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Sick of Your Local Police Force? Crowdfund Your Own

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the people-police dept.

The Almighty Buck 330

Nerval's Lobster writes "A subset of Oakland, California residents have decided to crowd-fund a set of private security patrols, via a trio of campaigns on a crowdfunding Website named Crowdtilt. The three patrols, if adequately funded, will cover Lower Rockridge North/West, Lower Rockridge South/West, and Lower Rockridge 'including part of the Uplands.' Each campaign has a different (Facebook verified, apparently) sponsor, and wants between $20,000 and $25,000 to make the dream of private patrols a reality. Unlike Kickstarter, the Crowdtilt campaigns don't feature fabulous prizes for contributing; gifting $100, for example, won't entitle you to 'One (1) free "accidental" shooting of your choice.' That aside, dozens of residents have contributed cash to the loosely allied projects. 'What occurred last week at the Casual Carpool has ignited our neighborhood to act,' reads one of the campaign descriptions, referring to the broad-daylight stickup of commuters waiting in a carpool line on Oakland's Hudson Street. 'While the city and the police are doing what they can, we feel it's time for us as a community to begin exploring a wide range of ideas and taking some action on our own.' All three crowdfunding pages want to hire VMA Security Group for a four-month trial period through February 2014, possibly followed by a continuing contract if everything works out. That security company already patrols the Rockridge commercial district during the holiday season, and protects a number of Oakland businesses and households. While the VMA Security Group's officers are certified to carry firearms, one of the crowdfunding pages plans to ask any of them assigned to the neighborhood to remain unarmed 'unless they feel they cannot accomplish their duties otherwise.' Upscale neighborhoods pay for private security all the time, of course. The question is whether crowdfunding — better known for financing things such as games and indie movies, at this point — could catch on as a way of funding residential projects."

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unnamed? Won't that be hard? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45062659)

Where do you find unamed people? I doubt very small babies would make good security folks.

Re:unnamed? Won't that be hard? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45063393)

You too can be the next George Zimmerman! Apply today!

Rent-a-Cop (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062673)

HOAs spunk loads of money on them, and they're effectively useless with no powers and don't get involved with anything remotely law related. All they do is call the real police, the ones that we are already paying for with our property taxes.

Re:Rent-a-Cop (4, Insightful)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#45062921)

Hanging around neighborhoods deterring bad guys is boring, doesn't make good numbers on the conviction rate and brings in no cash. Far better to wait at the bottom of the hill near that partially obscured speed limit sign with a radar gun.

Re:Rent-a-Cop (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45062973)

Yet in my nice suburb the cops ride around a nice pattern all day. Crime is low, they are ready to respond at all hours and always helpful. This is why I smile when I pay my property taxes. No need for them to try to bring in more cash.

Re:Rent-a-Cop (4, Funny)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#45063105)

In my neighborhood we have great police coverage, especially at night. One officer keeps making repeated rounds past his ex-wife's house all night long.

Re:Rent-a-Cop (2)

xaxa (988988) | about a year ago | (#45063271)

If I see police walking round this bit of London I wonder what's happened. This is a nice bit, there shouldn't be any street crime! I don't see the police in the same places, so I think they're good at patrolling everywhere rather than a fixed route.

(We have a map of crime rates in different areas of London: http://maps.met.police.uk/ [police.uk] )

Re:Rent-a-Cop (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#45063083)

Good grief. Three crowd-funded sites, each raising $25,000, would be able to hire a whopping total of **ONE** security guard, and a poorly-paid one at that. If they could go hire someone directly they could get two or three poorly-paid security guards, but by going through an agency they're guaranteeing that they won't.

Re:Rent-a-Cop (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about a year ago | (#45063245)

I don't know about that... around here, "rent-a-cop" is truth in advertising because they hire actual police officers from the same jurisdiction. I think they have pretty much the same equipment and arrest powers as they do when they're on duty for the city.

