Friday, April 10, 2015

Social Work Cops Instead of Gun Cops

Police work is actually pretty safe, especially compared to a lot of ordinary well paid trades work. Mining and farming are, of course, more dangerous, as is taxi driving. The police do have though a well organized and effective public relations media machine. And that machine ensures that every police death is well publicized.

That machine has been especially needed these last twenty years as police work has become safer and police deaths have declined and indeed their reason for being, crime, itself has declined. While sometimes police forces may have been allowed to stagnate, the idea of actual reductions based on lessening needs has absolutely not been allowed to circulate.

Most people are not aware of the decline of crime in the U.S. Back when there was a lot of crime, much of it was not reported. Dog bites man stuff. But as crime and killing declined the reality shifted. Now its increasing rarity made each instance more newsworthy. So even as crime declined its media reportage stayed the same. So much so that one of Chuy Garcia's campaign suggestions was to increase police "man"-power.

At a time when in communities of color police were recognized as the problem and not a solution, the "progressive" candidate, Chuy Garcia showed a serious lack of sophistication.

When he said that I thought, "what we need are not more police but more social workers." Think that's nuts. Well talk to a gang-unit police commander and you will find that a lot of their work is done on the internet on social media.

Hiring police social workers also holds to potential to fix the racist over-reliance on violent force as a policing tool. Since cop culture requires adoption of a common cynical racist mind-set that punishes whistle-blowing and tattle-telling it would be necessary to start out social work cops in their own segregated units. In their own cars and without guns a brand new culture would become ingrained. When strong enough to stand on their own, these social work cops would then begin spending time cruising the neighborhood with gun-cops. Eventually the gun-cops would work with the social work cops, but without guns. After a shooting a gun-cop would not be put behind a desk, rather they would be sent out sans-gun with a social work cop.

It's a pretty simple thing to do. It costs no more. It's just not the way things are done.

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