Monday, June 29, 2020

Stop Calling Us That

Recently we've seen broad-based calls to de-militarize the police forces across the country. About. Damn. Time. This is also the moment in history for Virtue Signaling of unprecedented scope and fervor. So here's a little offering to the police to help them realize how over-militarized they are and perhaps begin some simple, phrase-based Virtue Signaling: stop calling us CIVILIANS. We're not. We're citizens. We're residents. Some of us are actual former military. Many are armed to the teeth, including those with the same scary black rifles your SWAT teams are packing. Maybe you could try calling us "Those We Serve." 

But there is a very real structural and cultural problem within militarized police forces including our very own globe-trotting Dunwoody PD. Yes, the APC's need to go. Immediately. The military grade equipment and hardware needs to go back to the military where it belongs. But these actions are largely symbolic. What must change are the rules of engagement, the military mindset and most importantly the leaders who created and glorified a paramilitary force quartered in OUR HOUSE. 

But there is hope. It IS humanly possible to right these wrongs, but not with the humans we have in place. These are the ones who got us here and they are incapable of leading us, or anyone else, out of this mess. We, in Dunwoody, need change, dramatic and swift. As has always been true the fish rots first in the head and we need complete debridement of this necrotic tissue. Our elected officials must step up and clean house. Immediate removal of the city manager and the chief of police is non-negotiable. These are "thought leaders" who have created our current nightmare. After this, the overall structure at the top must be subject to critical review with elimination of some departments, streamlining reporting structures, mandatory online reporting for transparency and removal of problematic bureaucrats. And we need a citizens' review board.

Inaction by our elected officials sends a message loud and clear: they are as much a part of the problem as anyone else. At that point we all know what to do.