Re:Rent-a-Cop (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#45063331)

All they do is call the real police, the ones that we are already paying for with our property taxes.

It seems like a better solution would be to make the real police answerable to the will of the people. Perhaps these neighborhoods should focus on fixing their political processes rather than building a parallel police dept.

Last October my neighbor invited both our city councilwoman, and her opponent, to a neighborhood meeting at his house. About 80 people showed up. We grilled both of them on what they were going to do about recent burglaries. The result was the councilwoman was re-elected and we got a specific cop assigned to our area. He is "our cop" and works with our neighborhood watch group, personally follows up every crime report, and attends our periodic neighborhood BBQs to give pointers on crime prevention. If you pay taxes, the police work for you, and you (collectively) have the power to make them do their jobs.

Re:Rent-a-Cop (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about a year ago | (#45063377)

The neighborhood beside mine has historically had a lot higher crime rate due to it being close to a major road (criminals like to be able to get in/out quickly) and as a result they have hired private security. The security guys are licensed to carry guns and do at all times. The police like it because the private guys take care of the bulk of the issues in the neighborhood and only call the police if an arrest needs to be made. The residents like it because if they need help the security guys are typically only a few minutes away. You might find them useless but not everybody does.

OAKLAND !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062677)

Nuf said !!

Re:OAKLAND !! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#45063277)

This was in the news months ago and IIRC hotly debated on /. back then, too. Going to look for the link....

Isn't government supposed to be doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062681)

If people cannot do this on their own and government is supposed to be the answer, then why does this condition exist?

Re:Isn't government supposed to be doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062853)

Gov't forces are too busy writing tickets to build revenue.

Re:Isn't government supposed to be doing this? (0)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#45063125)

Because some moron running for office promised to lower taxes, so now there's no money for adequate policing.

Re:Isn't government supposed to be doing this? (0)

DaHat (247651) | about a year ago | (#45063149)

No money for police, but still seemingly money for just about everything else, odd that eh?

Ahh the Washington Monument Syndrome at work, something we are seeing plenty of in DC today... money being spent to keep people from open air monuments.

liability (5, Interesting)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about a year ago | (#45062695)

If they were to convince me to donate, I'd have to know that I was indemnified against any blowback from their actions. It sound's ripe for enforcement scandal. All in all I think I'd rather contribute more to the local police and work to get them up to scratch if they are lacking in some way.

Re:liability (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#45062815)

Yeah, paying armed people to possibly shoot someone could easily be construed to be soliciting criminal activity.

Re:liability (5, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | about a year ago | (#45063259)

But usually it's just called paying your taxes.

Can they fire the Oakland Police too? (2)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about a year ago | (#45062697)

Sounds like a beautiful idea, but these poor people are being placed in a position where they are forced to pay for ineffective police (at gunpoint no less) while volunteering to pay for their own police who will be held accountable for their action AND inaction.

I wonder of the private cops work for Bitcon?

If only there were some mechanism (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062699)

If only there were some mechanism where a large portion of the population could give some money to people to provide law enforcement services to a community before the Internet was invented.

Re:If only there were some mechanism (1)

JeffAtl (1737988) | about a year ago | (#45063081)

It's a misconception that the police provide protection against crime. Very few police departments conduct useful patrols that would protect against home invasions or muggings.

Instead, police patrols tend to focus almost exclusively on traffic violations as it is a source of revenue and is more fun.

Re:If only there were some mechanism (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45063147)

Because they can't run their dept without that revenue. My town/suburb has great patrols. I smile when I pay my property taxes. Remember this next time some politician says he will lower your taxes.

Re:If only there were some mechanism (1, Flamebait)

JeffAtl (1737988) | about a year ago | (#45063203)

Because they can't run their dept without that revenue.

Sure they can - they've just got addicted to shiny new toys. Why does every small town police department think it needs an armored personnel carrier?

