The Police

Good Cop - Bad Cop

ell, yes. There's good & bad in everything. In this case though "bad" can get very bad indeed. The profession itself attracts the best and worst in the male population (those who wish to protect & serve civilization and those who wish to protect & serve themselves). Where else could a "bully" find gainful employment doing what he does best?

It has ever been so ... that the criminal, seeing his "prey" organizing to protect itself, "joins" the protectors. The wolf becomes the sheep.

Just who's fault is it anyway? Why do we need a Knapp Commission? Why don't the police police themselves?

Two words ... Police Solidarity

As long as police believe themselves to be separate from (and often above) the civilization they are in, the best among them will protect the worst. It is the most honorable police officer who is at general fault for all corruption in those ranks.

Note: He is not responsible for individual acts - just the general level of corruption.
The only proper loyalty a police officer can have is directly to his own conscience ... same as the rest of us. He is obligated to cleave to the truth, as best he can honestly see it, just like me and you. If this is too tough, it is too bad. Find another "weaker" profession.

Thirty men from Gonzales (volunteers) went to the Alamo.
They had families.
They stayed.
They died.
There are enough instances of this sort in American history to stiffen spines.
There should be no Serpico.
There should be 100,000 of them.

What is the source of such corruption as there is? And its concomitant "solidarity"?

We go back to the method by which elected officials are chosen. By the nature of the present process, graft is the norm. It starts at the top and goes all the way down the chain of command. For many police graft of one sort or another is considered part of their pay.

And the honest officer knows this.

What to do when the public complains? Look the other way ... but say nothing. Now you are guilty (in your own eyes) of complicity. Therefore, march arm in arm with every other officer presenting a "solid" front to the public.

Little known to honest police is the fact that this solidarity is illusory and will break like Iraqi conscriptees at the sight of just a few "tough" guys.

Note: 1 tough guy beats about 100 bad guys.

Consequences of a "rubber" spine

An honest officer, who's spine has become flexible, must:
  • accept all that goes on around him without protest
  • look the other way when a fellow officer does something criminal
  • march arm in arm with those he despises (& be friends with them)
  • uphold laws he knows to be unjust
  • conceal truths detrimental to other officers
  • and in general do and endure all those "soul" depleting things never to be spoken of
Alternatively, he can quit and find another job. Or ... do the right thing and take more shit than he imagined possible ... until the other side breaks, i.e. when about thirty more honest men decide they've had enough too.

On the size of police departments

How big an organ of government gets is determined by how much the grafters running it can get away with.

Currently, the size of PDs nationwide is determined by your fear of the drug boogyman who is going to get your kids if you don't give PDs everything they ask for.

Of course, pursuing the "narco trafico" is just what the doctor ordered if your purpose is to expand PD ranks. Here, a small problem (drug use) is blown up into immense proportions as the "destroyer of civilization".

I can't think of any way to increase drug use more than by present policies. The political machine has outdone itself. Actually, I admire things well done ... even evil things (but not for their moral effects - just the expertness of design). See my piece - Rants/ "Drugs - the straight dope".

The Greatest Expense of PDs

The most costly thing for a PD is to pay itself. It requires an army of "defacto" robbers in order to collect money to feed the machine. Hence, 80% of police work consists of revenue enhancement. The most important revenue generator is the "motorist shakedown", i.e. traffic tickets.

One police car, manned round the clock, devoted to motorist "control", can easily generate ~ five million dollars per annum. Like this,

  • 4 tickets per hour @ $100 -$200 per ticket
    4 x 150 = ~ $600 per hour
    600 x 24 = ~$15,000 per day
    15,000 x 365 = ~$5,000,000 per year (!)
  • Minus the cost of the police car ~ $50,000
  • Minus the salary of 6 police officers ~ $300,000
  • The net here is huge. (more than 4 mil)
    Do they pay income taxes on this "revenue"?
Clearly, police departments can get away with far, far more than the 7-11 robber can even dream of. And most motorists thank the officer for the ticket.
Note for the ignorant: I do not wish to imply that traffic control is unnecessary. Rather, I have seen with my own eye "revenue enhancement" in action. (Speed traps, multiple squad cars obvioulsy in wait for the 10 mph over speeder, etc.)
I can't resist a good functional solution to a problem. Here's one for traffic control.
  • Give experienced motorists (with few if any tickets) a high resolution video camera mounted on the dash (as unobtrusive as possible).
  • Let them take pix as they drive around town.
  • They get a cut of the revenue from tickets given to the owners of offending vehicles.
  • The fines are small and many (not few and large as they are now). This way speeders get nickled & dimed till they become wary and slow down.
I only wish there was such an easy straightforward solution to police corruption. There is, but it involves overhauling the government all the way to the top. (See the rest of this section ;o)

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