges are endless and the “right” answer is never the same. Are oral commands clear and deliberate? Is anyone else in danger? What are less-lethal options? Lethal options? How and when should officers transition between the two?

Keep in mind these answers can change in an instant. While you can afford to watch, rewind, fast forward, pause and zoom our body camera footage without your life being at risk, our price tag is a bit higher. We are out there at 3 a.m., away from our families, striving to improve ourselves. We are learning that distance and cover buy us time and allow for better decisions. Also understand the approximate cost to conduct the aforementioned training is $15,000. So if you find yourself concerned by cops’ decisions and believe defunding is the solution, please reconsider your logic. Training leads to understanding distance and cover; distance and cover offer time; time results in better decisions; and as the old saying goes, time is money.

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