The police should not be in the revenue business as it is a moral hazard.

Re:If only there were some mechanism (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45063267)

Mine does not have one.
Doing that would require people willing to pay property taxes. When you tell the police to go find their own income, they will.

Re:If only there were some mechanism (1)

DaHat (247651) | about a year ago | (#45063179)

More so, the police have no duty to preventatively protect you from crime.

Have a restraining order against your abusive ex and see them standing outside your house? Go ahead and call the police, IF they come, chances are it won't be until after the ex has had more than an ample chance to do something and leave.

Re:If only there were some mechanism (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#45063385)

Traffic violations and drugs. Drugs are great, because they lead to asset seizures.

Mercs for hire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062707)

You are funding the security industrial complex, Their will go out and shoot kids for fun

I believe that . . . (4, Insightful)

bogidu (300637) | about a year ago | (#45062709)

this is how police forces were initially created in this country anyway.

Re:I believe that . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45063021)

Cities are corporations, ("incorporated") and city police are simply employees of that corporation.

County Sherifs and State Police forces are actually different from City police in that regard. Their legal authority derives from different places.

Once upon a time, a city policeman was no different than an HOA security guard. An HOA is just another corporation.

Re:I believe that . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45063153)

I was once in a dive bar and overheard a conversation that left me wondering, so I'm looking for some clarification. The gist of the conversation was that "city police enforce the law" while "the sheriff is the law." Which brings up the question, what 's the difference?

Any truth to this, or is this just an old legend circulating among the troublemakers?

Re:I believe that . . . (2)

necro81 (917438) | about a year ago | (#45063229)

Yes, but now they are widely accepted as a necessary public good. If the present police force is not up to the task, the solution isn't for everyone to start hiring their own private guards, but rather to force the local government and police force to do better. If that means that it raises taxes on some or all, then so be it.

It used to be that most roads were toll roads, too, in some cases solely in private hands. Is the solution to poorly maintained roads for everyone to start laying their own pavement? No: public infrastructure (including social infrastructure like the police, and schools, etc.) should be publicly funded, publicly accountable, and available to all. I know it doesn't always work out so equitably, but that is what we should be striving for.

Re:I believe that . . . (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#45063285)

Yes, but now they are widely accepted as a necessary public good. If the present police force is not up to the task, the solution isn't for everyone to start hiring their own private guards, but rather to force the local government and police force to do better. If that means that it raises taxes on some or all, then so be it.

And how are you going to "force them" to do better? The ballot box isn't working, in part because towns and cities have become too big. The solution most people have come up with is private communities with their own rules and their own security, and it seems like a pretty good solution to me.

It used to be that most roads were toll roads, too, in some cases solely in private hands. Is the solution to poorly maintained roads for everyone to start laying their own pavement? No

No, but privately owned and maintained toll roads seem like a pretty good idea to me.

Unnamed (1)

nharmon (97591) | about a year ago | (#45062715)

While the VMA Security Group's officers are certified to carry firearms, one of the crowdfunding pages plans to ask any of them assigned to the neighborhood to remain unnamed 'unless they feel they cannot accomplish their duties otherwise.'

You can not violate my constitutional right to be named.

Re:Unnamed (0)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#45063029)

Which of your constitutional rights am I violating by asking you to remain unarmed unless you feel you need to be?

Taco Bells asks their employees not to be armed a little more strongly, I suspect. They're doing OK on the human rights violations front.

Re:Unnamed (2)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#45063169)

No, Taco Bell employees have name tags with their first name on it. We want to stay unnamed.

This already caught on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062721)

It's called "Taxes".

Re:This already caught on. (1)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#45063045)

If they are only trying to raise a few tens of thousands, I imagine wanting to do it the budget way is high on their priority list. Private police can be pretty inexpensive since much of the actual work is just offloaded onto the local police force anyway.

