December 10, 2019

A Practical Solution: Run Police Departments Like Fire Departments

n-COP-GUN-large570Do you lie awake at night in constant fear a fire will break out and nothing will be done to put it out?

For the 99% of the population not suffering from pyrophobia or a similar neurosis, the answer to that question is “no,” even though firefighters aren’t patrolling the streets in their big red trucks. They still manage to arrive at the scene of a fire within minutes of an emergency call.

Why can’t police departments be run the same way?

If they were, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, and Sandra Bland would be alive today. All three encountered police doing what would be considered outlandish for any other institution charged with public safety: roaming the streets, looking for trouble.

No one had called 911 asking for protection from Scott, Gray or Bland. No judges had issued warrants for their arrests. All three were, at least at the time of their arrests, just walking or driving down the street, minding their own business. They were detained in what are generally considered “routine” but are in reality wholly unnecessary encounters with police.

There has been a lot of digital ink and warm air expended on whether these victims of tragedy were treated differently because of their race. There are compelling arguments on both sides of that question, but no practical solutions offered by anyone. At the end of these discussions there is invariably some vague reference to “more training” or bland platitudes. Everyone knows nothing will change.

I’m going to suggest a solution that will sound radical, even in a country that styles itself “the land of free.” Let’s get cops off the streets, unless responding to a 911 call or serving a warrant issued by a judge. Everyone would be freer and safer, including the police officers themselves.

Read the rest at The Huffington Post…


Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.


  1. You are the biggest idiot I’ve ever heard voice an opinion. How many people call 911 when someone is being beaten or raped in a NYC alley? Answer: none. That crime can be PREVENTED when cops are patrolling. Obviously you have never experienced a violent crime against yourself. Eat a dick

    • Tom Mullen says:

      How many incidents of someone being beaten and raped in an alley were prevented by cops who just happened to drive by? Please provide links to those news stories.

  2. j. glenn mccann says:

    Mr. Mullen,

    With all due respect, you are an ASSHAT. Please go find something you know about and try to write about that. In the meantime leave the policing of America’s streets to the adults. Jackass.

    • Tom Mullen says:

      I’ll be happy to leave policing of the streets to others when I’m not forced to pay for it or subject to the impositions upon my own rights under the present system. Until then, I’m going to have to assert my rights to publish my opinions on how my money is spent.

  3. Dude, this is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. Please think before you do another article bro.

    • Tom Mullen says:

      I always know I’m going to hear thoughtful and articulate criticism when the comment starts with, “Dude,…”

  4. You are an idiot, move to a third world country and see how your process works. Do you think the USA had no crime during the wild west. You should really try to understand what you are writing before publishing. How would you ever catch a criminal with a warrant if the police were always at the station.

    • Tom Mullen says:

      Please catch your breath and read the article again. The two conditions under which the article says police would be allowed to interact with the public are 1. Serving a warrant and 2. Responding to an emergency call. In both cases, they would leave the station to go to the applicable location. They may also be diverted from their last destination to a new emergency call before returning to the station. You should really try to understand what you’ve read before commenting.

      • You’re sir are just as much of an idiot and have no ideas how or why things are the way they are. Please refrain from having an opinion of which you don’t understand and know.

        • Tom Mullen says:

          That’s very persuasive. I’m totally convinced to “refrain from having an opinion” on services I’m forced to buy whether I want them or not. Thanks for straightening me out on that.

  5. you sir, deserve no rebuttle to this latest article…..simply this…you are a colossal IDIOT!!!

  6. Wow, your comments sections sure attract alot of nut jobs.

    For much of history what you suggest – or even less was how law enforcement worked.

    I wonder if there are any real credible sources regarding police ever actually preventing anything.

    This would also radically alter our relationship to police.
    Which is one of our problems today.

    The police are supposed to be there to help use when we are in need.
    They are not supposed to be their to impose upon us when we are not.

    • Tom Mullen says:

      They may not be as crazy as you think. I’m betting it’s more the perceived threat to a government paycheck that elicits these responses. Your last two sentences are concise and eloquent.

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