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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Call the Anti-Police: Ending the State's "Security" Monopoly

|"How would things be different,” muses Dale Brown of the Detroit-based Threat Management Center, “if police officers were given financial rewards and commendations for resolving dangerous situations peacefully, rather than for using force in situations where it’s neither justified nor effective?”

Brown’s approach to public safety is “precisely the opposite of what police are trained and expected to do,” says the 44-year-old entrepreneur.  The TMC eschews the “prosecutorial philosophy of applied violence” and the officer safety uber alles mindset that characterize government law enforcement agencies. This is because his very successful private security company has an entirely different mission – the protection of persons and property, rather than enforcing the will of the political class.  Those contrasting approaches are displayed to great advantage in proto-dystopian Detroit.

“We’ve been hired by three of the most upscale neighborhoods in Detroit to provide 24/7 security services,” Brown proudly informed me during a telephone interview. “People who are well-off are very willing to pay for Lamborghini-quality security services, which means that our profit margin allows us to provide free services to people who are poor, threatened, and desperate for the kind of help the police won’t provide.”

“Unlike the police, we don’t respond after a crime has been committed to conduct an investigation and – some of the time, at least – arrest a suspect,” Brown elaborates. “Our approach is based on deterrence and prevention. Where prevention fails, our personnel are trained in a variety of skills – both psychological and physical – to dominate aggressors without killing them.”

Police typically define their role in terms of what they are permitted to do to people, rather than what they are required to do for them. Brown's organization does exactly the reverse, even when dealing with suspected criminals.

To illustrate, Brown refers to an incident from a security patrol in which he encountered a black teenager “who was walking in a neighborhood at about 3:00 a.m. dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt, doing what is sometimes called `the drift’ – it was pretty clear he was up to something.”

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