Town fires cops, hires citizens. Crime drops 60%
While I want to be happy and optimistic about this story, I'm also extremely cautious and concerned. Yes, this appears to be working, but I worry this example would be used to recklessly roll out private police forces across the country without thinking about the possible consequences.
I think any municipality considering this needs to think long and hard about it first. Then they have to draw up a very detailed contract on the responsibilities and restrictions these private enforcement personnel face. They should even consider bylaws under which they must operate. Finally they should never use outside contractors, but hire local citizens directly.
Failure to take these kinds of precautions
lead to abuse as bad or worse than it's meant to replace. You only have to look at the corruption and atrocities occurring in privatized prisons to see one example. Even worse look at what happened when contractors like Blackwater were given power, authority, and no accountability in Iraq.
Honestly I think a simpler fix is passing laws that take away any and all special privileges from Police. Make them just as accountable as any other citizen for their actions. Then give them constant training to ingrain in them the idea of appropriate force and force escalation. IE the gun isn't the answer for every situation. Batons, Tasers, pepper spray, are all options that must be considered. Also include radical concepts like actually talking and listening to people. And finally remove the idea from their heads that their authority is absolute which leads to beating people up for such crimes as not listening.
via +Ryan Drewrey
Check his post and commentary here: https://plus.google.com/118112346708818508960/posts/NYB2SVgES2q