Home > Politics, The USA > Police Part 1: Goal Change

Police Part 1: Goal Change


Competitive Jerk describes most officers well.


As I mentioned in the intro: Police Part 0: How It Works the traditional goal of police is to respond to crimes, investigate what happened and then go catch the bad guy; thus, instilling a fear of the law in any would-be offenders into choosing not to offend lest they be caught and prosecuted.

However, things have changed. No longer are they expected to investigate crimes that happened – they are now expected to stop crimes as they are happening. Just stop and think about that for a minute. In order to do that, not only does the cop need to know that a crime is about to happen, but he also needs to know where and have time to get there before it occurs, or else be able to travel through time and space so that he can arrive at the perfect moment to save the victim.

This is, of course, impossible – and that makes it the most beautiful pay dirt any cop could hope for. They can always be “just too late” and then blame the fact that there aren’t enough police and they need to hire more officers. The Union is always quick to jump up and demand more officers, better training, more equipment, etc. (sound familiar?), by lobbying politicians and law makers (aka huge campaign donations); as if that’s going to magically fix the issue.

To aid in this endeavor, politicians have obliged the Police Unions by passing “moral and outrage” based laws like DUI laws, smoking bans, drug use and possession laws, and ever more stringent traffic laws that have been proven to not curb bad driving. I will explore these more in the next section, but the end result of all of these is that they punish “Maybe”, and that helps bump up cop “successfully investigated crimes” scores. It is through laws like these that the police try to show you year after year that you really need them without going after real and dangerous criminals.

Now, if you ask any police agency if they assign quotas to their officers, they will adamantly tell you ‘no’. But I challenge anyone reading this to pay attention to the last few weeks of any given fiscal quarter of the year (end of March, June, September, December) if you notice an increase in the number of police you see when you drive around. This is because each department DOES have a quota. If they don’t meet at least the same number of “crimes” as this time last year, then it might look like the crisis is averted and fewer cops are needed. The Unions will never stand for that, and so I believe they issue unofficial quotas to the departments.


The end result is that police departments no longer are focused on protecting the populace through investigation and apprehension of serious criminals, but rather they are focused on handing out as many citations as they can in order to ensure their continued funding. Unfortunately for the general populace – the easiest people to cite are normally law abiding citizens.

They used to watch over the people; now they’re just watching the people – Ministry

Categories: Politics, The USA
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  1. November 2, 2010 at 7:46 am

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