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Thread: Guardians vs. Warriors

  1. #16
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    I don't have time right now for a lengthy response.
    Plato's statement: "In a republic that honors the core of democracy — the greatest amount of power is given to those called Guardians. Only those with the most impeccable character are chosen to bear the responsibility of protecting the democracy.
    — Plato

    Is highly questionable as any sort of standard. No police department can, screen procure and pay for people of impeccable character (much less pay to train them) as our standard LEO.
    The article fails in resigning our LEO to going back to the old ( More Democratic?) standard police uniform with a nifty 38 side arm. Sure the military uniforms, body armor, 15 shot semi autos and assault rifles may be intimidating. But, since I can't have it both ways, I choose to opt for officer safety and hopefully better training- tactically and please dear God give them the money...better verbal and profiling skills for everyone's safety; including when to pull the trigger without hesitation to save lives.
    I'll take that older model. There were probably more abusive beat cops in the 50's than there are now. And what is key here, is that the public is far more dangerous now than ever.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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  3. #17
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    Ideally, Bureaucrats are better when they were brought up through the ranks of whatever they administer over.
    Governors make better Presidents, than Senators do.
    Minus the occasional corruption; cops make better decisions about the role of LE in today's world than politicians.

    Yet good ideas and oversight come from and should be welcomed from many sources.
    All things being equal, more lives are lost, more deleterious impacts on the lifestyle of masses of people are perpetrated by bureaucracy then by all the world's police departments, combined.
    there's nothing that rings more hollow to me than the thought of men of questionable character lining up and deciding who the men of an impeccable character, truly are.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carina Reinhardt View Post
    I think a soldier follows orders and a police officers needs to take decisions on his own for his own safety and the safety of those he must to protect. The education of an police officer has to be military style with a big dose of psychology, calmness and verbal convincing .
    If all a soldier was capable of was following orders he wouldn't last long on the battlefield. Especially now when the enemy does not wear a uniform and uses the civilian population to their advantage. I spent almost six years in the middle east. Almost 4 years as a member of the US military and 2 more years as a security contractor. Trust me, there's a lot more involved than just following orders. The rules are different, but there are still rules.

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    Revisiting this thread as well as Peter mentioned it in the Jeopardy thread.

    The problem with quoting Plato - and out of his particular cultural context - has already been noted: even a cursory reading found searching Plato and "guardian" shows that Plato saw two kinds of guardians: rulers and soldiers. The latter were responsible for defending society against enemies without and enforcing its laws within. You can't get much more "warrior" or "soldier" than that, and yet that is specifically what the ostensible move toward changing "culture" was intended to address. Unfortunately it is not a case of a deeply researched, analyzed, and carefully considered new approach, rather it seems more a hasty patch to fill a subjectively created "need" with half-formed theories.

    I attended the Blue Courage train the trainer course this past year as well, and found a similar thing: some good stuff and some well meaning ideas, but plagued by a cut-and-paste approach that was not really adapted to LE culture as it stands now. This is apparently being addressed.

    Returning to Armstrong's Exemplar, I think there is some meat there. I have long thought that a budo based training - hearkening to concepts and tales like WuDe and the old Chinese knight-errants, the Bokuden Mutekatsu-ryu story, the Kamiizumi story about the bandit with the hostage and his tossing the ball of rice, etc. properly adapted and given its due in terms of time and focus as part of a career-long training regime - is one way to go.

    http://exemplarpath.com/2014/12/the-...nd-of-warrior/
    Last edited by Hissho; 7th January 2016 at 20:19.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Kit,

    I recently listened to an an interview with Michael Nila of Blue Courage and was left with the impression that they are basically advocating for an officer to have and develop a wide range of attributes and attitudes which would allow them the flexibility to be a "warrior" and/or a "guardian" depending upon what was appropriate to the situation. It seems like they are trying to reframe the self-conception of contemporary law officers in light of current social expectations without rejecting the warrior function and identity and also without simply embracing the "cop-as-social-worker-with-a-gun" idea. So, kind of a both-and approach. Seems reasonable as an idea but probably difficult to get it embraced widely and make it substantive.

    One thing form the interview that I thought was thought-provoking was Nila's expression, which I paraphrase here as "cynicism is the new corruption." It has definitely given me something to reflect on and encouraged self-vigilance in terms of my own attitudes.

