Altering the Policing Paradigm
“Abolish the Police!”
“Defund the Police!”
What does that mean? Well, one thing I know is that neither of those is literally what anyone wants to have happen, but they fit on a protest sign and can be chanted during a march. Still, the devil is in the details.
So what are the details?
For me, it’s pretty simple:
- Recognize that not every call to 911 requires the response of an armed officer, and that a lot of said calls would be better served with a social worker or a mental health professional.
- Recognize that even simple calls can go biblically pear shaped and require the use of force to resolve.
Given 1 & 2, we could restructure the police such that:
- Create 3 tiers of officers: Community Patrol, Armed Response, SWAT
- Community Patrol are officers who are not armed with lethal weapons, and who do not have arrest powers. Think of them as folks with a radio to dispatch, maybe some mace and/or a taser, and they exist to help people. They are the folks who respond to noise complaints and drunks singing badly to themselves at 0200, etc. They engage, evaluate, explain, and if necessary, they call for support (EMTs/Fire/Mental Health) or backup from Armed Response.
- If things get tense, or if the call specifically talks about violence, Armed Response is dispatched. This is what our current police would become. They do not patrol as such. They may be mobile, but they do not engage with anything that is not clearly violence (they see a fight happening, or a burglary in progress, etc.). Their job is, primarily, to be the muscle Community Patrol occasionally needs, or to act as backup to SWAT.
- SWAT reverts back to it’s original mission (no more warrant service just because). SWAT exists to handle hostage situations, or any case where there is a clear potential for violent response to the presence of LE. If Armed Response can’t handle it, SWAT will.
- Obviously, training would focus on those missions.
- Ideally, officers would rotate through Community Patrol and Armed Response (SWAT is specialized enough that rotations in and out would be infrequent).
- End no-knock warrants. Or severely restrict them and demand that judges require evidence of due diligence, not just the officers say-so (drone footage of armed guards or stockpiled weapons or hostages, etc.).
- End the drug war while we are at it (that takes care of 95% of the no-knocks).
- Have police deploy drones for recon. Remember this case? A drone could have given police eyes on without an itchy trigger finger.
- Push for the development of more non-lethal options for police.
- End QI.
- Limit the Unions.
This is just me spitballing. Kick some more ideas around in the comments.
Photo by noii’s