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Yes, Police Are the Good Guys

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If an American institution inspires public confidence through conspicuous, consistent progress over the course of many years, why seek to change or challenge its direction? That’s the question for politicians and activists who denounce alleged “militarization” of local police departments despite their recent achievements in slashing rates of violent crime.

Numbers from the authoritative Bureau of Justice Statistics give some indication of the scope of the improvement. The incidence of violent crime reached its all-time high in 1991, and since that time has been cut nearly in half. The homicide rate was also cutat roughly the same pace, reaching its lowest level since 1963.

Read the full column at USATODAY.com

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Comments (6)

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  1. Will  •  Aug 28, 2014 at 11:20 am

    With the exception of a few, Police are the good guys.

  2. Chris  •  Aug 29, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Hi, Michael. In general I support the police. Most are good. However, the militarization of police forces is not “alleged.” It is easily verifiable by a simple Google search. “No knock” raids with SWAT officers armed to the teeth, tossing flash-bang grenades through windows, shooting innocent people when entering the WRONG home, and other such incidents are far too common. There is the element within the police force that is a little too anxious to use all the military “toys” they have. A reasonable person can oppose this trend while still supporting proper policing of our society.

  3. Pete  •  Aug 30, 2014 at 9:49 am

    In general I support the Police. I understand what is expected because I’m an Officer. If the “Public” wants their local Police to respond to violent,dangerous situations then proper equipment is needed. Everyone wants to return home the same way they left for work.
    Military toys… if deployed at the “wrong” time or by the “wrong” people your outcome maybe “wrong”. But if we don’t have the proper equipment for any event, we will just wait for help. I’m not sure if that is a safe option. I would rather have the equipment and have well train Officers, than just “to wait for help”. Because someone will show up with the proper equipment
    Upper Police management is the key to any large incidents. When they send us out on a job
    they are responsible, period. Officers,Deputies, Troopers just want to do their job without hurting ANYONE.
    If anyone wants to understand how their local Police dept. operates, ride along with an Officer …from 9PM to 3AM. Great way to see how some of the citizens choose to live.

  4. Ken Seabury  •  Aug 30, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    The original intent and purpose of a police department is, and should be, to establish limits on behavior by enforcing the law, and all of us can agree that this is very basic for an orderly society. Police officers, when operating within the lawful limitations of their authority, receive my unqualified endorsement.

    My concern is that some law-enforcement agencies may not do adequate psychological screening of officer candidates, particularly for personality disorders that are highly prevalent in the general population, such as narcissism. Not doing the necessary screening (by qualified mental-health practitioners) of officer candidates can subject police departments and individual officers to civil litigation.

    I believe that the reason why we have recurrent problems with violent crime and other serious criminal activities is because of the court system. The criminal justice system is no stronger than its weakest link. Adults and juveniles are often not being held accountable for their unlawful behaviors.

  5. Michael Waits Sr  •  Sep 11, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    As an ex policeman who left with a stellar record, I am a supporter of the men who wear the badge. However; I have been startled at the number of stories I read of no-knock attacks where innocent people are man-handled, or worse, shot, even in the presence of children. Absolutely outrageous if even one of these stories is true. It is a tough job no doubt. But there is no excuse for no-knocks and abusing innocents. An earlier writer made a comment about psyche testing; there may be merit in that idea.

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