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"In Atlanta, a glimpse of why ‘defund the police’ has faltered"

The Bread Guy

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Be careful what you wish for - highlights mine ....
Social justice activist Kelsea Bond spends a lot of time canvassing Atlanta’s highest-crime neighborhoods.

Her mission: Convince residents that, if core social and economic inequities were resolved, crime would abate and the city wouldn’t need a police department.

Less than a year ago, amid massive social justice protests across the United States, the idea of fundamentally reducing the role of police rose from nonstarter to distinct possibility.

Minneapolis voters will in November consider whether to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety, which would include some component of law enforcement. New York cut $1 billion from the nation’s largest police force. Atlanta came within one city council vote of cutting $72 million from its police department.

Today, however, that momentum has almost completely reversed. Ms. Bond says there has been “a doubling down on policing, increasing surveillance, and building a massive training center, which is in such stark contrast to the conversation we were trying to begin over the summer. What happened? What changed?”

The simple answer is crime. Like other cities, Atlanta has witnessed a new crime wave – bad enough that one affluent part of the city is considering secession. Yet in talking to residents across Atlanta, even those sympathetic to the defund movement now say it overreached. The way forward, many say, is not in getting rid of the police, but helping them do a better job ...
 

CBH99

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Reforming a police service/department that is experiencing a ‘disconnect’ with their local community is better than not having police at all?? Ya don’t say… 🤦🏼‍♂️

Changes to recruiting, training, standards, policies, the actual laws that may be inappropriate or ineffective in certain areas, etc — all seem like much more reasonable approaches than ‘get rid of the police altogether.’ Obviously.

And what happens when she solves the economic & social issues, and yet society STILL has domestic violence, sexual abuse, sexual assault, dangerous driving, etc etc. Who does she call when her ideal society doesn’t actually exist?


I know it’s not illegal to be stupid, but f**k me this whole issue/proposal was idiotic from the beginning.
 

medicineman

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I know it’s not illegal to be stupid, but f**k me this whole issue/proposal was idiotic from the beginning.
Of course it was, but looks/sounds cool to many people who want others to see/hear themselves talk.
 

mariomike

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I've always supported municipal politicians who support our emergency services. They are the only sure thing in this town.

Thankfully, neither the Liberals or Conservatives run City Hall. :)

What grinds my gears as a former employee is the lawsuits. Paid out of our property taxes.

eg: $27 Million USD to the George Floyd family. The Sammy Yatim streetcar shooting in Toronto lawsuit has yet to be paid to his family. That was eight years ago. Haven't even had the inquest yet. Or, the $10 million paid by my little department to a family for a Delay in Service.

Not to say the lawsuits are unjustified, or the families do not deserve the cash.

But, having seen the struggle to maintain safe car counts around the clock, as call volume is continually escalating.
Response time and surge capacity is severely limited to what the public pays for, and has a right to expect.

When looking at all those millions of dollars paid out, I can't help but wonder how many cars could have put on the street.

As far as policing high crime neighbourhoods, I recall reading an article by an LAPD Lt.. He said those were the areas that always supported better pay and benefits for the police. And that the LAPD gave them the best service they could. That the wealthier areas complained about lack of protection. But, as the Lt. said, police go where the crime is.

That same Lt. also said in 2010,

Starting in 1973, affirmative action & consent decrees changed LAPD culture from aggressively pursuing criminals to laying back in police cars, taking careful and lengthy reports, while gangs ran wild in the streets and portions of L.A. were terrorized by thugs.
When I was in the field in the 1960s, our 3,400 policemen (our Civil Service rank) arrested 100,000 more criminals than do today's 10,000 affirmative action wonders. (Attorney GARY INGEMUNSON in "Warning Bells," Thin Blue Line, July 2005, p. 13---Also L.A. Times of 13 March 1996, pp. B-1 & 3): A “distressed Mayor Richard Riordan...said it was vexing to learn that LAPD is now making 100,000 fewer arrests, issuing over 200,000 fewer citations, and conducting over 20,000 fewer field interviews per year.”
I believe the expression is, "Windows UP! and FIDO."

I think "Reform" has a more politically acceptable ring to it than "Defund".
 

OldSolduer

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So, police were not defunded, and the situation got worse, not better.
I could go into what is wrong with society, where the police get their recruits and police officers.

Your police force is a reflection of your society. If you grow up an entitled spoilt brat then that's what kind of cops you'll get.
 

mariomike

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I could go into what is wrong with society, where the police get their recruits and police officers.

