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  • "We need fewer cops"

    I really hate to get into the liberal-conservative thing when it comes to law enforcement. I've said my own politics can't be pigeonholed, I'm very liberal on one thing (I'll go ahead and say it, health care), I'm conservative to the point of falling off the planet on some other things, I'm generally right of center on most things.

    I just don't think the idea of obeying the law and citizens upholding their part of the equation in keeping a safe, sane and functioning society should be a partisan issue.

    However, I've said that as a part of what I do, I look at partisan conservative and liberal sites every day. And the stuff that is appearing on the liberal sites ...

    Like this one:

    http://www.thenation.com/article/191...eed-fewer-cops

  • #2
    What's hilarious is that this article suggests that communities should take responsibility for their own communities while removing the police from the equation.

    Good luck with that.

    And they think the police are corrupt. Just wait...
    Last edited by Aerohead; 12-13-2014, 10:53 AM.
    Originally posted by RSGSRT
    We've reached a point where natural selection doesn't have a chance in hell of keeping up with the procreation of imbeciles.
    Why is it acceptable for you to be an idiot, but not acceptable for me to point it out?

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, I'll bite.

      Although the article takes on a very large swath of topics I would agree that the contextual concept the author puts forward is generally correct, in my view, even if he did a poor job of completely describing it in a single term. I would try to describe that contextual term as "society has ills that cops can't fix". That's pretty simplistic and the author may disagree but I believe that is where he is going.....I'd also point out that argument is nothing new and something that 'police administrations' and 'community leaders' have debated, quarreled, squirmed, and bandied about throughout my career. I've sat in on Mucho Grande numbers of those meetings.

      My 0.02.....

      The author has quite a bit correct in my experience and opinion and the problem of sending-cops-to-fix-everything doesn't just effect poor or communities of color. I believe that all over America we've gotten into the idea of throwing 'enforcement' at whatever problem we have and time has shown that is typically the worst choice to go for in actually solving the problem and this goes to the core of the author's point (I believe).

      1) Community policing like any other grand 'idea' of societal management and 'control' is flawed and (in my opinion) is just a great failure. It looks GREAT on paper but in actual application has spotty and diffuse results, at best.

      2) Same goes for 'broken windows' and 'quality of life' enforcement, which is a tool NOT a solution to core problems within any community. Example; I worked in what was in effect a suburb of Aspen, CO....rich or well off to say the least and yet the proper handling of criminal investigation was secondary to importance to virtually everything 'quality of life'. Embezzlement, theft, even death investigation was 'let's go behind closed doors and talk about this before you really go there, officer'......while someone leaving dog poop at the park, walking dogs w/o a leash, speeding in residential neighborhoods, and building 'social capitol' between the police department and the community was ONE BIG F'n DEAL leading to screaming town hall meetings and weeks of rants in the letter to the editor section of the papers.

      3) But the author's argument that having fewer cops doing the various 'broken windows' and 'quality of life' duties just leads to a further disintegration, as well. Just take a look at what happened when Giuliani did enforcement in New York.....it was a part of a strategy that worked and resurrected the entire city. Then look at what happens when the police wash there hands of the problem in Chicago.....killing fields. I mean if you want to go study a great example go a check the stories and stats of LA before and after Chief Gates tenure. Albeit not perfect he certainly brought the enforcement part but didn't have the overall community effort that Giuliani brought to NY.

      4) I know very well this is controversial with my other LEOs but I believe the war on drugs in a complete failure and made the overall situation far worse, period. I never met ANYONE saved from self-destruction with drugs by making them illegal, and yet I've seen families, communities and arguably entire countries being destroyed by the very laws of criminalization. Whatever the consequences of legal drugs may be I believe it would be less severe for society that what we have now.

      Lastly, LEO (and the 'E' says it all)....they are the ENFORCEMENT arm of society and trying to have them be any other function is destined for failure at the onset....officer friendly is okay for kindergarten but NOTHING else......and the idea that just enforcement will solve community ills is just as flawed.....its just always been the easiest of readily available options to throw at a problem and the result has been that the cops have been unrighteous vilified and the problems have only gotten worse.

