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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed today that three stories were posted about police misconduct (one related to SWAT raiding the wrong house in a no0knock raid; the second where police arrested the victim of a car accident for which the officer is responsible; the third about Texas cops arresting people unwilling to identify themselves).

The question I have, for the sake of advocacy as a goal, is how best can we systemically change police misconduct.

In the last few years, but ever since the use of SWAT teams as a means to circumventing the Posse Comitatus act police have never been safer (http://articles.latimes.com/2013/dec/30/nation/la-na-nn-police-deaths-20131230), and yet they have also never been more violent. Police have about a 70% greater violent crime arrest rate than the average populace (700% over concealed carry holders, since CCWers have 1/10th the violent crime arrest rate). That 70% violent crime arrest rate is after the thin blue line dismisses more than 90% of likely cases (exact numbers are hard to get, as is the nature of the problem).

So the question is how can we systemically reduce these numbers. Obviously we'll never have a crime free police force, but the classic line that "1% of the police make the other 99% look bad" is simply not true.

Solutions are hard to come by, since police effectively make up the arm of government. Plato himself, describing "police" in his book The Republic, had trouble finding police knowing that they would have a predilection of loyalty to the state (a trait he wanted).

It seems to me the only long-terms, consistent solution is to disband monopolistic, government policing and allow a private market for the services provided by police to emerge (asset and right protection, crime prevention, criminal capture, and law enforcement).

It seems to me that private law enforcement would not be more effective, but as a non-monopolistic structure, not granted immediate special care by monopolistic government courts.

As an extremely brief recap, more thorough arguments being available elsewhere, it would seem to me there are four areas where private policing would prevail over government policing.

#1. Economic

government police have an economic incentive to prefer bigger government that grants them more rights, provides more resources, and makes more laws. As an example look to the Fraternal Order of Police's supported legislation, which usually advocates for more leniency on obtaining warrants and arrests and absolutely zero public accountability. What's amazing to me is that cops are a (relatively) conservative, and by that I mean conservative progressive/ neo-conservative/ big-government conservative, bunch despite their strong impetus to support socialism.

#2. Legal

The simple fact is power desires power, as Lord Acton put it. The combination of the thin blue line, which police generally deny, but all other informed parties confirm in my experience, and judicial preference for police make police an inherently corrupt bunch. After all, if any of us could lie and get away with it 99% of the time we would all lie more. (http://www.nytimes.com/1994/04/23/n...mmon-among-police-officers-are-detailed.html; https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/181241.pdf) It's nothing specific about police. They aren't any worse than any of us, nor any better. They simply have power and privilege we don't and so they take advantage of it. As an undeniable example an undeniable majority would confirm cops are the worst speeders.
The point is police have effectively reduced liability through sovereign immunity, the thin blue line, and judicial grace.

#3. Philosophical/ethical

As a tag to the economic, police once granted power are likely to want more. That means they are going to support states beneficial to them, and not to us. What state is beneficial to police? Tyrannies. They also have little incentive to support grass-roots, federalist governments. They have little incentive to oppose federal take-overs. It is not infrequent when we hear police say "I don't make the laws, I just enforce them." But by enforcing them, they are making them. Police can not enforce the laws, rather than violate people's rights.
That doesn't mean all police support them, but they are more likely to move in that direction than we are.

#4. Personal

While most cops are regular middle-class guys police as a group have much higher rates of drug abuse and alcoholism, suicide, psychological disorders, divorce and otherwise (http://lawenforcementtoday.com/tag/police-officers-have-higher-rates-of-alcoholism/; http://www.milestonegroupnj.com/?page_id=348). Steroid abuse is also strongly prevalent (http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/...=display_arch&article_id=1512&issue_id=62008; http://www.aolnews.com/2010/12/26/illegal-steroid-use-among-police-officers-a-big-problem/)

Whether this is due to the job, or the selectors for the job it doesn't matter. What matters is that combining these statistics, lowered liability, and a strong economic incentive to support larger government we have an inherent problem that will continue to resurface until certain aspects of society are reenvisioned.

Now, when I say private law enforcement what I mean is something akin to security agencies not in anyway associated with the government. A private judiciary (even if a "government" still remains to provide back-up services) would also be highly desirable. Some videos describing this environment are available here.


I do not mean "privatized" law enforcement, which is a private company being granted a monopoly in a particular sector of the economy, like Blackwater in Iraq which is responsible for most of the violations, or OCP in RoboCop. Privatization is just outsourcing. It is not an actual private, competitive, innovative market.

