Huffington Post’s Tim Mullen: Cops Should Stay at the Station and Wait for a Call

(ourtesy chronicle.northcoastnow.com)

Over at huffingtonpost.com, Tim Mullen has a radical idea on how to prevent dubious officer-involved shootings and civil rights abuses: confine cops to their station until they’re needed. You know; like firemen. No really. “If they were, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, and Sandra Bland would be alive today. All three encountered police doing what would be considered outlandish for any other institution charged with public safety: roaming the streets, looking for trouble” . . .

No one had called 911 asking for protection from Scott, Gray or Bland. No judges had issued warrants for their arrests. All three were, at least at the time of their arrests, just walking or driving down the street, minding their own business. They were detained in what are generally considered “routine” but are in reality wholly unnecessary encounters with police . . .

I’m going to suggest a solution that will sound radical, even in a country that styles itself “the land of free.” Let’s get cops off the streets, unless responding to a 911 call or serving a warrant issued by a judge. Everyone would be freer and safer, including the police officers themselves.

But what of the crime deterrent effect of cops cruising up and down our country roads and city streets in their computer-enabled arsenals on wheels, ready to ticket citizens for broken taillights intercept bad guys? According to some, keeping the cops at the cop shop doesn’t negatively impact public safety. callthecops.net (from January 2015):

Police departments across the country are pulling patrol officers off the road. Police will still be on duty but will only respond to 911 calls. No pro-active policing will take place.

Police chiefs say that anti police feelings from the public are pushing this move to re-active only policing. Chiefs also cite the famous Kansas City Patrol experiment [of 1972/1973] as justification for this move.

The Kansas City experiment showed that police on patrol does nothing to lower or prevent crimes. In the experiment parts of Kansas City had few patrol cars on the street and other parts had extra patrol cars. During the experiment crime rates did not change . . .

Old news that’s news to me. Anyway, HuffPo’s Mullen is on board, with a pitch for  . . . wait for it . . . gun rights.

Here’s the catch: you can’t have a free society where this “protection” occurs in advance. The federal and every state constitution assumes the government can’t and shouldn’t do anything to prevent a crime. The Fourth and Fifth amendments were written to keep the government from even trying. They assume the government is powerless until a crime has already occurred, the Fourth in particular providing further restraint on how the government investigates after the fact.

Defending oneself while a crime is occurring is left to the citizen. It’s not a responsibility of the police. Even the Supreme Court agrees. Protecting oneself is what the Second Amendment is all about.

How about them apples? A Huffington Post writer calling for citizens to protect themselves and send the State back to the bullpen. The Age of Miracles and all that. So … what about it? Is Mullen right when he states “We don’t need police officers out patrolling the streets”?

comments

  1. avatar Danny says:

    I second the motion. However, it has to be acknowledged that police get A LOT more calls than the fire department. Many of them will never make it back to the station house between 911 calls. Just jumping from one 911 noise complaint and domestic-violence situation to another will keep them on “constructive patrol” on Friday and Saturday nights in many neighborhoods.

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      If it means they’ll stop sitting on the I-90 onramps and on Westlake Ave waiting to give harmless motorcycle riders speeding tickets, I’m on board with it too.

      1. avatar Nate says:

        Not sure what state you are in but here in NY State on I-90 only LEO’s on the interstate are Staties and the occasional Sheriff’s Deputy or municipal cop on his way to a specific place. I don’t live in a metro enough area but I’d like to see more officers walking a beat, something about that is reassuring, don’t get me wrong officers in cars is vital but the term beat cop seams like its going the way of the past.

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          Cop – walk? What century/planet are you in.

        2. avatar WedelJ says:

          ^New York?

        3. avatar MarkPA says:

          “. . . officers walking a beat, something about that is reassuring, . . . ”
          What is the attraction of cops walking a beat? “Something” and “reassuring” look like “feel-good” arguments.

          I’m not opposed to “feel-good” activities that produce more social value then they cost. Suppose a municipality decides to hire a team of massage therapists to go around offering massages to it’s citizens. Maybe they would find after a couple of years that there is a reduction in stress and that the tax-payers want to continue the program. Fine with me.

