Disarm the police!
1312 = ACAB = All Cops Are Bastards, but are they?
My faith in the police as a gendarme was shaken while responding to hurricane Katrina. During the crisis approximately 15% of New Orleans's police force was unaccounted for. An emergency, like a natural disaster, is when public servants earn their paychecks. Emergency response is a fundamental function of government's duty to society and purpose for existing.
For comparison, desertion rates in the military are approximately 9 in every 1,000 during wartime (in other terms a difference between .15 and .009).
Breaking public trust creates the fear of; will we need to dodge police and looters when we have a regional emergency?
Edit to add: 29 June 2023, Officer Peterson found not guilty for failure to respond.
A central issue was the "warriors" waited. The mindset needed to storm a building and neutralize an active shooter requires training and time.
We need to rethink our approach to active shooters.
A leader sets the culture that produces the product. To put the importance of culture into more context; to deploy lethal force typically has a set of guidelines based on a standard like reasonable officer. In these instances -- perception creates reality based on the assumption officers are reasonably objective during moments of high stress while faced with life and death choices. This is their basic professional responsibility... depends.
If officers are not reasonable, there are protections. Like golden-parachutes for corporate bureaucrats.
The mystique of law enforcement comes from folk culture. Being a law enforcement officer on the frontier creates notorious celebrities like in dramatic Westerns. Many regard the sheriff's position as the chief law enforcement officer a high public office worthy respect. Others don't.
Officers are just regular humans and this is reinforced frequently after an incident. Some choose the professions because they are drawn to the power and authority. They were the kid who was picked on in high school -- others are driven by the ideological or rational desire to do good.
Another complexity of the system comes in the difference between city and county culture identity. A divide between urban and rural that translates to pay.
Typically, cities have more money to offer better benefits than counties; creating competition for qualified candidates that big cities win. As cities grow; county power diminishes. This competition means we, the taxpaying public, get a different return on investment for the tax services we receive depending upon where we live. However, county and city mutually assist one another.
These complexities make identifying a standard for what makes a quality officer difficult. Yet, we trust the training our officers receive is adequate for their job and supply them the power and authority to kill on our streets. With a level of trust affording our officers a different lens of judgement from other citizens.
To correct the gap between public need and public service would require reforms.
My hypothesis of why cops fail in high stress situations like active shooters scenarios -- the cognitive flexibility required is too diverse and demanding.
Coupling the cognitive routine needed to support a "combat ready" mindset with a friendly trustworthy customer service smile seems somewhat the behavior of a sociopath.
On the ship as a look out we were taught; focusing on observation our eyes are weary after four hours. Considering, a high alert mindset can only be sustained for short periods before an individual becomes fatigued and performance declines; how do we 100% trust lethal force decision making processes? Being in a war zone is different than being in a neighborhood.
Figuratively, 99% of an officer's daily interaction with the public are benign social engagements associated with their routine duties. We tend to fixate on bad stuff like shootings.
Poor community roots with increasingly poor publicity and mistrust perpetuates a cycle fueled by varying degrees of violence by police during uses of force. From my professional background; many uses of force are within the boundaries as taught to officers, and those we see that are outside of reason; we never address the boundaries.
Camaraderie and being a team player are part of the job in emergency response teams. On the front lines, we understand our role within the context of the public and this keeps us grounded. Although relationships are forced upon us as operations require; we are essentially left to fight, fuck, or get along within the scheme designed by personnel management offices.
Far and away from the eye of "human resources" and in situations of stress and under duress I've seen and experienced bizarre behavior among team members. We quickly shift to our lizard brain. This is another primary reason to work in teams and not solo.
There is an us versus them mindset acquired through training to teach us to kill another human. In the military part of it includes dehumanizing opposition enough that soldiers take the shot. This is why discrimination like racism subtly persists in these types of cultures.
During my wartime experience our expression for everything we encountered on patrol was "hadji." We were sometimes intentionally and often unintentionally discriminatory towards everyone we encountered. Our crew being a mix of lower and middle-class Western youth, our communications we figured out on our own. This kind of mindset is not compatible for a peace officer.
Why? Because we get locked in. If we linger long in the dark mindset required to kill and survive we get stuck. The "Off" switch gets more difficult to flip. Remember, stare too long into the abyss and it starts to stare back. Our teammate's role is to keep us out of the staring contest.
Regardless, the responsibility of using lethal force for motivations other than survival (human v. nature), either here at home or abroad, has a duty to consider human rights.
We know the police have no legal responsibility to protect our lives with theirs because they are not soldiers, so their firearms are not for our protection, but their protection should they need to lethally defend themselves when they answer an emergency call.
Indubisouly, when a human is given a tool, such as a pistol, then trained how to use it, they retain a desire to use it. Our "use" of a thing -- is restrained by access, judgement, and desire. Desire is dangerous because it can cause us to preemptively see pieces fall in to place.
Stacked somewhere towards the top of the pyramid, is the natural tension that occurs between law enforcement, the corporal arm of government, and the public. Many people don't see the cops as a force for "good" and speaking to police causes anxiety and stress.
Objectively, the police are class traitors. It isn't their fault, it's our system of governance subtly rigged to support corporate interests. The police help protect their interests while keeping us, the lower classes, in compliance. The wealthy are afraid of the poor with good reason.
Training the police and adding more police comes with tax increases. The problem is not enough bodies. It's systemic inefficiency in response protocols, mission creep, and poor policy guidance. We could redesign these systems at anytime to be more efficient, equitable, and effective.
Plainly said, our policing system is incorrectly designed and sets people up for failure in the community.
Defunding the police is making the statement, "We are okay with the same oppression, just under fund it."