Contract police forces?

This is a discussion on Contract police forces? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have simply never understood the economics of contracting out. There are still salaries to be paid to get a job done. If you pay ...

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  1. #16
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    I have simply never understood the economics of contracting out. There are still salaries to be paid to get a job done. If you pay less, you get less-- usually--- in lower quality people, higher turnover rates, less diligence to duty. Meanwhile, government NEVER needs to make a profit and can if necessary operate in the red.

    Private companies have to pay "executive salaries" which are often far higher than what a City Manager might make. Private companies have to pay "stockholder or investor dividends," and that diverts money from the task which needs doing. And sadly, private companies probably have to pay kick-backs to keep their contract or get it in the first place.

    The whole idea makes no sense. I'd say more about private contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan but I'd get points for
    going into politics instead of sticking with policy.

    When you work for government, e.g., police or EMS, or firefighter, you can console yourself about pay a little bit with the solace
    that you are engaged in a patriotic act. That goes away when working for a contractor who owes you no loyalty, and you therefore owe it no allegiance.

    When you hear the words "privatization" and "contracting out" a shiver should run up your spine. Unsaid will be the lost
    livelihoods and the tax dollars diverted to private pockets.

    I have no doubt we will see more and more efforts at privatization; even the conversion of some state Universities to
    Private ownership. Its the way the ultra rich become more ultra rich.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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  3. #17
    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    FF and LE are bankrupting municipalities all over my state (Rhode Island). In the old days, we used to have more volunteers. That's the answer IMHO. We used to have volunteers in my town, but because of insurance concerns, they were eliminated. That's BS. Time to bring back as many volunteers as possible. Make them take basic training, or whatever. But there are LOTS of folks who would like to contribute to their communities.

    Let folks be actively involved, and we'll save money at the same time.

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  4. #18
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    There are already private police departments in the Us. In north carolina they have what is called Company police. They are fully state certified police officers that work for a private company on private property. They are for hire just like a security company.

  5. #19
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    I will stay out of Afghanistan and Iran also. Contracts there are of a different animal than in CONUS and will start a political discussion. But to address Hopyard's points:
    I have simply never understood the economics of contracting out. There are still salaries to be paid to get a job done. If you pay less, you get less-- usually--- in lower quality people, higher turnover rates, less diligence to duty. Meanwhile, government NEVER needs to make a profit and can if necessary operate in the red.
    The salaries are all you pay. Not retirement nor benefits. As far as paying less I would disagree in general. Contracted personal usually get paid more than their government counter parts as far as base pay. And as a taxpayer do you really feel it is OK for the government to operate in the red?

    Private companies have to pay "executive salaries" which are often far higher than what a City Manager might make. Private companies have to pay "stockholder or investor dividends," and that diverts money from the task which needs doing. And sadly, private companies probably have to pay kick-backs to keep their contract or get it in the first place.
    I don't give a hoot what the executives make. And I as a stockholder like getting my dividends check. What I care about is how well the contractors is doing the job and is it cost effective for my tax dollar. I do agree about kickbacks but wouldn't those kickbacks be going to that poor City Manager you mentioned who is not makeing as much as a CEO? And kickbacks are illegal.

    When you work for government, e.g., police or EMS, or firefighter, you can console yourself about pay a little bit with the solace
    that you are engaged in a patriotic act. That goes away when working for a contractor who owes you no loyalty, and you therefore owe it no allegiance.
    I am a contractor now and was in SOCOM for 15 years. I feel just as good about myself now and as patriotic as I did when I was in. So what is your point. Did it occur to you that a lot of folks get out of the military or government work becasue they can make a better life for themselves and their family?

    When you hear the words "privatization" and "contracting out" a shiver should run up your spine. Unsaid will be the lost
    livelihoods and the tax dollars diverted to private pockets.
    If it is being effective and saving taxpayer money do you really care where it is going? What about tax money for new roads? Should their be now contractors and have it run by the governement?

    I have no doubt we will see more and more efforts at privatization; even the conversion of some state Universities to
    Private ownership. Its the way the ultra rich become more ultra rich.
    I hope they do!!! I am all for cash vouchers for primary education also. Got news for you. This is coming from a dad that is sending his kid to college in the fall. State schools might be cheaper but you get squat for financial aid compared to private colleges. I won't name schools here or dollar amounts but this is apprximately what our financial aid packages looked like:

    Private school 1: 85 percent grants and schalorships 15 percent subsidized loans
    Private school 2: 80 percent grants and scholarships 20 percent subsidized loans
    Private School 3: 100 percent grants, scholarships, plus work placement while in school to guarantee he can afford it
    Public school 1: 20 percent grants and loans
    Public School 2: 55 percent grants and loans

  6. #20
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    We'll just continue to disagree on most of the key points. IMO privatization is a monstrosity that sucks the tax payer
    far worse than traditional ways of taking care of the government's responsibilities. Any and all possible savings come out of
    the hides of the guys doing the work and any and all profits move the money from the tax payer to the corporate moguls.

