Police Reform thoughts

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Yoused

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There is some volatile rhetoric about dealing with the police, where "defund" has been used in a way that has been stretched to mean "abolish", which makes the conversation difficult to maintain. But we have to start somewhere.

I propose that the starting point should be "live there". No armed officers should be allowed to carry weapons or use force outside their local area. The complaint I have is that these blue-clad thugs commute twenty miles or more, from their nice suburban homes, to bust heads in the ghetto, in which they have no personal interest other than a paycheck.

This needs to change. The police need to be people interested in making their own neighborhood a better place. The only people who should be allowed to commute should be detectives, who investigate stuff but are never armed. Not even the chief of police should be commuting from elsewhere (being essentially armed-by-proxy).

Anyone have a problem with this idea?
 
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iMi

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I am pretty sure the “defund” police movement played a role in the election being as close as it was. It’s a horrible way to frame the problem and frankly scared the hell out of many people. I think a better way would be to say we need to reform the way we police.

Let’s think about how we got here. The military industrial complex made a fortune with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Without any new wars on the horizon, they had to pursue other markets — municipal police force! There are towns with a few officers who have an armored vehicles, military style M16 assault rifles and other equipment intended for warfare, not community policing. Every town has a SWAT team and the training is to use deadly force and ask questions later. If you’re armed to your teeth, what Incentive do you have to de-escalate? None.

We need to change the way we train officers. I live in Chicago and I’ve seen it all. We had an FBI sting operation in a polish neighborhood because cops were extorting immigrants. Something like a dozen of officers were arrested and charged. We had a chief of police sleeping in his squad car, apparently drunk or high. We had city workers, allegedly aided by police, selling drugs. Cops are not some noble bunch. I hate to say it, but this profession attracts a lot of assholes with small penises and large egos. Giving them more guns is not the answer.

Municipal police should be that - municipal. Stay in your town. Get to know the folks there. Police from a position of “serve and protect.”
 

rdrr

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Not sure I am onboard with the no gun idea. Maybe none on foot patrol or maybe only have an armed ready response team per precinct? More thought and discussion needs to happen though. Also psychological and extentensive background checks for anyone who does carry a weapon. Absolutely no one who has ties to a extremist group should be allowed to carry a weapon.

Everything else you suggested I am all for, but on top of that more money (not necessarily all from the police budget) needs to be diverted to help with community initiatives and mental health. Talk with any police officer and they hate that they are a social worker/mental health professional/law enforcement all rolled into one.
 

Alli

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Anyone have a problem with this idea?
I think it’s a great start. There are many cities that require that now. It makes sense. It would also allow more diversity in the police force, requiring some members from ALL neighborhoods.
 

ericgtr12

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I don't have a problem with this idea. I would also add that reform needs to happen in a major way and until we can get a grip on that nothing will change. The fact that these officers can essentially murder unarmed black people and get away with it in a court of law speaks to the bigger picture and how they're not only allowed to commit these murders, but are trained to do it.

It starts with accountability, in nearly all of these cases the family of the victim wins huge civil settlements at the tax payers expense while the offending officer goes on paid leave, this is beyond ridiculous. This reform needs to come from the top down, it sounds like Biden shares that same sentiment and I'm hopeful he'll really take some action on it.
 

JayMysteri0

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There is some volatile rhetoric about dealing with the police, where "defund" has been used in a way that has been stretched to mean "abolish", which makes the conversation difficult to maintain. But we have to start somewhere.

I propose that the starting point should be "live there". No armed officers should be allowed to carry weapons or use force outside their local area. The complaint I have is that these blue-clad thugs commute twenty miles or more, from their nice suburban homes, to bust heads in the ghetto, in which they have no personal interest other than a paycheck.

This needs to change. The police need to be people interested in making their own neighborhood a better place. The only people who should be allowed to commute should be detectives, who investigate stuff but are never armed. Not even the chief of police should be commuting from elsewhere (being essentially armed-by-proxy).

Anyone have a problem with this idea?
That was an action proposed YEARS ago for NYC, when it's well tenured police officers were making enough in overtime to afford large homes in the suburbs. At the same time, SOME of those individuals were also adopting the attitude that those IN the city the policed were animals, and the civilized were in the suburbs. So the idea to address some issues was to have officers live in the areas the policed IF possible, with the hopes they would have an investment in the community.
 

