A Modest Proposal

Filed in Delaware by on March 31, 2015

I have been following the charter school/high-stakes testing/Priority Schools debacle for the past few years. My proposal is that we use the same model for another daunting and complex problem: Crime.

We have a major crime problem in Wilmington and other locales around the state. I think we can solve it with a few transformations of the way that we structure our public safety. The key is to use the invisible hand of the market to reduce crime.

Step 1: Charter Police Squads

We now have the technology to have 911 go to wherever we want it to go. If I am dissatisfied with my police force, I can simply sign up for alternative police forces. For example, we could have Blackwater (or whatever they are called now after all those horrible shootings of innocent people) open up a charter police force. Then when I call 911 from my home or cell phone, it goes to them instead of traditional police force. They could then come to my house and put down whatever disturbance bothered me.
Obviously, these charter police forces would have to remain profitable. They would, of course, get the money that I pay in taxes for police service today. But also, if I end up being too much trouble as a customer (maybe I cry wolf a lot or live in an area that has high crime), they could fire me as a customer and I”d have to go back to my police feeder pattern. It almost goes without saying that the charters could be non-union and the charters could train their force as they see fit.

Step 2: Accountability

We need to online casino measure the effectiveness of the charters police forces and the traditional police forces. There are a few measures that we could use. For example, we could use reported crimes or arrests made. I suggest that we use a very corporate method. A Net Promoter Score (NPS). A couple times a year we would send out a form asking just a few questions, the most important of which is “Would you recommend this police force to your friends?” Police forces would have to compete with each other for better service in order to get a better score.

Step 3: Remove bad actors

By bad actors, I mean police forces with bad NPS numbers. We could have a charter come in and take control of poorly performing forces or we could award them to another local police force. Obviously, this would entail all of the cops reapplying for their jobs and certainly we would need to bring in consultants to assess the effectiveness of the police chief and his lieutenants.

Step 4: Improve the funding model

The police forces these days are funded through a variety of sources (federal, state and local taxes), but we really need a more democratic way of making the funding responsive to the electorate. Half of all police funding will be determined by referendum. If they want to provide better service, they will have to show us how they are going to spend that money. Obviously this will also be a good way to determine the per-citizen price, so that that money can be allocated to the charter police forces as well. The other half of the funding would come from State and Federal sources so as to match whatever the referendum nets them.

Step 5: Success!

I think this step speaks for itself.

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  1. pandora says:

    Excellent post, LG! The scary thing is a lot of people would think this idea is just dandy.

  2. Joanne Christian says:

    I LOVE this! What are you talkin’ bout Pandora? Now I can demand concierge service in police models. I want 24 hr. drone coverage after I hear a noise. And please send in a Delta about my parking spot being taken. Geez, Pandora we paid for it!!! Oh, and basic package should include DNA profiles of anyone who dates our children, services our cars and household systems, delivers our mail, and bags our groceries.

    You know….you have to be proactive about crime in your life. 🙂

  3. Joanne Christian says:

    And besides….IF I’m using “regular” public school, why shouldn’t I be allowed to do a cafeteria style benefits plan, and shift to charter police protection? 🙂 This is Merica right? Give me what I want!

  4. LG wins the internets today.

  5. Joanne Christian says:


    But seriously–a couple of years ago I came out of a place in Delaware, was putting stuff in my car and see this trashed purse thrown in my backseat. Inside it’s ravaged with 2 IDs for a girl w/ a West Chester State College ID. Mama Bear kicked in and I drove directly to the nearest police station I knew. Know what they said? Oh, I have to take it back to the town I found it in (about 10 miles away) and give it to their police station!!!! Are you kidding me? I was just being a consumer in that town. I didn’t know they had a police station!!! And this isn’t about MY PROPERTY elsewhere. This may be about some unsolved crime up the road, or missing person, or wherever else a normal mother’s mind may go to when she sees a ravaged ID/purse of a college kid that she finds thrown in her car from another state!!!

    What are there HMOs in policing now?

  6. liberalgeek says:

    Under my plan, Blackwater would have a kiosk at the mall where you could report the crime (for a small fee).

  7. Joanne Christian says:

    But I rarely go to the mall. Do you have an app for that? ! 🙂

  8. Jason330 says:

    Shark Tank Idea: Charter Prison System

    1) I take the per inmate cost of each inmate directly from the state, but 2) instead of expensive prisons, I send convicts to reasonably priced Universities like Rutgers or Yale
    3) Profits!!

  9. Joanne Christian says:

    Let me think on that one Jason. I think the capital expense to have those reasonably priced universities, upgrade their fitness and workout facilities to what is acceptable to our prisoners may skew your profit margin.

  10. DEvoter302 says:

    Except that army and public safety are to be provided by the government. A more fitting and honest metaphor for charters and private schools would be our food assistance voucher system (food stamps/EBT). Unless, following your reasoning, you’d recommend government gets into the food business and we can only use our EBT card on government made products which would be 1.5x more expensive than private food brands and would taste like shit.

  11. liberalgeek says:

    Article 10 of the Delaware constitution provides for free public education. Nice try.

  12. donviti says:

    How about we have the cops that police wilmington, move back to the city like they used to?

    Correlation to their leaving and Crime increasing?

    Yet another union, ruining it for everyone else

  13. liberalgeek says:

    If they do, they won’t be able to compete with the charter police forces.