We don’t need police. Here’s how we can do without them.
By Joël Valenzuela on January 2, 2014
The cops are out of control. So much so that some of us are dreaming of a post-police world. Well, there’s no more need to dream. Wake up. It’s happening right before our eyes. And it’s about time. The police have gotten so far away from their purported role of protecting the people that more often than not they have ended up doing the exact opposite.
The tragic case of Marlene Tapia provides a perfect deconstruction of everything that’s wrong with today’s police state. First, Tapia was detained on suspicion of possessing narcotics. Never mind that she wasn’t hurting anyone, or that said narcotics were intended to make her, or someone someone else, happy, even if only temporarily. The officer involved was protecting or helping absolutely no one. Next, Tapia was strip-searched, a gross and forceful violation of her privacy and person. Again, such a procedure protects no one and only comes into play because of the aforementioned substance restriction. Finally, upon noticing evidence of a concealed substance protruding from Tapia’s body, the officer sprayed her genitals with mace, serving absolutely no purpose other than to cause her pain and humiliation.
What’s the worst part of this story? That everything the officer did except for the macing was standard procedure? That the officer had been “disciplined” for her torturous action, yet remained on staff? Or that millions of us involuntarily pay for an armed force to visit violence and aggression upon us?
How can we get the police to start working for us again? By making them private. Now I know you’re thinking this is just another libertarian fantasy. It isn’t. It’s real. And where is it happening? In the land of government failure: Detroit.
Yes, we’re talking about private citizens picking up the slack left by police incompetence. But we’re also talking about something even better: the Threat Management Center. This Detroit-based business has effectively filled the protection void left by law enforcement. But it gets even better. The Threat Management Center’s sole priorities are the protection of the people under their charge. They have specific incentives to focus exclusively on safety, and find non-violent ways of defusing tense situations before resorting to force. Since they’re privately funded, they have a direct incentive to make their customers happy. Any form of misconduct can instantly result in a loss of funding.