In a private market police would serve at the pleasure of their employers. They would be able to defend our basic rights of life and property as much as we would (which would probably increase the citizens rights and responsibilities more than decrease police's).

With regard to the same categories private law enforcement agents would be incentivized to avoid confrontation (and therefore liability) as well as be able to be proactive about crime prevention (as in you have the right to ask what someone is doing on your property, but you can't just go around asking the same thing will-nilly). They would have no incentive to round up weapons simply because the federal government says so. After all, they can't protect you as effectively as you can protect yourself, and if they decide to support government gun registration we'd simply stop paying them. Even things as simple as driving tickets (assuming private roads could become a reality, as they should) would be rethought. Companies would be poorly received, and their roads less traveled, and revenue decreased, if they give tickets out for unnecessary infractions.

Private companies not granted subsidies (which remove market incentive and input government incentive) are incentivized to make the customer happy. Government has a monopoly on your tax dollars and doesn't care whether you like it or not. You go to jail if you rebel.

This is why the market is superior to the government. The market is an agreementâ€"voluntary; government is force.

Now, before any strawmen loving admins come on here an say I'm a "cop-basher" (whatever that means) let me make a few things clear:

Society cannot function without law-enforcement
Not all police are bad; they just have more power and incentive to abuse that power
Most police, like most people, are just trying to get along in life, doing their best

The point of my writing this is to not only reprove my own thinking on this issue, but open up the possibility to Georgia Packing and many members of Georgia Carry a new possibility for political philosophy and advocacy. Should we try to change police departments individually, or simply create new incentives that inculcate a culture of service and restraint, which is what the market does.

Let's support market based law enforcement and maybe the idea will catch on!
 

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police reform

I don't even want to go toward private police services.
The government needs to do this.
What we need is for the public to demand law enforcement reform, and legislative and judicial reform to scale-back the scope and power of law enforcement.
Therefore, I think the first way to attack the problem is to publicize and document the problem and ask the people to demand better government services and more professional, less abusive or uncaring, government employees.

After that pressure from the public is heard, and when the politicians controlling police agencies and funding their budgets start chopping budgets with every incident of LEO abuse of authority, we will have reform.

The mechanics of reform can take several forms. I suggest
--better screening for mental health and anger and control issues among LEO candidates,
-- ironclad whistleblower protections, with generous rewards for turning-in corrupt cops or breaking the Code of Silence (let's face it-- corrupt cops can make more money. Being part of a good-old-boy network and being able to shake down people and small business owners leads to money, and perks, and great benefits. If you want a cop to blow the whistle on all that corruption and ruin his career by making his fellow cops hate him for being a rat, you better be prepared to compensate him enough to let him get a different career going.
-- mandatory socialization with regular people. I'm talking an actual limit on how much off-duty time cops can spend in the company of other cops. It's not healthy for them to stick together that tightly. It leads to them thinking that they're a different breed, a higher class of person, "special" people who look down on the commoners. Make it a condition of employment that they mingle with and SERVE the public, not just lord over the people.

(In many urban areas, this is part of the motivation behind making cops walk a beat instead of just driving around in their patrol cars. Make them meet and interact with the people in the community).

(And if it's too risky to expect them to mingle off-duty with the unwashed masses in their own town where they work, demand that as a condition of employment they do some social events and community service projects among the common citizens of some other town or county some distance away, where they're less likely to run into people they've busted).

-- For every cop whose misconduct causes his employer or other government entity to pay damages or an out of court settlement, make that cop pay a portion of that damage award out of his pocket. Literally cut back on the size of his paychecks for the next several years, so he can feel the consequences the same way the City or County is feeling it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't even want to go toward private police services.
The government needs to do this.

What we need is for the public to demand law enforcement reform, and legislative and judicial reform to scale-back the scope and power of law enforcement.
Therefore, I think the first way to attack the problem is to publicize and document the problem and ask the people to demand better government services and more professional, less abusive or uncaring, government employees.

After that pressure from the public is heard, and when the politicians controlling police agencies and funding their budgets start chopping budgets with every incident of LEO abuse of authority, we will have reform.