          To get closer to “cops walking the beat”, suppose a municipality had a team of social workers to “walk a beat”. They might discover that one of the kids in the neighborhood is acting kind of strange. Maybe he needs psychological intervention; or discipline. A social worker might get that kid what he needs (perhaps a referral to the Police Athletic League). Why a cop?

          It seems to me that cops walking a beat are more likely to intervene in a situation where they are not needed; vs., driving by in a car on their way to a 911 call.

          Perhaps that which is of value is establishing a relationship between the cops and the community; not patrolling for crime. Fine. In that case, a tiny fraction of police hours could be used to circulate through the community meeting shop-keepers and greeting customers at major thoroughfares such as at Walmart or grocery stores. Once the citizenry has had the opportunity to meet Officer Friendly they should feel more comfortable calling the non-emergency number and discussing some police concern.

          If we are serious about changing policing to a reactive model we really need to understand clearly what it is that is attractive about the pro-active model. It might be nothing more than the pro-active model is familiar and we are unwilling to let-go of the familiar. But whatever it is, we need to be able to pin-it-down specifically before we will persuade the public to forego it.

  2. OK if they do, then I want the huffing and puffing ton post to call for national constitutional carry on any firearm made. Up to and including full auto.

  3. avatar Bob says:

    I agree and would add: don’t call the police unless it is absolutely necessary. Far too many of them just escalate things and cause more trouble.

  4. avatar dwb says:

    This!!!

    But, it’s a bit chilly in hell just now.

  5. avatar ARC61 says:

    Maybe we should make a law requiring Criminals to surrender themselves at the Police station after committing any crime. That way the Police won’t even have to have cars. Think of the Savings!

  6. avatar Kurt says:

    I’d be ok with it.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    Cops work best when they are part of the community, when people know their names and they know the people.

    So yeah, get the cops out of their assault vehicles and deploy them into high-crime areas on foot. Bring back “walking the beat.” It’s the best crime prevention measure ever invented.

    1. avatar Cincinnatus says:

      When I worked in LE, I took every opportunity to conduct foot patrols because I believe in the “walking the beat” principle as you do. It works ok for strictly routine patrolling, but It is very difficult to cover ground in a reasonably timely fashion, though and if you get an emergency call for service you don’t have any hope of getting there quickly unless you have your car nearby…this severely restricts the utility of a foot patrol unless you limit it to short duration and limited geographical area, such as walking through a parking lot looking for broken windows, etc. At nighttime, unless you’re patrolling a busy area with lots of pedestrians, it’s almost useless.
      Vehicle patrols definitely have their place, and plenty of criminals get picked up from crime pattern analysis in a given area and evidence developed from active vehicle patrolling.

    2. avatar Nate says:

      Agreed! I recently moved. In my old town I knew all the LE officers, most likely because I worked with a lot of them but also because they were part of the community, even if they didn’t live in the area you just knew them. Its nice being able to wave to a cop and him to wave back and say “Oh that was Officer so-and-so!”. Its great knowing an officer outside of work too, a lot of preventive crime could be done sitting in the backyard by the pool having a talk with an off duty cop about just life. Now I live in an area where the Sheriff’s Office has to patrol since the municipal police isn’t large and only does a small area and I mostly see them trying to catch speeders or responding to a domestic incident or traffic incident. Not as personal…For city’s, downtown areas, etc. I’d love to see more officers walking a beat…like I posted above the term beat cop seams to be going the way of the past…

  8. avatar Jim says:

    It will be Death Race 2000 on the streets. Drunk drivers, no insurance, unregistered cars, running stop lights and stop signs. Crosswalks will be free fire zones.

    1. avatar Danny says:

      What’s the down side?

      1. avatar Chicago Steve says:

        I promised my mother I would refrain from death racing

    2. avatar Tater says:

      Crime rate wouldn’t change. The people breaking the law are still gonna break it and the ones going 10 miles over the speed limit are not gonna be charged with road taxes.

    3. avatar dlj95118 says:

      …sounds like a typical day here in the sunny, south SF bay area!

