If this retired police captain had a magic wand …

Approximately 240 million 911 calls are recorded each year in America. Five percent of these calls relate to violent crimes. Cops and firefighters are busy 365 days a year, making communities a safe place for residents and workers.

The best source for analyzing crime in general is not the courts, lawyers and prisons. No one is closer to such problems than your local cop. He’s the one who answers millions of police calls every year, from rescuing accident victims to survivors of urban riots where everyone is in danger. They stay under the microscope.

As a thirty year old cop in Miami-Dade, Florida with experience in various phases of law enforcement, I have seen my fair share of criminal conduct and the systems that have worked to combat the conduct. criminal.

If I had the magic wand, I would …

• Appoint a joint committee made up of legal, social and law enforcement staff, to rethink drug laws that would place more emphasis on control, treatment and mental health, rather than banning users in the drug industry. prison cells for decades.

• Establish a method by which we could identify people with psychotic problems and re-establish long-needed sanatorium facilities where mental health staff treat the mentally ill – before committing a crime, not after. Recent studies reveal that twenty percent of inmates in state prison systems suffer from some form of advanced mental illness.

• Decriminalize prostitution and establish laws that protect consumers. It would legitimize, cleanse and control those unenforceable “crimes” that have existed in the service sector for centuries.

Many of the country's prisons are overcrowded.

• Reduce prisons and prison populations by invoking the European model which imposes shorter sentences while converting these savings into funding for treatment, training and education.

• Help released detainees readjust to society after having been imprisoned for many years. These detainees often return to society without a support system or the possibility of surviving with a criminal record. This often results in recidivism by choice, that is to say convicts committing offenses to return to prison.

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• Abolish the death penalty. Studies show that the death penalty is not a deterrent against crime. This is an exorbitant cost to taxpayers, far more than standard incarceration. Meanwhile, the risks of execution of innocent people, while rare, are far too great. One – that’s too much. The state shouldn’t be busy killing another human being.

• Let judges judge by removing mandatory minimum sentences. Laws often require a predetermined number of years for inmates to serve a prison sentence if they are convicted of a felony, regardless of the circumstances. Prosecutors use these laws by negotiating sentences to secure a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced sentence. Thus, many judges are deprived of the exercise of their discretion.

• Why reinvent the wheel? We should focus on communities that have been successful in reducing crime rates. Stop-and-frisk policies were very productive in New York City in the 1990s under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. All citizens, black, white and purple, have benefited greatly.

• The claim that systemic racism is rampant among police personnel is false. This had been true in previous years. I know, I’ve been there. Some cops will sometimes be blamed for misconduct in the heat of the moment. This does not make it “systemic”. We must support the brave men and women in uniform, or we will find ourselves unable to fill the vacancies. Good cops will look for other jobs. The ultimate winners: the criminals. The losers: the citizens.

FILE - On October 14, 2020, an archival photo of a protester holding a sign indicating

• Citizens should oust public figures who lobby for police funding. It reveals other goals they have in mind, which are clearly political. I firmly believe that America’s enemies have stirred up hatred and sowed the seeds of chaos in order to destroy our democratic republic. Riots across America in 2020 and 2021 have shown this to be true. As career cops leave the profession, criminals await them.

We need to keep politics out of law enforcement.

Marshall Frank is a retired police captain and author of 15 books.

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