The mechanics of reform can take several forms. I suggest
--better screening for mental health and anger and control issues among LEO candidates,
-- ironclad whistleblower protections, with generous rewards for turning-in corrupt cops or breaking the Code of Silence (let's face it-- corrupt cops can make more money. Being part of a good-old-boy network and being able to shake down people and small business owners leads to money, and perks, and great benefits. If you want a cop to blow the whistle on all that corruption and ruin his career by making his fellow cops hate him for being a rat, you better be prepared to compensate him enough to let him get a different career going.
-- mandatory socialization with regular people. I'm talking an actual limit on how much off-duty time cops can spend in the company of other cops. It's not healthy for them to stick together that tightly. It leads to them thinking that they're a different breed, a higher class of person, "special" people who look down on the commoners. Make it a condition of employment that they mingle with and SERVE the public, not just lord over the people.

(In many urban areas, this is part of the motivation behind making cops walk a beat instead of just driving around in their patrol cars. Make them meet and interact with the people in the community).

(And if it's too risky to expect them to mingle off-duty with the unwashed masses in their own town where they work, demand that as a condition of employment they do some social events and community service projects among the common citizens of some other town or county some distance away, where they're less likely to run into people they've busted).

-- For every cop whose misconduct causes his employer or other government entity to pay damages or an out of court settlement, make that cop pay a portion of that damage award out of his pocket. Literally cut back on the size of his paychecks for the next several years, so he can feel the consequences the same way the City or County is feeling it.
Ok, so it seems as though we both recognize the same problems. That's good.

However, I'm confused as to why you think the market would be incapable of the changes we want.

Now, let's make sure to define the term market correctly. The market is an entirely private institution which owns its own successes and liability. And that is the biggest problem we are dealing with concerning policeâ€"liability, namely that they have none, and no accountability. Private companies do.

We can either implement hundreds of regulations against police to try to reform their behavior, or we can change their incentive structure away from themselves and towards the customer.

Now, to address some specifics in your response I must point out what would necessarily be problems in some of the things you suggest, though I generally agree these programs would certainly be better than what we have.

Psychological problems: you want better screening. Sure, that would be great. But by whose standard? The reason the screening is failing is because government is hiring, and government wants self-affirming people who are subject to the power structure. They want soldiers, and those who obey orders, and respond aggressively because it maximizes control. Private institutions deliver police the people want; government delivers police the government wants.

Whistleblower protection. While I admit that huge incentives for whistle-blowing would result in more ratting it would also result in more false accusation, distrust among police (which is also not a good thing), and a general loss of morale as seen for whistle-blower incentives in other parts of the economy. Why not simply take away police's special liability protection by making them private citizens who are doing a job like any other, that way they are accountable to the whole of society. With whistleblowing cops are still accountable to other cops.
The whistle-blower protection also would not stop the problem of conspiracies involving higher-ups. It's still cops policing cops, which is what were dealing with now.

Mingling with the public. While I appreciate your thought in concept, I just don't see how it can be applied. Cops are people too. Moreover, they are citizens who have the right to spend their time with who they please. I understand contracts can bind private actions, but I can't imagine how this would applied. Who do you define as a person with whom they can't hang out? Cops family and friends are notoriously supportive of the thin blue line as much as police, so even if they hang out with non-cops there is not guarantee police are not getting that reinforcement.
Police do work a lot of hours, so asking as a part of their employment that they dedicate more to personal cultivation is going to be difficult.
It seems to me the simpler solution is to create an incentive program that worries about results and let's thoughts be what they are.

I agree police walking a beat would make them apart of the community again. It would definitely help them as a culture, but at the cost of efficiency. They would, after all, be relegate to getting around on foot again, as well as more subject to what they can carry on their person for resources. Inefficiency might be useful in most situations, but when police need to be efficient we want them to be efficient (another argument for market policing).

As to your idea of creating personal financial liability for police in the case of misconduct that is technically on the books, but simply not enforced. However, I can't see how the market would be inferior at producing this result to government. The interaction of the market with the judiciary is one of placing liability on persons. I'm sure that private law enforcement officers and companies would arrange among themselves contractually what percentage of liability the police officer and the company would bear.

Thank you for your willingness to discuss this pressing issue with me.
 

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--better screening for mental health and anger and control issues among LEO candidates,
-- mandatory socialization with regular people. I'm talking an actual limit on how much off-duty time cops can spend in the company of other cops. It's not healthy for them to stick together that tightly. It leads to them thinking that they're a different breed, a higher class of person, "special" people who look down on the commoners. Make it a condition of employment that they mingle with and SERVE the public, not just lord over the people.

(In many urban areas, this is part of the motivation behind making cops walk a beat instead of just driving around in their patrol cars. Make them meet and interact with the people in the community).