    4. avatar JasonM says:

      Look at this baby?

    5. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      I live in a city where as recently as yesterday a 63 year old crazy man went barreling the wrong way down the Interstate, intentionally hitting as many other vehicles as possible, in the course of a thirty minute police chase. They finally boxed him in, and he retaliated by ramming police cars. Fearing for their safety, the cops unloaded on him. Final tally: about 40 damaged cars and one ambient temperature crazy man. Ironically, in Houston in August, that’s actually higher than standard 98.6 degrees body temperature.
      Onlookers described the scene as being like something out of a movie.

      So I’m not sure all that much would change here if the tax collectors for the welfare state just cooled their heels at the station until the Bat Signal went up.

    6. avatar Stinkeye says:

      So, in other words, pretty much no change from the current situation?

  9. avatar Mark N. says:

    Sounds like what they are doing in Detroit. Doesn’t seem to be working, though.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Yeah it is, since they got CC, assaults have been trending down, even faster than population loss!

  10. avatar Bob102 says:

    Hmm, intriguing idea. Most rural towns have limited and sometimes no law enforcement patrolling their streets, and they seem to do okay. Some large city police departments have so many calls, they have no time other than to respond to calls. There are so many variables, especially considering the diversity of crime issues from city to city and neighborhood to neighborhood, I am hard pressed to believe one solution will work everywhere. I have always been a fan of community policing where officers are permanently assigned an area, and they spend their time between calls getting to know the people who live there. But, I think community policing died in many large cities after the police started gearing up for war.

  11. avatar Smoke Jensen says:

    Finally some common sense from that e-rag.
    Sign me up.

  12. avatar Stateisevil says:

    Such a move would be consistent with living in a free society; we can’t have that in Amerika. Also, what of all the tax money lost over “speeding” tickets? Most people who aren’t total boot licking “safety” ninnies know that the vast majority of speed limits are anything but. Just an excuse to milk the tax cows further and go on fishing expeditions. The weird thing is, most people know this, but nothing changes.

  13. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    I’m for it.

  14. avatar JasonM says:

    Did a hosting company accidentally merge the content databases for LewRockwell.com and huffpo.com?
    <Goes to LewRockwell.com to look for an article about the “benefits” of state-run health care>
    Nope, looks like a HuffPo fluke.

  15. avatar Timmy o toole says:

    They wouldn’t be able to afford the loss of money issuing tickets. These officers have ticket quotas to fill.

    1. avatar Bruce Badger says:

      This whole “quota” thing is largely a red herring.

      Today I drove for miles in various “construction” zones, with no sign of construction except endless cones, but I was subject to fines of $375 for driving over 55. So no, I’m no fan of speed traps etc.

      In the 70s, three friends of mine served 30 day unpaid suspensions for refusing to fill their “expected activity level” as Illinois State Troopers. Yes, it was an unofficial quota. 20 tickets a month. Less than 1 violation a day.

      I never wrote a speeding ticket for less than 20 over my whole career, and was much more likely to ticket someone for other more egregious violations. Cops that wrote too many tickets were disparaged as “traffic cops”. The cops we admired made felony arrests. And I never had a problem writing an average of at least one ticket a day. Hell, one month I made 30 DUI arrests, a complicated, time consuming process in Illinois at the time. And none of those were border line, harassment type arrests either. None under.20 BAC. People who were a clear danger to others on the road. You probably see at least one idiot on the road every day, endangering himself and others.

      Point is, most departments do NOT incentivize traffic stops as a source of revenue. (There are exceptions. When I lived in Florida the towns of Lake Mary and Windemere both received over 80% of their city budget from traffic fines.)

      Many departments however, do reward drug arrests (and the often resulting confiscation of private property). This may encourage a lot of these chickensh*t stops to give them “probable cause” to circumvent the Fourth Ammendment.

      1. avatar DJ says:

        I saw a judge dismiss one of those “construction zone” tickets because no workers were present. YMMV.

  16. avatar MarkPA says:

    I think it makes sense to consider traffic cops patrolling as a separate issue from crime patrols.

