“Even the bad guys are feeling lucky.”
With declining income, American cities lay off cops.
After people in Oakland’s [California] wealthy enclaves like Oakmore or Piedmont Pines head to work, security companies take over, cruising the quiet streets to ward off burglars looking to take advantage of unattended homes.
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Long known for patrolling shopping malls and gated communities, private security firms are beginning to spread into city streets. While private security has long been contracted by homeowners associations and commercial districts, the trend of groups of neighbors pooling money to contract private security for their streets is something new.
Besides Oakland, neighborhoods in Atlanta and Detroit – both cities with high rates of crime – have hired firms to patrol their neighborhoods, says Steve Amitay, executive director of the National Association of Security Contractor.
“It’s happening everywhere,” Mr. Amitay says. “Municipal governments and cities are really getting strapped in terms of their resources, and when a police department cuts 100 officers obviously they are going to respond to less crimes.”
- Is the cost less than the modest increase in taxes required to keep the cops on?
- What happens when a rent-a-cop finds criminals in action? Private security firms are not bound to stop criminal action, nor put their lives on the line to catch criminals.
- Would it be as effective if those people who fire private security simply donated that money to local law enforcement agencies?
File this under the so-called conservative rich cutting off their fingers to spite their hands: Does it ever occur to them that they would have more bankable cash if they didn’t have to hire a security service to guard their homes, but instead paid modest taxes to educate would-be criminals to do non-criminal work, and to provide police protection instead of private spies?
Didn’t Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association say his agency would support bigger budgets to hire more cops? Where is that lobbying action today? What’s that — he was just jerking whose chain? (I’d be more comfortable if I knew LaPierre does not regard Somalia as the model for how a national government ought to work.)
- Oakland Mayor’s Neighbors Fed Up With Crime, Seek Private Guard (sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com)
- Oakland Neighborhoods Tire Of Police; Turn Vigilante (personalliberty.com)
- Houston neighborhood turns to private security firm for protection (khou.com)
- Austerity, By Any Other Name, Is Still Austerity (talkingunion.wordpress.com)
- Frankly My Dear, Austerity Doesn’t Work (thoughtsofaz.wordpress.com)
- Private detectives filling gaps left by police budget cuts (sacbee.com)
- Oh, the Austerity! (slog.thestranger.com)
- Here’s a very harsh view of austerity in Europe, at Naked Capitalist, “Destruction of Cyprus economy proceeding ahead of schedule”