(And if it's too risky to expect them to mingle off-duty with the unwashed masses in their own town where they work, demand that as a condition of employment they do some social events and community service projects among the common citizens of some other town or county some distance away, where they're less likely to run into people they've busted).
Interesting ideas. I agree that privatizing the work probably isn't the best idea. They hired private agencies in the Middle East conflict, and their records aren't exactly stellar. Having "competing agencies" could lead to problems.

I do agree emphatically with a few things you said. Where I worked involved a very long process getting hired. Written exam that took 4 hours (that was max time allowed). Physical, polygraph exam, background checks, a written psych eval of 5 different exams like the Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory, California Psychological Inventory and others I don't remember. One of the last things is the oral review board. I remember going to mine which had 9 officers from different agencies on it. One was a trooper from the Washington State Patrol who looked like he had been a Trooper since God was a corporal. He didn't say a word the entire time. 40 minutes later the thing ended and I was thanked for coming in and told I would be notified of the results. I got my hand on the door and a voice behind me said "I have a question for you". I turned around and it's the Trooper. He asked me how many friends I had. I told him I wasn't sure but in the area maybe 30 or 40. He looked at me and said "You realize that if you take this job, in 6 months you won't have any friends who aren't cops." Inside I thought he was a looney, but I mumbled something about that being possible. 2 weeks later I was hired. 6 months later he was right on the money.

I think that was due mostly to the fact that you end up dealing with that 5% of the population that truly are pond scum, day in and day out. Because of that you have a tendancy to forget there are really good people out there. After all...you don't deal much with "nice people". You really don't need to because they aren't the problem. You get a VERY dark sense of humor and pretty much put your compassion in a box with a sign on it that says "Do not open". You make decisions quickly and don't have a lot of tolerance for those who don't.

I worked in Seattle. If you have ever been there, you know the sun pretty much leaves around October and is replaced with overcast and rain until around the end of April. It can get depressing. The height of this is from around Thanksgiving until New Years, or what we called "The Silly Season". The suicide rate skyrockets, which in Seattle is saying something as it is so high to start with. I will never forget one year I worked that during a single week I went to two suicides a day. That was 10 people in one week. And I wasn't the only officer going to those. You do put your sympathy away...or you become a basket case yourself.

I unfortunately was involved in a shooting. Part of that required a visit to the department shrink. He told me something that gave me a real moment for pause. He asked me if I remembered all those psyche exams I took and yes, sure I did. He told me if I were to take them now...I wouldn't probably be able to pass them with scoring they would look for in a new hire...anyone who had been on the street more than 4 years wouldn't. That was something that truly surprised me.

So yeah...maybe some reminders that there are good people out there would be a benefit. Sure couldn't hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting ideas. I agree that privatizing the work probably isn't the best idea. They hired private agencies in the Middle East conflict, and their records aren't exactly stellar. Having "competing agencies" could lead to problems.
I did say this in my first post,

I do not mean "privatized" law enforcement, which is a private company being granted a monopoly in a particular sector of the economy, like Blackwater in Iraq which is responsible for most of the violations, or OCP in RoboCop. Privatization is just outsourcing. It is not an actual private, competitive, innovative market.

In a private market police would serve at the pleasure of their employers. They would be able to defend our basic rights of life and property as much as we would (which would probably increase the citizens rights and responsibilities more than decrease police's).

With regard to the same categories private law enforcement agents would be incentivized to avoid confrontation (and therefore liability) as well as be able to be proactive about crime prevention (as in you have the right to ask what someone is doing on your property, but you can't just go around asking the same thing will-nilly). They would have no incentive to round up weapons simply because the federal government says so. After all, they can't protect you as effectively as you can protect yourself, and if they decide to support government gun registration we'd simply stop paying them. Even things as simple as driving tickets (assuming private roads could become a reality, as they should) would be rethought. Companies would be poorly received, and their roads less traveled, and revenue decreased, if they give tickets out for unnecessary infractions.
Privatization would be a problem. However, privatization is not the market. It is simply outsourcing.

In fact privatization would make the problem worse because for normal government oversight to take place you first need a warrant adding one more layer of bureaucracy to accountability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have to say, though, I am somewhat surprised that there is this reluctance to the free-market. Conservatives (which I assume you two are) cry all the time about how government is screwing us, and yet the only areas they really want a free-market are car choices, consumer electronics, and guns. When it comes to banking, mortgages, policing, food, and medical care they just want some small amount less government. They still want government involvement—just not as much as the democrats/ liberal left.
 