Gutwrench

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I propose that the starting point should be "live there". No armed officers should be allowed to carry weapons or use force outside their local area. The complaint I have is that these blue-clad thugs commute twenty miles or more, from their nice suburban homes, to bust heads in the ghetto, in which they have no personal interest other than a paycheck.


Anyone have a problem with this idea?

Words have meaning. If defund police doesn’t mean abolish then choose the right words.

Try living in San Francisco.

The rest of it is pretty unrealistic as well.
 

niji

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There is some volatile rhetoric about dealing with the police, where "defund" has been used in a way that has been stretched to mean "abolish", which makes the conversation difficult to maintain. But we have to start somewhere.

I propose that the starting point should be "live there". No armed officers should be allowed to carry weapons or use force outside their local area. The complaint I have is that these blue-clad thugs commute twenty miles or more, from their nice suburban homes, to bust heads in the ghetto, in which they have no personal interest other than a paycheck.

This needs to change. The police need to be people interested in making their own neighborhood a better place. The only people who should be allowed to commute should be detectives, who investigate stuff but are never armed. Not even the chief of police should be commuting from elsewhere (being essentially armed-by-proxy).

Anyone have a problem with this idea?
i like the idea of local policing very much.
i imagine there is huge resistance to this idea from the equivalent of Police Benevolent organisations. but it should still be done in spite of the resistance.
and neighbourhood police without guns is a must; as is a huge increase in services that should be handled by officially sanctioned orgs to be first responders in 911 calls like domestic disputes, loitering, homeless related interventions, etc.
 

ericgtr12

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Words have meaning. If defund police doesn’t mean abolish then choose the right words.

Try living in San Francisco.

The rest of it is pretty unrealistic as well.
It's not so bad as long as you know which areas to stay away from like any other big city. The amount of poverty that you can see for a square mile there is striking though, pretty sad really.
 

ericgtr12

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Seems as though some nine hundred thousand people manage to. Not sure why it would be so difficult to find a couple thousand police out of that bunch.
It's also safer to be there during COVID than all of the smaller cities and counties because everyone wears a mask, they've been a great example of what sane people who think of everyone can do in large numbers.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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It's not so bad as long as you know which areas to stay away from like any other big city. The amount of poverty that you can see for a square mile there is striking though, pretty sad really.
Tech capitalism!

I’m glad my heyday of hanging out in SF ended in about 2008 when it was still economically diverse, comparably reasonable, and you didn’t have tech companies kicking poor kids off soccer fields because they booked it for that day.

From what I recall you enjoyed at some point in the recent past the benefits of the current tech wave that’s destroying the city’s economic diversity and standard of living. I’m not blaming you but it used to be a way different city that you could enjoy without needing large sums of cash to burn.
 

ericgtr12

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Tech capitalism!

I’m glad my heyday of hanging out in SF ended in about 2008 when it was still economically diverse, comparably reasonable, and you didn’t have tech companies kicking poor kids off soccer fields because they booked it for that day.

From what I recall you enjoyed at some point in the recent past the benefits of the current tech wave that’s destroying the city’s economic diversity and standard of living. I’m not blaming you but it used to be a way different city that you could enjoy without needing large sums of cash to burn.
Well, if I were truly enjoying the tech boom I would be able to afford a house in the Bay Area with all that stock money. ;) But I digress. In truth I grew up poor in a bad neighborhood of Daly City (you may now it but for everyone else it's on the southern border of SF) where I was beat up a lot and one of the few white families in the area. Even in adulthood I have never lived here as a wealthy person.

The problem in the city itself isn't necessarily the poor, it's gentrification of all the neighborhoods that used to house the working poor that have all been upscaled to accommodate the tech boomers. These disaffected people need to go somewhere as they don't magically disappear and as result you've seen homelessness skyrocket. Great for the rich, not so great for the poor.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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Well, if I were truly enjoying the tech boom I would be able to afford a house in the Bay Area with all that stock money. ;) But I digress. In truth I grew up poor in a bad neighborhood of Daly City (you may now it but for everyone else it's on the southern border of SF) where I was beat up a lot and one of the few white families in the area. Even in adulthood I have never lived here as a wealthy person.

