Truck drivers worry about delivering to areas with defunded police departments
Coronavirus takes a toll on trucking industry
JKC Trucking co-owner and vice president Mike Kucharski says ever since coronavirus started, the trucking industry had to adapt its plan to transport food and some of those changes may be permanent.
Some truck drivers are raising concerns about driving into areas where there are calls for defunding the local police forces.
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When asked by trucking resource website CDLLife whether and for what reasons drivers might consider refusing a load in an area where the police had been defunded, many respondents thought they might find themselves at higher risk of danger.
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Here’s a look at some drivers’ responses:
- “I will not deliver to an area with a disbanded police department. My life matter and I do this for my family. We are already at the mercy of these towns and cities with laws and hate against us for parking, getting a meal or even using a restroom.”
- “For my own safety and security of my customers’ loads, I have already informed my dispatcher that I will refuse all loads to cities that have defunded their police departments.”
- “…if something was to happen and you have to take matters into your own hands, and then you risk being prosecuted for protecting yourself.”
- “This is not an area you need to act fearless and think you you’d look like a fool for saying no…Imagine what kind of fool you look like for driving into a hot spot and putting your life in danger.”
When asked by the group, an overwhelming number of drivers said they may refuse loads in cities that defunded their police departments.
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Campaigns to defund police forces – and reallocate funds to social services – have sprung up in cities throughout the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death. While detractors argue there are better ways to restructure police forces in order to eliminate police brutality, supporters say that it would not make communities less safe – but rather shift funding priorities to allow for more appropriate investments to be made in local communities.
The discussion has divided lawmakers; even Democrats can’t seem to agree on whether to back the movement. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, for example, has stepped out against the policy.
Truckers previously had trouble navigating massive nationwide protests that erupted following Floyd’s death. Brian Fielkow, president of multimillion-dollar trucking and logistics company Jetco Delivery, told FOX Business at the time that while trucks weren’t necessarily getting caught up in crowds, some shippers with cargo vulnerable to theft were canceling loads.
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