I am a police officer in a small city, and I must say that your articles are always among my favorite on LewRockwell.com. My response to this one? Exactly. I do believe that local police forces are almost infinitely more justifiable (at least to the extent that they enforce the laws that the people of the locality actually want enforced and don’t just become extensions of the federal government) than federal (and even state) police, but there’s no need to whitewash the bad done by local police. I am frequently thanked for my “service” and, although I always smile and thank the person, I can’t help but wonder what service that person is thanking me for. The person never knows me, so he doesn’t know that perhaps the closest thing to “service” that I provide is sanely filling a spot on patrol that would otherwise likely-as-not be filled by a gung-ho ticket-writing, car and home-searching, scared-of-his-shadow sort that should never have been hired (but will most likely go much further than I in this line of work…at least I can look at myself in the mirror, go out in public without worrying about whether I’m going to run into someone I’ve screwed over, and even introduce my wife and kids to the people I have met at work without worry…so I have that going for me) to fill a position that allows one to so alter the lives of others. Again, I appreciate what you write and thank you for it.
Posted with permission.
This dovetails nicely with an essay "Cops vs. Gops" that I will soon be publishing in a book CONFRONTATIONS: Essays in Economics and Liberty. -RW