    Regarding traffic violations, we can have considerable enforcement from cameras issuing tickets for speeding and running stop signs/lights. Probably have to have patrols for careless/wreak-less driving, DWI. (Whether we like cameras or not is a separate issue.)

    Now, for other crime, we really have to ask whether we have enough police to have a density of policing that will really cause a cop to stop a crime-in-progress with any frequency. The rational answer is: of course not. Maybe there are special cases; e.g., NYPD patrolling the NYC diamond district. In general, its unrealistic to have enough police to have a material chance of being in the right place at the right time.

    The earliest vestiges of policing were primarily reactive. If a criminal got away you gave the sheriff as good a description as you could and he went after the suspect. The sheriff could concentrate on chasing suspect while you had a farm to run. The sheriff would bring the suspect to court without the risk of you finding and lynching the wrong suspect. This division of labor made sense.

    What happens in the inner-city under pro-active policing? The cops act in the role of parents and elders. The parents and elders of the community no longer have any duty to apprehend and admonish unlawful behavior. No one has any responsibility for defending their persons or property. The community can approve of belligerent behavior on the part of young males toward outsider-cops.

    In bankrupt municipalities reactive policing has been forced upon departments; e.g., Detroit. Once the time-to-response rises from 10 minutes to 1 hour or more there is no longer any illusion that the cops will be there while the perpetrator is still on/near the scene of the crime.

    In morally bankrupt municipalities, e.g., Baltimore, the police are de-facto reactive. It is in their own interest to avoid confronting a suspect unless they are compelled to do so by a complaint.

    It’s really a question of whether the public will recognize that this shift is taking place and that they need to assume responsibility for the vacumb left by the police who are effectively disappearing from their precincts.

  17. avatar Gabe says:

    LOL, those of you that think this is a good idea…go do a ridealong with your local PD. While your sitting in the squad car, watch the computer on board and pay attention to the calls coming in. You will be enlightened. There are so many 911 calls coming in that the units can’t respond to all of them already. Yes there are slow times but then there’s the rest of the time.
    You will also learn that many times being in the area of serious crime going down makes the difference of victims living or not, and the bad guys being caught or not. You would also learn that many crimes are stopped in progress by patrolling.
    I love it when armchair intellectuals decide how others should do their job. Thanks for the laugh.
    And aren’t readers on this site constantly complaining about the actions of a few being used as justification to strip away our rights? But it’s ok to judge the actions of a few officers to come up with a whole new way that they are supposed to do their jobs because of your feelings. Now, what was that definition of hypocrisy again?

    1. avatar Matt in TX says:

      @Gabe”I love it when armchair intellectuals decide how others should do their job.”

      I love it when armchair Liberal trolls decide how others should express their 2nd Amendment rights. Fixed it for you.

      1. avatar Gabe says:

        LOL, nice landing Matt!
        [whisper voice] wrong airport bud

        Not a liberal, not saying anything about anyone expressing 2A rights but A for effort!

  18. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Stupid victimless crime laws and just plain power harassment does not a safer society make. Cops are part of the problem, but the legislatures and courts make all of this a joke as well. The cops have their own agenda and about 60% has nothing to do with public safety.

    1. avatar John E> says:

      what exactly do you define as a victimless crime? I am curious to know. Drug crimes…there are victims. property crimes? traffic? which ones don’t have a victim?

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        One approach (among many) is to look for a complaining victim; if you don’t find a complaining victim then it’s a candidate for the characterization of victim-less.

        If the apparent victim isn’t capable of speaking for himself – he’s dead or in a coma – then one may reasonably infer that there would be a complaining victim if he could speak for himself.

        If a driver is violating a traffic law with no objection from other drivers (speeding, crawling through a red light) then there is an argument for characterizing this as victim-less. If the cop is ticketing this driver it looks more-so as if it’s revenue generating.

        I don’t offer this as a single and simple solution. E.g., it doesn’t lend itself to environmental concerns. If a perpetrator is polluting the environment then there is no single victim or readily identifiable group of victims. There is a class of self-styled victims who are actually injured; or, they perceive an injury. If an up-stream municipality dumps its untreated sewage into a river a down-stream municipality must incur extra cost to clean the water it draws from the river to make it potable. There, we can see a real injury. CO2 pollution is not so clear.

