MASON CITY, Iowa - Across the country, there have been calls to defund or even disband police forces. A local police chief is saying that won't solve the problem.
Mason City Police Chief Jeff Brinkley says police departments have taken on additional roles over the years, above and beyond law enforcement, and taking away police funding would actually make things worse.
He says more funding is needed for things like substance abuse treatment and mental health programs.
Chief Brinkley says changing the way police operate should be a rational process and not just a quick reaction to an incident.
"There's a lot of dialog that needs to happen and we have systems in place that are in place with the rules that we have. Are all those rules right? Probably not. But is a complete dumping of the current system and trying to come up with something new overnight the right answer? I don't think that's it either'" said Brinkley.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FBI, an average of 429 people are killed each year because of police use of force. Of those, an average of 112 are African-American men.