Your police force is a reflection of your society. If you grow up an entitled spoilt brat then that's what kind of cops you'll get.
Chief Bill Parker put it this way,

We have one big problem in selecting police officers. We have to recruit from the human race.
 

Kirkhill

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CBH99

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I could go into what is wrong with society, where the police get their recruits and police officers.

Your police force is a reflection of your society. If you grow up an entitled spoilt brat then that's what kind of cops you'll get.
When I was younger, I applied to the Saskatoon Police Service. I was given a 1 year deferment, and was told I should go get some life experience. At the age of 21, I didn’t really appreciate what that really meant.

I had finished my degree in forensic sciences, and decided in my 3rd year that being a cop would actually just be an awesome job.

Unpredictable. A great opportunity to serve the community in many ways, keep it safe, etc etc. I had this very naive and romantic vision of ‘the hero’ concept - not just fighting crime (even if mundane and minor) but all the opportunities to build that trust with the community.

When I was a Sheriff here in Alberta for a wee while, I was genuinely ‘shocked’. And I do mean that. I was very surprised.

I worked with people who were super friendly, professional, could hold great conversations, and similar to a lot of us here - we had similar ways of thinking. But what shocked me was how some of those same people, who I had known civi-side prior to being hired, power tripped when given the authority.

Some didn’t, and they were the same person on and off duty. But some people who I had considered friends or at least respected as work friends were ABSOLUTE jerks. I was naive (and still very much am) - but it opened my eyes to just how quickly people can get used to having some power over others.


Now the whole ‘go get life experience’ makes so much more sense. My views have changed drastically since I was 21, and I’ve grown more than I ever realized possible.

Arrogant pricks before getting hired? Probably aren’t going to represent the agency too well once they are hired. Entitled folks? Should buy some Advil…

People who have been up and down, understand what it’s like to be settled and safe, and also what it’s like to be struggling to even buy themselves McDonald’s - But always kept themselves decently morally grounded? I feel like those are the people who do best in our field.

I interact with some police officers who are literally children inside a maturing body. (Everybody I work with in my unit at SolGen is amazing, couldn’t be luckier.) Mostly in the smaller services who very much have an ‘old boys club’ of their own.

^ I ramble when I post in the mornings. Not sure what that was really about other than agreeing with you OldSoldier 👍🏻☺️
 

mariomike

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When I was younger, I applied to the Saskatoon Police Service. I was given a 1 year deferment, and was told I should go get some life experience. At the age of 21, I didn’t really appreciate what that really meant.


Now the whole ‘go get life experience’ makes so much more sense. My views have changed drastically since I was 21, and I’ve grown more than I ever realized possible.
Times have changed. I read this,

Prior to the early 1980s, the RCMP recruited new members aged from 19 to about 25. The practice was relatively customary of those days, and based on three precise beliefs from the RCMP. First, policing could not be the second career of an individual. Second, young men were more moldable than older individuals to the police subculture. Third, criminal activity was linked to adulthood; by hiring young adults, the RCMP secured more chances that those individuals would have a crime free background.

I think that was pretty typical in the emergency services prior to the 1980's.

Also, the younger you get in, the younger you can max out your pension and GTFO.

This was before the OMERS Supplemental Pension Plan for Police, Firefighters and Paramedics (Supplemental Plan) came into effect on July 1, 2008.

That helps recruits with "life experience" ie: older, retire while still relatively young with an unreduced pension.

That benefits not only the member, but is considered a matter of public safety.

Public safety occupation means the occupation of
  • (a) firefighter,
  • (b) police officer,
  • (c) corrections officer,
  • (d) air traffic controller,
  • (e) commercial airline pilot, or
  • (f) paramedic

( Yes, it is understood some older people are in better condition than some younger people. )

( Sorry about the bold. My computer does it. )
 

CBH99

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Poor EMS, always at the bottom of the list. The medics I chat with when 'out and about' here always say they are the red-headed step children of the emergency services world 🤣

I don't know how true that is? I'm sure you'd have some well earned and valuable insight on that? I know that a few years back when I fell through a floor that caved in, and I had a piece of rebar impale my left leg (In through the calf, out through the shin) - EMS were the furthest thing from ❤️

Also a few years back, I came home from a meeting one night and checked in on my mom on the way home. She was shivering like crazy, snuggled under about 5 blankets, teeth chattering and complaining that she couldn't get warm. Slurring her words, wasn't tracking well, so I called EMS. I couldn't quite figure out what was going on with her, as she doesn't have any diagnosed medical conditions. (A lifetime of drinking pepsi & a sweet tooth have taken their toll, I'm sure.)