      2. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Seems to me that owning a rifle with a less-than-16-inch barrel without paying for a tax stamp is a victimless crime, for example. But you can enjoy ten years in the federal pen for it.

  19. avatar joe_thousandaire says:

    Hell yes!

  20. avatar Hasdrubal says:

    There are places where this kind of thing will work and places where it won’t. Baltimore, for example.

  21. avatar FedUp says:

    If the experiment was such a glowing success, why didn’t they implement it permanently?

    Loss of ticket revenue?

  22. avatar Billy.hill says:

    Time to drink and drive…

    1. avatar Ted says:

      And if you don’t cause any personal injury or property damage – why should anyone care?

      Trading our freedom for some fictitious security that police can not (and are not obligated to) provide is what got us into this mess.

      I’d be willing to take my chances with less police if that means a freer existence.

  23. avatar Stuki Moi says:

    Even a broken clock…….

    There used to be a pretty strong anarchist wing of the political left. But they unfortunately lost out to the Lenins becoming Stalins becoming Palmes becoming Obamas of the world. Here’s to hoping they return. With a vengeance.

    Exactly what motivations someone might have for reducing the reach and scope of government, takes at best a very, very distant second to them being in favor of reducing it, period.

  24. avatar matty 9 says:

    In my neighborhood, the only effect would be a drop in revenue for the department (no more speeding tickets). But where my cop buddy patrols the mean streets in the crappiest parts of Houston. He would ALWAYS be on a call, and would never see the station till shift change.

  25. avatar pod says:

    I haven’t seen much crime reduction from posting LE on patrol around here (South Florida).

    Bad things still happen.

    Cops patrolling spend most of their time on revenue collection. I don’t really thing highway patrol is necessary, that’s for sure. Modern vehicles can cruise comfortably and safely at 90 MPH or better. Speeding tickets are just taxation.

  26. avatar Good Riddance says:

    But then how will cops meet their quotas and pad their pensions by stealing property and extorting people?

    How will they be able to play soldier by burning and mutilating toddlers with flashbang grenades?

    How will they know the joy of protecting the community by leaping on the hood of a car driven by a confused sorority girl and shooting her three times in the head through the windshield?

  27. avatar pod says:

    If a compromise were to be made, I would suggest that patrolling cops get out of their cars and walk the beat like back in the day. Community involvement does help a lot. But revenue stops are just statist moneymaking schemes.

  28. avatar Seth says:

    We used to not have assault cops all over the place back in the day and look at all the blood in the streets!!! not really. everything clicked along just fine.
    Then the Bobbies came from the UK.

  29. avatar Slopperator says:

    I’m genuinely pleased with 95% of the responses here. I didn’t expect to see so many people supporting this idea.

  30. avatar Dustin says:

    I support this idea… I realize the ideal of what cops are meant to be would be horribly handicapped by this notion. But that ideal doesn’t actually exist. I don’t need cops ‘deterring’ crime. I’m better at everything they pretend to do without hardly trying. This is reality, not the ideal. Lets deal with reality, not some pretend utopian fantasy. When it comes to cops, it seems that conservatives take on the liberal mindset… Imaginary feelings become more important than reality. Reality is that we’re better off without cops.

    1. avatar MarkPA says:

      “Reality is that we’re better off without cops.”
      The institution of the police is not a bad idea as originally envisioned. We ought not throw the baby out with the bathwater. It can be a bad idea as it has operated in our generation.
      We need to think back on the original expectation. There was no delusion that a cop would be there to stop a crime. It was only long after the crime had occurred and could be reported by a runner or a messenger on horseback that the cop could be called. The cop could introduce objectivity into the chase. In lieu of the victim barging into other peoples premises looking for the perp the cop could inquire graciously. In lieu of the victim lynching the suspect he found the cop could bring him to trial. The cop could pursue perps on behalf of victims who lacked the time and ability to do so themselves. and didn’t have friends or family to do it for them.

