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Police Reform

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Yep.  A combination of stuff that is a change to win some community support, and horrible ideas that'll come back to bite the community.

Denver public schools kicked out all the SROs a month or two ago.  Liberal emotionally-driven reaction.  Pendulum swings about every 20 years - all those SROs were a liberal emotionally-driven reaction to the Columbine high school shooting in 1999.

There's a place for a sort of "cop-lite".  Not armed, can handle the load of non-violent, non-criminal stuff.  We've always had parking enforcement.  Colorado Springs has had their "community service officers": not sworn officers, not highly trained, poorly paid.  They handle traffic accidents and graffiti and such things.  Been running fine for a lot of years.  

But yeah.  Defund the cops and you'll have less cops, increased service time, more bad guys, etc.   Your average police chief spends a lot of time figuring out where to allocate his budget.  A a million bucks you say?  That's 5 patrol officers and their cars, maybe a detective, some administrative staff, maybe a healthy program of community volunteers.    Wanna cut something out of that?  Ok.  Fire some of the staff, retire the detective, the most rookie cop now spends a third of his time picking up the slack and paperwork.   Hooray - we've solved racism!

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From what I understand from the article they are

1. Creating a New Department of Transportation.  This will primarily be concerned with traffic control and traffic violations.  No idea who will staff this (will it be peace officers, normal citizens, who?) or where the money will come from.  I imagine this department will be vilified in 10-20 years for something they do.

2. Creating a Specialized Care unit to take care of non-criminal police calls.  I imagine this will handle things like car accidents and fires, or heart attacks and such.  They say it will be staffed by crisis responders (so perhaps police officers, fire officers, EMT's, etc?) but no idea where the money will come from.

3.  They don't say they are taking it from the police budget (that I read in the article at least) and shot down an idea to defund the department by 50%.  The money to fund the other two could be coming from the Police Budget, but it was unclear from the article.  It says hey will consider the defunding of 50%, but not that they will.  They hold the option to reduce the budget and redirect it to homeless programs, youth programs, restorative programs and other items (which actually is ALWAYS something city councils do anyways as an option, so that's not really saying much).

4. They are narrowing the police focus so that they can focus more on criminal and violent matters instead.  Sounds like it may accomplish the opposite of what they want, or creating a shadow police (Department of Transportation and SCU) with a Shadow NARC/SWAT department that is called the police instead.  To me, it could further militarize the actual people they call police rather than demilitarize them...ironically.

PS: One thing that bothers me is the Black Supremacy item.  Many may miss it.  Black Supremacy IS, in my opinion, racism.  Many represent it with the term...Black Power.  IT states that Blacks are superior to everyone and also deserve to thus have all the wealth and power (from my understanding).  It typically is done by holding up a hand (similar to a Nazi Salute) but with a closed fist.  This action is directly referred to at the end of the article. 

Edited by JohnsonJones

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1. I appreciate that this is getting done on the local level instead of the state or national. Let them try it and if it works let others adopt it. If it doesn't then the damage is relatively small.

2. Sounds like they're trying to split police work into violent and non-violent work. I'd like to hear from @mirkwood how reasonable is the assumption that a routine traffic stop only ends with a ticket or a warning, and how often does it include an arrest from outstanding warrants, or conflict escalation, or some other thing.

3. Something I learned from when my wife was on the HOA board: People want the problem solved - as long as you're the one solving it. Put it back on them and they don't complain as loud (or they rise to the challenge and everyone wins). In an effort to include local policing that represents the community, your senior year of high school you are paired up with experienced LEO to police your neighborhood.

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The vast majority of traffic stops end in a warning or ticket.  Probably 90% or even higher.

However...

If you are actively doing interdiction of some sort those numbers will be higher. 

If for example, I'm watching a drug house and making traffic stops, those percentages will be significantly higher.

The shift you work can also influence the arrest numbers.  The highest numbers of arrests I made were on my weekend graveyard shifts.  That is a much different environment then what I work now (weekdays, dayshift).

 

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Guest MormonGator
21 minutes ago, mirkwood said:

The vast majority of traffic stops end in a warning or ticket.  Probably 90% or even higher.

 

I was pulled over a few months ago and the cop even said "I don't like giving tickets, I really don't." He gave me a warning. It was actually nice of him, I was going significantly faster than the speed limit. 

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8 hours ago, MormonGator said:

I was pulled over a few months ago and the cop even said "I don't like giving tickets, I really don't." He gave me a warning. It was actually nice of him, I was going significantly faster than the speed limit. 

I was pulled over about a year or so ago for also going significantly faster than the speed limit... it was my fault.

I received a ticket with the option of going to a STOP class. I said almost nothing to the police officer, complied, got my ticket and thanked him and wished him well on his day.
My older son, entire family was in the car, said, "Dad, you just thanked the officer for giving you a ticket?".
I said, "Yes I did. I was wrong, he was right. I deserved it and he was doing his job. Everyone showed respect, it is a two way street".

I did go to my 3.5 hour long STOP class... long snooze fest but that was probably part of the lesson learned - hah!

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33 minutes ago, Plein Air said:

Make it illegal for any law enforcement officer during a traffic ticket situation, without cause, essentially  non felony traffic stops, to ask questions like "Do you have any firearms in the vehicle?" or "Any illegal drugs in the vehicle?"  Fortunately I have never been posed those questions by LEO in Utah, but then I haven't been pulled over for about 20 years. The only time was in Arizona. I found the questions out of line for a routine speeding ticket with nothing at all to give them any suspicion that I was doing anything illegal besides going 5 MPH over the speed limit. I understand that crap like that is par for the course in some states. 

