Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Pay for More Cops?

A few days ago I asked a question in the comment section. How you fund Flint police at their current pay and benefits packages and balance the budget, without increasing the retirement pay out so a mayor down the line has to deal with the cost? More than 70 percent of the general fund is dedicated to public safety. Not sure how you put more cops on the street with their current pay and benefits, continue to do things like pick up the garbage and mow the grass, and balance the budget. Without raising taxes on an economically devastated city. (Please note that I'm not taking a stand on the current labor battle between the mayor and public safety unions; I'm looking for actual answers to solve this dilemma.)

I got a few responses. On the micro level, anonymous suggests:
Privatize garbage. City will become a stinking landfill, but you'll theoretically have a few more cops. Make police pay scale the highest possible pay scale. Noone in city hall makes more than a cop with the same years of service. including the mayor. you'll have a few more cops. Shutter/sell/dismantle atwood. sad but time. play ball games at northwestern n swa. maybe get a few more cops out of that, it might be deeded or something tho so maybe not. and outside of a select few (like a handful), pull up the signs from the city parks and end what minimal maintenance is done on them. nature parks now. squeeze a cop or two out of those savings. beg, plead and steal federal law enforcement assistance. still not enough? sorry, all i got.
JWilly offers up a big-picture solution:
Everyone knows the problem is driven by drug marketing. Everyone knows that Flint can't afford to manage ongoing petty crime, and has no constitutionally permissible tools to do anything about drug marketing. The suburbs prefer to keep their money and pretend the problem doesn't affect them. The state prefers to think of the problem as local and simply a matter of managerial and taxpayer choices. The feds by and large ignore the problem. Over the years the CIA and friends have even been involved in drug distribution in a number of ways, and the feds have used drug profits to extra-nationally fund various activities.

Nothing will be fixed until the feds make ending drug marketing a national goal, and formulate a practical plan that doesn't involve interdicting individual mules or processing labs or plants.

One way to do that would be to bioengineer hardy, persistent genetic-attack vectors for the plant precursors for cocaine and heroin, and broadcast them in cultivable areas.

Much of the world would be outraged at our transgressing various nations' sovereignty in the process, and hurting poor farm families. We'd have to be led by someone that was willing to say, "tough $%@&...deal with it."
I'd love to hear some more ideas.


  1. NO COMMENTS?? Really.. ha..

    NOTE: Posted April 26th, it is now April 30th..

    I say.. GREAT IDEA's are key. Is Flint to slow? Does it take to long to grasp a new concept?

    Obviously something needs to be done. We can play "my concept is better", all while roam is falling in.

    As a side note. Donald Trump seems to have a way with words. I can't describe it.

  2. I'm with Rob.

    Ideas need to be generated. Multiple ideas, thousands of them. They don't have to be worked out to the T so much as to get a general discussion with those who can take a viable concept to the next level.

    Everyone has thoughts of improving the situation,the key is to replace thoughts with action. They might not all be silver bullets, however if there is a useful element that can be combined with other ideas then thats a bonus right there.

  3. If there is such a thing as attrition, give ex MPs,Shore Patrol and Air Police who have served in the middle east first consideration. They "may" have the experience to handle the streets of Flint, provided the police association doesn't have a clause preventing them from applying due to their "lack" of training. Civil Law - infractions and stuff like that. Ya know? I'm sure they would have knowledge of the proper use of the hardware that's required to solve the problems that arise and they would definitely have that certain type of attitude that's needed to solve those problems in a professional manner. semper fi.

  4. One more thing:

    Remember neighborhood crime watch? I grew up in Rollingwood and for a few years, groups of concerned citizens would get together a few nights a week with a thermos of coffee or hot chocolate & drive around the neighborhood reporting on suspicious activity by way of c.b.

    High gas prices have probably nipped that idea in the bud, however I must suggest that if people keep an eye on the area around them, well that might avert a crime. Use those cellphone cameras to catch criminals when you safely can.

    Just look out your front window for ten minutes a night. When the warmer temps arrive, sit on your porch for half an hour. Damn if everyone did that from time to time it just might have a positive effect by helping to fight nightly arson and other crimes.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.