As we embark upon a new year it is worth remembering the lessons of the past so we can minimize the bad and maximize the good. During this sea of recessionary dread, one lesson bound to resurface is police service delivery costs spiraling out of control.
It is mystifying how we can authentically discuss safety as though the community wasn't part of the equation. Yet, whenever we discuss police service delivery that is precisely what we do.
It is incumbent on municipal politicians - indeed it is their job - to learn reality versus the myth of police service delivery. As they say; what is our return on investment?
I found a speech by a leading criminologist on the topic. Informed police officers will recognize John Eck as founder of the SARA model in problem-oriented policing. Eck offers a cautionary tale we should heed in the new year.
"Police, to the common person, are a free service and what we know about free services is this. You give us things for free and we consume more of it. That's what makes us fat. A modest amount of policing is far better than a large amount…
…we are going to have to live within our budget. We cannot ask these officers, highly trained, very dedicated, to answer all of the calls we currently have them answer with fewer numbers. They are having a difficult enough time as it is."
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