All things to all people

Reflecting on the Rodney King anniversary, this essay offers a balanced perspective on police problems and solutions, noting that “Fundamentally, we want officers of the law to be three things: warriors, community workers, and sleuths.” A challenge is knowing when to wear which hat, with volatile consequences in the era of cell-phone transparency. The author warns against mission creep, arguing that we should refrain from using police “as petty tax collectors, or as a go-to source of manpower for public projects.”

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