Defund The Police
What a novel concept!
Not one necessarily based in reality, but let’s discuss it as though we understand how society works.
First, we have the concept of policing and how it encroaches on more and more of a citizens life. My two primary gripes with the current system are: The war on drugs & traffic ticket quotas. These are two areas where I believe the police could scale back their presence.
The benefit of this is that it would free up an officers time and effort to focus on real dangerous criminals. Thus, more of society would not fall onto the wrong side of the law. Additionally, it would prevent coward officers from hiding at speed traps doing laser enforcement, and get those officers back in the community doing real policing.
On the back of addressing the police, many commentators advocate for transferring funding to social safety programs. I doubt this is a viable long term answer. Social safety programs are managed by bureaucrats, and everything I know about them is that they will seek metrics which support their existence.
For example, is a welfare administrator is employed to disperse funds, would they be inclined to move citizens out of the welfare trap & into a better life? I doubt it.
Less Government, Not More
It’s for this reason that I also advocate for less government across the board. Social safety should also be de-funded, and many of the under worked government administrators could locate professions which produce GDP. That is, in lieu of pilfering GDP.
Finally, as there will always be citizens who can’t work, either permanently or temporarily, I also advocate for a more standardized and simplistic social safety net. I have long been a supporter of Universal Basic Income, given the rise of automated processes in manufacturing.
If that sounds like Welfare+, it shouldn’t (which is why it failed in Ontario). UBI is a social dividend scheme. All citizens receive a base dividend on their contributions to society, which they can spend, invest or save. To me, this will keep more of society out of the thralls of the welfare trap, or the law enforcement trap.
Let’s Talk Specific Solutions
I think that the concept of officers having specialized attachments is a great idea, but consideration needs to be given to costs.
Much of the concern about police interactions has been on the basis of mental health. Indeed, many crimes have a footing based on deviations in mental health. For that reason, I fully support attaching mental health specialists/nurses to front line interactions.
Nurses have a great deal of understanding on how to deal with mental health issues, and how to move forward with treatment. The issue is often that these interactions are occurring outside of a clinical setting. Given that, and the expectation that the state services respond, police are still needed to be on scene.
It would be a fool’s gambit to allow nurses or other unarmed service workers to respond to calls for service involving mental health alone. In my experience, most cases can be approached prudently with a safe outcome. In some cases, an individual may be required to be detained for their safety or that of others.
Cases of this balancing act, as of late, have shown that police officers can move with a speed or direction outside of patient care considerations. To offset this, attaching specialists is a great idea which I expect to have a great outcome.