Feasibility of a Privatized Police System

We already have a private sector version of our local police department. Recall that the police have two main roles; crime investigation, and crime prevention (although its been demonstrated they can’t completely fulfill this role, and what they can costs an outrageous amount of tax dollars). We, the private sector, through the sheer existence of two industries, private investigators and security firms, have demonstrated the complete lack of fulfillment of either goal of our local police department. Since, we the market, have demonstrated that police departments are replaceable, lets hypothesize the outcome of a privatized police industry:

Private investigators are called to investigate robberies, murders, rapes, etc. They collect evidence, eye witness accounts, and submit cases to the district attorney. Only crimes with victims are investigated. Victimless crimes like prostitution and drug sales go uninvestigated. A limitation of this would be if you saw your neighbor’s house getting robbed, or your neighbors were domestically disputing (beating one another), you would either be forced to address the robber or domestic disputer your self (and your Colt .45), or call your own PI.

Another impact would be the lack of traffic violations. There would be no more speeding tickets.  This is a very interesting concept. Speed limits exist to “reduce” the number of collisions in an area. I argue that speed is less of an issue than lack of attention, but no radar gun can detect lack of attention. And as it turns out, even with speed limits, we still have collisions. So, only violations of another’s rights are punishable offenses. It is not illegal to speed. Its illegal to crash into someone else. When some one rear-ends you, you call your PI, or handle it yourself.

To address the second goal of police departments, we have security guards. For those of us too delicate to protect ourselves (yes, I am mocking that demographic), you may hire all sorts of guardians, whether its electronic (security systems like Brinks and ADT), security with whistles, or armed guards like at the bank. Either way, you get to decide the degree of protection you want and how you want to administer it. You have organizations competing to get your business, better evidence collection methods, cheaper evidence processing methods, better service, faster response.

Some people will claim, but what about the poor? Well, for those of you not familiar with the poor, they rarely get police response anyways. What do you think the response time is of a robbery in a project or ghetto is? Often times its never. With today’s system, we all pay for crappy coverage. This proposed system allows everyone the opportunity to get great coverage, not just the rich like today.  Additionally, when there is not government claiming to help the poor (because they are only claims, rarely results), we, the market, establish organizations to help the poor. Ever heard of the Salvation Army?

I realize the Left is busy throwing a hissy fit right now because everyone deserves what only the rich can pay for. The Right is also busy throwing a hissy fit because how else could they enforce hurtful, draconian drug laws and other moral legislation? This plan will never happen until I start my own town.

I ask you to submit both intended and unintended consequences below. I warn you, your ignorance will be exposed, so expect it.

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4 responses to “Feasibility of a Privatized Police System”

  1. Sorry, Prostitution is no longer a victimless crime. Young girls are kidnapped and forced into it on a daily basis. Phoenix & Las Vegas have the high rate for forced prostitution in the US. As well as one of the higher rates for child prostitution.

  2. Victimless crimes have one very important property that victim crimes don’t: both parties consent. What you described is kidnapping (which a private investigator could bring to justice) and forced employment (which violates the consent property). Both cases can be addressed with self defense or security guards, and will be no worse than what currently exists with our current police system. Good thinking though!

  3. Interesting…How would folks pay for the security services? Would this be set up like an insurance policy (regular, fixed payments for coverage type/level)? When you’ve been victimized, call your agent and they’ll send someone? What happens when there are multiple victims with different security companies, who arrive to collect evidence??? Who has jurisdiction (hey, you’ve just obsoleted “jurisdiction”)?

    Eric, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Speeding IS Illegal! Just like running red lights, or going backwards down a one-way street. The reason is that it increases the risk of having an accident (violation of another’s rights). That’s why when you have an accident, you often get two tickets (or more!). One for “failure to control…” and the other for speeding, running the red, etc. A driver can run the red light because they’re busy texting a buddy(inattention), or maybe intentionally, because they are in a hurry (Mr. “important” in his beemer), either way they are both guilty of running the red light. I understand that most of the municipal traffic laws are “sold” into law to “make our community safe”, but the fiscal benefit is really the motivation.

    You’re correct about paying attention while driving. This is the real offense that causes most accidents. I read a statistic years ago (from the NTSB) that stated 99% of all traffic “accidents” are/were preventable. It’s very rare to have an actual accident where nobody is guilty of inattention. Probably should have two names for traffic boo-boos; “inattention” and “unavoidable consequence” types.

    How about a spelling checker on this comment entry page, so I don’t have to cut/paste to a word processor?

    Fun stuff!

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