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Linda_Owl's avatar

What could possibly go wrong with this scenario?

Asked by Linda_Owl (7712 points ) December 18th, 2012

A police chief in Paragould, Arkansas is planning on putting police officers in riot-gear & carrying assault rifles on the street in this small Arkansas town. It seems that the town has an increased ‘crime’ wave & his answer for this situation is to have the police patrol the streets at night & stop anyone that they find & demand to know the reason that the person is out after dark & to demand that the person present identification. He claims that the ‘crime’ statistics give him enough reason to do this.

http://www.copblock.org/tag/police-chief-todd-stovall/

(after all, what could possibly go wrong?)

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19 Answers

bookish1's avatar

Ugh.
Is this the same thing as martial law?
Is this constitutional?
Thanks for the link.
His definition of “probably cause” is deeply disturbing.

AmWiser's avatar

Sounds like shoot first, ask questions later. Kinda like that Florida incident.

zenvelo's avatar

What will happen is that the citizens lose respect for the town police who treat them as suspects. Plus the police will be stepping on everyone’s civil rights.

There is no requirement to show identification, and as long as the person cooperates and states who he is, there are no grounds for lawful arrest.

tom_g's avatar

I think you have a typo there. You said “Arkansas”, but you mean “North Korea.”

EDIT: Oops. Not a typo.

rojo's avatar

Time for a new police chief. And mayor and city council if they let him get away with this.

burntbonez's avatar

Time for us all to march on that town and fill it with so many people he can’t stop and frisk us all. What a dodo bird!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I would love to see and in-depth psych work-up on this police chief. What a freakin’ nutcase. He should get the Stalin Prize.

Symbeline's avatar

Wow that’s harsh…

Hey! What are you doing out here?!

I just went to buy some milk for-

Bababablamblamblam!!

Criminal bastard stole the milk, I just know it. The crime wave says so!

Yeah I’m being stupid, but it freaks me out about the justifications which would enable this potential law. :/ There are countries where they have similar things to this, and they’re much worse off than we are…

Bellatrix's avatar

Actually increased and more visible policing is likely to have a positive impact on the level of crime. It has a deterrent effect but it also increases the chance of police officers being able to predict where crime will occur. However, this prediction of crime element is where this police chief’s plan falls down. For police officers to predict the chance of crime, they have to be connecting with the community. This heavy handed, martial law type approach is more likely to create a ‘them’ and ‘us’ scenario between the police and innocent community members. Just as heavily armed police in riot gear might be a deterrent to criminals it will also pretty much kill the likelihood of ordinary citizens stopping for a chat about what’s happening at a grassroots level in their communities.

I barely ever see any police on our streets. I see them occasionally on the roads booking people for speeding or walking around in the city centre but that old fashioned, on the beat policing seems to be a very low priority where I live.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I went to the link and saw this; “According to statistics collected by city-data.com, Paragould has had a property crime index rating more than double the national average since 2007. Rapes, burglaries, thefts and assaults per capita are also well above the mean there, statistically suggesting Paragould is perhaps the least-safe among area cities.‘ll bet the crime goes way down.”

This sounds crazy but there is probably a back story.
I’ll bet there have been complaints that the police are not doing anything to stop it and this is the police chief’s response. I will also bet the crime rate goes way down. There will be fewer rapes, burglaries, and assaults.
I will also bet that any of last year’s rape victims wished he had started this program sooner.

jrpowell's avatar

It is only 25K people. I wonder how they plan on paying for this.

And if I lived there I would move right the fuck out. And The per capita income for the city was $18,076.. Per Capita for the United States is $41,560.

The city is also 97.87% white per wikipedia so you can’t blame the poverty or crime on minorities. They do have a Wal*Mart.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@johnpowell I’ll bet the people living there don’t have the funds to move out. With that income where will they go?

That type of policing isn’t sustainable. I wonder if there was some left-over funds in the overtime budget that needed to be used before the end of the year.

rojo's avatar

I wonder if there is any attempt to address, or even determine, the cause of the increase and not just issue this somewhat fascist policing policy as a knee-jerk response.

burntbonez's avatar

Poverty is often associated with higher levels of crime.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Is the high crime rate a spike? Can it be due to drug wars or Meth moving into the community?
In Rochester, they made a curfew for anyone under 18? 17? during school nights. I think it was from 11 pm to 6 AM. Supposedly it made a difference but I do not know.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I can tell none of you really live in a small midwestern town….this is so normal to me. My town has one stop light, one, and about 8 officers. Our police do pretty much anything they want, anytime they want.

And really, to us it’s not a big deal because most of the time country folks retire at about 9p-10p, you know, we have jobs, kids, dogs and livestock to take care of. Where are we going to go, everything in town closes early as well. So pretty much the only people out are the druggies…just keeping it real.

burntbonez's avatar

And the druggies clearly need cops all over them if it’s after 10 pm. You make the country sound miserable. Either you go bed early, or you are so desperate you do drugs, and then the cops make your life even more miserable.

jrpowell's avatar

@KNOWITALL :: I lived in a small town in Utah for a few months. Since I came from California people were constantly asking if I had drugs or knew where to get them.

The only thing to do there after 6pm was play Street Fighter 2 at the Frosty Freeze. The drug of choice for the locals was LSD and intercourse. One lasted a long time and the other made you fall asleep so you would forget you lived in a boring shithole.

My piont is that if you want the kids to ditch the drugs give them something to do. Basketball courts with lights in the evening, skatepark, a arcade that is open to 11pm… Anything. Drug use is usually a function of being bored.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@burntbonez It may sound miserable to you, darlin, but I chose to live there and we LOVE IT.

I can walk into the woods or ride 4 wheelers anytime I want. I know all my neighbors and during the ice storm we all pulled together to survive w/o electricity/ heat.

And if you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t have to worry about getting caught or the police. It’s like the Andy Griffith show 2013 version! :)

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