      The problems we see are when we expect the cops to act as witnesses and pursuers. Conflating these roles we now lose the objectivity. ‘I saw something; I interpret what I saw to be a crime; I pursue.’ No 2’nd party complaining party is required; we can pursue victim-less crimes.

      We can debate whether diverse crimes are truly victim-less (poker-game in someone’s home) or non-complaining-victom (prostitute, drug-user). Yet, once the category of victim-less crime can be pursued at the initiative of the police then that category can be expanded to cover all sorts of “evils” that politicians create or interest-groups pursue.

  31. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Yeah sounds good to me-but my taxes would go way up. Not gonna’ happen here(Cook co,il) anyway. A little less standing army and a bit more “protect & serve” would be nice…

  32. avatar Dustin says:

    Think of it fro a perspective of causality. It’s not that cops are crap. Crap already exists. The problem is that crap is hand-picked for the job by much larger turds. They get off on the abuse of power, superiority. They’re weak disturbed people who get off on pinning a shiny emblem of the state’s power onto themselves. And the politicians love it that way. The power offered attracts just the kind of sicko that politicians like to have as pawns.

    If they can no longer roam about looking for targets to victimize, then this robs them of motivation. People like that won’t be interested in the job any more. Decent people will be cops once again.

    Fife was often found sitting in his chair at the cop shop, was he not? Look back in time a little, back in the day when cops were pleasant and decent people, this is exactly how it was. They sat around at the station waiting for some reason to not be at the station… Pin a badge on an overcompensating predator and give him a free car and license to kill, well, duh, what psychopath wouldn’t want that job?

  33. avatar Medic155 says:

    Call the Cops is a public safety satire site. Which makes this article about pulling cops off the street that much funnier.

  34. avatar Aerindel says:

    I have to agree. I am a fireman and EMT and am proud that I only violate civil and property rights when people actually ask me to rather than driving around on the tax payers dime looking for trouble. I am happy to help people, even if it means risking my life, but I only want to help people who actually want my help. The rest of the time I am happy to let people manage their own affairs.

  35. avatar Hannibal says:

    I know of no modern industrialized nation where such a style of policing occurs (as opposed to some sort of proactive patrol). At least it would be an honest attempt to do something, rather than what politicians do now: blame the cops for doing too much and too little at the same time.

    I wonder if we could stop relying on the cops for all sorts of things we should be able to handle ourselves. Neighbors having a party? How about you go over and ask them to quiet down?

  36. avatar Wiregrass says:

    Something tells me Mullen’s logic is going to get him read the riot act from the HuffPo faithful.

  37. avatar Bdk NH says:

    I think this is a fabulous idea. It will never happen. The Police provide the input in the form of arrests to the enormous law enforcement apparatus in this country. Many of these arrests come from drug related offenses made by officers on patrol. The system can’t handle the court cases and is geared to deliver plea bargains with fines that take months to to resolve. Justice has little to anything to do with it these days. I liken the system to a pig, pun intended, that relies on big arrest numbers to sustain it’s mass coupled with Prosecutors who over charge to generate bacon for the state.

    It’s not often looked at this way but law enforcement and the modern judicial system are a massive jobs program for high school, college liberal arts, other non technical graduates that were incapable of math or having an original thought. BTW, my best friend is a cop ( a good one BTW) and would be the first to admit he really had no other job options after screwing off in high school and failing out of college after 2 years. The Bill Clinton community policing initiative in the early 90s was the best thing that ever happened to him because it saved him from a life of labor.

    1. avatar MarkPA says:

      “I think this is a fabulous idea. It will never happen.”
      Something is going to happen; it’s just not yet clear what that will be.

      Municipalities strapped for cash can lay-off police. That puts the police into a reactive mode.
      Municipalities that are intimidated by the Black agitators for “social justice” will reel-in the cops from looking for trouble among the misunderstood and abused youth of the inner-city.

      Speeding and stop-light infractions can be more efficiently ticketed by cameras. So, the revenue model will be sustained by a substitution of capital (cameras) for labor (cops on patrol).

