What the Police Can and Can't Do

Where do we find the resources to combat crime?
This morning, I read a news article about growing gang violence in a Northwestern urban area. A comment by a police officer caught my eye; he said, “We currently don’t have the resources for this.” I think he meant that the local department lacked the man-power, technology, and other resources to combat the growing gang problem, but he hit an idea more fundamental than he intended. Even with all the “resources” the officer conceived, the police and all other public bodies still lack the real resources to deal with morally based social ills.

The best the public can do is to lock offenders behind bars; they do not have the resources to shape the conscience and character of American citizens. These resources are primarily religious and ideological, and the state can not deeply espouse these kinds of views without violating the First Amendment’s establishment clause.

It is up to the private sector to raise children to be law-abiding citizens… However, the best opportunity for the private sector to work with youth is in the realm of education, and as long as this sector is strongly governed by secular public forces, even the private sector has a shortage of resources. When will our education system change to allow parents to have the authority over their children’s education that our society - let alone our children - need?

Society has the resources to combat the growth of gang and other illegal activities, but because the “education bus” is impounded by the state, they aren’t available for general use.

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