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I have to say, though, I am somewhat surprised that there is this reluctance to the free-market. Conservatives (which I assume you two are) cry all the time about how government is screwing us, and yet the only areas they really want a free-market are car choices, consumer electronics, and guns. When it comes to banking, mortgages, policing, food, and medical care they just want some small amount less government. They still want government involvement-just not as much as the democrats/ liberal left.
Love the attempt at inflammatory rhetoric. Nice try. Not really called for...not really needed...but nice try.
 

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Two words: training and accountability. LEO's need better training on what the laws are and that they are NOT above the law. And the public needs to demand more accountability for the actions of LEO's. I know, it will be a long row to hoe, but if enough of the public demands it, we will see a change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Slow Rain,

If you say so.


Knightrider53,

You are asking LE to have more accountability, and remember they are not above the law. I agree, so let's not make them the law by making them private citizens working a job. Why aren't you above the law? Because you are accountable to others, and the judiciary. Police are effectively not accountable to either.

What is more public than the market? After all, every dollar is effectively a vote. Let's make votes finally count.
 

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There's a lot of potential for abuse with the private market too. Think along the terms of what our country gets away with by hiring private firms to do what our military can't due to rules of warfare.

The government should enforce its laws, but there should be citizen panels and private investigatory agencies that act as a check and balance to law enforcement in the same way that the 3 branches of government are supposed to keep each other in check. Government shouldn't investigate government for wrong doing, the public/citizens/private agencies should and should have the power to punish government in the same manner the government punishes the innocent with their abuses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
There's a lot of potential for abuse with the private market too. Think along the terms of what our country gets away with by hiring private firms to do what our military can't due to rules of warfare.

The government should enforce its laws, but there should be citizen panels and private investigatory agencies that act as a check and balance to law enforcement in the same way that the 3 branches of government are supposed to keep each other in check. Government shouldn't investigate government for wrong doing, the public/citizens/private agencies should and should have the power to punish government in the same manner the government punishes the innocent with their abuses.
Jig,

See two above posts that address that. All examples you would point to are example of "privatization" which is granting a monopoly to a private company, which I agree makes for even more corruption.

The problem with the idea of not having government investigate government is that since government is a monopoly on judiciary and punishment who else is going to try government except another branch of government. Unless we have a private system you will always have this corruption. At least in a market the corruption has liability.

Giving citizens the power of government is a wonderful thought. Almost like government would be directly subject to citizens like how market forces are directly accountable to their markets.
 

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Jig,

See two above posts that address that. All examples you would point to are example of "privatization" which is granting a monopoly to a private company, which I agree makes for even more corruption.

The problem with the idea of not having government investigate government is that since government is a monopoly on judiciary and punishment who else is going to try government except another branch of government. Unless we have a private system you will always have this corruption. At least in a market the corruption has liability.

Giving citizens the power of government is a wonderful thought. Almost like government would be directly subject to citizens like how market forces are directly accountable to their markets.
Who said anything about granting a monopoly to a private company? There can be multiple private companies that compete against each other.

The judiciary can be the place to hash out problems. Just as a DA could bring a case against a citizen based off what police say their investigation results were, the DA could bring a case against corrupt cops based off the investigation of a citizen/private company investigation. The main idea being that law enforcement is not the only ones to investigate/ask for prosecution of law enforcement gone awry.
 

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Interesting discussion. First of all, no way would I support private police groups. Way too much opportunity for corruption in contracts. Policing activity is a legitimate government function.

I believe the majority of cops start off with good intentions and are decent human beings. I think the power corrupts reasonable thinking, just like it has in our politicians.

I would support citizen review panels with subpoena powers, ability to fire and even recommend criminal prosecution of police misconduct.

I think such panels would go along way toward restoring our faith in our police forces.

The problem will be convincing "conservatives" that supporting legislation for such panels is not being "anti-police".
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Who said anything about granting a monopoly to a private company? There can be multiple private companies that compete against each other.

The judiciary can be the place to hash out problems. Just as a DA could bring a case against a citizen based off what police say their investigation results were, the DA could bring a case against corrupt cops based off the investigation of a citizen/private company investigation. The main idea being that law enforcement is not the only ones to investigate/ask for prosecution of law enforcement gone awry.
Well, you suggested it when you mentioned blackwater, which is an example of privatizing, not private.