Handsome, well built, older paramedic in his early 50's comes to the door (and his partner, but his partner is irrelevant to the story.) I take him upstairs and explain why I called. I take him into my mom's room, gently knock on the wall and tell my mom "Hey, mom - I called the paramedics because I don't think you are as okay as you think you are. They are here, and I have one with me."

She rolls over, looks at him, and BOOM - I kid you not, all of a sudden she's absolutely fine! :unsure: Couldn't string a f**king sentence together when I'm asking, but handsome & buff paramedic that is close to her age? My goodness, it's a miracle. Perks right up as if nothing was ever wrong, and the next day jokingly gives me heck for calling EMS for her. (Also, on a truly disgusting note, it was also the only time I've ever watched my mom flirt with someone...blah...)


BUT, if she was starting to have a stroke or something serious? Poor EMS shouldn't always be at the bottom of every list!
 

mariomike

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Poor EMS, always at the bottom of the list. The medics I chat with when 'out and about' here always say they are the red-headed step children of the emergency services world 🤣

I don't know how true that is? I'm sure you'd have some well earned and valuable insight on that? I know that a few years back when I fell through a floor that caved in, and I had a piece of rebar impale my left leg (In through the calf, out through the shin) - EMS were the furthest thing from ❤️

Also a few years back, I came home from a meeting one night and checked in on my mom on the way home. She was shivering like crazy, snuggled under about 5 blankets, teeth chattering and complaining that she couldn't get warm. Slurring her words, wasn't tracking well, so I called EMS. I couldn't quite figure out what was going on with her, as she doesn't have any diagnosed medical conditions. (A lifetime of drinking pepsi & a sweet tooth have taken their toll, I'm sure.)

Handsome, well built, older paramedic in his early 50's comes to the door (and his partner, but his partner is irrelevant to the story.) I take him upstairs and explain why I called. I take him into my mom's room, gently knock on the wall and tell my mom "Hey, mom - I called the paramedics because I don't think you are as okay as you think you are. They are here, and I have one with me."

She rolls over, looks at him, and BOOM - I kid you not, all of a sudden she's absolutely fine! :unsure: Couldn't string a f**king sentence together when I'm asking, but handsome & buff paramedic that is close to her age? My goodness, it's a miracle. Perks right up as if nothing was ever wrong, and the next day jokingly gives me heck for calling EMS for her. (Also, on a truly disgusting note, it was also the only time I've ever watched my mom flirt with someone...blah...)


BUT, if she was starting to have a stroke or something serious? Poor EMS shouldn't always be at the bottom of every list!
You're being invited into people's homes. Their bedrooms. During their worst moments.

I always felt likeability was 90% of the job. They won't remember your technical skills, or lack of.

What families do remember is if you are presentable and courteous.

There's things going on now that I don't understand, and can't relate to.

Just the other day,

When there’s an unattended death, they try to preserve as much evidence as possible for police & medical investigators. “Sometimes that does require for that person to be left uncovered.” https://wjbf.com/news/u-s-world-news/disgrace-wife-upset-after-first-responders-leave-husbands-naked-body-in-yard-for-hours/… 'Uncovered' aka naked in front of the home.

The man was 100 years old. Collapsed and died while fully dressed inside his home. The paramedics carried him outside to the the front of his town-house, stripped him - completely - naked. Worked him. Pronounced him. Then drove away empty. Left him completely naked and uncovered. ie: no sheet. In full full of neighbours and passers by.

"The body was taken away almost three hours after the initial 911 call." WTF? Wife said there were ants crawling all over him.

Worth noting, where I worked "courtesy calls" were no charge. Sounds like that's what your mom's was.

Could be a wellness check, or putting someone back into bed.

Even if transported to a hospital, the bill is only $45. And if you have private insurance, they will take care of it.

They say if you know one paramedic service - that's exactly what you know. One paramedic service. That's all I know. Or, used to know, as I retired over 12 years ago.

Ontario has dozens of paramedic services. And, each province or territory does things their own way. Standards vary considerably between them.

Some may get into it to make a contribution to society. Satisfaction in helping people. Of being a vital, important member of the community. I don't remember if any of those things were important to me half a century ago. I'm sure I must have mentioned them in the Interview.

But, I was interested in a job with a future, that was exciting, and far from routine. A career with opportunities, as well as guaranteed security.

