My response initially was similar to most of you online (including CalltheCops who did this story already…AS SATIRE!) “You’re talking gibberish.”
But then I had two remarkably different thoughts at the same time. Yes, I have those powers.
Why don’t the cops respond like the Fire Department?
It makes perfect sense that since Officers are apparently most at risk at traffic stops, just stop doing traffic stops. Stop patrolling, looking for bad guys, just wait for the bad guys to do stupid stuff and roll out! Before you grab your pitch fork and storm HMHQ, follow me on this for a few more sentences.
PD has done very little in the form of crime prevention compared to the Fire Service. They can’t. Criminals have intent to cause chaos. That is difficult to prevent. The reason Fire doesn’t patrol the streets on a regular basis is because they have lobbied for over 100 years to make the main cause of fires preventable or at least detectable early on. They ensure sprinklers are installed in public places and hopefully soon, private spaces. I can’t stand people who think a fire sprinkler system will leak while they ignore the maser bath upstairs (thanks Hollywood.) I wish PD could respond only when needed, but that overlooks the main reason we need PD out and about:
Bad guys are out and about.
Put your resources near your need.
Why doesn’t Fire have the same authority to reduce fire and injury risk that PD has?
Imagine a Fire Engine cruising Main street. They turn on their lights and pull over a car with a driver smoking a cigarette. They issue a Public Health fine citing research that shows the habit is not only unhealthy but a fire risk. The driver refuses to sign the complaint and is arrested on site.
“Justin! You’re out of your mind! That’s not a crime!”
EMS could do the same thing: Issuing citations to the obese, folks ordering cheese fries or those taking the escalator when stairs are readily available, but we prefer to only be warned and cited when folks are doing bad things like driving without license plates (which got a man shot and also nabbed Timothy McVeigh).
PD needs to be out there preventing crime the same way Fire and EMS need to be out there preventing fire, illness and injury. Perhaps your agency has a robust smoke detector program or asthma outreach program. GOOD! Keep those going, you are making a difference! Just don’t get lazy and sit back waiting for something to happen. Your goal should be to make yourself completely obsolete.
Look how well it is working for Fire.
They spent so much time and effort making the world safer we almost don’t need them.
What do you think about Tom Mullen’s suggestion to put PD in a station house like Fire? What do you think about my idea to allow Fire and EMS to patrol and issue citations to those who are harming themselves instead of others?