Unbundling the Police in Kentucky

In Why Are the Police in Charge of Road Safety? I argued for unbundling the police:

Don’t use a hammer if you don’t need to pound a nail…the police have no expertise in dealing with the mentally ill or with the homeless–jobs like that should be farmed out to other agencies. Notice that we have lots of other safety issues that are not handled by the police. Restaurant inspectors, for example, do over a million restaurant inspectors annually but they don’t investigate murder or drug charges and they are not armed. Perhaps not coincidentally, restaurant inspectors are not often accused of inspector brutality, “Your honor, I swear I thought he was reaching for a knife….”.

A small experiment was started several years ago in Alexandria, Kentucky.

Faced with a tight budget and rising demands on its 17 officer police department, the City of Alexandria in Campbell County tried something different. Instead of hiring an additional officer and taking on the added expenses of equipping that officer, the police chief at the time hired a social worker to respond in tandem with officers.

Anecdotally the results appear good:

“It was close to a $45,000 to $50,000 annual savings from hiring a police officer the first time to hiring a social worker,” [former Alexandria Police Department chief] Ward said. “They (police social workers) started solving problems for people in our community and for our agency that we’ve never been able to solve before.”

Ward believes the results in Alexandria, a city of less than 10,000, could be replicated in larger cities like Louisville, where officers respond to calls involving mental health, domestic disturbances, and homelessness an average of once every 10 minutes.

“Louisville is very big with services,” Pompilio said. “They have lots of things to offer families. It’s just a matter of a social worker connecting.”

Alexandria doubled down on its commitment and now employs two full-time social workers to work and respond with its 17 officers.

Hat tip: NextDraft.

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The nanny state in action.

Is sending a social worker any more “nanny state” than sending a police officer?

It absolutely is. In spite of the best efforts of the leftist media and other incompetent stooges to convince us otherwise, the vast majority of police calls are made because someone needs the police. Also in spite of the narrative, the vast majority of these are not because we need them to shoot a black person for us, either.

In other words, I don't need a social worker to come out after my truck gets stolen while I'm in the store. I need someone who's going to make an effort to find my truck, not talk me down from the ledge or offer me grand theft auto counseling. Same goes for the vast majority of incidents that have a negligible chance of erupting in violence yet do require what normal people call "police work". Some departments have detectives, CSI types, etc. for these, but they are police nonetheless, trained in law enforcement, not social work. (Perhaps it is a dress issue, and they should wear leisure suits, cheap sunglasses, and bad mustaches rather than tactical clothing. I would be fine with this for the aesthetic alone.)

The idiots who propose these types of non-solutions perfectly encapsulate the "nanny state", that is, a feminized, passive-aggressive government that perpetually angles for more control over you while rationalizing its actions as being for your own good. People tend to forget that the government already employs an army of social workers who do a lot more devious shit than showing up with a gun to tell you to stop waving a knife around. Like taking your kids, for example. Yet you'll never see a body cam from a social worker who's showing up to a black family's house to ship their kids off to white foster parents. Probably because that doesn't further functional anarchy to allow thugs to terrorize normal people.

That is, unless the "thugs" are the government (instead of their volunteer auxiliary of degenerate foot soldiers), which is a perfectly acceptable use of the term.

lasers, i'm gonna tell you something nobody else is willing to tell you, but you have to keep it between us.

you're smart.

you're smart enough to be a grave intellectual danger to yourself. you're smart enough to be truly stupid in a way that the unintelligent can only dream of.

godspeed.

It seems that the suggest is to have the police act/respond like the fire dept. does. That is after a crime they go out and investigate and make arrests where necessary. Good luck with that actually working. There is a way to facilitate this process; allow all non-felons over the age of 18 to legally carry concealed and openly anywhere in the 50 states.

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Peculiar that many who have a 130+ IQ want the government to leave everyone the hell alone, without considering how much mayhem someone with a sub 85 IQ can cause without state intervention.

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Pulled that right out of your ass.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2020/06/19/upshot/unrest-police-time-violent-crime.amp.html

Just because a call is non-criminal doesn't mean a show of force isn't needed. When someone calls 911 because McDonalds screwed them some how, or when someone calls 911 because the neighbor is screaming at them over a fence, a cop showing up means if anyone gets out of line someone is going to jail.

There's a huge % of society that only understands force and doesn't fear the legal system. They will beat a social worker.

Homeless people in Seattle have punched and knocked out tourists that are just standing on a corner waiting for the street light to change. They have thrown hot coffee on 2 year olds. They don't care.

Yep, need that gun for the flaming pot of hot oil in the kitchen, granny falling and can't get up, half the mailboxes on the street have been smashed overnight, an old woman is incoherent and waking in the cold in her PJs, the car broken down blocking traffic, ...

What happens when it's reported that there's an old lady walking in the cold and the social worker arrives and realizes she's been stabbed and the assailant boyfriend comes out of the house and wants to know what the social worker thinks she is doing?

Having social workers go to a lot of calls sounds good. And then they will arrive for their first week and realize in 1/3 of the calls they were walking into a hornet's nest with a pissed boyfriend or ex-husband lurking about. The social workers will do a quick calculation and realize their life will be cut short if they continue this. So, police will be routinely dispatched along with the social worker in every case. Just as the cops are when EMT or fire is called in rough area.

It's far easier to teach a cop social work than it is to teach a social worker cop work.

Your kids must love your parenting style.

Realists are seldom shocked by anything, because they understand cause and effect really well. Half the country is about to lose their home according to stories out today, and shootings in our major cities are running about 2X what they were last year.

All of this is 100% anticipated. And all of this is 100% precipitated by the democrats actions.

I suspect my kids like being told "I was right" about as much as anyone. But they are learning.

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The article says the police officer "secures the site" before the social worker walks in. If you think it's too dangerous for the social worker to be there, how about pondering how most human interactions--even conflicts--are resolved without the use of firearms. The presence of firearms usually increases the likelihood of violence--not decreases it. Check the US gun violence record with the rest of the world.

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Cool story, bro.

Now, back to the 4chan mines, we need more memes!

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" I need someone who's going to make an effort to find my truck"

You think the police are going to drop everything just to find your truck? You have no idea how anything works do you?

They're not (although I appreciate the irony of one commenter telling me the police do nothing but handle non-violent calls while another tells me they're too busy with more important matters to investigate crime). I know what the recovery rates are for stolen property. The point is that that's what the police are actually for. Even if they're giving it the ol' college try, that's more than you will get from any defund the police proposal.

