One Way to Deal With a Budget Crunch


Fire the entire police force.

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  1. Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, called it “penny$100,000 wise and pound foolish.”

    There ya go, Pasco.

  2. Sounds good, the People can show most police are redundant – unless, of course, the county has strict gun laws… Although, who’s going to enforce them now, right? He he he!

  3. Most small towns don’t need a police force. The sheriff’s department is enough.

    1. But who would then harass high-school kids and pull over suspicious black people? Isn’t that what small town police are for?

      1. Sheriff’s office can do that just as well. They are cops to you know.

        1. Where I’m from, the sheriff is elected, and therefore somewhat accountable. They also take care of county courts and things, and aren’t really that visible in terms of law enforcement.

          Our local police do pretty much whatever the fuck they want and get away with it.

      2. Somebody has to man the speed trap.

    2. Some of these towns aren’t really small towns. Maywood is in LA County; it’s no more of a small town than a few blocks in Brooklyn are a small town.

      Fort Collins is smaller, and while the first thing I think of when I think of Fort Collins isn’t crime, any city of 150,000 will have it’s share.

      The big story for me about this stuff is the same thing that got me about the State of California too–it’s not that there isn’t any fat in any given police department…

      It’s that as a small state Libertarian, police is one of the few things I really do want my government to do. And it should be telling to the locals in any of these municipalities to see what their politicians weren’t willing to cut by comparison…

      In California, the state government was releasing thousands of convicted violent offenders because they couldn’t afford to keep them in prison anymore–the state government there would rather do that and keep some 20,000 CalTrans workers on the payroll?

      Reasonable people might conclude that their politicians think supporting CalTrans workers is more important than keeping convicted violent criminals off the street.

      I wonder what the people who are running Fort Collins think is more essential than the police. I bet there’s a doozy in there somewhere.

      1. Ken, if you reRTFA, you will notice that the subject town is not Fort Collins but San Luis, a town of 740 residents, in southern Colorado about 225 miles from Denver.

        Fort Collins is only the byline on the story, presumably because it originate with a reporter on the local paper.

        Frankly, IMO, with modern communications it’s becoming less and less justifiable for small towns like this to even try to maintain separate municipal status. I doubt that there’s a single service that can’t be furnished better and cheaper by county government.

        FWIW, I live in unicorporated Seminole County Florida adjacent to the city of Altamonte Springs (which is, in fact, my postal address). If there’s ever a vote for annexation, you can be sure my vote will be a resounding NO.

        1. Hell, first read I thought San Luis was a town in Fort Collins.

          Point still stands.

          As a small state libertarian, if a city doesn’t incorporate to offer better police service than what they’d get from the county, then I don’t see much upside to incorporating as a city at all.

          Sometimes a county gets so big (see Riverside) that the county gets so backed up with planning and other issues that cities are better to deal with than the county if you’re a property owner, but take away the police service and maybe fire, and most towns are hard pressed to justify their existence.

  4. And watch the dog population explode.

    1. Maybe that wasn’t the best choice of word…skyrocket?

    2. We’d like to help you with that dog population, but we’ve all been laid off.

  5. “The absolute threshold responsibility of a government at any level is to ensure the safety of its citizens,” he said, adding that local police officers are more effective because they “know the town, know the people and know the nuances.”

    No, dickhead, the absolute threshold of government is to protect people’s rights, not violate them by providing “safety.” Also, it is far more important to know The Law, and would be nice if they only enforce just laws, than it is to know “the town, the people, and the nuances.” Any sheriff’s deputy should be able to enforce just laws without violating anyone’s rights or knowing any individuals on a personal level. Justice should be blind.

    1. Justice should be blind.

      I wonder where the National Federation of the Blind comes down on that.

      1. It depends, is Justice able to use a Kindle?

        1. hahahaha

  6. But the crime rate is significant in Maywood, Calif., an industrial working-class town of more than 30,000 residents. There were four murders in 2008, twice the national average, according to the website city-data.com.

