The Balanced Response [Hub Debate]

Several commentaries have been offered on the internet about Ferguson, Missouri. Mora particularly, those comments have been made regarding the arming of police forces with “combat gear.” A more balanced response is necessary. One such post was right here on the Utah Politico Hub; “Ferguson and the Rise of the Police State.” It was written by David Rogers, whom I admit I do not know. In his post Rogers asserts “Many agencies now have the tools and equipment to impose substantial power and control on their communities if necessary. And…

How to Create a Downward Spiral of Fear and Paranoia [Hub Debate]

If you spent your entire day hearing about how murderers are lurking behind every corner, you’d probably never even leave your house. If you had to, you’d probably be heavily armed and ready to shoot almost anything that moves. Of course, it would be silly to live like that. Violent crime in the US is at historic lows, even better than the time period we associate with the Mayberry ideal. Unfortunately, we all still seem to still think of life as a “Detroit in Robocop” kind of hellscape and the “it bleeds,…

Ferguson and the Rise of the Police State [Hub Debate]

The local news and internet sites have been rife with images that taken independently seem a matter of course. However, looked at cumulatively a different story might emerge. The images are of men and material of an increasingly military nature being acquired by law enforcement agencies across the country. The events in Ferguson, Missouri over the last week might be illustration number one of a shifting future of law enforcement in America Traditionally, the policeman has been an admirable position in American society. The baby boom generation of the fifties…

The False Choice of Mayberry or Militarization [Hub Debate]

I saw this meme in a couple of social media places this week and it struck a chord with me. Look, I enjoyed The Andy Griffith Show as much as the next bored-on-summer-break elementary school kid, but if you want to know why we don’t have more Sheriff Taylors it’s because Mayberry doesn’t actually exist. There are bad people in the world, and sometimes police officers need guns.

Time to Reverse the Trend of Police Militarization [Hub Debate]

The facts around the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson are almost beside the point by now. The news that has trickled out has yet to tell the whole story, but that incident is just the catalyst for the illustration of another problem that we’ve known has been growing for years, but maybe Ferguson, MO, is the tipping point that will reverse the trend of the militarization of police.

The Dystopian Realities of Unprofessionalism [Hub Debate]

When a profession adheres to strict standards of conduct, everyone wins. It’s good for the members of the profession and those that need to use their services. When a profession spends more time in a near-unconditional defense of its members, however, it’s a sign that things have taken a very dangerous turn for the worst. It’s often a cultural problem with no easy remedy. And it is pervasive in policing today.