Again, you shouldn't let the ivory tower leftists trick you into thinking this is an issue of being compassionate or just in enforcing the law. The point is to create a system where they can enforce the laws they want against the people they want while turning a blind eye to others. Otherwise known as anarcho-tyranny. It costs the Very Smart and Serious People here nothing, because they live a life of privilege that they think keeps them from feeling the effects of their selfish proposals. You should consider what it's going to cost you instead of giving into their moral preening.

I don't think the issue is that cops are "too busy" to find your truck. I think the issue is that the cops simply don't give a shit about it, unless finding it gives them an excuse to drive fast.

I'm curious to hear more about your theory re: anarcho-tyrrany - not sure what that means.

To me there are a lot of police functions we can unbundle. The only reason we think of them as dangerous tasks is because the police presence is what *makes* them dangerous. Cops can arrest you. Without the threat of arrest, previously volatile situations (like a speeding ticket when the driver has a warrant) would stop being dangerous.

I think you can make a sensible case for unbundling some of what the police do today without any kind of increase in risk for social workers, or meter maids, or whoever else ends up enforcing laws beyond the police.

Again, I know they don't give a shit about it. The point is that a large part of the social equilibrium, to borrow a term of art from our intrepid blogger, rests on the expectation that, if someone steals something from you, the police are going to make at least a nominal effort to both recover your property and arrest the thief for prosecution per our legal code. If you remove that expectation, say, by decriminalizing shoplifting as some states and/or municipalities have done, then you reset the equilibrium, namely to one where, again say, shoplifting, is tolerated and becomes a common occurrence, as it has where it has been decriminalized. That is to say, if someone knows they can steal my truck while I'm in the store and no one will pursue them or attempt to recover it, what is stopping them? Their respect for social order?

This is anarcho-tyranny, which is not my theory but is/was Sam Francis'. You ought to be familiar with this concept from the recent unconstitutional lockdowns, wherein the state arrests surfers and the like for violating social distancing orders while turning a blind eye to (the right kind of) "protests" and releasing violent criminals from prison to "avoid outbreaks". The idea is that the state throws the book at generally law-abiding people for minor infractions but allows scofflaws to run free.

The reason why our society is devolving towards anarcho-tyranny is the same reason why your and Alex's presumption about unbundling the police is flawed. Traffic stops don't become dangerous because the police are there. You and I both have been stopped by police for, say, speeding with zero danger to either party. I've been pulled over three times ever, I was carrying a gun two of those times and had others in my truck, and I've never come close to being in danger from the officer(s) pulling me over.

Traffic stops become dangerous if/when they involve someone who doesn't respect the social equilibrium, namely, the rule of law. Ideally people don't commit traffic violations, and they don't run around with warrants out. But the people who do both are not of the type who are going to listen to a social worker or meter maid. Giving them free rein to do what they want because you're afraid to arrest them, while those who respect the social contract face the consequences, is anarcho-tyranny.

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On the "needless escalation" point, the problem comes from a lack of clear objectives for police. To use the example below, if someone is playing music loud enough to disturb the neighbors, do you want an authority figure of some sort to simply issue a citation to the offender or do you want to compel the offender to stop, using force if necessary? If only the former, you can by all means outsource this to meter-maid-like staff.

Or, in domestic violence cases, police have been given the obligation to make an arrest if they find probable cause that an act of domestic violence took place. Arresting someone who has been accused of a violent crime and who may be on alcohol or drugs is always a bit of a hair-raising and risky situation. Do we want police to continue to have this obligation -- which we created in the first place in order to guarantee the safety of everyone in the household -- or do we want to outsource domestic violence interventions to a social worker who will just write a report and then leave?

For traffic stops, many jurisdictions have thousands of outstanding warrants and police are given the task of running warrant checks during traffic stops and arresting people who have outstanding warrants. If they do not do this, one of the most effective ways we have of catching people with outstanding warrants goes away. Is this something we really want? Think about the bail reform movement and how people are being released from jail without posting any security. If those people don't think there is a decent chance they will eventually be discovered in a traffic stop and summarily arrested, the incentive to blow off court is that much greater.

Etc.

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"the vast majority of police calls are made because someone needs the police"

False! People in most of the US call 911 because they or someone needs help. In some places, 211 is activated.

In either case, an operator screens the call and dispatches the appropriate services based on local screening query flow diagram.

Typically, one of two departments is dispatched, but in some cases both, police and fire.

In larger jurisdictions the screening dispatches to more specific response teams, or multiples. EMT, ambulance, fire, hazmat, road hazard, utility, police.

Dispatch takes into account geography and response time, so fire or police might be sent just to put someone on scene faster, eg, police or fire to a traffic accident. Whoever arrives first calls for other services as needed.

But the police end up being the catch all service, ending up at places were they can't really do what the caller needs/wants. One theory is the police represent authority so people will follow "obvious" steps to keep safe, like exit a house on fire, or stop yelling, the blue/white uniform authority.

90% of calls for help have zero need of a gun on the scene even in the most crime ridden cities.

>90% of calls for help have zero need of a gun on the scene even in the most crime ridden cities.

I hope you were standing up when you pulled that number out of your ass.

But hey, let's go with it. A 10% death rate for social workers responding to a police call sounds perfectly acceptable, yes?

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The debate over whether cops should be armed is different from the "unbundling" or "defunding" issue. One could make the case for not arming some officers some of the time but, even then, there is still that 10%. Ideally, in the cases where crime is in progress and a gun may be necessary, you want the person closest by to respond regardless of whether they are the "best" person for that particular call.

Once again, a society that is capable of sending a mission to another planet and exchanging information with it uses 14th century technology to employ a rapid chemical reaction to drive a metal pellet through the body of someone that fails to obey the commands of a public employee.

By this reasoning the rockets to get to the moon are... what 12th century technology

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"90% of calls for help have zero need of a gun on the scene even in the most crime ridden cities."

LOL, actually the number is probably higher than that. Only 27% of American cops have ever fired their weapon while on duty.

Sure Cops don't need their gun 90%+ of the time. But who has a crystal ball to determine before hand the times that they do?

