Thursday, 5 July 2007

Edmonton Police Hummer

photo by "one42chrisp" on flickr: used with permission

Maybe it's something to do with being in the centre of the oil patch. It seems to me that the EPS is being particularly insensitive with its choice of recruiting vehicle. Of course, the cops have always used the idea of the excitement of the job and its macho equipment to bring in young men.

On the whole though I do not think those are the sort of people we want or need as police officers. There have been far too many stories lately about the new rookies going overboard - from the shooting dead of guy in a police station detained because he had an open can of beer in public, to the pepper spraying of a baby - and a first nations baby at that!

Most police forces now actively discourage hot pursuits. They are dangerous enough in themsleves, but the clincher for many forces was the number of questionable shootings that followed hot pursuits. The adrenaline rush of the high speed chase meant the officer was so "pumped up" that he literally cannot see or think straight. (source: "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" Malcolm Gladwell 2005)

The people who think that it is "neat" to drive a huge vehicle designed for armed combat in rough terrain through city streets are not my first choice for community policing, thank you very much. The most progressive and effective police mobility move made in recent years was putting them back on bikes - and I don't mean those big fat hogs either.

And, by the way, did you notice that they parked it in a space reserved for people with disabilities?

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