I am somewhat amused that there has been so much conversation about privatizing the police force -- as I only brought it up as something I found fundamentally terrifying and easy to abuse, lol.
Just more ranting in here from me.
There have been tons and tons of examples put out by various activists across levels of police abolition intensity, let's say, that recommend all kinds of services that could instead provide value when the police arguably provide strife. If we remove police
from enforcing QOL violations on the poor
from dealing with folks with mental health issues (The Treatment Advocacy Center estimates that one in every four police killings is of a person with a mental illness, meaning they are sixteen times more likely to be killed by police than other people.)
from waging a pointless and expensive drug war
from harassing sex workers
from spying on legal protests and activities, monitoring political opponents, suppressing strikes, etc.
We leave them, in theory with a lot less to do!
What about their purported mandates, protecting human lives and property? They're kind of shit at 'em. Less than 15% of property crimes are cleared. Under 50% of violent crime cases are cleared. And cleared just means, in most cases, that they charged someone. Not that they charged the right someone. And not that the person was convicted. Just cleared as in cleared from their queue.
However, many people, like you've said, would still want some sort of force that would be able to deal with violent criminals and murderers. That would, I think, still be police, but more trimmed down detective and/or special victims units (the ones people love so much on TV) than today's broader model. I'm not sure there are many people that fundamentally disagree with THAT right now. And I have not heard anyone say anything about changing the name. That stinks of "changing the symbols not the system."
I figured "private prisons are terrible" was a base assumption for the conversations going on in this thread, ha.
Which is what they've already been doing in the current model. Municipalities pay out millions and millions of dollars annually. And it very rarely even comes out of the police budget.
Very possibly. But I do think the prominence of these issues have caused at least a number of people to start thinking critically about why the police ARE involved in so many things and how pumping these departments full of money did nothing to improve crime. The service does not seem to be correlated with the funding on multiple levels.
If you're suggesting that the sum should be spent on other government services, then I think a lot of people agree with you. If the argument is that the police could still receive that much money and spend it on... something that isn't military cast-offs? I'm not so sure.
Also I'm with @tei_ in that I think the police are serving their actual mandate well as enforcers of class and systemic racism.
Hopefully if the forces you are trying to remove don't try to intimidate away those levers of change. Plus, the govt budgeting issue keeps being stalled by police unions.
Excellent starts for sure.
I hadn't heard this as a recommendation before. I'd have to look into it more.
Funnily enough, both my current state (MA) and my home state (IL) don't have licensing for police officers. That's a big topic of conversation right now.