    But what the heck, it sounds good and there are so many con artists clambering for a piece of the action, and so many pols
    with their palms up, what the heck-- make them all happy. :-
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
    Andrew Jackson

  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array Toorop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fausty View Post
    privatized police is a very, very scary thought.
    So are private prisons but not to many seem to complain.
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  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    We'll just continue to disagree on most of the key points. IMO privatization is a monstrosity that sucks the tax payer
    far worse than traditional ways of taking care of the government's responsibilities.
    Any and all possible savings come out of
    the hides of the guys doing the work and any and all profits move the money from the tax payer to the corporate moguls.
    In bold: Please state some facts on that. Not one specific contract in CONUS but a pattern where it costs the government (us, the taxpayer) more by contracting wisely when it replaces government workers with contractors. Also,you seem more hung up on who is making money rather than how much tax dollars can be saved.

  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array sid1's Avatar
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    Yes I can see something along those lines happening, A lot of the smaller municipalities here have already consolidated fire departments to save money. So I can see LEO getting consolidated also, and see this as only a temporary fix. Until city officals stop the wasteful spending, municipalities will again need to make even more cuts. Or start looking at outsourcing.

  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    In bold: Please state some facts on that. Not one specific contract in CONUS but a pattern where it costs the government (us, the taxpayer) more by contracting wisely when it replaces government workers with contractors. Also,you seem more hung up on who is making money rather than how much tax dollars can be saved.
    As the saying goes, "I don't need no stinking facts." We disagree.

    To my way of thinking if you have M amount of money to get a job done,
    and you have a choice of paying stock dividends and executive salaries or hiring people to do the work, it becomes a no brainer.

    If you are thinking that the money saved on salary and benefits for the working guy is really money saved, you will certainly be wrong for the reasons mentioned above. We pay these folks (police and fire) too little as it is for what they do. You think you'll have a clean department if you cut their pensions and benefits so dealing a little on the side becomes attractive? Or do you think a CEO's arrest quotas for "performance evaluation" are a good basis for law enforcement? For civil society?

    I don't.

    Oh, here are some facts: Private prisons: The perverse incentives of private prisons | The Economist

    Third paragraph down. Also, they make a good point about the difference between "contracting out" and "privatization."
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  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    As the saying goes, "I don't need no stinking facts." We disagree.

    You think you'll have a clean department if you cut their pensions and benefits so dealing a little on the side becomes attractive? Or do you think a CEO's arrest quotas for "performance evaluation" are a good basis for law enforcement? For civil society?

    I don't.
    Please read my previous posts before you make assumptions about what I think. This is what I posted earlier.
    I think it would work as long as their are no incentives for arrests. That could cause the LE contractor to work on the edge and possibly be prone to violating someones rights. So, I guess with good oversight I am for private contractors as long as it is well thought out.
    And the part in bold:Facts are mighty handy sometimes

  12. #26
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    Contracting is all around us. Do you see your city/ate doing the road construction around your area. No. It's some private company.

    75% of homes in the US are protected by Volunteer Fire Dept. and EMS. There operating revenue is mostly generated by donations.

    Most Americans have had to learn to get by with less, why can't these cities/towns do it.
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  13. #27
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    On my side of the border, the province of British Columbia just renewed a 20 year contract for the RCMP to police any jurisdictions without their own PD (Most of BC).

    The municipality of Esquimalt (suburb of Victoria) disbanded their PD a few years back and contracted with Victoria PD to police their area. They are now contemplating not renewing the contract and going with the RCMP.

    Contracting out does not necessarily mean privatization.
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  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunnyBunny View Post
    On my side of the border, the province of British Columbia just renewed a 20 year contract for the RCMP to police any jurisdictions without their own PD (Most of BC).

    The municipality of Esquimalt (suburb of Victoria) disbanded their PD a few years back and contracted with Victoria PD to police their area. They are now contemplating not renewing the contract and going with the RCMP.

    Contracting out does not necessarily mean privatization.
    Part in bold-- Yes of course, done as you described it is distinct from privatization. However, here in the US usually the
    two terms are used more loosely so the former is in fact the latter.

    There is nothing wrong for example with the idea that TX might contract out with some other state to provide prison beds
    to ease overcrowding in that second state. The problems arise when government gives up its authority to organizations
    which by their nature will not act except in their own best economic interest-- and at government expense.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
    Andrew Jackson

  15. #29
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    Are these gonna be the same guys that replaced my garbageman, who was an employee of the city, lived in the community, was pretty conscientious for the most part, didn't leave a mess, didn't have a pony tail/body art, & looking like he just got paroled from the state pen,
    and was only trying to make a decent living, raise a family and live the American Dream?

    When in H.E. Double Hockey Sticks are people and politicians in this country gonna give more of a damn about their fellow Americans, than saving a few bucks, then giving city council a raise, and city vehicles with a gas card, etc, etc,,
    Folks, we are in the handbasket, hows the ride???
    "Scuse me while I go throw up in my mouth, I can't take this stupidity anymore.
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  16. #30
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    The Fedl Govt already "contracts" private security forces & enforcment personnel thru Homeland security ...... SURPRISE ! ! ! !

    One such group descended on a Social Sec office in a small town here, with AR's, etc.... as a drill to see how "prepared" they were ......... evaluate their tactics, etc.
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