Nobody’s job should demand mortal risk from employees as a condition of employment. This is a widely shared principle in society. However, a problem arises! We are told by police administration, their representatives, civilian apologists, and the press, that policing putatively is to “serve and protect” the people from violence; the Fraternal Order of Police; and the press remind us constantly about the inherent dangers of policing, the risks and value to society and the role police play in keeping people safe. 

This is the crux of the “thin blue line” slogan: the police function to keep people safe, they say. What has been shown in the atrocity in Texas, in the supposed inaction of the armed state in preventing murderous violence, is clearly that the actual job of the police is precisely not to prevent violence, for they are part of the state’s monopoly of violence! 

The primary responsibility of individual officers is to prevent risk to themselves, to their department, and to maintain the ideology that the police serve the public good, generally. This is the role of consultants in contemporary policing; Oak Park relies on Lexipol and other ex-cop consultancy firms precisely to promote risk mitigation, not to promote public safety. 

The unraveled police lies that the press uncritically take as gospel (unraveled after serious grass roots community inquiry) and seeming inaction in Texas are standard operating procedure. Abolish the police and fund our children’s future.

Adam Paradis, Oak Park

Join the discussion on social media!