PCM, Two issues came up in the at interview. The disconnect between cops and academics, and budget cuts for policing. As a solution why not have the draft for police recruits as part of a national service program? You wouldn't have to pay police draftees as much as volunteer recruits. Young future academics and other members of the upper middle class would benefit from the experience of doing a stint as a big city police officer. I think it would mitigate the anti-police snobbery one sees in those social classes and it may also convice them of the futility of the Drug War. Think about it, if you're gonna have a Drug War why not have a draft?
My father was a big proponent of National Service. Americorp came out of it under Clinton. But the program lacks the mandatory part of the program. It's not constitutional to draft people for civilian functions. But it would be constitutional to institute a draft with civilian national service being an acceptable (and even encouraged) alternative. My dad's idea was an army of people who could pick up trash or provide simple home aid for old people (carrying groceries, changing light bulbs...)The problem with doing it for policing is trickier because of the standards and training involved, combined with the short time commitment. But it would be worth considering. Alas, the political will isn't there.
I think the standards could be easily met. You could provide a choice either you go into the army and spend a few ears in a crappy army town in the middle of nowhere you become a cop in places such as New York, LA, or Miami. Which would your classmates at Harvard have chosen? The police would get the best draftees. Some draftees may even make a career of it. This would allow police services to look at a recruit for 2-3 years before hiring them full-time.
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