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Crime and Police Part 2: How to Simultaneously Reduce Crime and Reduce Police Abuse of Civilians

So what should we do now that we are stuck with this large increase in crime? We probably should bring in more police, but that is not going to make a huge difference. What we need most is better police, not more police.

In addition to our problem of increased crime we have a problem that under Tim Walz Minnesota has become infamous as the world capital for police killings and abuse of civilians. That is because it is almost impossible to fire a bad cop. And both Tim Walz and Scott Jensen want to keep it that way.

The best way to both reduce crime and simultaneously reduce police abuse and improve police relations with the community is to fire bad cops. No doubt the large majority of police officers are good people and good cops. But as in any profession, there are some bad apples who are either bad people or bad officers or both. Four of them killed George Floyd. One of them killed Justine Damond. One of them killed Philando Castille. One of them killed Daunte Wright. Two of them killed Jamar Clark.

It is currently almost impossible to fire or even discipline police officers because under state law all firings and discipline of police goes to arbitration, and the arbitrators overturn the firings and reduce the discipline in most cases. That law should be changed. Police officers should be at-will employees, just like most of the rest of us. I will push to repeal that arbitration law and give police chiefs absolute authority to fire and discipline officers as they see fit and give mayors and city councils also authority to fire officers even over the objection of the police chief of the city.

Will that lead to some unjust firings? Certainly. But people are fired unjustly all the time. Why should police be immune from that risk? It is much more important to be able to fire a bad cop than a bad factory worker or store clerk.

A bad cop kills people, abuses them, and destroys trust of police in the community. A bad cop negates the good work of several good cops. Also, once you fire some bad cops, it changes and improves the culture of policing. The good cops are no longer afraid to report bad behavior by their colleagues. In fact, they may be afraid to cover it up.

We need civilian control of the police, just like we need civilian control of the military. Currently we have it for the military, but not for the police in Minnesota.

By firing bad police officers we will improve the police force and simultaneously

  • reduce crime

  • reduce police abuse of civilians

  • improve community relations with the police (thereby also reducing crime)

  • save the taxpayers money because of reduced payouts for police abuse

The alternative to firing bad cops is to force them to attend yet another seminar on diversity and racism. That changes nothing. The far better solution is to fire the bad cops and hire better ones. After a while, once it is clear that bad behavior will not be tolerated, you only have good cops and you almost never have to fire anyone.

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