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+1 nanny state
if cornpops razor is rusty
then cornpops could be j.biden
pancakes ahead
pancakes behind
signals & tells
some of you may have noticed a geographic correlation between increased violent crime &mostly peaceful protests

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It is possible that police are primarily needed where there is the threat of violence; which on the progressive scale will be complicated by the over-developed sensitivity to all kinds of things they dislike as 'violence.' Including many kinds of dispassionate and reasoned speech. Then will they be given the privilege of summoning state monopoly force to protect their interests? For example, when a speaker at a university is suspected of wielding 'violence' by giving a talk from behind a podium? As opposed, say, to the violence of throwing explosives into a courthouse and blinding people with lasers?

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/health/russia-aims-mass-covid-19-vaccination-from-october/1929148

I thank President Putin for his correct leadership and for having saved the world. I wish Trump was half as competent as Mr. Putin.

You are pitiful, hun.

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I'd like to start with the police uniform. Adults should wear long pants to work. A proper uniform expresses authority to perform a specific function. When police officers wear shorts and gold shirts to work -- they are dressed to get in a fight. Let's restore dignity to policing as a core function of getting the job description right.

I suspect the "multi-functional" police you write about grew out of post-slavery institutions.

"Adults should wear long pants to work." What an absurd prejudice.

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You must be writing from Jamaica. I don't think I've ever seen a cop in shorts.

Austin bike cops looking for open container on sixth street wear shorts all the time. Nevermind the homeless from the nearby shelter accosting women coming home from bars, but whatevs.

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This looks like a good idea but it is not an example of "unbundling" the police. Rather it is an example of augmenting and professionalizing the police by having armed police officers pair up with civilian specialists to handle certain kinds of requests for assistance.

Where AT's analogy with restaurant inspectors is off the mark is that police often deal with people over whom they have little leverage other than the power of arrest. In the case of a restaurant owner, that person has bank accounts that can be garnished, property that can be seized or padlocked, and licenses that can be suspended in case they refuse to cooperate with the inspector. In the case of a homeless person high on meth or someone behind the wheel of a stolen car, if using force to detain that person is not an option, they can just walk or drive away from whatever social worker/traffic safety person is sent their way with no consequences.

You are spot on, Ricardo, and this “differently fund the police” approach absolutely may be worth trying elsewhere. We need to remember that people call 911 for numerous reasons, and a response team consisting of a cop + social worker may have advantages over one or the other alone. One wonders too if the use of this type of combined response team also changes the cop part of the team’s approach in a manner that is helpful in other ways. Definitely an experiment that seems worthwhile and one wonders if/how this has been used elsewhere.

Indeed, imagine if we teamed police up with firefighters or EMTs, for example. That way we wouldn't have cops mag-dumping on housefires all the time.

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Agree. The key point in the whole Kentucky piece is that the social worker was paired with an officer, who apparently surveys the situation and perhaps deals with a threat before departing (if safe). Too often we hear about what sounds like sending non-police directly, vulnerable to potential violence or threats the worker is not prepared for. That's setting up for possible disasters.

"Agree. The key point in the whole Kentucky piece is that the social worker was paired with an officer,"

Exactly, this deals with the issue of running into an unexpectedly dangerous situation, and since most of these calls would have involved 2 officers, it doesn't cost anymore having a social worker replace one of the offices. And, there's a social worker to specialize in the psychological aspects So, Win-Win.

+1

The whole point here is that a lot of police calls are for someone having a mental health crisis. Policemen do their best with those calls, but it's not really something they're trained for, and it's probably pretty different from dealing with, say, an armed robbery, drunken brawl at a bar, or guy beating up his wife. It makes sense to have someone on the scene with relevant training and expertise, and it makes sense to have the normal policeman on site in case the person having a mental health crisis gets violent enough to need someone able to deal with that.

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+1, excellent analysis Ricardo

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There is a good dramatization of this sort of multidisciplinary approach, in which the police officer partners with various social service professionals, here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7TT4jnnWys

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Thanks Tyler, I’m sure the 50 year old female social worker will enjoy not having the police around when the mentally ill person starts to dig her eyes out.

Honestly, that's just Darwin in action at 50 years old. Most of the sane social workers get out in their late twenties when their college indoctrination wears off and they see the reality of the job. If you're making it to fifty then you're a lost cause.

Yep. My buddy got out in his late 20s and somehow it was better for him to enlist in the Navy. He tells stories all the time of the incredibly violent crazy people he was in contact with, and how police were absolutely necessary.

The problem, again, is the r-strategist mindset.

I ran into one of my college ex-girlfriends a while back who was a social-worker-turned-housewife (this was back in my naive libertarian phase when I practiced viewpoint diversity in dating choices).

She said that she quit her job because the agency she was working for was implementing a plan to send her and others alone, in their personal vehicles, to conduct wellness checks in the projects at all hours of the day/night. She is 5'3" and probably 110 pounds soaking wet. They can't carry guns, other weapons, or even pepper spray, of course.

What was chilling about this is that from what she said no one pushing this insane proposal would acknowledge the inherent danger in sending twenty-something women out by themselves to households and neighborhoods known to have issues with violence, mental illness, etc. That is to say, no one told them, hey we know this is a big ask but it's part of the job and someone has to do it, which if not reasonable would be understandable. They just didn't think it was a problem, or if they did, they deliberately hid that. And they definitely didn't do much to mitigate the risks.

That's r-selection and those are the same type of people who are currently telling us that we need to defund the police. People who don't have the ability to recognize a dangerous situation and take the steps necessary to avoid it, or worse yet, don't have the ability to recognize when they're putting other people in danger. What sane society would allow these people to call the shots?

don't have the ability to recognize when they're putting other people in danger. What sane society would allow these people to call the shots?

Everyone who, in the course of their employment, deals with strangers is in danger at some level; pizza deliverymen, liquor store clerks, cab drivers, bank tellers, postal deliverymen, census takers and so on. Few of these people are normally armed in the course of their employment and use of a firearm in their own defense would be problematical from a legal standpoint anyway. They are paid much less than law enforcement officers for a more dangerous job.

Asserting that jobs that come in contact with strangers are more dangerous than a job where one is specifically called to deal with criminals in dangerous situations is a really good example of having a defective amygdala.

I have been. Enjoying your wit..

Thank you;)

Should whatever is left of society survive in a cave someplace. ...i hope to meet you there...

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You completely ignored the fact that the discussion was about working with people with mental illnesses. A social worker or cop dealing with a crazy person is much more likely to be in a violent situation than an Uber driver.

Also, I would love to know how much you think cops are paid, and also how much you think they should be paid.

