Why cops are standing down all across America

Why cops are standing down all across America, by Eugene O’Donnell.

American policing today is in a state of slow-motion collapse, struggling mightily to attract new officers — no matter how low standards are dropped.

Under sustained assault by the City Council, pundits and self-styled civil-liberties advocates, a new generation of New York City cops is being conditioned to avoid showdowns with civilians, especially where coercion or force is called for. We could have saved the costly investment in body cameras by explicitly telling the cops two words: “Do nothing.”

Officers who do more engagement than what is absolutely required have been threatened by HQ that they’ll find themselves on a list of “troublemakers.” Thousands have, or will soon, head for the exits, telling all within earshot to avoid police work as a career.

In many parts of the country, the police have gone to ground. …

In Chicago, the street cops’ ethos is “go fetal, stay fetal.” In Philadelphia, as murders soar, cops are the ones in prosecutors’ crosshairs. It is crystal clear what was long suspected: Costly Justice Department intervention in local police departments expedited the end of hands-on policing. …

Most serious crimes in New York go unsolved, as they do throughout the nation. …

The result of all this is that policing is hurtling to a whole new, uncharted and largely unchosen place.

Oh dear. It will spread throughout the West.