The Pathos of Politics (112-4) United States

United States

Law enforcement work is undeniably difficult. Regrettably, crime reduction has often come at a significant cost to the vulnerable communities in greatest need of police protection. Reports of alleged police brutality, harassment, and misconduct continue to spread throughout the country. ~ US Commission on Civil Rights in 2000

In 2018 there were ~18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, employing around 900,000 police: roughly 1 for every 260 people. In contrast, there were ~244,000 police in Britain: 1 for every 273 people. While the number of American police continues to rise, British police force numbers are gradually declining.

Police departments are frequently not good at their core function. ~ American policing scholar Eugene O’Donnell

Because brute force is easy and getting a decent haircut is difficult, American police receive far less training than many states require of barbers, interior designers, and manicurists.

Though not well trained, police in the US are well equipped, to put it mildly. As in most countries, their power to act as they see fit is effectively unchallenged.

Police are a source of violence and injustice. ~ American sociologist Alex Vitale