Just wondering, but how come?  What's wrong with asking questions?  Why is asking questions like these "crap"?

One of the foundations of modern police work, is the short temporary detention while an investigation happens.  Investigations require a cop to ask questions.

Also, if someone is going to jail, carrying contraband or firearms into a facility is often a far, far worse charge than just having it when you're stopped.  Cops will sometimes ask these questions, not because they're fishing for dirt, but because they're trying to have things not go worse on people. 

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On 7/17/2020 at 1:26 PM, mordorbund said:

1. I appreciate that this is getting done on the local level instead of the state or national. Let them try it and if it works let others adopt it. If it doesn't then the damage is relatively small.

Yes.  I like that about the federalist system we have.

What I was pointing out is that traffic stops are often a very dangerous operation for the officer.  He often has no idea whom he's up against.  So, for an unarmed "citizen" to approach people in that setting, in a city with one of the highest crime rates in the country...  But if it works, great.

On 7/17/2020 at 1:26 PM, mordorbund said:

2. Sounds like they're trying to split police work into violent and non-violent work. I'd like to hear from @mirkwood how reasonable is the assumption that a routine traffic stop only ends with a ticket or a warning, and how often does it include an arrest from outstanding warrants, or conflict escalation, or some other thing.

Yes, they'd like to get rid of "pretextual stops".  This is intended to reduce racial profiling.  But there is a very valid reason to use pretextual stops.  

Here in my town that I live in, we have a major thoroughfare where we experience a high volume of drug traffic.  Not that the citizens of the town use a lot of illicit drugs.  But because it is out-of-the way, it is often used as a place to meet and exchange drugs.   The street is broad and long with a high speed limit with relatively low traffic.

All the citizens of the area know not to speed down this 10 mile stretch of road.  But those who don't live here are more prone to speeding here.  The police chief said that he's doing this to make it so inconvenient for out-of-town drug traffickers to come here that they'll leave us alone.  Then there are further benefits in the investigation of such individuals.

On 7/17/2020 at 1:26 PM, mordorbund said:

3. Something I learned from when my wife was on the HOA board: People want the problem solved - as long as you're the one solving it. Put it back on them and they don't complain as loud (or they rise to the challenge and everyone wins). In an effort to include local policing that represents the community, your senior year of high school you are paired up with experienced LEO to police your neighborhood.

To quote the character from the Simpsons (after being asked to return to fix a problem that had been created because they voted him out of office).

Quote

Thank you so much for asking me here.

It is so ... GRATIFYING ... to see you here wallowing in this.big.mess.you've.made.for.yourselves.you're.all.screwed.bye-bye.

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10 hours ago, Plein Air said:

My point is there shouldn't BE an "investigation" when someone is pulled over for speeding unless there is something that gives them probable cause to ask those types of questions.

Yay!  Time for some education!  "Probable cause" comes from the 4th Amendment:

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"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be searched."

So, govt officials need probable cause in order to search/seize/arrest/or get a warrant for that stuff.  You have to twist the phrase into an unrecognizable shape to try to force it to say it should prevent cops from asking questions.  In fact, the 1st Amendment is pretty dang clear that we don't muzzle people.

If you're being arrested or detained, there are various laws about what information you have to provide (usually name and date of birth, dang little else).  Cops have to read you your miranda rights if you're going to be interrogated.  But no, there's nothing wrong with just asking questions, and there's nothing wrong with answering or declining to answer.  You might want to look up the 5th amendment if you think "I plead the 5th" is a valid thing to say at a traffic stop.

 

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One of these bumper stickers has caused at least one person I know of to have a very expensive and frightening ordeal in the state of Massachusetts:

TED-KENEDY27SCARTN.jpg

Heh.  I don't know the story, but I would be willing to bet three bubble gums and a shiny rock that no, any expense incurred by your person, was not due to his bumper sticker.  If I had to play the odds and guess, it merely got him pulled over, and all the frightening and expensive happened based on what he said or did in the ensuing interaction.

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I personally have a very different view of police reform.   While in the army during the Vietnam conflict I was assigned to an intelligence unit that specialized in enemy interrogations.   Part of my training while assigned was the handling of captured enemy combatants.   I came away from that experience with the concept of zero tolerance towards any showing of resistance of any form or any degree.   For the record I never handled any enemy prisoners but I determined if I was faced with any resistance - I would not respond with any degree of kindness.   In addition I decided that if I was placed in arms to stand guard at a post and someone did not immediately respond to a command (example - Halt!) that if they did anything other than obey the command - they would be shot (even if they were going in the opposite direction from me.)

Here is my problem - the police are agencies of the law.  If a policeman abuses their powers then they must be dealt with  by the law.  There is always the possibility of a policeman abusing their powers and authority.  I understand - but if the police overstep their authority then there must be ways under the law to deal with it.  But there should never be resistance when the police attempt to take control of a situation.   I believe that to resists police with deadly force should be a capitol offence.  I think that to threaten a policeman - with words or actions - should be a felony crime.  For example - if a demonstrater even acts like they are throwing or about to throw something (but they have nothing to throw) - even that should be a crime. 

 

The Traveler

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