Do police chiefs just enforce the law? At the Capitol, they write it (The Sacramento Bee)
Sunday August 25th, 2013
Law enforcement has long relied on the cliché "we don't make the laws, we just enforce them" when called to task for their role in enforcing unjust laws. For many years this was the case, but in the last two decades the increased lobbying of law enforcement organizations – some motivated by considerations other than upholding the law or improving public safety – has undermined the role of police professionals by making them just one more special interest group.
Lobbying by law enforcement organizations is big business. It has contributed to the policy of mass incarceration as well as misprioritized law enforcement resources that emphasize the prosecution of drug offenses over violent crime. This lobbying has diverted critical fiscal resources from competing governmental services like education, health care and public infrastructure. All this has been done under leaders who are not working as stakeholders and collaborative partners with the voters, but simply protecting their own self interests.