On The Police: Ripe For Reform?


Everywhere I go, I see some policeman sitting around waiting to hand out a $130 traffic citation. For 2 decades now, TV stations have carried shows like ‘COPS’ showing stern hard-working police officers pursuing obvious criminals in daring high speed car chases and apprehending them. It gives the impression that the police are all doing a fantastic job. But are they really?

Maybe all the dramatic COPS shows on TV must have really got to their heads. For some police officers, ‘Serve and Protect’ became ‘Enforcement’, and then just ‘Force’. Small towns, even before the recession, fell in love with the fat profits of issuing many silly citations, especially to people who don’t live in (who don’t vote in) that town.

Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, many police forces have begun buying military equipment such as armored personnel carriers and assault rifles. It is becoming increasingly hard to distinguish police forces in many of our larger cities from those in many Third World countries. It is completely unnecessary, expensive, and scary. How does having an armored personnel carrier help police stop the next Bernie Madoff, foil a terrorist plot, or apprehend the person(s) who broke in my car?

I don’t think most people are looking for in-your-face security from the police. Correct me if I am wrong, I think most of us are looking for decent, honest, low-key, low-cost policing to protect our family, money and neighborhoods. I think we should return to that style of policing.

I also know that there are many honest, caring and effective police officers. I call on those many policemen who are motivated by Justice and the Public Good to help fix this problem. I call on the local elected officials who employ policemen to insist upon ethics from the Men in Blue, and from themselves. Finally I call on the courts and the voters to keep everybody honest.

Have any of you ever had a bad police experience? What do you want from the police? What do you think would improve police behavior and effectiveness? Please comment!

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3 Comments on “On The Police: Ripe For Reform?”

  1. Livia Rojas Says:

    it is hard to talk about police in my country where the rate of illegal actions and impunity is high.Police walks hand to hand with the ones we point as guilty(due to bad salaries)…Many mistakes are observed including the death of many citizens that were considered workers and not thieves.It is sad to think of people who were suppose to protect us and are involved with many illegal things…there will always be the ones we can count on and the ones we need to avoid.

  2. I’ve been fighting this type of police corruption, which basically stems from a rebellious attitude, my whole career (31 years worth). I just set up a character-based site for law enforcement to help educate cops about this stuff. Check it out at http://policedynamics.wordpress.com/.

    Sheriff Ray

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