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View from the Cordillera

A Commentary on Achieving Excellence in Local Government
Read by Municipal Leaders on 4 Continents
Published by the Cordillera Institute
(Vol. 4, Issue 12)
Are We Receiving All the Police Protection We Should Expect? (part 2)
To order the full text of this commentary or to become a subscriber, see the notes below.

Summary of This Commentary
In the previous issue, we review examples of situations where the police may appear to be ignoring the law or to be selectively enforcing it.  We see why these problems exist in some jurisdictions but not in others.  And, we begin applying these observations to the examples given, starting with the violent protests in Seattle in 1999.  In this issue, we examine the other examples — labor disputes, illegal drugs, and illegal aliens — to see why the police have performed as they have.  Having reviewed examples of laws not being enforced or being enforced selectively as well as the likely source of these problems, we need to ask what are the effects of such actions on our communities.  For starters, there is a perceived decrease in our security.  Another potential effect on our communities is the polarizing of opinion or the deepening of existing divisions.  What are the effects of such actions on the rule of law?  To answer that question, we note the U.S. Treasury Secretary who failed to pay his taxes; the Congressman (chairman of the committee responsible for the tax code) who failed to report income from rental properties; the Canadian Member of Parliament who was caught stealing an expensive piece of jewelry; and Canada's so-called federal sponsorship scandal.  How can we prevent these problems?  How can we ensure that we receive all the police protection that we should expect?  This issue provides some answers to these troubling questions.  Of course, there's 1 thing each of us can do.  Whenever you meet any police officers — even if it's in the course of receiving a ticket — thank them for the job they're doing — or wish they could be doing if the civilian bodies overseeing them would just let them do it.

As always, we welcome your comments.

David Barber
Director
Cordillera Institute
(416) 293-9300
CordInst@istar.ca
http://pages.istar.ca/~cordinst/



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About This Publication
Each issue of View from the Cordillera covers some aspect of excellence in local government.  It may examine one of the success elements; it may present a case study; it may introduce a resource (an individual, a group, a publication, etc.) which is advancing excellence; it may advocate a new direction for local government; or it may identify a wrong turn in public policy and offer an appropriate remedy.  This electronic publication is read by those who govern, manage, support, and sustain our local governments.  For more information, just click on the About VFC button below.

About the Cordillera Institute
The Cordillera Institute is an independent research and public policy organization dedicated to excellence in local government.  Since our founding in 1994, we have studied many high-performance organizations to learn what makes them successful.  From this research, we have distilled a set of principles, paradigms, policies, programs, and practices which are the key elements of their success.  Our mission is to be a catalyst — to empower municipalities, school boards, public utilities, and other local public agencies to achieve excellence by adopting and applying these success elements.  For more information, just click on the About CI button below.

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