I was caught
In the middle of a railroad track
I looked 'round,
And I knew there was no turning back
My mind raced
And I thought what could I do?
And I knew
There was no help, no help from you
An omen perhaps of a possible future?
I'm thinking of our LISC friends in Detroit this week as I watch with sadness the news of that city's bankruptcy. On the heels of a number of other Great Recession city bankruptcies, this is the largest in US history.
Just imagine broken police cars with no fuel, employee payrolls empty, acres of abandoned homes! Is there any doubt this is Toffler's hinge in history? I wonder what future that hinge will open?
Today the Wall Street Journal, that staid fixture not known for radical thought, foreshadowed one future in Risk of the Warrior Cop.
It describes the increasing militarization of American policing. Those familiar with SafeGrowth may remember my blogs on combat policing and warrior cops. Some say my combat cop versus community cop dichotomy is unfair. Both are needed, right?
Maybe. But one wonders why the Cobb County Police require an amphibious military tank? Perhaps "tank" overstates. (How about military-grade, turbo-charged, armored personnel carrier with thermal imaging and tear gas grenade launchers?) Or why does the Richland County Sheriff require, "a machine-gun equipped armored personnel carrier that he nicknamed The Peacemaker."
Fueling this trend, in 2011 the Department of Defense gave away almost $500 million worth of military equipment to police.
Former Kansas City police chief Joseph McNamara warns police militarization is risky and counterproductive. "It's totally contrary to what we think is good policing, which is community policing".
With apologies to Detroit, all this domestic militarization brought to mind a future portrayed in a 1987 film. Then it dawned on me! (Cue sarcastic tone). I know exactly what law enforcement needs... The Enforcement Droid series 209, programmed of course for urban pacification.
If it wasn't so possible, it would be funny.