Police Qualifications: Brains, Brawn and Self-Discipline
We have too many Police officers, especially in big cities. The dead apples, at about 49 percent, impede the work of the good apples, about 49 percent. The remaining two percent comprise the bad apples, the brutal officers who kill people without necessity and give Police departments bad reputations and expensive lawsuits.
- Brains — Brains includes not only intelligence and good judgment, but also an adequate education for Police work. To me, that includes four years of a completed college education.
- Brawn — This includes both strength and stamina, as well as training in marshal arts or an equivalent. Heavy weight does not suffice, since it may result in disabilities and sluggish response to emergency situations.
- Self-Discipline — The ability to control one’s actions in response to a situation so that contacts are not injured or killed except in cases where such force is necessary.
Most people cannot really qualify for Police work. Police work is very difficult to do correctly, and those who perform well are substantially underpaid. The dead apples generally desire easy work for 20 years without being shot that ends with a good pension; then they add that to income from another job and enjoy an almost upper middle class income and lifestyle from about age 45 onward. They are not “turned on” by Police work, so they usually get in the way of the good apples.
The good apples perform Police work very well because they have enthusiasm for the job and often perform heroically. Unfortunately, they are paid little more than the dead apples. Because they are represented by a labor union, their pay is based largely on longevity, not performance. After years of such treatment, many become discouraged, so their pay must be increased. Can this be done without increasing the budget for a Police Department? Yes!
For example, consider a large city Police Department with 3000 sworn officers, excluding the Chief’s staff and (say) the Precinct Commanders. Rank those officers from top to bottom based on their brains, brawn, and self-discipline, with Number 1 the best and Number 3000 the worst. Draw a line under Number 1500, and terminate all officers below that line with a favorable letter of reference. Then use the money saved from not paying those officers to (approximately) double the pay of those above the line. In a typical big city like Phoenix, most of the top 1500 would be receiving over $100,000 per year, a true professional salary. As such they would no longer need a labor union.
In the above process, the bad apples will necessarily be terminated. There is really no reason to brand them with bad letters of reference; their performance histories are likely to keep them out of Police work.
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