      Property crimes can be more efficiently policed by cameras; put up 4 cameras on 4 sides of a building and have one minimum-wage employee watching 48 screens.

      I don’t propose that I have clarity on what exactly will happen; it is only clear that the high cost of policing pro-actively is going to hit a wall of deteriorating municipal finances.

      The cost of cameras and recording equipment is plummeting. Municipalities move slowly; businessmen and consumers move quickly. Perhaps what we will see is ubiquitous cameras+recording such that it becomes impractical to engage in burglary without being recorded, identified and eventually arrested. Crime would then have to shift to the streets; car-jacking; armed robbery. That will increase the practice of carry.

      1. We are already seeing burglars working to defeat cameras by wearing masks, destroying cameras, and using stolen vehicles.

        Still, anything that makes the criminals job harder, works to decrease crime. Cameras and monitoring are having an effect.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          “We are already seeing buglars working to defeat cameras by wearing masks, destroying cameras, and using stolen vehicles.”
          A burglar needs to put his mask on somewhere. He could put it on at home, drive to the target destination, and not be recognized. However, he’s going to be pretty suspicious driving down the street with a mask on. Seems to me that he’s got to wait to don the mask until he is pretty close to the target.
          What I’m imagining is a neighborhood where most (not necessarily all) neighbors have cameras targeted at unpredictable and undetectable angles. Enough so that odds are good that the burger will walk past at least one camera before donning his mask.

          I think that home-owners ought to have conspicuous dummy cameras and un-conspicous working cameras such that the strategy to destroy the (conspicuous) dummy cameras won’t work very well.

          Stealing a vehicle adds another element of risk; driving around for a while displaying the plates on a stolen vehicle.

          I don’t think we are right at the threshold of bringing property crime to a grinding halt. However, I see on the horizon the ability to tech-up to such a point. I see the proposition as one of making a correct social decision based on the “total cost of ownership”.

          Today, I pay my taxes for the police, courts and prisons. I pay homeowner’s insurance for theft; auto “comprehensive” insurance for car theft; and, some health insurance for injuries I might sustain. I pay for life insurance in case I’m killed by a robber. What do all these costs translate to on a per-capita or per-family basis? Is it really less than the cost of armoring-up our homes and businesses, plus the cost of surveillance? Since I will make all these payments anyway – for the foreseeable future – they are cheaper than installing cameras and baring the doors and windows. As the prophylactic measures become cheaper, I’ll do them just to avoid becoming a victim. Eventually, enough people will do the same, whereupon the costs of cops . . . insurance to society will start coming down.

          We don’t need 100% coverage of difficult to penetrate buildings and surveillance. We need enough coverage such that the criminal who has dedicated his life to this particular craft will find that he is getting arrested on every 3’rd or 4th crime.

  38. avatar John in Ohio says:

    Wow, a HuffPo article I agree with; at least at first glance. This is awkward. 😀

  39. avatar Accur81 says:

    Ah, yes, traffic violations are “harmless.” My current collision investigation total is 1,324 crashes over 14 years. Of those, “harmless” violations such as speed, unsafe lane change, unsafe turning movements, DUI, red light, etc. were the Primary Collision Factor in about 98% of the incidents. Other than Driver (driver not at fault) and Unknown accounted for less than 2% of the incidents.

    Broken tail lights, window tint, unsafely worn tires and other mechanical defects also contributed to collisions.

    After taking a few hundred crashes, I just started writing tickets for the types of driving behavior that causes or contributes to crashes. That also results in impounds, DUI and warrant arrests, and stolen vehicle recoveries. Most drivers seriously over estimate their driving ability. CA is actually pretty lenient on many of their traffic laws such as speed. Some other states are ridiculously strict.

    I’m not denying that traffic cops – all cops – can make enforcement actions that range from inappropriate to tyrannical. The police need to be policed. So does the motoring public.

