In a diary I posted a couple of weeks ago, I was called daft for suggesting that every individual in a society has the power and right to maintain peace in his or her community and that the failure to do so is directly related to the violence we see in schools. I was also accused of appealing to anarchy for suggesting the previously mentioned. Here is my rebuttal.
Please read Three Problems with Police on School Campuses if you haven't already
One commenter wrote the following:
“Perhaps they [students] will learn that the vast majority of police officers are trained, dedicated public servants whom we can trust to help us.”
I take issue with this statement for the use of the words vast majority and public servants. The words public servant rarely applies to police officers especially in urban communities with dense populations. On many occasions, I have watched police officers drive right by drug traffickers. Now with all the camera surveillance available, I find it difficult to believe that an officer couldn’t gather enough intelligence to make an arrest. Even this would not solve the issue of drug trafficking. If the officers were really public servants they would spend time talking to traffickers trying to encourage them to apply for jobs, go to school, or some other alternative to drug trafficking. Some might say that’s an irrational use of an officer’s time but officers are often sitting in their cars playing on their phones and iPads. This may not be the case for all cities, but the cities I’ve been to reflect exactly what I’m saying.
Additionally, the commenter mentioned being able to trust police officers to help us. Many people do not trust the police for several valid reasons. The purpose of this blog is not to discuss them all; however, I’ll give two brief examples. Many police departments have monthly quotas for tickets. In Baltimore, officers pull over drivers for things they usually wouldn’t until the end of the month (some refer to this as quota time). If you lived in a city where officers participate in this practice, would you believe that those officers are servants of the public? Example 2: many of us live in cities where our political figures participate in scandals and commit crimes. How often do you see a political figure that is guilty of a crime (based on evidence) that spends no time in prison for the crime committed? Take a moment to think of a few examples. Is it not the duty of an officer to enforce the law? Depending on your age and experience, you could rationalize some of the things that you have seen; however, youth aren’t so equipped to ignore the wrong they have seen. So can we expect students to be comfortable with excessive police presence in school? Can we expect students to trust police officers?