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As everyone feared, the disease has spread to Jacksonville; not the Chinese virus, but the disease of radical opposition to public safety.

Ben Frazier, the liberal head of an organization of unknown size called the Northside Coalition, is starting a “defund the police” movement in the city.

Frazier is demanding a 25 percent reduction in the budget of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. That is a number he apparently pulled out of the air and has no relation to any kind of mathematical reality.

Such a draconian reduction likely would result in an increase in violence in the Northside – the area Frazier claims to represent – which is the most crime-ridden part of the city.

Fraternal Order of Police President Steve Zona told a local TV station, “Calling for defunding of the police is a radical idea that makes pretty hashtags on social media. For too long people have been laying all of the societal ills on the feet of law enforcement. All communities should address poverty, education and infrastructure but taking money from public safety to accomplish this goal is a fast track to a less safe city.”

Zona is correct.

Nevertheless, the preposterous demand is likely to reach a new committee of social justice warriors created by the City Council.

It has held an organizational meeting but has taken no action.

The question is whether the committee simply will accept the notion that Jacksonville citizens are racists and begin directing and redirecting millions of dollars, or actually look into the claims of injustice, disparity and deprivation, as any responsible body would do.

What for example has been accomplished by the Northwest Quadrant Economic Development Trust Fund? The Jacksonville Journey? Cure Violence?

If it decides to do a thorough job, the committee will examine the substantial amount of resources already spent on various programs in various parts of the city, and attempt to analyze the impact.

In doing so, it should avoid the idea so often employed by the left that the answer to failed efforts  always is to throw even more money away.

The late, great Margaret Thatcher hit the mark when she said “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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