Re:This already caught on. (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#45063367)

1 unarmed security guard @ $20/hr = ~$40,000/year + benefits that can cost another $15,000 + whatever the company charges for markup. That's one guy, 40 hours a week, evenings and weekends cost extra.

An armed guard will cost considerably more.

The Sheriff is near! (3, Funny)

captjc (453680) | about a year ago | (#45062735)

Rockridge? I saw this movie, it involves an incompetent, corrupt governor, and a black sheriff. I also suspect it will end with a giant pie fight in the Warner Brothers studio commissary.

Re:The Sheriff is near! (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about a year ago | (#45062845)

I don't remember a pie fight in Kuffs [imdb.com] , Christian Slater's finest film.

Re:The Sheriff is near! (2)

cruff (171569) | about a year ago | (#45063057)

I always used to think the governor's name was Le Ptomaine, as in the bacterial poison. I found out this weekend that it was in reality Lepetomane, from the French "Le Pétomane" (fart maniac), which means "flatulist", "farteur", or "fartiste" according to the Wikipedia article.

Re:The Sheriff is near! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#45063189)

Rockridge? I saw this movie, it involves an incompetent, corrupt governor, and a black sheriff. I also suspect it will end with a giant pie fight in the Warner Brothers studio commissary.

Sounds like a documentary of Los Angeles police force, circa 2001

Re:The Sheriff is near! (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#45063223)

Maybe they could hire Mongo, just send him a candygram once in a while and he'd be happy.

This would never fly in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062737)

This would never fly in America... oh wait.

Isn't there already something like this-Taxes (4, Insightful)

duckgod (2664193) | about a year ago | (#45062745)

This is the explicit purpose of taxes. When the majority of people say that society would benefit from everyone chipping in to a cause. What is this world coming to when people resort to a website called "Crowdtilt" as a replacement for government?

Re:Isn't there already something like this-Taxes (1, Insightful)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about a year ago | (#45062829)

What is this world coming to when people resort to a website called "Crowdtilt" as a replacement for government?

Civilization.

Re:Isn't there already something like this-Taxes (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45062917)

I think you mean the opposite.

Civilization is what it would be if we had taxes used for a productive police force.

Re:Isn't there already something like this-Taxes (1)

notanalien_justgreen (2596219) | about a year ago | (#45062833)

Bbbbbbut taxes take away freeeeeeeeeedom!

Re:Isn't there already something like this-Taxes (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#45062889)

Bbbbbbut taxes take away freeeeeeeeeedom!

We're talking about Oakland, CA.

The generic loss of freedom is pretty much a given at this point.

Re:Isn't there already something like this-Taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062963)

Obamacare is socialism and hur dur death panels!

Re:Isn't there already something like this-Taxes (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#45062841)

Actually, it's far from the explicit purpose of taxes. What these Oakland residents are saying is that the force paid for by their taxes is not providing them with the protection they are requesting. However, what municipal taxes fund is a sticky subject from place to place. At the municipal level, taxes largely pay for local infrastructure such as water utilities, city parks, fire departments, and yes, police departments. But this was not always so, and in the days of the US's founding, the idea of a professional police force was unheard of. When you boil it down to results, I'm less and less convinced that we need even half of the so-called "services" provided by professional law enforcement. Particularly in their heavily-militarized state.

Exactly! It's also an escape from taxes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062867)

Think about it, vote down as many levies as you like for the city as a whole, doesn't matter one bit so long as you and your neighbors have armed thugs patrolling your neighborhood.

Re:Exactly! It's also an escape from taxes. (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#45062929)

Think about it, vote down as many levies as you like for the city as a whole, doesn't matter one bit so long as you and your neighbors have armed thugs patrolling your neighborhood.

What's the difference between an armed neighborhood watchman, and an armed police officer? Beside the tin star and $30K/yr salary, anyway.