If your meaning, and certainly it is my meaning, is to remove governments monopoly over law enforcement and especially over special dispensations to government police, then the problem remaining is incompatibility with our current system. If government loses it's monopoly it's loses all it's power. If all we intend on doing is asking government to put more regulations on itself and kindly asking our opinions were going to have as much success changing police as we have changing the Republicans (slow, meaningless changes where we take one step forward in one area and three steps back elsewhere).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Fotog54,

Why do you think private policing companies would somehow be more corrupt than government? It is extremely difficult for private companies to be more corrupt than government. After all, private companies actually have to answer to other private companies, who don't like getting screwed. By and large it is government involvement that allows companies to become corrupt. Once that company gets a subsidy, or a contract, or tax breaks, there is not only a barrier to entry, but one of exit too.
 

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I think the best way to deal with the issues is the pocket book. Stop with all this "immunity" crap. If you truly do something wrong as a LEO...it should cost you. The first time a city loses a lawsuit for MANY MILLION dollars and a few cops lose EVERYTHING, then it might at least slow down.

As for me, I try to just avoid law enforcement at all costs although people will say that since I now open carry, I am asking for trouble. I have decided it's a risk I am willing to take. But, I carry a recorder with me and I have a dash cam that runs anytime I am in the car. Will this 100% stop any issues with "bad cops"...of course not. But it's my little way of mitigating the risk.
 

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Fotog54,

Why do you think private policing companies would somehow be more corrupt than government? It is extremely difficult for private companies to be more corrupt than government. After all, private companies actually have to answer to other private companies, who don't like getting screwed. By and large it is government involvement that allows companies to become corrupt. Once that company gets a subsidy, or a contract, or tax breaks, there is not only a barrier to entry, but one of exit too.
Not really a question of "more or less" corrupt. Would we really want policing to go to the lowest bidder? No. So lets leave legitimate government activities to government, but lets be responsible citizens and maintain good oversight over its actions.

Your other comment regarding companies and relation to government is under the topic of "crony capitalism" and is an issue for another topic.
 

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Why do we have law and punishment? Because it is necessary to maintain order. To hand the police immunity, control of evidence, and self-investigation while not expecting corruption is laughable. Yet, that is exactly what we do.

The police-judicial machine *must* be transparent and subject to independent oversight if this is ever to change. Granting or stripping qualified immunity should come from a "grand jury" of citizens.

Personally, I like the idea of citizen oversight panels. Perhaps with mandatory service like a jury. When you get called, you serve a 1 yr term, with salary equal to your regular pay. If you feel you must pass, you have to submit a willing replacement who gets no benefit from you for serving.
 

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what kind of private guarding and securing?

DouglasGregory, I'd rather not watch your set of videos on YouTube.

Can you explain, here, a little more about this private police service you speak of?

If it's basically replacing public LEOs with private-party armed security officers who ONLY serve the interests of those who hire them, rather than being sworn to uphold the laws of society in general, then it's a terrible idea. That would only work for specific locations (stores and businesses, your home, maybe a small subdivision of homes) but it would have to be supplemented with real LEOs to perform criminal justice functions.

Remember, armed guards are NOT cops. Not even close. And they will pretty much never arrest anybody. That's not the best way to serve THEIR interests, and the selfish (only concerned about themselves) interests of the business that hired them. They will be incentivized to chase away troublemakers, not seize them and put them into the criminal justice system for prosecution. They'll simply encourage all manner of criminals, both violent and nonviolent, to commit their crimes against people and institutions or areas that cannot afford this private security.
 

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Why do we have law and punishment? Because it is necessary to maintain order. To hand the police immunity, control of evidence, and self-investigation while not expecting corruption is laughable. Yet, that is exactly what we do.

The police-judicial machine *must* be transparent and subject to independent oversight if this is ever to change. Granting or stripping qualified immunity should come from a "grand jury" of citizens.

Personally, I like the idea of citizen oversight panels. Perhaps with mandatory service like a jury. When you get called, you serve a 1 yr term, with salary equal to your regular pay. If you feel you must pass, you have to submit a willing replacement who gets no benefit from you for serving.
Well the commitment you describe might be a bit much. I would think a panel meeting once a month to address complaints/issues/incidents would be sufficient for most departments. I could see the need in counties which only have a Sheriff's department that such a panel would and should probably be empowered under the office of the District Attorney, due to the political protections Sheriff's have.

Six or Seven members with some level of interest and competence in the justice process would be needed. Perhaps one member should be a lawyer.

Personally, I would love to serve on such a panel.
 
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