Augmenting the defunded police force

The Letter to the Editor by Don Sherratt (“A New Year’s Resolution for the City Council,” Jan. 5; is littered with ambiguities that invite clarifying questions.

Don asks the honorable Mayor Ashcraft and venerable City Councilmembers to provide the resources to raise the staffing level of police officers.

Momentarily at least, woke Californians were demanding that we defund the police, whatever happened to that movement? Is Don arguing that we should reverse the defunding process?

He advocates for raising “the staffing level of police officers.”

Does he want to expand the size of the Alameda Police Department (APD) or get a few stalwart officers currently on the muster sheet to work more hours perhaps working pro bono if the city does not adequately fund augmented law enforcement?

When he predicts that an increased staffing level “would bring equitable safety to our community,” is he suggesting that “equitable safety” is presently not the case?

Don gives three examples of unsatisfactory police responses resulting from a lack of adequate staffing. The first was an armed robbery which was not responded to “for more than two hours.”

The second was a stolen car for which APD was “notified but unable to attend to” due to a lack of staffing, fortuitously, the understaffed Oakland Police which perpetually flies the banner: “Now Hiring” found the stolen car. The third example was a businessperson who had his office window smashed and office ransacked. APD arrived more than three hours after receiving the report; what was the high-priority crime that APD was focused on at the time?

Don ends by challenging the “City Council to find ways in which we can raise the number of police officers in our very beloved city.”

By piling on more police officers, aren’t we signaling a lack of faith in humanism and embracing Calvinism? Some of the augmented police force may deter crime in Alameda, but other new hires may end up writing us parking tickets on Webster Street, or speeding tickets for going 35 mph down Otis Drive.

As my Uncle Cusper always warned us, “Be careful what you wish for, they may catch you hot wiring the family station wagon.”

One final question is on the subject of recruitment. To quote Ludwig von Mises, who paraphrases Plato “He who is unfit to serve his fellow citizens wants to rule them.” Is it risky to recruit someone who wants to be a policeman?

— Jeffrey R Smith