All public employees should be required to bid for their jobs annually, just as suppliers of various items over a certain value are required to submit bids. The low bidder should have the position for the following year.

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Crazy people never order pizza, stop at the liquor store, ride in cabs or assault realty agents. They always stand on the front stoop shrieking or chase the neighbor kids with knives.

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Wow this wasn’t Tyler, disregard.

Oh really, some troll on the internet made a snap judgement and didn't get even the basic facts correct?

*shocked Pikachu face*

Yes my friend, I’m the troll 🙄

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You realize the entire point of this system is that a police officer *and* a social worker respond together, so that the social worker has a police officer around?

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not satire
the murder rate in newwokecity has doubled.
the penguins are replicating that famous canadian sociology experiment from the 70s that pinker wrote about

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I wish Alex would stop chasing shiny SJW pennies. The big unbundling that needs to happen: remove traffic enforcement responsibilities from police and reallocate all those resources to violent crime prevention and investigation. Taxpayers fund police to prevent violent crime and to arrest violent criminals. But police forces spend most of their money on traffic cops and police forces spend most of their time enforcing BS traffic laws. Every week in my city of Atlanta, there are at least half a dozen murders and rapes and hundreds of assaults and burglaries. Meanwhile, there are over a thousand traffic stops every week. All those millions should be spent hunting down and caging the those terrorizing our cities.

https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/atlanta/atlanta-police-will-no-longer-respond-

Investigating serious crime, sure, but you don't need an army to do that. You just need competent people with relevant skills and they shouldn't be afraid to call upon the state or federal government for help in difficult cases.

Preventing violent crime, definitely, but Atlanta isn't much of a walking city and so cops on patrol looking for potential crimes probably need to behind the wheel of a car. If they see a traffic violation and nothing else is going on in their area at the time, I'm not sure why they shouldn't execute a stop and issue a citation.

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Also, I don't know the specifics how police bureaucracies are structured but the guys who drive around and run license plates to look for stolen cars are very much part of serious crime prevention and deterrence. Whether that's considered traffic enforcement or not, it is an important job and requires manpower. And if they can tell from a license plate number whether the owner of the car has an outstanding warrant, even better.

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Pretty sure that "Nigel" is the output of GPT-3.

Nigel:

In a lot of places, the police are bringing in revenue via traffic stops. That's a bad thing (we don't want the cops worrying about raising revenue via fines, we want them worrying about public safety), but it's probably one reason so many of the police are out there doing traffic enforcement.

About 44% of the interactions between Americans and the police are due to traffic issues. Ergo, autonomous autos, which will never violate the law, will eliminate the need for a little less than half of the patrolmen in the country. The traffic fines that won't be collected will make a big hole in local budgets.

Autonomous vehicles are nothing but a pipe dream right mow. meanwhile we need to do something today, not in the by-and-by.

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What percent of American premature deaths are due to traffic issues?

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The big unbundling that needs to happen: remove traffic enforcement responsibilities from police and reallocate all those resources to violent crime prevention and investigation.

I have a shirt-tail relative who is currently employed as an English teacher. He's quite persuaded he knows how to do everyone's job better than they do. I get the impression that these types are common in economics departments.

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So many commenters here as such scared little men. So afraid of the world. Did the monster under the bed try and grab your feet again last night?

Grow up.

>So many commenters here as such scared little men. So afraid of the world.

You tell 'em, Brave John. Also -- post your home address. Thanks!

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In semi-related news demonstrating that the justice system is disfunctional, the Boston Marathon bomber got his death sentence kicked, on a technicality. Sentencing retrial.

It’s nice to see that the court system has more money than they know what to do with.

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The single largest cost savings would be hiring cheap secretaries to do the expensive uniformed police officers’ paperwork for them.

It's a worthwhile idea to test. I suspect these administrative assistants won't be all that cheap, particularly if they are capable enough to reliably and efficiently do the job.

There's a reason you don't see many secretaries in offices anymore - if you have to provide detailed information to the secretary, particuarly with major problems if the info is wrong, its just as easy to type it yourself.

I'd also look at best practices in automating as much of the paperwork and other routine workflow as practical. I don't expect the unions to be enthusiastic.

The police where I live made no attempt too find the person who stole my car, my children bikes nor broke into my house, they just wrote up a report i needed to collect on insurance. It would not take much training to do that.

The police where I live made no attempt too find the person who stole my car, my children bikes nor broke into my house, they just wrote up a report i needed to collect on insurance. It would not take much training to do that.

It's a question of marginal benefit given all their other tasks.

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Or just better tech. I always wondered why it takes a traffic cop 10-15 minutes to write up a damned ticket. It seems like really low hanging fruit.

If you make writing tickets too easy, then expect more tickets.

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the police have no expertise in dealing with the mentally ill or with the homeless

They actually do, just not expertise you'd care to acknowledge. You don't know what you're talking about and should shut your pie hole on these issues.

From the Washington Post's police shooting database, about a quarter of police shootings were of someone having a mental health crisis at the time. Some of those were probably inevitable--if your mental health crisis is that you think God has told you to go chop up your neighbors with a machete or something, a social worker isn't going to be as much help as a policeman with a gun. But some were not inevitable, and could have probably been resolved without anyone getting shot if someone with the right kind of expertise had been there.

From the Washington Post's police shooting database,

Which no outside party has audited.

But some were not inevitable, and could have probably been resolved without anyone getting shot if someone with the right kind of expertise had been there.

The mental health trade consists of (1) people who provide the talking cure to those Fuller Torrey describes as 'the worried well'; (2) people who fail to accomplish much of anything with alcoholics and drug addicts; and (3) people who write prescriptions for psychotropics. There are very few who would be able to handle these situations well.

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The primary function of police is the application of violence or the credible threat of violence.

That function is critical in some situations, but unnecessary in most routine police activity across the nation (e.g., minor traffic infractions, investigations of recent crimes and various community incidents, completing extensive paperwork & reporting requirements, patrolling areas with little or no crime).

Bulk of police work is generally administrative -- and could indeed be handled well by non-violent, less expensive personnel. (ever hear of Meter-Maids to hand out parking tickets?)

Perhaps a cadre of administartive-assistants could safely accompany regular police officers or be dispatched as needed once policemen have surveyed & secured a routine incident scene.

Now it works like this.

