A Modest Proposal for Modern Police Departments

It’s obvious to anybody who pays attention that modern policing has a big problem with force. Namely modern police officers are too quick to resort to force, especially deadly force. When I point this out police apologists always respond with some variation on “So? What’s the solution? You never give a solution! You just insult our heroes in blue who you rely on to save your life and keep you safe!” While the last part of that statement is false (I have never been in a position where I received protection from the police) the question itself is valid. So I present my modest proposal for helping reduce the amount of violence inflicted on the populace by police officers.

When an officer starts at a new department they should be on a probation period. During this probation period they should be prohibited from carrying any form of weaponry while on duty. Additionally they should be paired with another officer who has demonstrated effectiveness at resolving situations with the minimum amount of force necessary. The experienced officer would be armed as he has demonstrated an ability to be responsible with armaments.

As the new officer proves he can resolve situations with the minimum amount of necessary force and a general aversion to violence he can begin carrying less-likely-to-be-lethal armaments (pepper spray and a Taser). If the officer then demonstrates he is capable of responsibly using less-likely-to-be-lethal armaments he can begin carrying a baton. After he proves his ability to use a baton responsibly he can finally begin carrying a gun.

If our society is dead set on giving a monopoly on law enforcement to unaccountable individuals then they should at least be required to demonstrate an ability to act in a responsible manner.