Two stories from Drudge.
The first story should not worry you, overmuch.
On the streets of Oakland, budget cuts have made the beat cop a rare breed, and some of the city’s wealthy neighborhoods have turned to unarmed security guards to take their place.
Private security companies have been a staple of American upper-income enclaves for decades. This is just a wider range than the usual gated community; it’s a sign that the economy’s rotten, but it’s not really worrisome.
This, on the other hand, is worrisome:
A philanthropist or business could sponsor a police beat and put more off-duty cops on the streets under a plan being put forth by a downtown Chicago lawmaker on the City Council.
Under [Alderman Brendan Reilly’s] plan, off-duty officers would work minimum six-hour shifts and make $30 an hour. The money would be paid by businesses, civic groups and churches at a time when city finances are stretched thin. The officers would be in full uniform and under the command of police supervisors.
…because those aren’t rent-a-cops. Those would be rented cops, and the difference will become clear the moment that somebody very important from one of those “businesses, civic groups and churches” happens to commit a trivial, surely-not-worth-mentioning, purely technical violation of the law. It is also completely fascinating to me that a Chicago Democrat – which is to say, someone who would normally be safely considered to be pro-union – is apparently utterly ignorant of, say, the history of the Pinkertons. Which is what Reilly is attempting to recreate, here… whether for good or for ill, and whether he knows it or not.
I’d blame the school system, except that you’d at least expect an institution that’s that dominated by union workers to teach something about the labor movement in the United States.