Comment Rescue: Mike & The Police

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Patrick

Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.

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22 Responses

  1. Avatar Kimmi
    Ignored
    says:

    If one could recruit the reasonably good people who enter the Mafia/street-gangs, one might double ones’ pool of recruits.Report

  2. Interestingly, my first band was almost called ‘Mike & The Police’. Then we heard about Sting and those fellas so we changed it to ‘Mike and the Authoritarian Thugs’.Report

  3. Avatar DarrenG
    Ignored
    says:

    You’re missing a third option beyond “have fewer people in the job” or “increase standards and compensation” in both cases: Mitigate the potential damage caused by bad cops or bad teachers by granting them less, and less risky types of, power to begin with.

    Increasing standards doesn’t necessarily require significant increases in compensation, either. Additional independent oversight can serve the same function.Report

    • Avatar Mike at The Big Stick in reply to DarrenG
      Ignored
      says:

      @Darren

      “Mitigate the potential damage caused by bad cops or bad teachers by granting them less, and less risky types of, power to begin with.

      Is that procedural or the actual tools they use to do their job?Report

      • Avatar DarrenG in reply to Mike at The Big Stick
        Ignored
        says:

        Both.

        De-militarizing the police, for example. Not having SWAT teams doing tactical raids to serve drug warrants would involve both a change in police procedure and change the tools used to perform the job.

        Team teaching and peer review would be a similar example in education.Report

        • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to DarrenG
          Ignored
          says:

          > Not having SWAT teams doing tactical
          > raids to serve drug warrants would involve
          > both a change in police procedure and
          > change the tools used to perform the job.

          Drug crimes are an issue all in and of themselves.

          Still, if you’re serving a warrant on a crack house, a tactical raid is probably a good idea. If you’re serving a warrant on an apartment with a lone dealer, it’s massive overkill.

          This is more a case of, “you’re using this tactic as a default instead of as an exigent circumstances procedure”… and less of a “you should never do this”, right?

          Judging between the two isn’t trivial. You need oversight.

          How many drug raids are performed on a daily basis in the U.S.? How much time in review do you suggest the police ought to spend on deciding whether or not a given case is probably exigent?

          Do you think this will represent a major cost? (I do). Now, we can argue that we ought to spend that money regardless, but the practical reality is that budgets are being *cut*, not expanded.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to DarrenG
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m trying to wrap my head around this and come out the other end with a finite list of easily accomplished policies, and I’m getting nowhere.

      Demilitarizing the police is a pretty fuzzy concept. I’m not actually certain what it means.

      Expound?

      Team teaching and peer review would both be interesting ideas. Requiring that you hire more teachers, though. If you already can’t get a preponderance of good quality teachers, aren’t you just injecting a bunch of bad teachers into the good teachers’ experience via peer review and team teaching?

      Isn’t that… worse?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Patrick Cahalan
        Ignored
        says:

        “Demilitarizing the police is a pretty fuzzy concept. I’m not actually certain what it means.”

        No SWAT teams for any berg under 100K and no tanks (aka APC’s) for anyone. No use of SWAT teams for any purpose other than someone has someone else at gunpoint. (or other means of deadly force). No more transfers of military surplus gear to police departments.Report

        • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Kolohe
          Ignored
          says:

          I remember this and this.

          North Hollywood has a population of 77,848. Grandby has a population of 1,663. Neither of them hits your 100,000 mark. I guess you get this guy, though.

          Is there a particular reason you chose it?

          > No use of SWAT teams for any purpose
          > other than someone has someone else
          > at gunpoint.

          I have no reliable statistics to report how often SWAT teams are called out for the other purposes. Granted it happens, but I don’t think it happens with the frequency that other misuse of police authority occurs.

          > No more transfers of military surplus
          > gear to police departments.

          I think this is also somewhat besides the point. A bad cop with a Glock and a badge is just as big of a problem as a bad cop with an M-16.

          Now, if you want to talk about training, that’s something else. But in that case it’s not so much a matter of militarism.Report

          • Avatar DarrenG in reply to Patrick Cahalan
            Ignored
            says:

            North Hollywood is a district of L.A., not an independent city, so fits just fine under the “100k” rule.

            It also was a rare enough event that it leaps readily to mind 14 years later. Structuring our nation’s police forces around once-in-a-generation events like this is a Bad Idea.

            And yes, SWAT team usage has gone up dramatically over time, and for more and more routine tasks:

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/03/AR2006020302389_pf.html
            http://www.thesentinel.com/pgs/news/SWAT-team-tactics-Prince-George-s-CountyReport

            • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to DarrenG
              Ignored
              says:

              > It also was a rare enough event that it
              > leaps readily to mind 14 years later.

              So granted.

              > Structuring our nation’s police forces
              > around once-in-a-generation events
              > like this is a Bad Idea.

              Also, agreed.

              We should move this part of the discussion over to Will’s post, as it’s only tangential to the point I was making above.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Patrick Cahalan
            Ignored
            says:

            100K is completely arbitrary; as it is, I’d rather just let go on exceeding rare events (like the North Hollywood bank robbery or 9/11) than make the the baseline for the response requirements that the government builds it capabilities around. As this may not be politically feasible, it would still be good governance for a single multi-jurisdictional unit for all of the greater LA area.

            In any case, what Darren said about Balko. Ten years of reading Radley has turned my military veteran, law &order type, notional Republican self into a dirty hippie / NWA lyric aficionado when it comes to police departments.Report

      • Avatar DarrenG in reply to Patrick Cahalan
        Ignored
        says:

        Kolohe hit on the major points I was getting at with police de-militarization, and Radley Balko does sterling work in this area if you’re interested.

        Since 9/11 state and local police agencies have been increasingly using military equipment and tactics as routine parts of their job, which puts both civilians and cops at increased risk of injury or death.

        In education, peer review doesn’t require adding any teachers, just re-tasking the ones that we already have. Team teaching can require an increased number of bodies, depending on how it’s implemented (some districts have experimented with combining classes and having multiple teachers work with a larger group of students, but I’m not sure what the results were, or if they were definitive).

        Also specific to education, I strongly suspect that we could attract more good teachers by changing things other than their pay rate. Having known a fair number of teachers, pay is usually somewhere around #3 or #4 on their list of standard complaints. Solving the big ones related to autonomy and administration may be more bang for the buck than just throwing more money at salaries.Report

        • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to DarrenG
          Ignored
          says:

          > In education, peer review doesn’t require
          > adding any teachers, just re-tasking the
          > ones that we already have.

          Wait. What?

          If you have a full time employee and suddenly you demand that they participate in peer review, they are now a full time employee with peer review duties. Something has to give somewhere.Report

          • Avatar DarrenG in reply to Patrick Cahalan
            Ignored
            says:

            Yes, this does imply that they spend their time differently. I’ll admit to not being familiar with all the intimate details of the various peer review experiments that have shown promise, but I vaguely remember that they carved the time for peer preparation and review out of solo class prep and continuing education hours.Report

  4. It’s interesting to note that at least in NYC shooting by police were at a record low in 2010.

    http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-01-12/news/27087208_1_police-involved-shootings-police-officers-cops-shot

    As a corollary fatal shootings of the police are at a 20-year high.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-07-20-police-shooting-deaths-gunfire-ambushes-budget-cuts_n.htm

    This might explain some of the tactical changes people are complaining about in these comments.Report

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