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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Police-Community Distrust, the Crisis in Policing, and Crime in America

An excellent review by Edward P. Stringham, a college professor, author, and economist, of four books on policing in America (July 30-31, 2016, Wall Street Journal) made the following points: (1) Citizen confidence among all Americans in the police is the lowest it has been in twenty years; (2) Being a police officer is no more dangerous, when comparing homicide rates, to being an average American male; (3) Since the war on drugs was declared in the 1980s, and President Clinton signed the largest crime bill in history in 1994, police have increasingly treated civilians like enemy combatants, and as numbers or revenue sources. (4) “The police are a tax-funded monopoly, paid regardless of how well they serve or protect…Unaccountable government officials will not always act on the public’s behalf.” (5) Homicide rates in Canada track the changes of homicide rates in America almost exactly, both rising or falling over the decades without any clear relationship to the policing model followed. Thus the major factors in the crime rate are cultural and economic, that a working married man is less interested in crime than an unemployed, single man. (6) Today, New York City imprisons its residents at more than five times the rate that it did in 1865 (48 per 100,000 then compared with 265 per 100,000 today). Consider this cost.
Food for thought from arguably the best newspaper in America.
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