The problem in the city itself isn't necessarily the poor, it's gentrification of all the neighborhoods that used to house the working poor that have all been upscaled to accommodate the tech boomers. These disaffected people need to go somewhere as they don't magically disappear and as result you've seen homelessness skyrocket. Great for the rich, not so great for the poor.
Alright, you get long term SF street cred. :) I only know Daily City as the city that hoards all the fog, or the joke used to go, all the fog there comes from all the rice cookers.

I agree gentrification of SF specifically has increased the homeless problem, as well as the Bay Area in general. I think what also amplifies CA’s homeless problem is the moderate weather that either keeps or attracts them here and also decreases the need for homeless shelters because it's felt they can safely stay out in the open as far as weather is concerned.

I’m sure there’s probably a huge unknown homeless population in the Santa Cruz hills because there’s so much wilderness they will largely go undetected. I had a fully employed friend how camped out in those hills for about 4 months just to save the expense of rent, and it wasn’t at a campground either. He just hiked in a bit and set up camp.
 

ericgtr12

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Alright, you get long term SF street cred. :) I only know Daily City as the city that hoards all the fog, or the joke used to go, all the fog there comes from all the rice cookers.

I agree gentrification of SF specifically has increased the homeless problem, as well as the Bay Area in general. I think what also amplifies CA’s homeless problem is the moderate weather that either keeps or attracts them here and also decreases the need for homeless shelters because it's felt they can safely stay out in the open as far as weather is concerned.

I’m sure there’s probably a huge unknown homeless population in the Santa Cruz hills because there’s so much wilderness they will largely go undetected. I had a fully employed friend how camped out in those hills for about 4 months just to save the expense of rent, and it wasn’t at a campground either. He just hiked in a bit and set up camp.
I've heard the rice cooker reference before and the entire area has turned Asian (mostly all Filipino now) but back in the 70s it was mostly black and hispanic with some white mixed in but they were the minority. I also have some lifelong friends that I'm still in touch with today so it wasn't all bad and it also acclimated me to diversity.

We moved to rural Oregon later on and that's where I got to see real racism on a completely different level than the city, where it existed between groups but there was some mutual respect and some understanding. In rural America it's just a bunch of angry white people who hate everyone with different colored skin, a very different thing.
 

Gutwrench

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Seems as though some nine hundred thousand people manage to. Not sure why it would be so difficult to find a couple thousand police out of that bunch.

So you find someone who lives in the Marina District. Can they be assigned to work Hunter’s Point? The difference between the neighborhoods is night and day yet same city.

Sheriff’s deputies work an entire county with maybe hundreds of cities. That’s another issue.

While your op might seem revolutionary it is unrealistic.
 
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PearsonX

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Ill just leave this here, because it provides data to set some clear directions as to what reform is needed:

"The increasingly visible presence of heavily armed police units in American communities has stoked widespread concern over the militarization of local law enforcement. Advocates claim militarized policing protects officers and deters violent crime, while critics allege these tactics are targeted at racial minorities and erode trust in law enforcement. Using a rare geocoded census of SWAT team deployments from Maryland, I show that milita- rized police units are more often deployed in communities with large shares of African American residents, even after control- ling for local crime rates. Further, using nationwide panel data on local police militarization, I demonstrate that militarized policing fails to enhance officer safety or reduce local crime. Finally, using survey experiments—one of which includes a large oversample of African American respondents—I show that seeing militarized police in news reports may diminish police reputation in the mass public. In the case of militarized policing, the results suggest that the often-cited trade-off between public safety and civil liberties is a false choice.

 

Scepticalscribe

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Words have meaning. If defund police doesn’t mean abolish then choose the right words.

Try living in San Francisco.

The rest of it is pretty unrealistic as well.
That is a fair point, and a good argument.

"Defund" is one of those sound-bite rallying cries, and - as is so often the case with rhetoric from the US - a sort of scream of frustration, one entirely devoid of nuance or subtlety.

Personally, I would argue for a situation where the provision of specific, ring-fenced, funding (for the police) is linked to reform, education, oversight, and accountability, and would therefore suggest a wording along the lines of "conditional funding" rather than a blanket call to "defund".

And, frankly, police forces are needed; however, societies also need to ascertain just what sort of police force they desire, as police forces, in common with much else, often provide an unsettling (or, occasionally positive) mirror image, or reflection, of the societies that gave rise to them.
So you find someone who lives in the Marina District. Can they be assigned to work Hunter’s Point? The difference between the neighborhoods is night and day yet same city.

Sheriff’s deputies work an entire county with maybe hundreds of cities. That’s another issue.

