Law Enforcement Out of Control?
Federal Law Enforcement organizations:
U.S. Dept. of Justice
U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division
U.S. Immigration and Customs
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CBP Office of Field Operations
U.S. Border Patrol
Bureau of Prisons
U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Bureau of Diplomatic Security
Financial Crimes Enforcement
Dept. of Defense Police
U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs Police
Air Force Office of Special Investigations
Bureau of Industry and Security
Office of Export Enforcement
Federal Reserve Police
Supreme Court Police
Pentagon Force Protection Agency
Bureau of Indian Affairs Police
Hoover Dam Police
U.S. Treasury Police
Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs
National Nuclear Security Administration
It takes several breaths to recite the whole incredible list, and I’m sure I left a few out.
Add to all this the thousands of state and local police agencies nationwide. In my home state of North Carolina, for example, all 100 counties have individual sheriff’s departments with deputies, all cities of any size have their own police departments, we have a statewide agency called the N.C. Law Enforcement Division, and of course we have a N.C. Highway Patrol. All other states have similar multi-tentacled law enforcement structures. And in case there’s not enough exiting law enforcement the National Guard can always be called in anywhere on special occasions.
As an example of just how ridiculous law enforcement in America can get, for the 2019 Superbowl in the Atlanta Mercedes Benz Stadium 50 different agencies were involved in security. Fifty. For a football game. Does anybody besides me question how that could possibly have been an effective, efficient, and economical application of law enforcement?
With such a mammoth collective law enforcing structure permeating every aspect and level of our society, why do we still have so much higher per capita crime rates, so many more murders, so many more gang and drug related crimes and ODs compared with, say, the Scandinavian countries where they manage to get along with far shorter lists of law enforcement agencies? When I was in Chile, for another example, I was impressed with their efficient nationwide Carabinieri, who seem to do just fine handling everything from protecting their national leaders to local infractions.
In considering American law enforcement and our sprawling government with its myriad agencies and our vast and expensive global military complex, is there a point when we should maybe ask when does enough become far too much?
This difficult year has exposed major cracks in our system of government on several levels and also in our society. We can learn from this and work to improve ourselves, or we can watch the cracks become irreparable fractures.