|19th century Stockton, California in better times? Postcard photo California Historial Society.|
I have written about the Pythonic thinking driving UK police privatization and the transformation of police culture from community cop to combat cop. Lately things have accelerated into an economic and social earthquake for policing. Am I the only one noticing? I don't see it in the press. The blabbering heads on Talk TV/Radio are too IQ-starved to notice.
Then I thought of a story:
In a not-too-distant dystopian future Gotham City faces financial ruin. The national economy is in shambles and municipal budgets to pay for skyrocketing costs of overtime, pensions, and medical expenses are gone. Represented by unions clinging to 19th century collective bargaining dogma, cops are being laid off in droves.
Fears of crime cause thousands to hide behind the walls of gated communities and metal bars on windows. Their homes are prisons where they cower, too afraid to walk downtown at night. The police chief advises people to arm themselves.
Sound like Robocop? Nope. It's us.
Proof #1: The municipal financial crisis trickling down from the Great Recession. Consider thousands of police layoffs in the US and police privatization in the UK. Consider how this whole mess heads north as the Canadian economy tanks.
Proof #2: Police layoffs in;
East Greenwich, NJ,
Los Angeles, CA,
San Jose, CA,
Proof #3: Across California the FBI reports over 4,000 officers were laid off from 2008 - 2011.
Proof #4: Increasing numbers of municipalities are in financial ruin such as Detroit, or claiming bankruptcy such as Stockton, CA.
And now the latest aftershock; Due to police layoffs a Sheriff in Milwaukee is advising residents to purchase guns and take safety courses.
Is it just me noticing this or has visionary leadership truly gone AWOL?