While your op might seem revolutionary it is unrealistic.

I come from a country where the police aren't armed, let alone the citizenry, so, calling for the sort of stuff (such as community policing) which can work well in such a society is not a realistic option in a society where everyone seems to be armed to the teeth, or claims such a right.

However, given the peculiar cultural constraints of the US - the population are armed to the teeth, insanely in love with the revered Second Amendment, the increasing militarisation of the police, (whereas, in Europe, there is a sharp distinction drawn between the quasi-military element of the police, in police forces that play host to them, such as the Guardia Civil, Carabinieri, some of the Gendarmes, and the "ordinary" police) - not to mention the fact that different ethnicities experience encounters with the police in dramatically different ways, I would imagine that even attempting to frame a discussion that explores the topic of police reform, - one acceptable to sections of the population where the experience of the police is profoundly negative, the police themselves, those who fund them, the wider population, - may present something of a challenge.
 
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Chew Toy McCoy

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I've heard the rice cooker reference before and the entire area has turned Asian (mostly all Filipino now) but back in the 70s it was mostly black and hispanic with some white mixed in but they were the minority. I also have some lifelong friends that I'm still in touch with today so it wasn't all bad and it also acclimated me to diversity.

We moved to rural Oregon later on and that's where I got to see real racism on a completely different level than the city, where it existed between groups but there was some mutual respect and some understanding. In rural America it's just a bunch of angry white people who hate everyone with different colored skin, a very different thing.
I read an article about a month ago about how the Asian community in SF is getting disproportionately impacted by covid for a number of reasons like language barrier and living conditions. One line kind of irked me, “even though they only make up 30% of the population in SF”. Excuse me, but when other than in an election can “only” and 30%” be linked together as a small number? Only 30% of people who get covid-19 die from it? Only 30% of officers kill unarmed suspects? Only 30% of Trump’s statements are lies? At some point in the multicultural pie you need to stop playing the minority card just because your slice isn’t over 50% of it.

I have a (white guy) cousin who lived in the South Bay his entire life. While he’s had minority friends, he’s also pretty vocal about not liking minorities as a group. He used to complain about the houses on his street renting to large minority groups bringing his property value down. This coming from a guy who had a hand painted black and silver Raider Nation RV parked in his driveway. A few years ago he got married to a white woman who came from Fresno, nough said.

Earlier this year he sold his house in SJ and moved to some small city in Oregon. Now I’m not saying he’s going to run out and join a militia, but I’m saying he’s probably a lot more content with who his neighbors are.

FUN FACT: During the Civil War Era (or possibly before it) Oregon didn’t pick a side in the slavery debate. Slavery wasn’t legal there but it also wasn’t legal for black people to live there. I guess that was their happy middle ground. That’s why it’s pretty comical that Portland became ground zero for the BLM movement and protests, a city and state with few black residence to this day because it wasn’t too long ago in our history that they weren’t even allowed to live there. Anybody who knows that history would figure out that those prolonged months of protests quickly became less about black lives and more about the state’s large population of white supremacists.
 

PearsonX

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I am pretty sure the “defund” police movement played a role in the election being as close as it was. It’s a horrible way to frame the problem and frankly scared the hell out of many people. I think a better way would be to say we need to reform the way we police.

Let’s think about how we got here. The military industrial complex made a fortune with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Without any new wars on the horizon, they had to pursue other markets — municipal police force! There are towns with a few officers who have an armored vehicles, military style M16 assault rifles and other equipment intended for warfare, not community policing. Every town has a SWAT team and the training is to use deadly force and ask questions later. If you’re armed to your teeth, what Incentive do you have to de-escalate? None.

We need to change the way we train officers. I live in Chicago and I’ve seen it all. We had an FBI sting operation in a polish neighborhood because cops were extorting immigrants. Something like a dozen of officers were arrested and charged. We had a chief of police sleeping in his squad car, apparently drunk or high. We had city workers, allegedly aided by police, selling drugs. Cops are not some noble bunch. I hate to say it, but this profession attracts a lot of assholes with small penises and large egos. Giving them more guns is not the answer.

Municipal police should be that - municipal. Stay in your town. Get to know the folks there. Police from a position of “serve and protect.”
I've had a retired CPD officer patient who offered to rough up anybody for me on my request.
I don't judge but there are situations where changing topics quickly helps this non-judgmental state.
 
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