About those neighborhood patrols

My initial reaction to reading Bill Torpy’s story this weekend — about neighborhoods whose residents pay a few hundred dollars a year to hire security patrols to complement regular police coverage — was frustration. Why is this necessary when we already pay taxes to maintain a police department?

But there’s another way to look at it. Paying an extra $300 a year is roughly equivalent to a 3-mill property-tax increase on a $250,000 house. Would I rather pay $300 a year and know that it’s all going to extra policing, and see my taxes go up 3 mills and know that the money could end up going to all manner of other uses?

The neighborhood association probably won’t charge for arranging the service, so there’s no overhead or bureaucratic cost. We get to decide which off-duty officer we hire, versus being assigned our regular beat cop by the police department — who might be just fine, but also might not be.

If taxes don’t also go up — and that’s a big “if,” of course — maybe we’re better off going the neighborhood security route.

Someone tell me why I’m wrong.

9 comments Add your comment


January 11th, 2010
10:34 am

seems reasonable….


January 11th, 2010
10:52 am

I think you are right of course, but the real story here is the fact that it is necessary in the first place. Atlanta is not run well and has not been run well for a long, long time. The fact that Atlanta cannot protect it’s citizens is a shame, but the fact that many neighborhoods have acted to fill this void shows a spirit which is admirable. Rather than marching on city hall, or holding rally’s, these people are taking care of the problem. This reminds me of the America we once had. Independance and self sufficiency are some of the most freeing feelings a person can have, and was once seen as a virtue rather than a negative force.

In the end though, there will be those who critize this practice, and try to shut it down because no one should have something everyone doesn’t have.


January 11th, 2010
10:54 am

It is important to remember this when your local government DOES decide to go up on your taxes to build a new stadium or developer sweet heart deal. Usually, your local politicians will try to scare you with closing a local fire department or lay off policemen if they don’t get the money.

President Reagan espoused Optimism. With that, I leave you this. Corruption and mis-management is not limited to the federal government.

I think this year many more Americans will begin to bear the pain of the corporate and warmongering state, led by a gutless, fat-cat Congress and its fake but very expensive wars on terror, drugs, tobacco, alcohol, fat, privacy, private property, guns and free speech. They will bear it with decreased personal revenue and the frustration of dealing with government at all levels. They will increasingly suffer repeated small humiliations associated with living in a mature confiscatory and emerging police state. As they suffer, they will be increasingly exposed to the utter waste and stupidity of our government, at home and abroad – and will begin to consider themselves superior to it.

In the face of expensive wars and a dying desperate federal state, 2010 will mark the year that Americans self-consciously embrace the power of civil disobedience, and launch a decade of fundamental and good-natured repudiation of all things government – its wars, its debts, its never-ending lies and yes, even its promises. It’s already happening, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

The American People

January 11th, 2010
11:13 am



January 11th, 2010
11:39 am

TAP – 11:13 AM

- Do you speak for all Americans, or are your one-line rants
a result of you being too slow to use the Caps Lock key ?


January 11th, 2010
11:43 am

On topic:

- Private security guards say one thing to criminals:

“I’m not at home, and I have lots of expendable income to
buy trinkets to steal”, even if you are and you don’t.

Democrats are Corrupt, Repukes are Lying Scum

January 11th, 2010
11:55 am

My upscale subdivision has been hiring off duty Cobb police as private security patrols for a couple decades now, via the home owners association. We have little crime in our subdivision. If we are going to be away for a few days or weeks, we just email the Cobb County Police and they send a patrol car by a couple times per day and night to check things out, for free. Try that in the city of Atlanta, and see what it gets you.


January 11th, 2010
1:03 pm

Just have a sign at the entrance of the neighborhood:

3 out of 5 homes are protected by owners with guns.
You guess which is which!

That should take care of it.


January 11th, 2010
2:02 pm

I like it Libraryjim, and for my part, you can add two dogs as well.