The answer, sadly, is that the armed watchman can and will be held accountable for his actions, whereas the police officer can murder your neighbor in cold blood, get two weeks paid vacation, then be found to be free from wrongdoing and back out on the streets, still armed.

Given the options, I'll take the armed neighbor any day of the week.

Re:Exactly! It's also an escape from taxes. (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45063033)

Also, government police benefit from increasing crime, because they can demand more money and power. Private police benefit from decreasing crime, because otherwise they'll be dumped and replaced by another company.

Re:Exactly! It's also an escape from taxes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45063291)

whereas the police officer can murder your neighbor in cold blood, get two weeks paid vacation, then be found to be free from wrongdoing and back out on the streets, still armed.

I fucking hate my neighbors, they're all total and utter cunts.

Where do I sign up?

Can and will be held accountable? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45063297)

I can't help but think of the Zimmerman case. Not that I want to start into that horrendous argument, but isn't this how Zimmerman saw himself? Regardless of whether you think Martin was in the wrong or Zimmerman, there are a hell of a lot more questions than there would have been with the average cop.

Re:Exactly! It's also an escape from taxes. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45062951)

You too can live in a third world hell hole if you try!

Instead of providing for the common good you can have you own police to keep the poors out.

Re:Isn't there already something like this-Taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062899)

I'd agree with you if there were anything resembling accountability and transparent within the services our taxes provide. You might as well consider that money thrown away.

Re:Isn't there already something like this-Taxes (1)

MondoGordo (2277808) | about a year ago | (#45062931)

It simply illustrates that some people are starting to understand what many of us already know ... our democracy is broken and we can't trust it to fulfill it's basic functions anymore. The next step is to jump on the anti-government bandwagon and acknowledge that our government is abusive and we're one small step short of an oppressive police state.

And yes, Texas is very much like this ....

Re:Isn't there already something like this-Taxes (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | about a year ago | (#45063009)

This is basically just a paid cops program. Which is not a horrible idea. Paying minimum wage to people who might otherwise be committing crimes doesn't seem like a bad idea.
A private police force it is not, however.

Re:Isn't there already something like this-Taxes (1)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#45063113)

Meh, this is a replacement for government in the same way a 'go faster stripes' paint job is a replacement for an engine. At the rates they are talking, they are unlikely to get that much coverage or people on the ground, and the police force still has to do the actual work. So what they are paying for is someone to take their panic away. And while government my pander to people's fear, it generally has to actually still do basic services with all the trade offs those entail.

gift is not a verb (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062759)

Give is not a verb. "Give" is the verb you are looking for.

Re:gift is not a verb (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062809)

When being a grammar pedant, it's important to be correct. You are not [merriam-webster.com] . (keep scrolling, it's the second definition, a transitive verb).

Re:gift is not a verb (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#45063347)

Merriam-Webster is not an English dictionary. It's a random mish-mash of colonial argot.

Electronic toilet paper.

Re:gift is not a verb (2)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#45062821)

Wut?

Bad Idea (1)

neoritter (3021561) | about a year ago | (#45062765)

Sounds like a protection racket to me.

Re:Bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062941)

Sounds like a protection racket to me.

I think you're confusing them with government police.

Re:Bad Idea (2)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about a year ago | (#45063155)

If you don't pay the guards, they stop showing up. If you don't pay the cops you go to jail, have liens placed against your property, and have your wages garnished.

OCP (4, Funny)

Deathlizard (115856) | about a year ago | (#45062779)

Are They calling it Oakland Community Police?

Does RoboCop work for them?

Sitting ducks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062791)

While the VMA Security Group’s officers are certified to carry firearms, one of the crowdfunding pages plans to ask any of them assigned to the neighborhood to remain unnamed “unless they feel they cannot accomplish their duties otherwise.”

Give the crooks more people to shoot at.

Re:Sitting ducks (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#45063361)

If you're a resident that's good, no? It dilutes (if that's the right term) the chance of them shooting at you.

