The Police are Not Going to Save You, What Now?
Updated: Dec 26, 2019
There are a lot of people who believe the police are there to help us. We probably got a lot of this from our Officer Friendly visits in grade school. The declining crime rates from the 90s seem to have had a calming effect a lot people. And now, many people and politicians actually claim that you should "wait for the police" during an emergency.
However, there have been a number of significant changes that mostly add up to the fact that you cannot reasonably count on the police to keep you safe. You must take responsibility for your own and your family's defense and safety.
Before we go any further, let me make a clarification: I am talking about an emergency situation where you are under attack with physical force.
I am not talking about civil disagreements, arguments, or even suspicious behavior by others. Call the police. Let them sort out the situation. The first person to call is generally designated as the "complaintant" for reporting use giving you a sort of initial aura of innocence as the person who is being wronged in the situation. You are not necessarily protected legally, I'm just saying from a procedural standpoint, you are the party that will be contacted regarding your problem with the other party. Cops have a highly-tuned BS meter and they can usually discern who is the problem child in the situation fairly quickly. My post here is assuming you truly are a good person and have not been aggravating the situation.
I think it's necessary to remind everybody, legally, the police are not required to help you. They are exempt from being responsible. If that isn't enough to burst your bubble then let's talk about what's been happening the last decade.
The results of the recession in 2008 had a drastic fact on municipalities budgets and their ability to provide services. That really started a decline in a number of police departments across the country with 17 percent reported they stopped responding to some 911 calls and 26 percent of departments reported a reduction actually investigating certain property crimes and other non-felony arrives. During that same timeframe of the previous recession, 68 percent of departments reported reduced or discontinued training for police officers.
Fast forward to 2018.
Violent crimes -- like homicides and rapes -- in the US are back on the rise according to some Department of Justice numbers.
It's hard to extrapolate, but it's not outside a reasonable thought that the continuing upward pressure on crime will continue for these reasons:
1. The nations' opioid epidemic is worsening. States are losing the battle against deadly drugs like heroin. These charts graphically represent the increased deadly results of drug use.
2. Many municipalities and state agencies are still feeling the effects of budget cuts and have not returned to previous levels.
3. The Ferguson effect and anti-police activism are undoubtedly having a chilling effect on proactive policing.
4. States like California are decriminalizing many crimes meaning that the newly seen uptick in those crimes will continue with the probability that the sense of lawlessness in those areas will embolden criminals to commit greater violent acts.
5. National phenomenon of increased political intolerance and violence is likely to continue. The James T. Hodgkinson shooting of Republican congressional members practicing softball is the most visible example of this and there will most likely be more as the social and political discourse continues to ramp up.
6. Although it's still still statistically small, terrorism in the US is a continued threat just as it's grows across Europe.
What these political, social, and cultural trends add up to is the increased environment of lawlessness ignored and/or not mitigated by government.
For you and I this means the responsibility for your safety in your immediate environment falls on you.
Here's it is what I would suggest all of us do:
1. Accept the reality of the situation and begin planning and training accordingly.
2. Commit to increasing your awareness of your surrounding environment and the environments in which you Live work and move.
3. Get First Aid training. At the minimum, seek out the Red Cross training for First Aid and CPR.
4. Get in shape. Strong people are harder to kill.
5. Get training in -- and practice -- basic hand-to-hand defense.
6. Get training in -- and practice -- armed self-defense. At the minimal level, get your concealed carry permit or license as dictated by your state.
7. Commit to acting first to avoid, evade, and de-escalate.