Derek Thompson+ Your Authors @DKThomp Writer at @TheAtlantic. Host of podcast CRAZY/GENIUS. Author of book HIT MAKERS. Talker on NPR's @hereandnow and @CBSNews. derek[at]theatlantic[dot]com Jun. 11, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

The roles of warrior cop, traffic patroller, tax collector, mental health counselor, and frontline homeless worker are bound up in a way that guarantees a large number of violent encounters between armed police and civilians.

Unbundle the police. 

More than half of all police encounters in a given year involve Americans being pulled over in cars, crashing a car, or calling in a crash. Why bedeck traffic controllers with the cutting-edge weaponry of a paramilitary force?

Unbundle the police.

Many cities and counties, like St. Louis, have turned their armed police forces into tax collection units to “plug revenue gaps” in local treasuries. It leads to too many low-level arrests and violent encounters with the public.

Unbundle the police.

Up to 20% of all police encounters involve people showing signs of mental illness or alcoholism. Police serve as frontline workers for urban homelessness, even as—30 years after the crime wave peak—they're mostly trained to be warriors, not counselors.

Unbundle the police.

You can follow @DKThomp.


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