    As an example, I just returned from an 8-car traffic collision that may have involved a driver who lost control due to a seizure. That injury collision blocked 3 lanes of the freeway for about an hour during commute hours in downtown LA. A single freeway lane can handle approximately 10,000 cars per hour at maximum capacity. Residual delays exist once an incident is cleared from lanes and moved to the right shoulder. Given that some of those vehicles had passengers, that’s about 100,000 or more hours of lost productivity.

    Would I medically suspend that persons license, should it be deemed appropriate by the treating doctor? Yes. Yes, I would. Driving isn’t for everyone.

  40. avatar Eric says:

    No way that would ever happen. Somewhere along the way Police have become a revenue generating arm of the town and state. They spend most of their day looking for ways to ticket people. Many of these are the people they were hired to serve and protect. Don’t get me wrong… there are good officers… but there are far to many bad policies and bad cops. How many people can honestly say they don’t think “oh crap, what am I doing wrong” when they see a police car.

  41. avatar DetroitMan says:

    When seconds count, the police are only 15 to 20 minutes away. Because they’re all benched at the station. Brilliant!

    Can we private citizens please have our guns now? Because with this plan there is absolutely zero chance that a cop will be around to defend me and mine.

  42. avatar George says:

    Actually, all of them would be alive today is they had just obeyed the lawful orders of a police officer. Sure, some over-reacted, but the dead people instigated the confrontation, then egos went into play.

  43. avatar meadowsr says:

    “Is Mullen right when he states “We don’t need police officers out patrolling the streets”?”

    I may be pulling this from the nether regions, but seems to me that, statistically speaking, a significant majority of citizens will see absolutely zero difference in response time between cops being on the beat and cops twiddling their thumbs behind a desk at the station, should the need arise for them to summon the police.

    I’d love to be shown verifiable statistics that I’m wrong…

  44. avatar rip_vw32 says:

    I guess I am the only one here who noticed the tone was more towards anti-4th & 5th amendments than for the Second? I seemed to take it as he was mocking the Second, while at the same time pointing out that the government would be better able to protect the citizenry if the 4th and 5th didn’t prevent them from doing so…

    Did no one else catch that?

  45. avatar Thomas W. says:

    Ok, I’ll play along. I live outside the Mooresville, NC city limits, therefore Iredell County Sheriff’s dept. has juridiction in my area. The local ICS office is three miles away, but that office is closed outside of their 8-5, and all calls are deferred to the Statesville office, seventeen miles away. So if a “poor, innocent” homie busts my door down at 0200, am i supposed to wait fortyfive minutes for the authorities to come get his worthless carcass out of my house, or should i just let the 350 lbs. worth of dogs i have clean it up for them?

    1. avatar JWM says:

      You don’t want to make sh*t eaters of your dogs.

      1. avatar Thomas W. says:

        I’d be more worried about them getting lead poisoning.

  46. avatar Glenn says:

    Firemen are kept at the fire station until they are called, but I get to carry any
    fire extinguisher that I want in in any place.
    There are no signs that tell me I can’t bring my fire extinguisher.

    So if they make the cops stay at their police station, until they are called
    then
    I AM GOING TO CARRY ANY TYPE A FIREARM WITH ME AT ALL TIMES AND
    ALL PLACES OF MY CHOOSING.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      That’s the way it was supposed to be already. Unfortunately, government, intentionally or not, misidentifies a problem (too many people armed) and then implements its solution (gun control) which then creates more problems (need more police).

  47. avatar Vanbulance says:

    This makes me giggle in that they are suggesting these changes as Fire Departments and EMS services are experimenting with system status management- posting trucks and crews around the assigned coverage area to reduce response times.
    Not saying one way or the other is right or wrong, but it is ironic for this argument.

  48. avatar TaterTot says:

    Callthecops is a satire site

    1. avatar meadowsr says:

      Heh:

      “About Us

      Call the Cops
      This site is a satire of the current state of Law Enforcement, Fire Fighting and Emergency Medical work. Stories posted here are not real and you should not assume them to have any basis in any real fact. Heck we tend to leave in spelling and grammer errors just to prove we is not the professional media.”

      Although, that last sentence…the “professional” media have plenty of spelling and “grammer” errors, and they allegedly use “professional” editors; fat lot of good they do.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email