Wednesday, April 18, 2007

April 18, 2007 – Some “Law and Order” Issues Roiling My Village

One of the main things I like about where I live now, a rural village of 2600 people in Michigan, is the fact that it has no police. Oh, it has some badge carriers, but they are unarmed, non-uniformed sorts with very little status or power. It has an “ordinance compliance officer” (formally known as the Village Constable; her main “power” is to give you a warning notice or a ticket if you violate some strictly local ordinance, such as
burning trash in the summer or not keeping your dogs off other people’s property, and such like matters) and the school crossing guards on some street intersections duringschool hours. But beyond those two types, nothing.

We don’t even have an “Andy Taylor of Mayberry” type of town sheriff, never mind some overzealous Barney Fife style goof. See, we don’t really need ‘em here. We don’t have any “crime” of the violent and destructive sort. And never mind the “official stats” because as we all know by now, “figures never lie, but liars sure do figure”. Of course there are violations of Michigan and Federal law that occur here, but nothing people really care about or that hurt anyone. Certainly nothing that hurts them in a material way.

If my neighbors like to get high, have expired license plate tags, don’t pay their child support on time, smoke where they shouldn’t, don’t mow their lawns regularly, have loud mufflers, or any of the other numerous laws that get violated here with impunity, who really cares? Who is hurt by it? No one actually, so it’s no skin off my ass what people do, and so I don’t care one bit.

And, if by some odd or rare circumstances, some villager should actually require the assistance of the police, well, we have a Sheriff’s substation about ten miles down the highway and a Michigan State Police post about the same distance in the other direction and a countywide 911 telephone system for that. Local volunteers handle fire and ambulance services when needed. And so we get along just fine. Nearly every home in the village has at least one firearm, should it ever be needed, for serious security issues. But that never seems to come up. Not to my knowledge anyhow; all of our public safety and security needs are covered by our present set-up already, thank-you very much, very nicely, very cheaply, and very subtly. Or so I thought.

But now though some busybody sorts that can’t seem to get along with this one family of bad neighbors a proposing a new system. The troublemakers in this case here are a family of drunken louts. An older woman lives with her two “boys” (who are both in their mid thirties, at least) and both of whom are “work-disabled” and receive state assistance, so they need not maintain employment. They like to drink to excess and have loud arguments some times, often really, and I fully understand why this annoys people.

So to remedy this situation, the busybodies want the village to levy a 1-mil tax on all real estate (that is to say a tax of $1 per thousand dollars of assessed value, so the owner of a $100k house would need to pay $100), to hire three full time police officers. And principally just to tell the aforementioned drunken louts to pipe down because people are trying to sleep.

The thing is folks, if we hire cops for the village, suddenly there will be someone who “cares” that we like to get high, have expired license plate tags, don't pay our child support on time, smoke cigarettes where we want, don't mow our lawns regularly, or have loud mufflers. They'll “care” enough to arrest us, fine us, jail us, spy on us, and anything else they decide to, up to and including killing us if need be. Is all that really a good trade off here? More tax money spent and way less liberty than what we have now, just to deal with what is, in the end, a ver minor problem. I say no, it isn't. Just shun them, eh?


zrated said...

a place with no police force to speak of? i'm packing my bags!

to the people of your community - hell no, it isn't a good idea to get police for any reason. actually, this might be a really good opportunity for you to start a private security firm...

i'm not joking. i'm doing the same thing right now here in florida. it's a bitch working through all the state's red tape, but i like the idea so much that i'm dealing with it.

The Anarchist Flamethrower said...

I'm not sure we even need that either really. Crime as such just doesn't happen here other than in the very legalistic technical sense of it. People take care of security issues such as they may be themselves.

As for the other stuff, nobody until now even cared about it. If these drunks have loud arguments, what's it to me? Admittedly I might not be so blase about it if I lived next door to them though. :)

And action has been taken against them too. One of two liquor/beer outlets won't sell to them any more after ten pm, and the one local bar has banned them. Also they are renters and I think in time, they'll just move on. Cops on the other hand tend to be permanent.

zrated said...

that's brilliant. anarchy in action, really. the liquor stores not selling to them, i mean.

but, yes, i agree with you about the whole issue.