Unbundle the Police

Alex Tabarrok has an interesting proposal: “The responsibility for handing out speeding tickets and citations should be handled by a unarmed agency. Put the safety patrol in bright yellow cars and have them carry a bit of extra gasoline and jumper cables to help stranded motorists as part of their job–make road safety nice. . . . Similarly, the police have no expertise in dealing with the mentally ill or with the homeless–jobs like that should be farmed out to other agencies.” Sounds good to me. However, in many cases the traffic “cops” would have to call in the “real” cops for for cases involving people with arrest warrants and the like. Of course, a major problem here is that the drug war has turned traffic policing into a major source of abuse.


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