    I would be curious to hear more of your thoughts on the course and the project which they are undertaking if you care to share them.

    Regards,
    Al
    Al Heinemann
    www.shofukan.ca

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  10. #21
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    Hey buddy!

    Yes, I think they had to re-frame the "versus warrior" approach and backed off from that early on (to note - that was not a Blue Courage thing to begin with). When things like San Bernardino happen you have to acknowledge there is a strong need for warriorship in modern LE.

    Warriors after all make the best Guardians...Plato seemed to think that was an important role for guardians as well.

    The best elements of B.C. were those having to do with the nobility of the profession and combating cynicism. I would strongly reject the idea that cynicism is "the new corruption." That is a hugely loaded term. That was a big issue in the training, and to their credit, the instructors indicated that a revisiting of some of that was in order and apparently occurred after our training session with Nila and his main team.

    The idea is probably better put that cynicism is a sickness in LE (I would not quibble with that), and that it needs addressing the way corruption is now within and outside the ranks when it is discovered. Cynicism can actually lead to corruption, and it has lead to some officers tanking solid careers for doing some stupid, stupid, things, if not actually corrupt things. In the sense of combating the cynicism, I am all for the program. I went through a dark period in my career based on some things that management would not do with a problem employee, hung myself out there bucking the system and went through a long period where I felt isolated - had I had B.C. then, it would have been helpful. I know one guy that took his own life that it may have helped, and couple guys tanked their careers doing stupid stuff that it may have also helped.

    They need some vetting in their materials - if you want to combat cynicism, you probably don't want a bunch of retired police administrators hawking a book about nobility with quotes from Bill Clinton on "the power of the examples we set" and from Lee Baca on "picking the right people." Kinda undercuts the message...
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    To shift gears - the study in the aftermath of Ferguson showed that the community was stressed by some things which the general public are probably much less aware of, but which have a direct bearing on how LE interacts with its community, and the metrics cities and agencies use to quantify performance...

    Traffic stops are a major issue. Not responding to accidents and the like, but self initiated traffic stops. In some places, revenue generated from traffic tickets written for infractions (like moving violations and improper or broken equipment) goes into city coffers. Sometimes, it actually funds police departments. So, there is often an unspoken pressure for cops to make more stops and write more tickets to bring in more money. Unspoken because, after all, you can't have quotas...

    In poorer neighborhoods, who gets the brunt of that? The folks that drive cars with more equipment issues because they can't afford repairs. In the case of a predominantly black poor neighborhood, that means black motorists....and what happens when a poor motorist gets pulled over several times and written tickets? They can't pay. And when they can't pay? Their license gets suspended - which is now a crime when you drive. And you get stopped after that? Maybe an arrest. And the car gets towed. Or you don't show for court on your suspended arrest? A warrant gets issued. And when they get stopped again? Arrested and taken to jail and car towed. And when you get searched incident to arrest and small amount of marijuana found? A drug arrest...and the cycle goes on with people who could not afford to pay the original ticket to begin with...

    The amount of pressure this puts on a community, from both the LE side (the bosses saying we want more stats and want to see you making self initiated stops and writing those tickets that pay for your position) and the community side (stopped, again, for that taillight I can't pay to get fixed and now I think I got a warrant and oh, crap, I have weed on me....I cant got to jail I gotta a job interview, I'm just gonna take off or get outta my car and run (poor decision making that is not excusable, but certainly understandable, especially in poor communities where perhaps not a lot of guidance in decision making skills has come from families or parents..) and....we know the rest of the story.

    Now, stops such as these often do lead to a lot of actual criminals and drugs and guns taken off the street (stop for a taillight or expired reg, arrest on no license or a warrant, search incident, find the drugs...) but it leads to a lot of other issues as well, and it places the "protectors" of the community in a role as unofficial tax collector and also "the people that took my daddy/mommy/provider etc. away."
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Nullius in verba

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    That's actually not bad, especially after 7:28 where he takes the community to task....he's exactly right.

    The next step is to take police administration to task for demanding more "stats" based on traffic stops and arrests over problem solving: despite the politically correct rhetoric. And getting to qualitative vs. quantitative measures of work.....the time I spend connecting with the community and helping one felon with a drug problem - and not making an arrest is not getting a stat... The problem is often not only community disengagement and expectation that the police deal with loud music, pooping dogs, and -literally - parenting issues (talk about creating tension an a police state mentality), its that people don't think officers like this man exist.

