Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Expecting Too Much from the Police

Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve. Not enough mental health funding, let the cop handle it. Not enough drug addiction funding, let’s give it to the cops. Here in Dallas we got a loose dog problem. Let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. Schools fail, give it to the cops. Seventy percent of the African-American community is being raised by single women. Let’s give it to the cops to solve that as well. Policing was never meant to solve all those problems.

–Dallas police chief David Brown


G. Verloren said...

It feels like there is a kernal of truth here.

I recently heard a Finn explain that the police in his country drive around in vans and utility trucks because the only thing they really do with any regularity is get drunks out of the streets, and sometimes render other forms of assistance like helping the elderly with their groceries, or giving directions.

Our police system has its fair share of institutional failings, but it also has to deal with our massively dysfunctional culture. We as a people are far too violent, suspicious, untrusting, selfish, fearful, and judgemental.

Of course, our media and our economy reinforce these values, unscrupulously leveraging them and exploiting them to achieve greater profit margins. Entire industries revolve around keeping people constantly feeling insecure and in ruthless competition with others - it's how we sell everything from guns and home security systems, to jewelry and cosmetics. And people are incentivized to perpetuate the system and the culture to the tune of billions of dollars of potential private profit.

I don't know how we can go about fixing things. It's incredibly hard to promote a culture of trust, generosity, kindness, and fairness. It's incredibly hard to convince fearful people to stop being afraid, and to allow themselves to be more vulnerable for the sake of being less paranoid. Even simple seeming things, like convincing people to stop locking their doors, are rendered almost impossible by the climate of fear and distrust that is our accepted daily reality anymore.

pootrsox said...

Other than chasing loose dogs, it's not just the cops who are handed the task of handling.

First, it's the teachers in those urban schools who are handed the task and told to "handle it."