I won't say I was there for the money. But, it certainly wasn't for my health.

I don't know what the money is now. The last year I checked was 2016,

I remember at ORNGE, the paramedics were earning more than the pilots.

As far as police "defunding" goes, I have read that some funding may be re-directed on mental health type calls. homeless, wellness checks etc.
 

CBH99

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In Alberta it’s $285 for them to show up. $385 if they need to transport. My mom chuckled at the $285 bill that showed up a few weeks later - which I indeed paid for.

But that’s okay. It’s the price of not paying health premiums.

As for leaving a 100 year old man naked in front of his home for 3 hours…wtf??

I understand different services have different policies. But unless the cause of death appears to be suspicious, do paramedics in Ontario always leave a body for the police to investigate before transport? I would imagine a 100yr old man collapsing and dying would be pretty suspicion-free…



I’ve heard some cities talk about cutting the police budget, and redirecting those funds into social workers and other supports. In SOME cases, it may be something worth looking into.

But to me - just my own personal opinion - it’s not a good idea. And it’s stupid.

The whole ‘defund the police’ movement came about in the US due to several successive major screw-ups by police where the client who died was black. And the police didn’t help their own image much during the BLM protests.

While racism is obviously an issue everywhere, we didn’t experience the same serious errors that were happening in several American cities. Defunding our police or cutting their budget ‘because it’s the popular SJW thing to do’ is just dumb. Jumping on the bandwagon for the sake of it. (My own 2 cents anyway)

Our mayor in Edmonton was a younger guy the last few years, and holy moly did he ever love to get onboard with whatever Instagram or Tik Tok trend was happening. He announced (during all of that) that the Edmonton police budget would be cut by around $33M…. Why?? Because everybody else was doing it. 🤦🏼‍♂️

I am all for mental health supports and social workers, and ‘some’ programs to catch us when we fall. We all do at some point, or know someone who has.

But replacing police with social workers is going to be ineffective, dangerous for the social worker, and just as expensive. A lot of those social worker ‘dispatches’ will require a police escort anyway.

A few cities that I know of have special units where a social worker and police officer are teamed up, and go to the homes of specific clients. Seems to be a happy medium that works well.


0.02
 

mariomike

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In Alberta it’s $285 for them to show up. $385 if they need to transport. My mom chuckled at the $285 bill that showed up a few weeks later - which I indeed paid for.

That grinds my gears. No transport? Treat and Release? That's on the house. They were "courtesy calls". Sounds like your Mom's was one of those.

Sometimes just showing up was enough.
One time we finished cutting an old guy's grass for him. Wife was concerned he was gonna have a heat stroke, and would have to call us back anyway. It was ok, We were in our area, and on the radio - available for calls.

Transport cost $45. Private insurance covered that.

Even then, there was no charge for over a dozen different situations. Like D.O.A.'s for example.

I understand different services have different policies. But unless the cause of death appears to be suspicious, do paramedics in Ontario always leave a body for the police to investigate before transport? I would imagine a 100yr old man collapsing and dying would be pretty suspicion-free…

Not so much now. But back then, we took everybody.











 

OldSolduer

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I’ve heard some cities talk about cutting the police budget, and redirecting those funds into social workers and other supports. In SOME cases, it may be something worth looking into.

But to me - just my own personal opinion - it’s not a good idea. And it’s stupid.
My take is if you`re going to cut the police budget and invest it in mental health then send mental health workers to de escalate a violent suicidal person - oh you want the police to go in first.....sorry that`s not in the budget.
 

mariomike

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My take is if you`re going to cut the police budget and invest it in mental health then send mental health workers to de escalate a violent suicidal person - oh you want the police to go in first.....sorry that`s not in the budget.


These were our orders,

Delay of Service:
"Paramedics are reminded of their responsibility under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 43, (1) and (2).2 These sections exclude paramedics from the right to refuse work where the circumstances are inherent in their work and/or if the work refusal would directly endanger the health and safety of another person."

"Not enter a scene until the appropriate agency has arrived in circumstances involving;
• the use of weapons at the scene;
continuing violence at the scene;
• fire / hazardous materials"

"The decision to delay EMS service must include recognizing and evaluating the reasons for problematic patient behaviour—such as metabolic causes of combative behaviour—to ensure staff are not jeopardizing the patient’s life, health or safety.

4. wait for police assistance if,
a. there is an active shooter scenario, or
b. there is direct evidence of ongoing violence;

5. if electing to delay service as per paragraph 4 above, immediately notify CACC/ACS;
 
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