Sure, That Sounds Like A Great Idea

Defund the police. Brilliant!

The Grand Overlords known as the Seattle City Council have decided that cutting back on the police force will correct all the evils of the Emerald City, and getting rid of those troublesome cops will make everything better. Now, not getting rid of ALL the police, but upwards of 800 could find themselves out of a job.

To further make the point, the organization that is supposed to protect citizens in Seattle will have its numbers reduced, so that social designers can cure the ills of everything wrong in this city. We just have to remember to put up a flyer or something so that the increasing criminal elements know that they’ll need to curtail their activities from now. Or, better yet, take a number. (“Now serving number 63, number 63? It’s your night to break into a car.”)

Idiots.

Not that our police force or any force around the country is perfect. And there have been some pretty bad eggs in departments around the U.S. that have done deplorable things while wearing their uniforms, but they are the overwhelming exception. The majority of the men and women in blue are trying to keep order, to make you feel safe. To prevent you from feeling like you need to carry your own weapon to protect yourself. And we’re losing that battle quickly.

The city of Seattle has become a land of selected law enforcement. Homeless, mentally-challenged and the drug dependent have taken over the streets as a protected species.  Career criminals rob and steal things, get arrested and then are returned to the street. This has happened so much, that it has simply worn down any efforts to enforce the laws.

You would think that trespassing, vagrancy, public indecency and other no-brainer misdemeanors had been legalized, but they haven’t. At least, not the last time I checked. But they have been decriminalized because then, if we allow people to camp on the sidewalks and crap in the alleys and burglarize homes or break into cars to steal things for their habits or extravagances, then that makes us more saintly.

It doesn’t.

It makes us out to be morons. To be weak. To be bullied by those who choose a criminal life because it’s convenient. Rather than utilize the hundreds of millions of dollars spent to ‘fix’ the homelessness problem in Seattle and King County, like get help with their addiction, get medical or psychological treatment, etc., there are people who cruise neighborhoods looking for a target. An unlocked car is just a matter of time around here, as a neighbor kid found out this past week. And after they were done with his car, they walked over to another neighbor’s house and stole a bike rack and a kid’s swing set.  How low can you get?

Sadly, we’ve already reached the point of, “Oh, I’ll report it, but nothing will probably happen” and that’s usually the case. I’m reminded of such an incident several years ago when a scum-bag walked on to my carport and rolled away my pressure washer at 4am on a Sunday morning.

And now, the Seattle police–who already have to deal with plenty of existing crime–now have to do more, with less.

The Seattle City Council envisions a Utopia-like setting, where police are gone and social workers and comfort talkers solve the problems of city life. Even the worst psychic in the world could predict the outcome of what will happen. We may not get to the level of a Gotham City, but we’re not doing anything to correct our current problems and have just set the table to making matters even worse.

The reason this is a punitive step towards Seattle Police is because this council has never had a problem throwing in new taxes or coming up with ways to generate more money for their pet projects. The soda tax comes to mind. So where did all that money go?

This would be a great time for an idea I had a long time ago–an official audit.  Go through the Seattle police budget and let’s trim the fat, just enough that they can still function properly. Then, head to city hall and do some serious trimming. You would be amazed at how much city government and spending have grown over the past decade. Is the city better off than it was 10 years ago? Hardly.

The only tool I have as a citizen with no spare time to march every day down at city hall is my vote. I can tell you now, not a single person currently on the Seattle City Council will be re-elected if I can help it. It’s sad and embarrassing to see what the council is allowing to happen in this once great city. So sad.

Tim Hunter

Drone On

Lately, remote control drones have been in the news a lot.  Not just on a nation and international level, but also right here in Seattle.

President Obama has been in favor of utilizing unmanned drones to attack insurgents and Al Qaeda members who would do us harm.  The big flap this week was that we used one to blow up an Al Qaeda leader who was born in the U.S.  In other words, we used a weapon against an American citizen.  Frankly, he lost any protection of being a citizen when he embraced an organization that considers the destruction of the U.S. as their Superbowl.

Now, closer to home, the federal government had given the city of Seattle some drones to experiment with, to see if we’d like to incorporate them into our law enforcement efforts.  For some reason, Mike “Out there” McGinn and the Seattle police chief decided to scrap the test.  Why?  Because they can.

This after approving cameras along the Seattle waterfront. Oh, and those cameras at certain intersections, to catch the red-light runners.

I just don’t get it.

First off, they’re not armed.  They’re used for surveillance.  How many times have you heard the phrase, “There’s never a cop around when you need one!”  This would allow them to have a bird’s eye view of the city.  Bank robbery breaks out–get away car headed north on I-5?  The drone’s going to get there a lot faster to pursue the bad guys than the police can through traffic, even with their sirens.  If you live down in Los Angeles, a police helicopter flying over your house is a pretty common occurence.  I’ve got to think that the cost of a copter and trained personnel is going to be a lot more than a remote-controlled drone.

The biggest critics of the drones appear to be the privacy pirates.  The ones who are so concerned about police being able to go over our homes in the sky.  Why is that?  They might catch me barbecuing?  See how many weeds have sprung up in the backyard?  Turn me in because I’ve neglected to refill the bird feeder?  As is often the case, the ones most concerned about their privacy are trying to protect getting caught from doing something illegal.  If you’re not doing anything wrong, what are you worried about?

Do what I do on some of these issues and take it to the extreme.  So, you’re not OK with a drone flying overhead.  But you’re OK with a police helicopter?  Or, we don’t allow those?  OK, then we keep it on the ground and only allow police to patrol in their cars.  Very inefficient and costly, but…..Oh, they shouldn’t be in cars, that’s not fair or also an invasion of your rights?  OK, we’ll put them on foot patrol.  Now, get into a situation that requires police help and let’s see how fast they can arrive on the scene.

Maybe it’s because I’ve known quite a few law enforcement folks over the years to realize that it’s not an “us versus them” situation.  They ARE us.  They’re Justin’s dad, or Bob’s wife, or the neighbor down the street.  They’ve gone through training, they risk their lives every time they show up for work and because a few bad apples have lost it under pressure, we’re suppose to tie the hands behind all of them and then say, “OK, now do your job!”

The drones over our city would seriously help the efficiency and effectiveness of those charged with protecting us.  I’m sorry to see grand-standing politicians get in the way of making their job safer and a little bit easier.

Tim Hunter