2nd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45062839)

A well formed militia?

Mercenaries (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#45062937)

It would be a militia if they did it themselves, this is simply hiring mercenaries to do their work for them.

Changing culture (3, Interesting)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#45062895)

What's the point of this? The local culture isn't going to be changed, and your going to have the same culture clash with the new police department as the old. Cops enforce the law? Residents get pissed about getting arrested. Cops don't enforce the law? Residents get pissed about crime.

This says nothing of the fact that the "new" police would have to work with the "old" police on a daily basis. This is a neighborhood where snitches are murdered and the murder is celebrated. How on earth is a new police department going to fix this?

Re:Changing culture (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45062981)

What's the point of this? The local culture isn't going to be changed, and your going to have the same culture clash with the new police department as the old. Cops enforce the law? Residents get pissed about getting arrested. Cops don't enforce the law? Residents get pissed about crime.

For one thing, they'll presumably be enforcing the laws they're paid to enforce, and not the laws local people don't care about. So more likely to be patrolling to discourage burglars and muggers than sitting at the side of the road with a donut and a radar gun.

Re:Changing culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45063143)

I seriously doubt, in the culture GP described, that unaffiliated burglaries and muggers aren't already being "policed" by the existing criminal element. The new police aren't going to do any better without a culture shift in the community. Any attempts to stop the affiliated burglaries and muggers will result in retaliation from the people who are actually in charge of Oakland.

Re:Changing culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45063219)

donut and a radar gun

LOL

What, no plastic shopping bag ban enforcement? People not getting busted for driving and talking on a cell phone? What will we do??

What's the point of this?

People are just trying to hang on. Their neighborhoods are surrounded by welfare state bred cretins thieving and vandalizing and the residents want to make their persons and property less appealing to the consequences of the 'local culture,' as you call it.

If they haven't already the media, led by Sharpton and MSNBC, will condemn this as 'racist' and shame these people into abandoning their plan. So, nothing to worry about; move along.

Re:Changing culture (2)

xaxa (988988) | about a year ago | (#45063387)

For one thing, they'll presumably be enforcing the laws they're paid to enforce, and not the laws local people don't care about. So more likely to be patrolling to discourage burglars and muggers than sitting at the side of the road with a donut and a radar gun.

Many people have made a similar point.

Why don't they either
a) increase the penalty for speeding, to reduce the rate of offending
b) Increase speed limits, if that's really what people want
c) Install speed cameras at high-risk locations

In America I think you have elected police chiefs, so I'd expect some of this to be easy.

Re:Changing culture (1)

techprophet (1281752) | about a year ago | (#45063107)

I'm curious what laws are in place that would result in the 'Residents' getting pissed about getting arrested. Drug laws? Or are you trying to insinuate that some not-insignificant segment of the given population is involved in muggings?

Re:Changing culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45063243)

In general, the mostly victimless crimes, speeding, drug use, various traffic violations (I understand many of those can have victims, but in general it's not usually a problem when someone is doing 60 in a 55, or turns on red when they shouldn't, or smokes pot on the sidewalk). Most people would rather their cops patrol, looking for violent crimes, and in general giving out no tickets and making no arrests. Patroling looking for violent crime doesn't generate the income that speeding tickets generate, so from a financial and tax POV, it looks like the cops are doing nothing when they just patrol for stuff.

Re:Changing culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45063351)

Gee, why don't you ask the Chicago police how it feels to arrest a 9-year-old for armed robbery a few days after having arrested him for carjacking.

The word is 'niggers'.

Anyway, the only way these private police would be any more effective than the public police is if they would start to violate the civil rights of the niggers, by questioning and arresting them proportionately to their complicity in crimes rather than proportionately to their population. Something tells me they're just going to forward the niggers they catch to the public courts, where liberals will show off how enlightened they are by advocating for their release.

