Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cops Say Citizen Oversight Won't Work Part 4

Why It Won't Work Part 5

Why It Won't Work Part 3

Why It Won't Work Part 2

Why It Won't Work Part 1

#4-A Review Board Will Just Fire Everybody, Leaving Us All Totally Unprotected.

The Fallacy

Well, we have to go back to the Academy’s attitude training again. Part of the brainwashing new recruits get daily says “Your city is DEPENDING on you. The dimwit citizens are helpless against the sophisticated 21st century criminals at work out there. You…..Officer, must risk your life and limb to save the helpless and restore order to a city on the verge of chaos. You…..are…..their….Savior!”

OK, ok, ok…..take a breath for a second. The only criminals that rise to the level being alluded to are in comic books, and the only people ready to stop arch-criminals like that are your Batmans, your Supermans, your Aquamans, (in the unlikely event that your fishtank is threatened). Let’s go back to the real world, police departments.

The Reality

Societies have always had their legal and moral B-lists, those who don’t see the financial advantages of an honest day’s work, or the moral advantages of live and let live. While a free society grants and encourages freedom of thought and movement, that same society doesn’t condone physical harm or destruction of property. This is a universal understanding among all people in all societies. So tell me cops…any cops….CALLING ALL COPS….please explain why the citizen’s review board would fire all police? No sense being made there…..

The Details

Many cops bolster their own existence and that of their fellows by constantly pushing the “without us you will all die” point of view, something out of the Republican-created, Fox News-fueled rulebook. It’s a self serving, self preserving idea, meant to keep the cop in business. While always ready for another helping of company kool-aid, they tend to underestimate their audience and over-sell their product.

A cop will say, “The citizen must accept any misconduct the police department decides to engage in, because it’s done for their own good. It is all in the name of justice.” On the surface, such a decision-making platform sounds like something a citizen would reject due to the strong probability of corruption, but no organized oversight group would respond in such a knee-jerk manner, when the oversight board’s first obligation is truly with the citizenry. Such determinations of police misconduct would be made by the people and for the people, as represented by a functioning CRB with teeth. We would require cops to become sensitive and obedient to our needs, as we are of theirs.

The Cop’s Misconception

Cops are trained to provide each other with backup and cross backup while in the field, to the point of redundancy, and it is one of the few strategies cops employ that actually deserves applause. Protecting our own is a concept we all understand, but do cops think they are the only intellects that can conceive such a plan? Well, here’s a bulletin, police---a CRB is no stranger to it. We will do just fine. The PD need only worry about providing the services the citizen demands, and in the form they demand it. We will not let our police force run dry just because some cops don’t make the cut. As this blog has advocated from the first day, we don’t hire a PD, we sculpt one. It is a stepwise process. There will be successes and failures among cops, but it will be the citizen who determines them.

Are there people who don’t like cops? Sure. Are there people who don’t need cops? No way. That is why we created police departments, and we pay them for their work. However, we did not hire a bunch of independent contractors to formulate a job of their choice, after their own image, and then perpetrate it on the very people who pay them. The citizens have allowed the PD to acquire more than 51% of the stock, and now the PD is abusing it. That must stop.

The Remedy

Civilian oversight authority to hire and fire will assure us that only employees of whom we approve will continue to represent the wants, needs, and reputation of the town in which they work. How do we make that happen? Sculpting.

Every incorporated city and town has a PD now. Some consist of a Chief and a canine, (not a bad idea). Others are a bloated, out-of-control mess of thousands of employees who don’t have a clue what their city wants. Those cops are paycheck-seeking, mindless misfits who believe that if they don’t beat/shoot/tase people, they are not taken seriously, if they don’t write tickets, they are letting criminality slip through their fingers, and if they don’t “win” court cases, they “lose” in the public’s eye. In Detroit, there is a minimum performance level for their cops, as spelled out by Chief Warren Evans.

This mindset must be purged. The last thing any city needs is a reactionary cop response to members of society, armed only with their ability to read, write and comprehend, who are looking to uphold their rights against a PD who has been given a free right to kill based on his unfounded, split-second assumption.

Don’t Panic

Even when the citizen is up against such a sanctioned and tax-funded person in uniform, it STILL doesn’t mean a CRB would fire everybody. It only means it would get rid of the unwanted, and keep/train/develop the wanted, as it is with every other job the citizens hold.

If a PD Chief says a CRB would fire everybody, he is revealing a guilty conscience and his own fear of unemployment. He knows he is failing to quell crime in his city, and he thinks a high number of tickets and arrests equal doing a good job. While neither makes for the quality police work the citizen envisioned when their PD was started, the currently practiced inefficiency and disconnect with local townspeople will not get the whole department fired either. It will only sculpt each cop into a product the citizen wants, thanks to a Citizen Review Board.

Cops…calm down. Just do the job we want you to do and there will be no problem.

Why It Won't Work Part 5

Why It Won't Work Part 3

Why It Won't Work Part 2

Why It Won't Work Part 1

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