Another Death

September 21, 2016

These tragedies must stop. Police have stressful jobs. They must make life and death decisions in milliseconds. To often, though, they pick the wrong course, and someone dies, needlessly. All cops deal with the stress. Most make the right choices. Anyone can screw up, though they are good at their job, well trained and experienced. The price for the officer's error is higher, but we all pay the price. Fear of the police engenders hatred for law enforcement and the rule of law that should protect us all. Departments are hard-pressed to fill their ranks. There is no aptitude test that can accurately weed out those unfit to wear the badge. Training will not reliably predict who will rise up from the crucible that is police work. All we can do is pray that those we allow to wear the badge are up to the task. There are some things that can be done. The first is to look carefully at the history of those hired from the ranks of veterans. Those who have served in combat bring a different perspective that is not always compatible with police work. In crisis, they may revert to combat mode. The second is to require that police officers carry personal liability insurance. The department may pay the premium for it, possibly with savings from their own coverage. Let the actuarial weigh risks and price premiums accordingly. Some officers may find that their premium prices them out of the market, with loss of the badge. That may be a good thing.