The Democrat and Republican back and forth about crime is unproductive. It’s not an issue of being hard or soft on crime. We want to be smart on crime. Our members believe that reform and keeping streets safe must go hand in hand. To that end, our members will support policies keeping violent offenders in prison, including bail policies consistent with the ability of local law enforcement to keep streets safe. But they will also support policies that invest more in courts, law enforcement, and reentry so that we can reduce prison populations, end police brutality, reunite families, and still keep our communities safe. And, when sentencing debt to society is achieved rights to vote are restored without exception.
Law Enforcement Recruiting & Retention
Securing our communities is a necessary condition before any meaningful legislation can take root. Currently, North Carolina is experiencing a police shortage. In 2021, 758 students passed the state’s BLET exam and became eligible for law enforcement certification. That’s down from 990 students who passed the exam in the first half of 2020. Accordingly, the North Carolina Forward Party seeks to enhance the experience of law enforcement to attract and retain police officers. The North Carolina Forward Party will advocate for policy to increase law enforcement wages, add sabbatical benefits, and work to reduce “resetting” an officer if they move laterally to a new department.
We recognize and respect that the 2nd Amendment protects the right of law-abiding citizens to own a weapon. But we understand that gun violence and public safety is a key worry. Our members will embrace a range of policies that reflect their region and culture. Some may be more comfortable with liberal gun laws resting only upon standardized background checks, while others may be in favor of more stringent controls like licensure or enhanced background checks for handguns and semi-automatic weapons and outright bans of automatic weapons. We believe most, but not all, gun policy should be negotiated at a state level, and that all policy needs to be consistent with Supreme Court rulings.