MLLG’s plan for reforming the police in the wake of the George Floyd tragedy
Police Reform in America
By: George Noga – June 14, 2020
This is a special posting; the one originally scheduled has been moved to Wednesday. MLLG previously has written about policing; you may view these posts on our website: www.mllg.us. On 9/25/16 we posted Crisis of Confidence in Police and on 3/12/17 we posted Restoring Confidence in Police. Those posts still are valid.
There are cris de coeur to abolish or defund the police in the wake of the George Floyd tragedy. Major reform is indeed necessary; police have transmogrified into threatening figures, particularly to minorities, the underclass and the young. They wall themselves off from the communities they serve. They have an us-versus-them attitude, which is part of a culture that dictates they protect each other over serving the public.
MLLG Plan for Police Reform
Privatize the police: Communities can hire private for profit security firms. Such firms would hire the good officers from former police departments. The competition would increase the quality of law enforcement and it would be easy for the security firms to fire any officers who misbehave or who rack up citizen complaints.
Abolish qualified immunity: Currently police and government officials have qualified immunity and can’t be held legally accountable when they violate citizen rights – even in the most egregious manner. This must be ended.
Reform/Abolish LEOBOR: Many states have enacted a Law Enforcement Officer Bill of Rights which gives police many rights, privileges and protections not enjoyed by ordinary citizens. LEOBOR makes it incredibly difficult to hold police accountable.
Eliminate police unions: Unions make it virtually impossible to fire a rogue police officer. Even ones who are fired for gross misconduct usually are quietly reinstated months later with full back pay. Progressive politicians get princely contributions and backing from public unions. It is highly doubtful politicians’ social justice concerns will overcome their addiction to the torrent of union money and votes.
Self evaluation: Following Vietnam, the military was in shambles. Like police today, they were poorly perceived by the public. They did a critical self examination and transformed themselves into a highly trusted institution. Police need to do the same.
West Point for police: We should establish a national police academy to increase professionalism. Many states now require more training for beauticians than for police.
Embrace citizen review boards: All jurisdictions should have non political police review boards composed of a cross section of citizens. Police should embrace such boards and use them to learn from the community and to build trust.
Clean up their act: Police must stop conduct that undermines public confidence. They must end asset forfeitures and policing for profit. Use SWAT teams and military style equipment only when absolutely necessary. Quit telephone solicitations which are unprofessional and grate on the public. Stop the practice of testilying, i.e. police perjury. Don’t link advancement to money or arrests. Finally, improve the atmospherics by eliminating garish uniform decorations befitting the potentate of a banana republic.
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Implementation of the plan outlined above would go a long way to transforming the police into a trusted institution. It is all perfectly logical. But it would be wise not to expect too much in the way of reform as that is the nature of politics. Alas, there will be much sound and fury signifying nothing and, in the end, little will have changed.
Watch for our next post on Wednesday about conscientious acquittal.