      ......I also don't see any of the political leadership ANYWHERE that will be necessary to begin the correction. Nuff said.
      Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
      “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

      Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
      “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

      George Washington, (1732-1799)
      "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

      Originally posted by Country_Jim
      ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

      Comment


      • #4
        Another academic with no life experience beyond his ivory tower writing about something of which he has no firsthand knowledge. He almost immediately invalidates himself by arguing that the current structure of law enforcement is outdated because it was designed around, you guessed it, enforcing racism .
        Last edited by GangGreen712; 12-13-2014, 11:25 AM.
        "If the police have to come get you, they're bringing an @$$ kicking with them!"
        -Chris Rock

        Comment


        • #5
          Langford PR, you'd have done a hell of a lot better and been a hell of a lot more valid writing that piece.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by GangGreen712 View Post
            Another academic with no life experience beyond his ivory tower ...
            He's only an associate professor so I don't think he rates an ivory tower.

            It's plain from his CV that his area of study is big cities. Big cities have big problems and there's much to learn by studying them. Some of Vitale's assertions may be relevant to big-city policing. I neither live nor worked in a big city so I don't know.

            By my calculation, the population of the ten largest cities in the US adds up to about 8% of the total US population. The problems of big cities cannot necessarily be projected onto the nation's smaller communities, particularly since many of them come from stacking lots of people on top of each other.

            Some things are universal. I concur with Langford PR's observation about "sending-cops-to-fix-everything". As a long-service California Highway Patrol officer told me, "When I started, the Highway Patrol was a law enforcement organization. Now, it's service organization and one of the services is law enforcement."

            My community of 15,000 could do with fewer cops if they weren't asked to settle contract disputes, provide parenting advice, explain landlord - tenant law, deal with the mentally ill, find lost dogs, and answer questions for people too lazy to go to the library. Some of this is due to the de-funding of social service agencies and some due to the 911 center that gets paid for sending call to cops but not for directing callers to agencies that can actually handle their problems.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't know if this email is genuine or not, it's going around the boards and been around a while but resurfaced due to recent "unrest" with a certain segment of society. In response to police harassment, an Officer writes:



              "First of all, let me tell you this...it's not easy. In Chula Vista , we average one cop for every 600 people. Only about 60% of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as "patrol") where we do most of our harassing.

              The rest are in non-harassing departments that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. And at any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60% patrollers are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 5,000 residents.

              When you toss in the commercial business, and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 10,000 or more people a day.

              Now, your average ten-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds long. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to this challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those people which we can realistically harass.

              The tools available to us are as follows:

              PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. "My neighbor is beating his wife" is a code phrase used often. This means we'll come out and give somebody some special harassment.

              Another popular one is, "There's a guy breaking into a house." The harassment team is then put into action.

              CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or no driver's licenses and the like. It's lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light. Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, they are drunk, or have an outstanding warrant on file.

              RUNNERS: Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny. When you catch them you can harass them for hours.

              STATUTES: When we don't have PHONES or CARS and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called "Statutes"; Criminal Codes, Motor Vehicle Codes, etc... They all spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people.

              After you read the statute, you can just drive around for awhile until you find someone violating one of these listed offenses and harass them. Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, there's this book we have that says that's not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy. It is a really cool system that we have set up, and it works pretty well.

              We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them, and they pay us to "harass" some people.

              Next time you are in my town, give me the old "single finger wave." That's another one of those codes. It means, "You can harass me."
              It's one of our favorites.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Aerohead View Post
                What's hilarious is that this article suggests that communities should take responsibility for their own communities while removing the police from the equation.

                Good luck with that.

                And they think the police are corrupt. Just wait...
                Would that be the School of Tawana Brawley Justice & Societal Management?
                Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
                “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

                Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
                “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

                George Washington, (1732-1799)
                "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

                Originally posted by Country_Jim
                ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Seventy2002 View Post
                  .............My community of 15,000 could do with fewer cops if they weren't asked to settle contract disputes, provide parenting advice, explain landlord - tenant law, deal with the mentally ill, find lost dogs, and answer questions for people too lazy to go to the library. Some of this is due to the de-funding of social service agencies and some due to the 911 center that gets paid for sending call to cops but not for directing callers to agencies that can actually handle their problems.
                  Can I add this to my post?
                  Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
                  “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

                  Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
                  “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

                  George Washington, (1732-1799)
                  "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

                  Originally posted by Country_Jim
                  ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JasperST View Post
                    ............This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to eat a donut............
                    I must interject the fact that I find this to be a totally un-accept-able working environment for ANY cop!!
                    Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
                    “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

                    Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
                    “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

                    George Washington, (1732-1799)
                    "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

                    Originally posted by Country_Jim
                    ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ink Stained Wretch View Post
                      Langford PR, you'd have done a hell of a lot better and been a hell of a lot more valid writing that piece.
                      Ah shucks.

