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April 20, 2021

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So many things need to be taken out of the hands of police: mental health crisis response, homelessness response, traffic enforcement, the War on Drugs (with Measure 110), school resource officers (done), routine residential burglary (porch pirates that seldom get caught). There's probably more. We have had decades of "mission creep" with the SPD and there has been a huge opportunity cost to our community from that. Now we need politicians with the courage to take on the police union and "Back the Blue" enthusiasts to fix this. And after we fix the mission creep in the SPD we need to do the same in the Salem Fire Department.

For well more than a hundred years, now, communities all across this nation have been struggling to bring their local police departments under civilized control, and failing.

And the larger the city, almost always the worse. Graft, theft, extortion, assault, drug-dealing, robbery, rape and murder-for-hire run rampant in some cities, with lesser amounts and somewhat less serious crimes committed in smaller communities where individual police are known and recognized by the citizenry.

I have worked as a newspaper reporter on five different newspapers, in different cities and on both coasts. I have worked police beats, and I have seen what goes on. In some cities there is barely any difference between the local police and the local mafia and, indeed, in some cities they work hand in hand with each other.

For anyone who doubts this, I urge a careful read of this --
"Political ABCs -- Maybe the Difference Between a 'Cop' and a 'Crook' is Just a Badge"
by T.P. Wilkinson / June 10th, 2020
https://dissidentvoice.org/2020/06/political-abcs-maybe-the-difference-between-a-cop-and-a-crook-is-just-a-badge/

Then there's this:
"The Ignominious Beginnings of Policing in the United States"
A most important point, the WHY behind the formation of police forces.
This multipart essay details "The History of Policing in the United States" and gives us two key clues:
https://plsonline.eku.edu/insidelook/history-policing-united-states-part-1

and this --
Think Federal Cops in Portland are Scary? Cops Use 'jump-out boys' All the Time
Baynard Woods 29 Jul 2020
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/29/think-the-federal-cops-in-portland-are-scary-police-use-these-tactics-all-the-time

then this --
Why Do Police Unions Talk and Act Like the Mafia -- How Can We Stop Them
by Will Bunch | June 7, 2020
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/police-unions-defend-brutality-george-floyd-protests-20200607.html

and finally --
two outstanding books on the subject:

"Police Interrogation and American Justice"
Richard A. Leo
(available at abebooks.com)
• and –
“Shielded from Justice”
Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States
Compiled by Human Rights Watch
Read and/or download here –
https://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports98/police/index.htm

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