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Seems to me the biggest argument for having (otherwise unnecessary) armed officers do police work like traffic stops and domestics, is the real possibility that the guy in the driver's seat or behind the door in the next room, has a gun and will use it. Better vetting, better training, better evaluation of police officers is good. But social workers don't want to be in a position of approaching a guy in a car, just stopped for speeding or excessive weaving, without some backup. Similar for domestic or neighborhood disturbances.

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In many if not most jurisdictions, the sheriff's office (as opposed to the police department) serves eviction notices and will assist the landlord in removing a tenant pursuant to a court order if the tenant refuses to leave. Indeed, the function of the sheriff's office is primarily to assist landlords and other creditors in enforcing court orders including evictions and repossessions. It's just one more instance in which the poor and almost poor have negative interactions with law enforcement. Last week my state extended the moratorium on evictions. Will Republicans extend pandemic relief to the poor and almost poor before the moratorium ends? If not, the sheriff will have lots of work to do.

. It's just one more instance in which the poor and almost poor have negative interactions with law enforcement.

I'm sure it will do all parties in the community a world of good to make rents uncollectable.

I think we should put a bounty on dead cobras at the same time.

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I think you'll have trouble getting econ professors to agree that people who refuse to honor their contractual obligation to pay rent should not be sanctioned, but Alex and Tyler are awfully woke, so maybe they'll sign on to your new vision for landlord-tenant relations.

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It is amazing how many people above don't like this cost-effective and humane solution because it is just not violent enough.

I'll call them "the base." They are why we need a better, "compassionate conservatism."

Looks like one troll from /pol.

There are a couple guys here who claim to personally dislike, or "not support," Trump but will show up to dissemble every time a solid criticism is made.

Truth:
Trump tells police not to worry about injuring suspects during arrests

This is a real thing that has animated his real base. It would be nice if we, right of center folks, got together to reject and move beyond it.

I think you got lost, this isn't a Trump post. This is a post about unbundling the police, or in this specific instance responding with teams that include police and social workers in a town in Kentucky

There's one troll from /pol upthread

Try again

Come on, everything on this page, and the prior "unbundle" piece is in reaction to "defund the police" which grows our of BLM and etc.

It's to late to call a timeout.

A timeout, what are you even referring to? Responding with teams that include police and social workers in Kentucky doesn't have to be yet another pointless Culture War battle.

Ignore the dude from /pol. This policy either is effective or not. Judging by the post it's been effective initially in one small town

You are one weird dude. What have you just done? Rather than let one comment, two lines long, slide by, you've stretched it to six?

And the really interesting thing is that while you don't like me commenting on "the base," you are cool with this other statement on the page:

These are the people who import and pander to criminal savages, then leave us to deal with their mess.

I know who you are. I have your number.

Are you really this clueless?

He's a /pol tard. Which I've said several times in this thread. Engaging with a /pol troll is imbecilic.

Using that as an excuse to go full Culture Warrior is childish

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Skeptical, kudos for trying to clarify the issue and attempt to have a rational discussion.

You just want guardrails so that rational (and related) discussion doesn't include certain national policies or the president.

I mean, I gave you a link at 10:14 am. Do you have a rational response to it?

The topic is about unbundling police services, you are trying to derail the thread with a Trump comment. That's not a rational response. Seek help anonymous.

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It's amazing that someone could think that something that worked in a town of 10,000 people could scale up. The rare occasions where a social worker could be useful would be worth getting one out of bed at night to attend.

In a larger city you would need the equivalent staffing and dispatching systems that the police have.

The Toronto police chief says that he fully supports having social workers show up, but they get the call because they are there and available. No one is willing to spend the money, set up the infrastructure and staff appropriately. So it falls to the police.

Scale matters. A town of 10,000? The social workers probably know the people by name.

I'm not proposing any one size fits all solution. I just, as I say below, can celebrate this success. And I can welcome other cities finding their own solutions.

Maybe some here are just constitutionally conservative. If "police" is they way it has been done, that's the way it always should be.

I'm not "conservative" in that sense. I'm for keeping things that work best, but not excluding things found to work better. Pragmatism first?

You relentlessly fight the Culture War in unrelated threads with the moronic intensity of a Tween Girl on TikTok.

You’re not conservative in any sense of the word. You’re not pragmatic in any sense of the word.

You’re here to be wage the Culture War, and logic, truth, and pragmatism are your mortal enemies.

Keep tilting Boomer, keep tilting

I think this site has backed itself into a corner.

It wishes to discuss the direct consequences of Trump administration policies, while denying the same connection.

This creates a very skewed view of the world.

I can only assume by design.

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This is a matter of the police department having specialized staff available to fill a variety of roles. If anything it seems like a larger police force should have an easier time doing that.

If your point is that a big city will have a higher rate of calls involving serious crimes where a social worker won't be helpful - then yeah, I'm assuming they don't send the social worker along for those types of calls. It's still the case that a very large fraction of calls involve domestic disturbances and other types of incidents where a cop paired with a social worker seems like an appropriate team.

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Your characterization is wrong. The story above is stupid because most big-city police departments already have the ability to have social workers as part of the team. Seattle has been touting this for several years especially for helping with homeless. But during that time, homelessness has exploded and nothing has really been done about it. There's more homeless than ever. You can watch a guy take a dump in front of cops and nothing happens. Because that's compassion. Or something.

So, if you are gainfully employed, if you pop a beer on the streets of seattle, $300 fine. But if not, and if you take a dump, shoot up, and lay there with your pants down, jerking off and a needle hanging out of your arm while you are coming down...nothing happens.

Compassion? I don't think so. But the social workers tell us this is important.

So what should we do - jail the homeless and put the unemployed in debtor's prison?
You are making the strongest argument I've seen for a non-police response to these problems. They are ultimately political problems and societal problems. Why else does the US seem to be a third-world society blended with first-world power, technology and wealth?

Because is has populations from the third world mixed with populations from the first world. As usual, this isn't difficult unless you make it difficult.

Shark Lasers:

A big chunk of the long-term homeless are white. It's not a racial or cultural thing, it's a debilitating mental illness/long term life-wrecking addiction thing. Probably the right answer is some variation on involuntary commitment, hopefully in places a little less grim than we used to have.

Eliminating immigration wouldn't have all that much impact on this population, as far as I can see. There are economically marginal people who might manage to get jobs without the competition from non-crazy, non-addicted Salvadorans looking for day work, but the bottom tier of homeless people were probably not going to get those jobs anyway.

