The main intellectual defense of maintaining a public police force is the Hobbesian “if we didn’t have them there would be no one to protect us from the brutal nature of man.” The problem is, in reality, public police do nothing of the sort. They exist for two reasons:
[Police] rarely, if ever, prevent a crime, contrary to all those phony-baloney cop shows on TV. What they do is show up after the crime has occurred, take down a report, and then use the report to document that crime is out of control but would not be if only we had more and better-paid cops. They are essentially crime historians. As Ron Paul once said, the reason you are safe in your home is not because the cops are riding around town but because of the Second Amendment.
The second function of the police is to collect taxes from us for parking too long while shopping, not wearing seat belts, etc. Every cop understands that he is a revenue-gathering machine, and that that revenue is necessary to pay his salary and perks.
There you have it. Glorified tax collectors and ex post facto “deep thinkers.” And keep in mind that they don’t hire people who are too smart. Think for yourself? Being a cop isn’t for you!
If protection of citizens is the reason police exist (it isn’t – see Warren v. D.C., in which it was ruled that citizens do not have a right to be protected by police), they are doing a terrible job. How do I know? Because private security is growing exponentially – for banks, stores, apartment complexes, etc. Private security makes the police superfluous, and shows them for the racket that they are.