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October 6, 2014

Seven Cops for the City of Frederick

Steven R. Berryman

Frederick City now welcomes newfound grant money to fund 75% of the cost of seven fresh officers; this newly granted windfall reportedly will last for three years, and then the bill will be passed along to you.


As reported last Wednesday by The Frederick News-Post’s Jeremy Arias, we were the only Maryland locality to “benefit” from this fund, which was publicly justified by our many reports of gunfire in the City of Frederick.


So, why do I feel like this will free up more patrol units for speeding tickets?


We will certainly continue to benefit from more of former Chief Kim Dine’s “community policing initiative.” But my simple question is: Where will this escalation end? We seem to be ramping up our policing size and capabilities daily; remember the heavy weaponry taken on recently, including armored cars and machine guns from the federal government?


My observations of downtown driving include many scenes where one can routinely see three patrol cars at the same time from a single driving vantage point. Check out East and Patrick Streets, or Church at Market Street.


We seem to be approaching policing levels of the Chinese system where populations are assigned “minders,” who rove almost on a one-to-one ratio, a person to be with each of us, in order to pacify a dynamic population, intimidate away crime, and catch somebody doing something wrong.


The contrast between active and passive policing can be confusing and daunting to the casual observer; me, I’d rather not look upon our beautiful historical Frederick as a police state.


I’m all for better policing, but not necessarily for more policing. A fair evaluation of systems will tell you reliably and specifically that when an overarching capability exists – albeit for worst case scenarios – it ultimately will get used.


Just ask the peaceful scientist that developed the atom bombs during World War II, who were promised that their work was just in case the enemy developed “the bomb” first….and we all know how that one worked out.


The other problem with omnipresent policing is that we have been provably becoming a “prison planet.” With more and more punitive laws, many with mandatory minimum incarceration terms hitting the books, the danger of accidentally falling into the trap of the Justice-Industrial-Complex begins to become so much more realized.


Much to the betterment and glee of the Trial Lawyers Association!


Unemployment becomes homelessness, which can cause unsightly loitering and accidental trespassing. Idleness among the entitlement-trapped can become drug addictions and support the circular justice system; bringing them in, turning them around into better dealers and junkies, and back for more. The revolving door serves many a social bureaucracy seeking to justify funding levels.


The circle of poverty also allows for easy access for clannish gang activity to take root and prosper; perhaps acting upon this would be a better spend than for the traffic beat units …. that seem to live simply to augment the mechanical speed cams.


Now, important questions arise, such as: Is the police force focused to control the population or to protect it? Are we protecting our property or our individual rights to move about within our world? Do police armaments serve to protect them, or is the new prerogative to have an offensive capability? You know, just in case?


Also do yourself a favor and Google-search for “fusion centers.” This much hushed-up term is for the union of local and state police agencies with the military and federal agencies to “watch ourselves” more efficiently …. much opportunity for dirty tricks if controlled by the wrong parties.


Remember the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department being compromised recently for political gain?


Yes, Virginia, it can happen here; and don’t bother to call me paranoid.


Remember back to the temporarily lawless city of New Orleans during the Katrina storm. Civilization did break down. Emergency transit workers abandoned their buses; cops took care of their own and went vigilante, settling old scores under the veil of the convenient circumstance of anarchy.


Stranger things can and will happen within your lifetime; be ready!!


But keep our beloved local police to their traditional tasks and avoid the “brown-shirt syndrome.”


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