    More than people who buy into the narrative might think...
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Kit,

    Thanks for your elaboration of the Blue Courage project. That little Bill Clinton bit is priceless. I think that a strong focus on developing and maintaining positive and productive attitudes and combatting cynicism, if successful, would have a great deal of benefit and that it could be quite far-reaching. Now, how to achieve that is quite a project to consider. Individuals who decide that it is important to do so and who put in the efforts to develop the self-awareness can have an impact no doubt. Whether or not it can be done institutionally and how to successfully carry out such a project on a broader level I am not sure about but I would like to be optimistic about the possibilities. Are you aware of other attempts apart from Blue Courage?

    As for your discussion on traffic stops (and you hint that these can be extended into policing-by-statistics), these are great points and might tie into the TedX video that Todd Lambert posted. Changing such approaches (and yes, as you mention, they do sometimes lead to getting guns and genuine bad-guys off the streets) could certainly de-stress the relationship between local police agencies and marginalized communities. There are many other more productive activities where police energies and resources could go, including the "service" aspect of policing that the TedX speaker emphasizes as well as catching the real bad guys. Of course this is complicated by the whole "ticket money going into city coffers" issue but city managers are going to need to take an active role if their communities are going to be robust.

    Todd,

    Thanks for posting the video. I appreciated some of Russell's perspectives on community service and re-building, his grassroots view on community policing, and on both police agencies and the larger community taking responsibility for the current problems in the relationship. Some of your previous posts came across as somewhat oppositional and I want to assure you that in my experience at least the law enforcement/public safety people on this forum and in these sub-forums in particular are good folks with nuanced points of view who are more willing to have an honest discussion about tough issues when they feel that the spirit of honest exchange of ideas and respect is there. I'm glad I watched that video so thanks again.
    Al Heinemann
    www.shofukan.ca

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  18. #26
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    A Practical Solution: Run Police Departments Like Fire Departments
    Do you lie awake at night in constant fear a fire will break out and nothing will be done to put it out?

    For the 99% of the population not suffering from pyrophobia or a similar neurosis, the answer to that question is "no," even though firefighters aren't patrolling the streets in their big red trucks. They still manage to arrive at the scene of a fire within minutes of an emergency call.

    Why can't police departments be run the same way?

    If they were, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, and Sandra Bland would be alive today. All three encountered police doing what would be considered outlandish for any other institution charged with public safety: roaming the streets, looking for trouble.

    No one had called 911 asking for protection from Scott, Gray or Bland. No judges had issued warrants for their arrests. All three were, at least at the time of their arrests, just walking or driving down the street, minding their own business. They were detained in what are generally considered "routine" but are in reality wholly unnecessary encounters with police.

    There has been a lot of digital ink and warm air expended on whether these victims of tragedy were treated differently because of their race. There are compelling arguments on both sides of that question, but no practical solutions offered by anyone. At the end of these discussions there is invariably some vague reference to "more training" or bland platitudes. Everyone knows nothing will change.

    I'm going to suggest a solution that will sound radical, even in a country that styles itself "the land of free." Let's get cops off the streets, unless responding to a 911 call or serving a warrant issued by a judge. Everyone would be freer and safer, including the police officers themselves.

    This is by no means an anti-cop argument. The problem isn't how they do their jobs; it's the job we ask them to do. A free society shouldn't be asking armed agents of the state to patrol the streets, keeping its citizens under 24/7 surveillance.

    I haven't seen any surveys, but I have a feeling that if you asked cops at random why they joined the force, very few would say it was to protect the public from broken tail lights or untaxed cigarettes. The men and women we want on this job join to protect the public from real crimes, like murder, assault, rape and robbery.

    Here's the catch: you can't have a free society where this "protection" occurs in advance. The federal and every state constitution assumes the government can't and shouldn't do anything to prevent a crime. The Fourth and Fifth amendments were written to keep the government from even trying. They assume the government is powerless until a crime has already occurred, the Fourth in particular providing further restraint on how the government investigates after the fact.

    Defending oneself while a crime is occurring is left to the citizen. It's not a responsibility of the police. Even the Supreme Court agrees. Protecting oneself is what the Second Amendment is all about.