Anyway, if it works, Oakland will become habitable for human civilization again, and property values will go up. Niggers need crime to keep their control over otherwise-desirable areas.

Legal Advice? (1)

sqorbit (3387991) | about a year ago | (#45062947)

More great legal advice from slashdot? Are we going to have a bunch of investment advice soon?

Re:Legal Advice? (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45063011)

Don't worry some nutter will be along to try to sell you his gold real soon. I smile every time the price goes down.

Oh, the irony... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about a year ago | (#45062955)

I'd be willing to bet that many, if not most, of those funding this have backed reduced taxes and the subsequent reduction of the police force.

Pro Tip: (2)

cookYourDog (3030961) | about a year ago | (#45062961)

Leave Oakland.

I don't care how attached I may feel to a location, the safety of my family is my number one priority.

Re:Pro Tip: (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#45063123)

Probably the smart choice.

The inmates run the asylum there.

It's generally my opinion that anywhere that generates more than a couple of shaky cell-phone videos worth showing on WorldStar is worth never, ever, going to under any circumstances.

Re:Pro Tip: (2)

Known Nutter (988758) | about a year ago | (#45063201)

Leave Oakland. I don't care how attached I may feel to a location, the safety of my family is my number one priority.

The poverty level in some of the worst areas of East Oakland exceeds 35% - those people aren't going anywhere. Sorry, but in the real world problems like this don't have the simple solution you have put forward.

If you could afford to leave East Oakland, you very likely wouldn't be there in the first place. Accordingly, I don't see how crowd-funding private security would work. TFS mentions the Rockridge neighborhood in Oakland which enjoys the lowest crime rates (and lowest poverty rate) in all of Oakland. This project, while accomplishing very little to begin with, will not provide these services to the worst areas of Oakland -- where help of some kind is needed most.

Re:Pro Tip: (1)

jittles (1613415) | about a year ago | (#45063307)

Leave Oakland. I don't care how attached I may feel to a location, the safety of my family is my number one priority.

The poverty level in some of the worst areas of East Oakland exceeds 35% - those people aren't going anywhere. Sorry, but in the real world problems like this don't have the simple solution you have put forward.

If you could afford to leave East Oakland, you very likely wouldn't be there in the first place. Accordingly, I don't see how crowd-funding private security would work. TFS mentions the Rockridge neighborhood in Oakland which enjoys the lowest crime rates (and lowest poverty rate) in all of Oakland. This project, while accomplishing very little to begin with, will not provide these services to the worst areas of Oakland -- where help of some kind is needed most.

It could, potentially, free up law enforcement resources to help with the worst parts of Oakland though. That still does not address the poverty issues, however.

Exactly how government gets formed (5, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#45063069)

What you are seeing here is the birth of a government. First it's law enforcement, paid for by voluntary contributions. Then maybe some additional services - upgraded fire or rescue. Then it gets big enough that someone has to start working full time to manage it. If everyone decides (as often happens) that the people organizing this shouldn't be profiting, they all agree to take turns. Of course, this becomes cumbersome and they really find they need more continuity so the community chooses 3-4 people who will manage it, and they change those people every couple of years to each person doesn't get burned out. Then after a couple years the revenue starts flagging, and they realize that they're going to have to reimburse the organizers, and have to find a way to make sure everyone is contributing. So they form a local organization which includes everyone getting services and they agree on a way to split the costs equitably so everyone gets a bill. Most places choose the split by land area or value. Soon enough they realize that with everybody paying, they can get better garbage service, and maybe even reform the schools if everyone kicks in a little more.

And then one street decides that they aren't really getting enough service, so they take up a collection for a private security firm to supplement the (now official) police...

San Francisco Patrol Special Police? (2)

swb (14022) | about a year ago | (#45063077)

This Slashdot story reminded me of an awful Christian Slater movie, "Kuffs" which used the San Francisco Patrol Special Police as its plot device. As it turns out, that organization is real (couldn't Google it in 1992 when the movie came out).

