Dread and Awful Czar,
It would seem the illustrious sheriff of Palm Beach (FL) County, one Ric Bradshaw, has stolen a page from the playbook of the Okhrana and seems to want to institute what at first blush (and many shades of blush thereafter) seems to be a network of informers – to wit:
Palm Beach Post, Thursday, May 2, 2013
Florida House and Senate budget leaders have awarded Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw $1 million for a new violence prevention unit aimed at preventing tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., from occurring on his turf.
Sounds worthy enough…
The goal will be avoiding crime — and making sure law enforcement knows about potential powder kegs before tragedies occur, Bradshaw said.
Seems like “preventing” crime is more apropos – but continue to read…
Bradshaw is readying a hotline and is planning public service announcements to encourage local citizens to report their neighbors, friends or family members if they fear they could harm themselves or others.
“Report their neighbors, friends, or family members.” Hmmm – I think something like this has been tried before, in Czarist Russia (sorry, Your Grace), the Soviet Union, Communist China, Communist East Germany, Communist Hungary, Communist Romania, Communist Cuba, etc etc etc. – not to mention Uncle Adolf and Cousin Joe who instituted and maintained such a system in Nazi Germany. How do you define “threatening” behavior, anyway?
Best part of the whole thing – funding for which was ramrodded through the Florida legislature by a Republican member – is the following:
“We know how to sift through frivolous complaints,” he [Bradshaw – ed.] said.
Like how? They’ll be buried in baloney in 24 hours.
This makes one wonder what the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department has been doing all this time. One of the most effective tools a police officer has is his source network – his “snitches” or “ears.” Good coppers set up and maintain source networks on their beats for obvious reasons. It would seem the info the Reichsführerexcuse me, sheriffwants to obtain would-be-picked-up-by-good coppers and good source networks anyway. Maybe the good citizens of Palm Beach County feel estranged from their sheriff’s department? Or possibly the sheriff is undercutting his own people for some reason. Whatever, I thought this would provide amusement for your august presence and certainly provoke a comment or two.
Ugh. Wow, good catch. This is the sort of story that nearly all people would skim over and move on to the next story; but ask your question the way you did, and nearly everyone would ask what the hell was he thinking.
A line to snitch on your neighbor already exists: its 911. If you get warned off, you can always call your local non-emergency number where they will dutifully write your complaint on a Post-It note and throw it away after you finally hang up.
Establishing…sigh…a line at taxpayer expense is simply unnecessary. The Palm Beach County residents have no other means of reaching law enforcement in an emergency? Are you kidding? You need to set up a third number?
And as you ask, to what end? When you encourage folks to call in with suspicions and concerns about neighbors, what do you think youre going to get? Quality calls?
Sheriffs are politicians, and no doubt Señor Ric Bradshaw will challenge you by saying If it saves even one life… without realizing thats code for We have no concept of unintended consequeneces.
The Czar wishes Sheriff Bradshaw all the luck in the world with his new phone number. Enjoy the crackpot and screwy calls you get. Because your sheriffs dont believe their time is wasted enough getting you re-elected. Theyre gonna love this. Glad you know how to sift through goofball calls; that doesnt mean you have a clue on how to prevent them.
Want to wager one of the first 100 calls will be folks calling in suspicious, anti-American behavior on Sheriff Bradshaw? Did we just let a great idea slip out?
Sheriff Bradshaw, history just called your line. It said you dont look good.