NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton gave a surprise press conference today to announce that the NYPD was giving up on enforcing the law. “There are just too many criminals, there’s nothing we can do,” said NYC’s Top Cop. “The truth is, we’ll never solve New York City’s crime problem until we address the roots: education, mental illness, homelessness, poverty. Without complete success combatting those issues, what’s the point?”
Would you ever see this happen? You would not. (And to be absolutely clear: the quote is made up, and satiric.) Law enforcement is the job of the police. It is what they are there for. It is why they exist. A police chief or commissioner who gave this statement to the press would be removed from office before the ink on the newspaper had dried. (Showing my age there a bit…)
And yet, conditioned by a long history of mostly failure – a tide that has only recently begun to turn – there is a tendency to buy in when shelters do it, which they do constantly in media outlets all over the country. We know that’s an excuse, of course, we have municipal shelters in this country saving 97% and even higher. So is there any reason to maintain this innate expectation of failure, to continually let taxpayer-funded agencies off the hook for the job they’re paid to do? There is not.
The next time you see a statement like this one from New York City’s Animal Care Centers placing blame on “the real issues” rather than taking responsibility for the job they have been hired to do, I want you to imagine the equivalent statement from your area’s top law enforcement official where they list all the reasons they can’t get the job done and how ridiculous that statement would be, and I want you to keep in mind one thing: If you can’t do the job, why are you there?