I was thinking recently about how most police apprehensions involve the use of force and why this should be reevaluated. Firefighters, for example, fight most fires with water. Shouldn’t police use every de-escalation tool in their toolbox to avoid violence? In the 21st Century we have made many advances in technology and safety, and in addition fire- science has also made advancements with some departments using infrared technology to aid in rescue. Shouldn’t the police be making advancements in limiting the amount of force used to apprehend suspects?
If a private company were providing the service of protection, loss prevention or investigation, the treatment of a suspect would be of paramount importance because I assume that company would want to build a reputation for treating persons suspected of crime with integrity. It follows that with a reputation for quality of service would come repeat business. This illustrates the futility of providing so-called services with stolen money, the lack of incentive for providing quality service. I know someone will undoubtedly say that firefighters are also paid for with stolen money, and I agree that their service would be better if provided in the marketplace, however, their service doesn’t have nearly as many complaints as law enforcement.
In this day and age martial arts seem to be making resurgence in popularity. Why couldn’t the police develop a martial art dedicated to the art of apprehension without inflicting so much as a scratch to the officer or the suspect? I realize that some level of force will be necessary in the field whether or not protection is provided by a police force or a private company, but I do believe advanced techniques would emerge much sooner and efficiently when there is a direct incentive to the protection agency for adopting advanced apprehension techniques.
The tazer is a tool that I feel is symptomatic of the idea of inflicting pain until compliance is achieved or pain-compliance. The goal of the tazer is immobilization, but I also think that pain compliance is a secondary goal, which fits in with the current profile of tools in the lawman’s tool belt, namely the handgun, tazer and baton. Why couldn’t law enforcement use tools that inflict little to no pain but achieve the same goal of immobilization? Well first they would need to break free of their pain compliance paradigm, and this is one group I don’t think is open to change readily.
My first idea I have is to replace the tazer with a “gun” that shoots an immobilizing net. Yes this lacks pain compliance but it would also be more permanent than the tazer which often times needs to be shot several times. The second idea is a tazer like device that shoots an incredibly concentrated amount of pharmaceutical grade THC vapor at a suspect which I believe would make nearly any human capable of being taken into custody without harm to the officer/protection agent or suspect. Maybe these solutions aren’t perfect, but at least I’m thinking outside the box perhaps the way a private protection agency might.
Didn’t peace officers have the skills at one time to artfully convince people to, “come with me downtown,” or, “answer a few questions?” I realize that police officers of today are no longer seen as peace officers. Maybe if police officers started working on their reputation and quality of service they could once again earn the trust of the public the way most firefighters seem to have earned.