And that’s not a metaphor for police corruption; these are uniformed police officers “financially sponsored” by individual citizens or groups. In other words, rented:
A philanthropist or business could sponsor a police beat and put more off-duty cops on the streets under a plan being put forth by a downtown Chicago lawmaker on the City Council.
Alderman Brendan Reilly originally pitched the idea last October but is pushing it again following weekend incidents of teen mob activity on the Magnificent Mile, an upscale area of the city.
Under his plan, off-duty officers would work minimum six-hour shifts and make $30 an hour. The money would be paid by businesses, civic groups and churches at a time when city finances are stretched thin. The officers would be in full uniform and under the command of police supervisors.
“This is a way to make use of well-trained police officers who are moonlighting doing other things, bringing them back on the street to do what they do best, which is great police work,” Reilly said.
To say this is a bad idea would be to insult bad ideas. Moe Lane provides one answer to “what could go wrong?”
Those would be rented cops, and the difference will become clear the moment that somebody very important from one of those “businesses, civic groups and churches” happens to commit a trivial, surely-not-worth-mentioning, purely technical violation of the law.
Look at it another way: Order in a society such as ours depends on the law being applied equally — blindfolded Justice holding the scales, and such. And that includes the police serving all the public, because, in large part, all the public pays for the police. While we all know there are imperfections and exceptions, the acceptance that this is generally so is important to social order.
Alderman Reilly’s proposal, regardless of his protests otherwise, would break that perception. I don’t care how much anyone might say “they’re still Chicago police and they still enforce the law,” the fact is that their pay will come from individuals, not the public. As Alexander Hamilton said:
In the main it will be found that a power over a man’s support (salary) is a power over his will.
In other words, “You work for me.”
You can imagine what wonders this could work on a society based on the rule of law and its equal application.
That a loony idea such as this can even be floated is indicative of how far down the drain liberal, Blue-model governance has taken a once-great city like Chicago. (Detroit, on the other hand, is at the end of that drain…) The city’s finances are so strapped by out of control pension costs and greedy unions, as well as businesses fleeing high-tax Illinois, that they are having trouble paying for basic services such as police.
Is the next step RoboCop?
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)