Quote of the day—Robert W. Burke

Entirely too much energy of our state police force is spent controlling honest citizens, simply because it is something they can succeed in doing.

Robert W. Burke
From here.
[I haven’t studied this much but I suspect it is true. If so then the solution is probably to change the incentives. I suspect the incentives are for arrests and convictions rather that low crime rates.—Joe]


3 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Robert W. Burke

  1. Agreed–but changing incentives to encourage low crime rates could open up another can of worms involving unsolved murders etc. Doing law enforcement right is a tricky business. It is much easier to talk about the proper respect for other peoples’ rights than it is to put it into practice, particularly when a large segment of the population doesn’t quite buy into it. If you or I ran the PD, it would probably be ok, but we don’t–John Q. Public does. As far as he is concerned, the ends *do* justify the means. The public has not yet learned to revile this sort of attitude. I believe we still have a long row to hoe on this one.

  2. I might add that my mother likes to walk along the shoulder of the (2-lane) highway in front of her house for her daily exercise. She has been stopped & detained twice by the police from the nearest town over this, and has since stopped. Dad wrote a letter to the county police chief complain about this harassment. I was home for the holidays, and I and my brother were walking (I learned I have high blood pressure) & we were stopped! As it turned out, this time it was the county mountie, not the local yokels & he asked if we were walking for exercise–but the attitude seemed to be making sure we hadn’t had a car break down and then it turned out he needed directions, which we gave. But given the context, I was quite worried. And I’m still wondering if the directions-giving was in fact a test to see if we really lived in the area (I don’t, but I used to & I know it like the back of my hand). I don’t think so–even Google has trouble finding things around here–but I can’t rule it out either.

    But even after all this, and another incident in which my dad was wrongfully cited for dumping or some such after a cop saw me putting trash into a trash barrel (I was 21 at the time. I had enough sense to keep my mouth shut. He didn’t.) , they still don’t *quite* “get it”. They’re close. Painfully close. But not quite there, and I can’t quite get them there either.

  3. There has been a bastardization of the language over the last two generations.

    It is not the job of the police to keep crime rates low.

    It is the job of the police to facilitate justice.

    The crime rates will drop or stay low, somewhat according to the success of the justice system, but crime rates are not properly their main focus.

    The problems we face today are a result of turning this simple concept back asswards.

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