This sounds a lot like what they want in Oakland.

this is why Americans have the right to bear arms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45063093)

so we can be our own police and defend ourselves and our families.

we need to promote more decentralization.

if you are unwilling or unable to defend yourself with a weapon, then it makes sense for you and those like you to pitch in for hired private security.

Re:this is why Americans have the right to bear ar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45063363)

One solution would to stamp out every man, woman and child a Sten gun [wikipedia.org] . Unit Cost was ~$10 in 1942. So little under $150 today assuming the inflation calculator I found was correct and we experienced no change in production capabilities.

I grew up on the edge of those neighborhoods (5, Interesting)

bennomatic (691188) | about a year ago | (#45063131)

If I threw a rock hard enough, I would have hit the Uplands. That neighborhood is CRAZY. Trick or treating there as a kid was a good way to work off the calories from all the candy, as you had to go up so many steps the sugar was a wash. Many of the homes there have coats of arms over the doors. They are wealthy, wealthy, wealthy. I've seen houses in my old neighborhood which is a ghetto in comparison selling for well over $1M, so these places are easily in the tens of millions.

Of course they're getting private security. The Oakland police are so busy that if you're reporting a crime that is not CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS, they'll mail you a report form. You never even see an officer if your car or house is broken into.

Meanwhile, half a mile away, on Telegraph Ave, Berkeley has about the highest concentration of mentally ill homeless people in the nation, perhaps outside of Manhattan. But heaven forbid someone gets their big screen TV stolen.

The name for such crowdfunding: "Government" (1)

DutchUncle (826473) | about a year ago | (#45063133)

You know, it would make a good movie for the security company to have staged the original stickup in order to convince everyone just how much they need a security company . . .

Re:The name for such crowdfunding: "Government" (0)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about a year ago | (#45063283)

The name for such crowdfunding: "Government"

No, "government" is the name for when you're forced to pay for things your neighbors want whether you agree or not. Crowdfunding is when you and your neighbors cooperate voluntarily to fund things you both want. Similar results, completely different methods. One approach is ethical; the other, not so much.

Well of course not (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#45063207)

gifting $100, for example, won't entitle you to 'One (1) free "accidental" shooting of your choice.'

Was anyone expecting this? I mean it's not like it's Florida...

Going Old School (5, Insightful)

tranquilidad (1994300) | about a year ago | (#45063249)

This is how policing and fire fighting started to begin with. Neighbors would band together and volunteer to patrol the streets to prevent crime. Some rural areas still use an emergency siren to summon the area's volunteer fire fighting force; first one to the station drives the truck.

At some point we decided we wanted a dedicated force so we banded together and started paying the police and fire fighters as professionals. But they were still our neighbors and friends and part of the community.

When our communities became too large for everyone to know one another and our local management organization, the government, became too large to care we ended up in the situation we have today of us and them. There are people who really believe the government "gives" us protection in the form of police officers and fire fighters. Those who believe this forget that we banded together to create those institutions to serve us and save us the trouble of having to volunteer ourselves.

Once the government became a foundational institution we just assumed that "they" had the responsibility to protect "us", we accepted that unions were formed to negotiate with "us" and we assume that we're prohibited from protecting ourselves.

The professionalization of the police and fire fighting organizations are what allowed huge parts of the population to justify their abdication of personal responsibility.

I can't argue against that professionalization because of the efficiencies it should deliver. I can, however, argue that community policing is sorely needed in many parts of this country. Any profession, unionized or not, is going to fight against competition.

We need to remind "them" that we didn't give them a monopoly on protecting us and we certainly didn't abdicate our own right of self protection and preservation.

Sick of the cops who violated your rights? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#45063379)

Name names, addresses, shoot videos, publish, present,
put to shame. Fight back, for god's sake.

In short, make it personal. Angst sometimes is a great
emotion to change things for the better in a (local) society.

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