    The job we ask police to do today annihilates the principle of the Fourth Amendment. Regardless of statutes and Supreme Court rulings, police surveilling all of society all of the time is as unreasonable a search as there ever was. Only decades of becoming accustomed to the idea allows us to see it any other way.

    It hasn't always been this way. The modern police department as we know it is a product of the 20th century. Prior to that, peace officers were generally dispatched in response to a complaint by the victim of a real crime, usually with a warrant. Contrary to legend, this did not lead to chaos, even in the inappropriately named "Wild West."

    We don't need police officers out patrolling the streets. Fire Departments have proven we can achieve emergency response in minutes without that. There is no reason police departments can't operate the same way.

    Would life under these circumstances be significantly less safe? No. The laws that might go unenforced are largely those that shouldn't exist anyway. Yes, more people might "get away with" driving 66 mph in a 55, but people would be free to call the police if a reckless driver were truly threatening public safety. The same goes for thousands of other victimless "crimes" currently enforced by police.

    Black lives matter. All lives matter. Freedom matters, too. It's the founding principle of our nation. We need to get back to organizing society around it. Redefining the role of the police would be a great place to start. Let's restrict their interactions with the public to serving warrants and answering emergency calls. We'd all be freer and safer and cops could do the job they joined the force to do.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-mu...b_7871434.html
    Nullius in verba

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    Hello Kit,

    Thanks for the reply. (I began to write this post late last year and have only just finished it -- or put it in a form that is vaguely intelligible.)

    I agree with the points you have raised. I am not really concerned with media coverage, since I do not live in the US and so receive my news from sources like the BBC and the Asahi news network here. I wanted to make two points: first, I should make the point that interpreting the facts by three different parties in my own case led to different conclusions and, secondly, to focus on something that lies beyond the collection of facts and establishing likely fact patterns and relates to your opening post. The article you cited relates to the analysis of a set of happenings / actions, with the aim of apportioning responsibility and, if necessary, praise and blame.

    Have you come across the following discussion in the Harvard Law Review http://harvardlawreview.org/2015/04/...rior-problem/? The discussion is concerned with the mindset in which people take part in training activities -- frames, if you like, and I found it of some value in the course I have been teaching on cross-cultural rhetoric. Negotiation and persuasion are subspecies of such rhetoric, but most discussions on negotiation I have come across are heavily influenced by what comes out of Harvard Business School, where business negotiation is the archetype. There is also an assumption that the Greek rhetorical model of dialectical negotiation, on which the Harvard model is based, is common to all cultures. The US approach to the recent TPP negotiations, for example, followed this model.

    EDIT: I have made the following paragraph more intelligible.

    Japan does not have a similar tradition of negotiation by means of adversarial rhetoric and the Japanese felt at a disadvantage in the TPP negotiations. An example which is closer to my own area, when one of my doctoral students reviewed the literature available for his research on the negotiation tactics used by Sakamoto Ryoma during the collapse of the bakufu and the Meiji Restoration, he found very little in Japanese.

    Best wishes,
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Peter

    Understood - but we must be aware that at times an opinion, or a perspective on a fact pattern may not be correct, even with the involved parties. Investigations are NEVER perfect or 100% accurate. We can never fully recreate what happens. It seems that some people expect perfect decision making, free of error, and based on 20/20 hindsight - all of which is specifically excluded from the process by law.


    I have not seen that article - no time to read it now, but will this evening at work. Looking forward to it.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    http://harvardlawreview.org/2015/04/...rior-problem/?

    It's at least a much more balanced and aware piece than the screeds and subjective, half-aware approach too many activist writings take....but there isn't really anything new there. He's describing what good cops do, everywhere, every day. Good, experienced cops who are trained in the very warrior mentality he seems to think is the problem.

    But overall I think its often more a "young cop - old cop" thing. Experience, maturity, the ability to see the big picture, the ability to see the senselessness of some of the quantitative, statistics based policing approaches, the ability to make the "right" decision when at times it may even be against policy (not writing a ticket, not making an arrest, etc.), the ability to manage jeopardy, to use restraint when its appropriate and force when it is reasonable and necessary.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/21/ny...nses.html?_r=0




    New York City Is Set to Adopt New Approach on Policing Minor Offenses


    By J. DAVID GOODMANJAN. 20, 2016


    New York City is poised to reshape how it treats many so-called quality-of-life offenses, softening its stance toward low-level infractions like public urination and drinking alcohol in public by steering those cases away from the criminal court system.