    Maywood had a $450,000 deficit in a $210 million budget. In addition, it had been unable to obtain insurance and workers’ compensation coverage because it had faced too many lawsuits, many involving the police.

    210M? Are the residents of this town really paying more than $7,000 per for city government? And they had 41 cops?

    I know California is fucked up, but this is insane.

    1. 41 cops?!? What?!?

      1. Is that a lot? You mean, the streets shouldn’t be overflowing with them? I live in NYC, so it’s hard to tell.

        1. NYC has a shit-ton of cops, but also is large and has a huge population. Consider this: when Katrina happened, I saw the listing of the NOPD force, and I thought they left out a zero (because of my living in NYC): 1,200.

          Contrast to NYC’s 35,000.

          1. But it’s still almost triple the ratio in this “Maywood” place. And nearly double that of LA.

  7. At the monthly town meeting, the only opposition came from the police chief, Medina said.

    **shocked face**

  8. Now the loitering gangs move in. Then the littering gangs. And the turf war begins.

    “You’re standing where this half-full chocolate milk carton is supposed to be.”
    “What are you gonna do about it, bitch?”

    And chaos reigns.

    1. That’s when the whores come in. Men laying their trick-money down. Twenty dollars to pay the rent? Maybe not. Maybe instead I’ll spend it on the whore.

      Whores running around, doing their little behind-shake for the men folk…

  9. But did they consider the inevitable future costs of incarcerating all these former policemen, or do ex-cops retain legal immunity?

    1. Externalities!

  10. Eh. In large parts of the suburbs of Houston, Harris County is the lowest-level jurisdiction and the sheriff’s department is the only law enforcement. It’s no big deal.

    1. Same in most of the subdivisions in Montgomery County. Hell, The Woodlands doesn’t have police because they’re not incorporated.

      Of course, the snooty bitches in The Woodlands do hire lots of private security, like the mall cops on horseback.

  11. Who will Reason let go if donations decline drastically?

    1. Depends on how they handle budgeting. If reason is run like a government, they’ll lay off Radley, Cavanaugh, and Nick’s Jacket (but not Nick) to throw everyone into a panic.

      If reason is run like a responsible business or non-profit, they’ll cut the deadwood that contributes nothing but mass. So what NutraSweet said.

  12. Penny-Pinching Towns Put Police Out to Pasture

    “Alliteration is so pedestrian.”

  13. Sounds like Balko will be out of a job if this turns into a trend.

    1. Finally! Exile him to the sports page of the Washington Blade!

    2. I suspect he would be ok with that.

    3. Criminal justice system isn’t going anywhere.

  14. Rule number 1 of cutting local government budgets: start by cutting police, fire and teachers instead of parks or golf courses. That way the people are more willing to accept new taxes to maintain “essential services”.

    1. Funny thing is, things are so bad that now even firing police and teachers is acceptable.

    2. It’s common for governments to pull that trick with very visible cutbacks to those departments. Actually eliminating one of the departments is something else.

    3. I’ve always wondered why cities are even in the golf business. I doubt it makes money.

      1. It’s so golf doesn’t turn elitist.

        1. When I was 15 I did a report about how elitist and racist the PGA tour and the sport of golf was. I presented my project to a class of 25 and a smart teacher. Not one person called me the dipshit that I was.

          Moral of the story- Tiger Woods is going to win the PGA.

      2. Pet projects as suburbs grew. Some, very few that I know of, break even or profit.

    4. Hence my favoring all levels of government shift to priority based budgeting. All budget items have a number next to them. They are funded in order as money comes in. If police or schools are important they will have a real low number and thus get funded first. No games playing. If you stick schools at #642, they are gonna get cut.

  15. There’s a big debate here in my West Texas burg about why the city is spending valuable tax dollars on a municipal golf course.

    Its a handy stick to beat them with when they start talking about cutting legitimate services.

  16. They could just do like all the pissant municipalities here. Install speed cameras.

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