The problem with your assertion is that we aren't currently having this "national conversation" because the police killed a white homeless guy. We devote a large proportion of our time, resources, and attention to closing the gap between the population we have and the social order we expect. All three of those things are finite, in spite of leftists' assertions to the contrary, and it should be obvious that, when police resources inevitably get stretched thin, the political imperative is not to make the white homeless, or the homeless in general, a priority. Thus you have west-coast cities turned into not-quite-literal cesspools (generally not liquid) from their homeless populations, as mentioned above, while their leaders fret over how the police handle minorities. And again, if you think this debundling/defunding is undertaken with the intent of making the lives of homeless less tragic then you're sorely mistaken.

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So what you're really saying is, if you can pay the fine, you get fined. If you defecate on yourself while drinking a beer, you don't get fined, because you're an empty bag. You do understand that just like in child/dog psychology that you punish behaviors that you don't want repeated, and reward behaviors you do want repeated, right?

You have 100% made the case that your vision of law enforcement is about revenue, but its not supposed to be. Eric Garner got arrested because the politicians wanted tax revenue from cigarettes. Most cops don't want to do *that* job.

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"So what should we do - jail the homeless ...?"

Well, what we are doing now clearly doesn't work.

Some fraction of the "homeless" are involuntarily on the street, and capable enough that given a bit of help, they can manage on their own, although probably not in the most expensive urban areas in the country.

Some larger fraction are mentally ill or have drug or alcohol problems (estimated vary, but perhaps 30% mental, 50% addiction). Given the low success rate in treating such problems under ideal conditions, many (most?) will never be able to live independently and without imposing unreasonable burdens on their fellow citizens.

Why would you do? What minimum obligation do their fellow citizens have to support this behavior? In return, what minimum expectations should their fellow citizens have?

"Given the low success rate in treating such problems ...[many] will never be able to live independently and without imposing unreasonable burdens on their fellow citizens. ... What would you do? "

Excellent questions: strangely they seem not to be asked when such matters are discussed in the media. Why might that be?

Humankind cannot bear very much reality, perhaps?

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Some of them belong in asylums. Some of them you provide austere in-kind assistance to at soup kitchens, food cupboards, and shelters.

> Some of them you provide austere in-kind assistance to at soup kitchens, food cupboards, and shelters.

This is a racket. Seattle spends $100M a year on 12K homeless. The larger private collective, including donations from private sector and private people, costs to hospitals, costs to police, costs to businesses, etc, bring the total expenditure to over $1B for the 12K homeless. That's $83K per homeless.

If your job is to "help the homeless" via an NGO, the NGO works with companies like Amazon to fund the soup kitchen. It's very lucrative for the soup kitchen. One local charity raised $23M. Their annual reports indicates they provided 900K meals and 150K nights of shelter. Thats about 900 people served 3 squares a day and 400 beds year round. If you budget $3/meal and $20/night of shelter (including shower), that's $6M. But they pulled in $23M.

Very, very lucrative. They don't want this solved.

This article has a very detailed breakdown of where the $1B comes from

https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2017/11/16/price-of-homelessness-seattle-king-county-costs.html

This is a racket. Seattle spends $100M a year on 12K homeless.

No, the Seattle city government is incompetent. Church groups and secular charities manage passably well back east.

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Adding to the racket bit is the police themselves.

From the militarization, resources spent on "vice", and of course being the revenue wing for several metros; they can certainly pad their budgets while always being shortstaffed to address public concerns.

Getting rid of several laws would help, or at least changing the focus of enforcement, but the police are just as likely to turn the screws on the public if their budgets get cut (seen this happen in several place where taxes are raised by referendum. Everything the public cares about is drained dry before there is any discussion of reducing salaries).

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If you are mentally ill and living on the streets because you cannot take care of yourself, you need to be locked in a facility and treated until you are better.

If you aren't mentally ill and you break the law, you need to have the penalty prescribed by the city/state levied upon you.

If you break the law and wish for drug treatment, it should be provided to you instead of punishment. If you have already had drug treatment more than 2 times and you break the law, then you need to have the penalty prescribed by the city/state levied upon you.

if someone absolutely wants to live on the streets and be crazy, then let's set up a massive camp ground 500 miles from a city and let people do whatever they wish.

I think jails and prisons also have a fair number of formerly homeless people with life-wrecking mental illnesses or addictions. De-institutionalization was a well-intentioned policy, it had a lot of good arguments in its favor, but it seems to me that it's been a disaster in practice.

But it is 100% knowable when it was done, right? In the end, the choice is really simple: You go into a hospital and get help until you are better, or you go to jail.

Under no circumstances do you get to hang out and do drugs all day in the middle of a city, and spoil things for everyone else. None of us would permit our kids to do that. And yet we allow the kids of others to that.

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@anonymous

... it ain't just a Conservative issue.

you forget President Bill Clinton's huge 1994 "COPS" program to put another 100,000 policemen on America's streets.

it was pure political gold.
By pushing the then old-fashioned conservative idea of cracking down on bad guys with armies of men in blue, Clinton did a huge amount to steal the law-and-order issue from Republicans.
At the same time, Clinton appealed to liberals with lots of syrupy rhetoric about “community policing,” which emphasizes good compassionate relations between cops and poor urban minorities—two groups that traditionally view each other with suspicion.

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Alex has a lot of tips on how we should restructure society, but does he have any real experience in anything -- besides lecturing youngsters and grading exams?

He does not, like most leftists who are highly divorced from the conditions they purport to understand. It's easy to call for defunding the police when you're a politician with armed security, or a trust fund baby living in a high-rise or a gated community. These are the people who import and pander to criminal savages, then leave us to deal with their mess. And when it gets dealt with, we hear non-solutions like "just send in a social worker, bro". But that's r-selection for you. It's a cancer on civilization.

+10

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"Defund the police" ~= "Hire the Pinkertons"

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A number of government bodies have a 'department of public safety' rather than a 'police department'. Yet, in practice, they just have a police department. Maybe they should take the title more broadly. Police are only a subset.
There is still a role in many cities for jackbooted thug SWAT teams... but it is NOT for everyday police work. Turning every cop into a warrior-trained, vest-wearing, armed-to-the-teeth military specimen is not just unnecessary, but leads to citizen resentment. That image, by itself, provokes a hostile response.

On a slightly different tack - I just drove past a billboard here in my city yesterday (Minneapolis) that cited the recent increase in gun violence as a reason to 'support your police'. My first thought was: you don't get support by advertising that you are not doing a good job.

