Crime and Law Enforcement

Keeping the peace requires less than brute force.

What I want.

*More law enforcement officers. More women and more ethnic diversity. Public outreach and face to face time. 

*Increase funding for fighting and preventing cyber crime.

*Reward programs for officers reporting illegal or abusive conduct of fellow officer. 

*Education programs that emphasize deescalation tactics over power.

*Abbreviate work schedules and/or increase pay.

*Identify and eliminate militarization of law enforcement.

*Ban DNA profiling until there is a conviction.

*Ban or marginalize for profit prisons and mandatory sentencing.

*No distinction or privilege regarding white collar crimes.

*Expand funding for programs that reduce recidivism.

*Prison is to punish and hopefully rehabilitate. I'd prefer offenders not see it as a vacation.

*Increase minimum wage to reflect actual cost of living. Nothing prevents crime like a job and the incentive to keep it.

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Yet another issue we have completely backwards. Law enforcement has been a terrible way to deal with problems that stem from social inequality and bad policy. It’s asking far too much of our peace officers to “clean up” the mess we’ve made by neglectful social policies that unfairly place the brunt of our society’s failures squarely on the shoulders of the law enforcement community.  What’s worse is that we cut funding so that police budgets have to choose between equipment, training, and new hires. Then we increase the pressure on our crime fighters by opening private “for profit” prisons that are beckoning for “customers” by corporate share holders. 

Criminals are not commodities or victims. They do make choices that are bad and often use their disadvantages as an excuse for their actions. However, wealth and poverty are not clear indications of a person’s moral character. I think I can safely say the worst criminals of all time were people with powerful means and a lot of money.  What I would like to see is social and fiscal polices that remove the excuse for people to blame their actions on their circumstances, rich or poor. 

 We must not “short change” law enforcement by only giving them training and tools to escalate a dangerous situation to gain control of a problem. There are several approaches to overcoming a threat and I want keepers of the peace to have as many options available to bring a peaceful end to a bad situation. 

We have to support our law enforcement community. I want them to have the pay and healthcare they deserve so they don’t have to worry about their families. I want them to work less and retire earlier. Keep in mind these are people we have entrusted to legally take the lives of other people if required, so they must be held to the highest standard in civil society by receiving the highest standard in our support.  They should be well educated and have clear expectations of what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. I want people to be relieved when police show up, not afraid or confused as to who they can trust. We owe it to ourselves to actually help them protect and serve.


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