July 12, 2020 - 9:00 pm
In response to the July 1 letter from a retired, 30-year “street officer” who surmised “maybe if a group of experienced officers were consulted by these legislators, proper police reform (which we need) could be proposed and enacted that all sides could agree on”: I can’t argue his rationale. But in the real world, I suspect mutual agreement that would impact existing problems is near impossible.
Instead we may want to look at Camden, New Jersey, which dissolved it’s police department in 2012 and replaced it entirely. Since then, violent crime has dropped 42 percent. Excessive-force complaints are down 95 pecent since 2014, per the June 9 New York Post.
Complex problems aren’t mediated with simple solutions. The time has come to consider out-of-the-box solutions. When those who are charged with upholding the law can’t, we need to look to models such Camden as a viable alternative.