I never understood how jackboots got such a bad rap

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I'm surprised at the violent reaction of readers here. When living in South Beach twenty years ago I remember that they had this dedicated non-police team to handle complaints about noisy neighbours and fine some of them, mostly for cases of loud music. They were quick to react, coming alone, and probably costing a fraction of a police intervention. I'd be curious to know if similar services exist elsewhere and what their drawbacks may be.

That works, as long as the escalation path doesn't go beyond writing a citation. But what if the (intoxicated) partiers say, "F you and your citation" and crank up the volume? Then the real cops need to show up if the goal is to get them to stop.

Right, if. But your opposing argument supposes that some high fraction do. Maybe South Beach is managing some status quo. Maybe that status quo even turns on most people wanting to stop at the party-police stage and not see the real police.

Knowing that telling the party-police to fuck off means having the real police show up and write you a noise ticket/arrest you for disturbing the peace is a fairly good inducement not to tell them to fuck off.

Right.

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What part of "respond in tandem with officers" is so hard for people to understand? The real cops don't even need to "show up" when things escalate; this system is using a system where there's already a cop there alongside the social worker.

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Francois, I think the problem is precisely the self selecting population. Who on South Beach wants cops called at their $400+ a night condo? That's an entirely different reaction than what is going to happen in a $1400 mortgage+TX_Prop_tax home where you have neighbors you reasonably see at least once a month. As I've said before, most of you are relying on "why would anyone do that" sensibilities, and completely ignoring what much of the population actually does (WRT maintaining standards and morals, of which I have few, OORAH!, but they're not negotiable).

The bottom line is that what you *wish* people were doing when you weren't looking isn't what will actually happen. Some acknowledge reality, some just hope that more bee pollen or some shit will fix it. Good luck. We can brew our own beer, reload our own ammo, and not collapse in a pile of goo when confronted with anything slightly intimidating. Shit, I still can't express the sentiment better than Hank.

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Average household income SoBe - $242,000.

+1, the upper middle class have far more lose by getting in pointless confrontations with the police and they got to that status by being sociable to start with.

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I know police officers in violent inner cities that haven't written a traffic ticket in twenty years. They are too busy. The officers who spend their day that way tend to be new, older, or lazy. Many major police departments already have specialized units that deal with various issues. Officers who deal with sex crimes, juveniles, homicide, traffic, auto theft, gang units, etc. They can refer people they come in contact with to social agencies or frequently transport people to shelters, ERs, etc.

Some communities have large populations of mentally ill. The police do quickly gain some expertise in dealing with them. However, the justice system frequently fails in dealing with these people after police contact.

Plus tell me how you deal with a typical call that can turn deadly in a smaller community. You get a report of a man with a gun. How do you know if the person is mentally ill or a violent criminal? How do who know who to send? Do you have that many social workers on standby? Or do you have that many social workers riding around for the off chance that such an event might occur? If you send the police don't they have to deal with the situation the best they can? Do you think any social workers want to be placed in this situation without the police?

Traffic deaths are a major issue in this society. It saves lives. And less be realistic many small communities use it to generate revenue. If you have a department that only exists to write tickets you don't think that will quickly be converted into a major revenue source for the community. Then you have a new set of problems.

How do police frequently try to deal with dangerous situations in the inner city? Overwhelming response. If the criminals know that the officer has support coming they are less likely to escalate the situation. The officer can avoid deadly force if they have additional units in support. You want numerous police on the street as eyes and ears but you also want a rapid response. What is the mindset if they know a social worker is coming.

Many major cities have no shortage of social workers. Not all good, but they have them. Yet they don't seem to do much to prevent social ills.

Police in most communities don't spend a lot of time dealing with violent crime. They are rare events in many communities. They mostly are there to maintain order and enforce quality of life issues. That includes traffic and other boring duties.

Violent cities tend to have police forces that specialize. Yet crime has a certain randomness to it. Planning for when you will need a social worker isn't easy. Initial contact will be the police because that is the most cost-effective way to employ a large force and keep them busy and involved in the community. Preventing the broken windows that occur in neglected communities is better than having a police force that responds after the crime has been committed. Pro-active policing is better than reactive policing.

If you have a report of a man with a gun, you send armed police. No problem.

But beyond that, I think we just want what works. If this story is of success in Kentucky, for instance, I think we can celebrate that. And yes, test a whole range of other options as well.

FWIW, when I drive through a neighboring town it seems like police, when I see them, are most often pulled over and talking to homeless people. Maybe they do a good job. And maybe there is nothing more pressing happening in that town at the time. But that's the kind of thing a city should sort through the data and figure out. Maybe a full time social worker to drive around and talk to homeless people would free the police for faster response to crime, and lower costs, as it did in Kentucky.

Most encounters with the mentally ill are benign. But you can never predict in advance which have the potential for violence. I knew a police officer that responded to a call of a man harassing people. Officer responded and told the dispatcher that he knew the man and could they try to contact his mother because "Joe" was off his meds again. While he had his back turned "Joe" stabbed the officer in the neck, killing him. "Joe" then took the dead officer's gun and shot a second responding officer. "Joe" then dropped the gun and walked home where he was peacefully arrested later. The officer had dealt with Joe over the years but that day was different.

Homeless and the mentally ill are frequent victims of crime. The police could be responding to a reported crime for all you know. Sometimes the homeless are the eyes and ears for the police in a community. I knew an officer that knew a veteran that was homeless. The officer routinely stopped to talk to the guy, sometimes gave him lunch. Homeless people also tend to engage in a lot of petty theft etc. Police can investigate by offering warnings and offering alternatives. Carrot and stick policing. Without specifics, it is hard to judge.

I heard a big-city mayor once say at a meeting that there are so many "good" projects to fund but he only had so many dollars and needed to set priorities.

What I suggested was that cities use their own data to explore the best options. Your anecdotes are tragic, but I hope you aren't suggesting cities prefer them to their own data.

The anecdote about Kentucky occurs to some degree in cities all the time. Police suggest people seek help all the time. Although ethics rules often prevent them from recommending a specific provider. Courts will often refer people to such services. My community has a drug court that pushes people into rehab and a juvenile court that offers mental health services. That isn't that unusual around the country. They have mixed results but it helps some. Police do police work. That is about improving the quality of life in most communities.

