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How do Police create more value for residents?

March 8, 2013

I think this bears some scrutiny.

How would Police service become more valuable to you?

Since it’s my blog, I’ll throw out some of the ideas that I have.

1.  Transparency.  I want to see where the Police are at any given moment of the day.  I’d  understand that this shouldn’t be published to the web, but I think a map that shows the route that they’re on, the time they’re stopped at any given location would be a good start.  How do we know that they’re patrolling our neighborhoods at night?  I’d like to see where they’ve been.  I’d like to see the value that they create for us.  It should be made available to any concerned citizen at no cost, so that our citizens can see what they’re paying for.

2. Equality.  If they write tickets for speeding, they should be required to fill out a form for every time they exceed the Speed Limit.  If it’s so important that the City enforce speeding laws, I think the first person that gets cited should be officers when they abuse their ability to do so with impunity.  How about this one for equality?  If a cop shoots a residents dog, that resident gets to press charges against the cop for murder of a family member.  If a Police dog is shot, the perp gets charged with shooting a cop.  Hmmm.  I can only imagine that PETA is thrilled with this species equality, but to the rest of us, it probably just looks like a kind of stupidity that I can barely imagine.  How about using the GPS on their cars to issue citations if an officer doesn’t come to a full stop for all three seconds as dictated by law?  If it’s so important that officers cite residents, I think we need to ensure that our officers live by the same laws.  Oh, here’s another one in the equity field:  if an assault weapon is banned from the public, it should be banned from our Police too.  Or, anything that is not available to the public, our Police do not have authorization to purchase.

3.  First, do no harm.  Quit writing citations for incidents in which there is no harm to person or property.  You’re clogging up our court with stupid crap and nickel and diming our people to death.  Quit it.  Quit writing citations that primarily help the State of Texas. If the State is getting most of the money for enforcement, let them do it with their people.  Any citation that doesn’t generate a majority of income to the City: the same City which pays for the Police, the municipal court, the jail, the insurance, the uniforms, the weapons, the training, the vacation time, the sick time, the uniform fees and all the other expenses involved with a Police department, then don’t write a citation.

4.  Enforce a knowledge of the law.  Every year, an officer must pass an exam comprised of questions pulled at random by residents on the day of the exam from laws on the books at some level of government which they are supposed to be enforcing.  100 questions.  If the officer fails to correctly interpret or enforce the law in more than 25% of the issues, that officer is relieved of duty for being incompetent as it pertains to the law.  If our residents can be expected to know and comply with the staggering amount of laws perpetuated by the system, our Police should be tasked with enforcing them correctly.

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