PRETZPECTIVE: Has Robocop taught us nothing?

I am going to try to use this space to keep my opinion writing sharp while informing folks of matters of importance and this entry focuses on security.

It is the thing many have and others want. It is the thing governments often take too far and is the last thing a reckless company should peddle to the general public.

If you have been under a rock lately or are not focused on every insufferable group putting out an app you might not be aware of Citizen. The program sends alerts to local residents about crime in their neighbourhood and is now experimenting with an on-demand security force to serve the needs of any bozo armed with an iPhone.

Though there is nothing wrong with someone who can observe and report and non-police security has made a difference in some instances, moving muscle to the whims of the masses is not a good idea. It was never good when people tried to utilize police for similar issues like people barbequing or playing loud music and I find it amazing a company who has already gotten criticism for directing their fire towards the wrong person has not learned anything from the bad experience.

As detailed in a piece on SFGATE from earlier this month the organization offered a $30,000 bounty for the arrest of the wrong person in connection with wildfires in California police believed were deliberately set. Though the group did apologize, officers said the initiative could have been “disastrous.” Before this there were concerns about vigilantism in New York and peers in the space are no better.

Blackwater – now known as Academi – stole weapons from the Afghan national police and was also under investigation for smuggling weapons into Iraq. We all know the story of George Zimmerman in Florida and though it is fictional the movie mentioned in the title warned us all decades ahead of time what happens when you put a company focused on profit in charge of the public’s protection.

Time after time after time they put earnings and evasion of consequences ahead of the general good. Citizen must abandon this idea. If they do not all which will come of the concept is carnage, chaos and more protests due to someone being hurt for something I would not so much get a second glance or comment for doing.

Dead or alive, one does not need to go with private security. Not now or ever.

evan.pretzer@yahoo.com

twitter.com/EvanJPretzer

Main image via Flickr.