John Malik
opinion

The Inability to Rely on a Police Force to Intermediate Violent Attacks Would Be Awful

The most vulnerable in our society need a professional police force to protect them, not vigilantes.
The Inability to Rely on a Police Force to Intermediate Violent Attacks Would Be Awful
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Without the police, people would be forced to defend for themselves—and society could descend into chaos. A professional, well-funded police force ensures we have properly trained police officers to keep order in communities across the country. They are held to the law in a way a civilian or unorganized defense would not be. There are rules both governing what police can do and what police departments can and should do, to protect everyone in question from harm, safety and labor violations, and dangerous criminals. Communities may not need police officers for issues involving the mentally ill, domestic disputes, or small matters like a cat stuck in a tree. But, it does not mean the community should get rid of the police force all together or even take essential money away from it. It is also important to remember that while a police force cannot solve all social ills, it can and does provide a community with a sense of safety, that their tax dollars are being used to look out for the collective good. Police officers can serve as role models for young people in a community and a stable presence in changing communities that need stability and organization to weather economic downturn, rapid real estate development, or natural disasters. Without a professionally screened and trained police force, so many people are at risk of being taken advantage of by private citizens offering 'protection for pay' in communities, a problem that only exacerbates poverty and a lack of safety in a neighborhood.
opinion
Wealthy people would just rely on private security. Even low income communities deserve safety and security
A lack of police could further deepen existing socioeconomic inequalities. Wealthy Americans would likely just hire their own private security from firms like Pinkerton, and wealthy gated communities could even hire their own private police force. They could potentially even use their private security as a militia to cause further violence or conduct personal vendettas. Middle-class and working-class Americans, meanwhile, would be forced to fend for themselves. Without the protection of publicly-funded police officers, the average American would be left without protection and further at the whims of the wealthiest among us.
4 believers
opinion
It could lead to a rise in tribalism and mob violence Police provide a neutral party looking out for the law-abiding community as a whole.
Jacob Lund/ iStock / Getty Images Plus
Communities, neighborhoods, and even gangs might take it upon themselves to dole out their own form of justice. Without the police, the U.S. could revert to a Wild West scenario, in which people round up posses to carry out vigilante justice. This kind of vigilante violence would not only be terrifying—it could further increase division between Americans. As people draw lines around their immediate communities, tribalism might reemerge, where Americans identify more with a neighborhood or a group of people than with the nation at large. Seattle has already seen a glimpse of what this mob violence might look like. When armed protesters took over the Capitol Hill section of the city, one business owner—Faizel Khan, the proprietor of a coffee shop—described unchecked violence and destruction of property. When he and others called the police, no one came. Khan was forced to seek the permission of the armed protesters just to enter his own coffee shop. “They barricaded us all in here,” he told the New York Times. “And they were sitting in lawn chairs with guns.”
4 believers
Editor
Sources
Why do we need the police?