                      You know ISW it wasn't until I got out of just patrol and got into the management side of LEO that I ever saw anything but 'us vs them' (as in good v evil) and just kept the response and tactics side of the job in mind. Watching and then participating in the budget, complaints, personnel management, and city council/county closed door concerns and politics I never really understood the macro (big) picture of the profession and its relationship to the community.

                      I took away from my experiences that the VAST majority of people in LE and the management personnel/politicians of most any community are well-intentioned and 'good' people...caring, intelligent, thoughtful and trying to do the 'right' thing. Its a complex problem and the direction and core problems are ALL individual to each community.

                      The politics of envy and grievance rule our society....and they rule the conversation.
                      Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
                      “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

                      Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
                      “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

                      George Washington, (1732-1799)
                      "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

                      Originally posted by Country_Jim
                      ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Langford PR View Post
                        Ah shucks.

                        You know ISW it wasn't until I got out of just patrol and got into the management side of LEO that I ever saw anything but 'us vs them' (as in good v evil) and just kept the response and tactics side of the job in mind. Watching and then participating in the budget, complaints, personnel management, and city council/county closed door concerns and politics I never really understood the macro (big) picture of the profession and its relationship to the community.

                        I took away from my experiences that the VAST majority of people in LE and the management personnel/politicians of most any community are well-intentioned and 'good' people...caring, intelligent, thoughtful and trying to do the 'right' thing. Its a complex problem and the direction and core problems are ALL individual to each community.

                        The politics of envy and grievance rule our society....and they rule the conversation.
                        You're absolutely right about envy and grievance ruling the roost these days.

                        I've always had a respect for law enforcement, the few times I've had interactions with them were on traffic issues where I was totally in the wrong and I took my medicine without griping. Getting to interact with some of them and getting to know some of them ... in person, not electronically and anonymously like I am here ... enlightened me that they are, for the most part, just like you described. I've met a few, heard about a few, who were bad apples. You find that in every profession or trade. There are people in journalism I wouldn't let in my front door.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Langford PR View Post
                          Can I add this to my post?
                          Sure, plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No, what we need is more condoms.
                            I yell "PIKACHU" before I tase someone.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Another college professor who fancies himself a law enforcement expert. I'll comment a bit on some of his ignorance:

                              Training of police officers is notoriously inadequate and at times laughable. Officers are subjected to paramilitary drilling and discipline, lectured on paperwork and legal procedure, taught how to drive and shoot a gun, and then let loose on the public, where their colleagues quickly tell them to forget everything they learned in the academy.
                              I always find it amusing how people who've never been through a police academy believe themselves to be experts in police training. They also tend to think that Training Day is a realistic depiction of police work. Maybe it's because I wasn't paying attention, or because I don't work with Denzel Washington, but no one in my department ever told me to "forget everything [I] learned in the academy."

                              For instance, we have overwhelming evidence that the policing of drugs is a corrosive and counterproductive strategy that has done nothing to reduce the negative impact of drugs on communities.
                              Has this guy never seen what life in the inner cities was like in the 1970s when heroin was everywhere? Or the "crack epidemic" of the 1980s when violence was incredibly frequent? Crime may look bad now, but this guy needs to go back and check his statistics again. The so-called "war on drugs" has been an incredible success. Use of hard drugs and drug related deaths is much lower now than it was over the last few decades.

                              Along the same lines, we need to get police out of schools.
                              Sure, because school shootings aren't an issue anymore, right?
                              "Screw that. We can make bullets faster than they can make terrorists. Kill them all. Every last one." -Interceptor

                              Comment

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