As an aside, I am amazed at how many of the advocates of defunding the police live in communities where violent crime is rare. If your community can resolve their problems with a social worker consider yourself very lucky. Heck Andy patrolled Mayberry without a gun so I guess those places exist. Many people aren't that lucky.

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When it comes to police shootings, it's all anecdotes. There are ~15 unarmed black men shot per year--and they are all clearly shown on the news. We know them by name. We know the stories.

There aren't more that we just didn't have time to look at. We know ALL the ones that happened. And they are simply a series of anecdotes.

Data is needed to help you understand and cope. If 5000 unarmed black men were shot each year by the cops then that would be data.

But there are so few deaths that each IS an anecdote, and each is 100% knowable.

That leads to a couple interesting questions:

1) Should police data be nationally reported?

2) Should police data be public?

I believe for the most part neither is true right now, or not systematically reported. Some departments make some data public, and some do try to cobble together national reporting.

(Some departments have implemented bodycams, but then policies to keep the data internal.)

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do you see the gaping flaw in your reckoning here?
"If you have a report of a man with a gun, you send armed police. No problem." otherwise send unarmed?

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to DanC - good analysis. Most police officials, and officers, are not nearly so mindless as those calling for defunding. There certainly are ways to save money, but the story of government the last forty years has been to provide less and less money to do more and more. Efficiencies are great, but not at the expense of efficacy.

Don't you have that backwards? It seems to me that the story of the past forty years is that governments have spent more and more money to achieve less and less actual results.

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"Many major cities have no shortage of social workers. Not all good, but they have them. Yet they don't seem to do much to prevent social ills."

If that's true, then defund them. Small government libertarians that want competence in government should be all over this just like they are with the police.

The lack of quantitative success metrics and the subsequent unaccountability in the social services is precisely the point of all this.

Defunding the police doesn't mean you lower taxes, naturally.

What the leftists' handlers want to do is take money away from scrutinized departments with a high degree of public accountability and write a blank check to leftist employment programs that operate as de facto slush funds for city and state administrators.

They get their support by buying off the middlemen and telling the sheltered rabble-rousers it's for their safety because guns are bad.

As you can see, even the Very Smart and Serious People here fall for it. But that's r-selection for you.

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If that's true, then defund them. Small government libertarians that want competence in government should be all over this just like they are with the police.

Let's dismantle social work as an independent profession. Have the child protective service run by sheriff's deputies, nurses, and junior grade psychologists who've had cross-training certificates. Have the talking cure pushers trained in clinical psyc programs. Have the administrators trained in schools for civil servants and NGO managers. Have the discharge planners trained on the job or hire more nurses and physical therapists (who are actually the ones making the decisions).

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As soon as you start making a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu a prerequisite for social workers, cool. Or maybe training them in baton use, etc. In Texas, if you want to sell a house, you call a realtor. And far more often than not, the female realtors are packing heat to protect themselves.

There are volumes of stories about encounters that *shouldn't* have had any reason to turn violent (violent does not necessarily equal life threatening) but did.

My sister was a case worker for Child Protective Services, and needed cops to accompany her the vast, vast, majority of the time. Child welfare checks, as a basic example, *shouldn't* turn violent, but sometimes did.

When you're mentally and socially "normal," the prospect of violence in *our* minds is remote. But it's not our "normal" minds that social workers and cops, etc need to be concerned with. It's the aberrant minds that don't view risk/reward functions or social norms the way the rest of the community does that everyone needs to be concerned with.

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And, of course, the moderators have absolutely no clue the humbug that is social work education. Congratulations, contemplating public order problems, you suggest we hire more people in a pseudo-profession that could be readily dismantled and replaced by people with serious training.

Indeed, I saw through the aforementioned ex-girlfriend some of the topics discussed in the social work coursework. It ranked right up there with the grievance studies in what we now call wokeness, and that was close to twenty years ago.

To be fair to social workers proper, most of these jobs accept a range of majors. Psychology, etc. But they all fit the same profile of over-educated twenty-something women who were all-in for social justice even before they went through the indoctrination wringer we call the modern university.

Not really the type you expect to be able to handle a volatile situation and put their lives at risk to protect the public when it goes down. But then that's excatly the point.

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Wow, you all come down extraordinarily hard on the social work profession, especially in that *it appears* you know very little about it and generally dismiss a profession that *YOU THINK* lacks a quantitative foundation. I've seen similar attitudes on this blog around epidemiologists, doctors, lawyers and any occupation currently embroiled in media scrutiny. It is also unfortunate the way you all denigrate things you're not familiar with AND the way folks embed everything that is non-conventional or unfamiliar in leftist, radical politics. I'm actually surprised that such elite academics, toting progressivism and "a better world", would have such narrow views of society and professionalism. PS-I played chess in college, and I loved it.

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These comments have been shared with a reasonable amount of social work professionals, both in academia and "the real world". They are abhorrent, offensive comments. I hope the moderators understand this. Thanks.

Perhaps if you could provide data to refute the comments you don't like it would help your case. But for some reason, you didn't do that.

But this is one of my faves:
"But they all fit the same profile of over-educated twenty-something women who were all-in for social justice even before they went through the indoctrination wringer we call the modern university"
Wow.

Is it that hard to find data that Social Workers benefit people?

But that's precisely why social sciences folks of the modern era don't want anything measured. Avoid stats, avoid scrutiny. As much as I hate to say it, the Marine Corps has a much better track record of "fixing" people of all social and racial backgrounds than social workers seem to. There's more crime on the U Texas campus in Austin than there is in Pendleton, Ft. Hood, etc. And that is with wildly overwhelming percentage of the typical crime demographic (Male, under 45) than any of the college towns, which are majority female.

So what have social workers done for kids from Long Beach, Manila, Chicago, the West Bank (of MSY), etc.? The kids that are smart enough to recognize dead ends, get out. My family has tried to pry people out of New Orleans to much better opportunity elsewhere (Dallas, Houston, etc.) and they're just comfy. Social workers don't fix that. That's a lack of motivation which can't get fixed. Social workers often think they know better for others, but they don't know that those folks actually need (like lower taxes for the maid that is buying a rental property, etc). Social workers by and large "know better" which doesn't enamor them to anyone, especially the people they purport to support.

Strippers have memes about "Captain Save a ho" to ridicule those that want to control their lives and their income. Social workers like to feel like they're accomplishing something, for the most part, while enacting no real change (not like you're going to change the oldest transaction in the world of, "you have boobs, I want to see them, here are ducats."

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