    A package of eight bills to be introduced in the City Council on Monday would reduce the impact of the style of policing known as broken windows that has for two decades guided the Police Department to see minor disorder as a precursor to major crime, often alienating residents in the process.

    Under the legislation, New Yorkers given tickets by the police for offenses such as violating city park rules, a misdemeanor now, would in many cases be steered to a civil process rather than criminal court.

    The Police Department has scaled back its aggressive enforcement of low-level offenses as crime fell to record lows in recent years. But Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, and the police commissioner, William J. Bratton, have said they are committed to the approach, and officers still write hundreds of thousands of criminal summonses a year.

    Discarded MetroCards at the Times Square subway station. Littering would be among the low-level offenses covered by a package of bills the New York City Council plans to take up shortly. Credit Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times

    Offenses covered by the legislation would not be decriminalized, as critics had accused the City Council of seeking to do when the proposal emerged last year. Instead, officials said, the bills, known collectively as the Criminal Justice Reform Act, seek to balance the goal of fairer punishment, laid out by Melissa Mark-Viverito, a Democrat who is the Council speaker, with the Police Department’s desire to maintain the discretion that officers use in making arrests, for even seemingly trivial offenses, when they deem it necessary.

    “We know that the system has been really rigged against communities of color in particular,” said Ms. Mark-Viverito, who has promoted such reforms and is the main sponsor of the bills. “So the question has always been, what can we do in this job to minimize unnecessary interaction with the criminal justice system, so that these young people can really fulfill their potential?”

    The approach is also meant to address two persistent problems that have bedeviled the judicial system: hundreds of thousands of low-level offenders clogging the criminal courts, and the outstanding warrants that result when those offenders fail to appear in court. Mr. de Blasio and state court officials have tried to address the same problem, altering criminal court procedures to expedite cases and to reduce the number of warrants.

    The bills cannot address the way the courts treat minor crimes covered under state law, such as marijuana possession. Instead, they focus on several types of offenses covered by the city’s administrative code, including littering, public urination, public consumption of alcohol, excessive noise and breaking certain park rules.

    Such violations, while minor, made up a huge portion of the roughly 300,000 criminal summonses issued by city officers last year, many of them written in minority neighborhoods where the police must also address more serious crimes.

    In 1995, Mr. Bratton opposed an effort by state lawmakers to remove minor offenses — like public urination and drinking — from the criminal courts completely. Police officials argued at the time that doing so would hamstring officers who, without arrest powers, could no longer compel those given tickets for minor crimes to divulge their real names. This difference this time, police officials said, is that the criminal courts remain an option.

    The Council bills seek to reduce the impact of heavy policing of offenses like the public consumption of alcohol while preserving officer discretion to make arrests. Credit Michael Kirby Smith for The New York Times

    “We have been supportive of having a civil option for the police,” said Stephen P. Davis, the Police Department’s top spokesman, who said he had not reviewed the new legislation. “It provides us more discretion.”

    The bills come after nearly a year of talks among the Council, the de Blasio administration and the Police Department, with input from the parks and health departments, Ms. Mark-Viverito said. Health officials, for example, agreed to repeal a section of the department’s rules that forbids public urination and defines it as a misdemeanor. Under the proposed legislation, that offense would be covered only by the city’s administrative code, which would treat it as either a civil offense or a criminal violation.

    The issue of public urination became a subject of intense public debate last summer as New Yorkers began to notice more homeless people on the streets. Some elected leaders balked at the idea of reducing penalties for the offense, even as they supported doing so for other infractions.

    The Police Department would set the rules for when its officers issued each sort of summons, something that had yet to be made final, Council officials said.

    “Where appropriate, the civil option is probably going to be the go-to option,” Mr. Davis said. “But you have to have the criminal option available.”

    Councilman Rory I. Lancman of Queens, a Democrat who is a sponsor of the bills, said the package would not be approved until the Council received “the guidelines that the Police Department is going to follow in deciding how to channel people into the civil justice system as opposed to the criminal justice system.”


    Those who break park rules, like these skateboarders in Washington Square Park after hours, would be among those affected by the proposed Council legislation. Credit Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times

    But with the speaker supporting the bills, and the Police Department backing the approach in principle, it appeared to stand a good chance of passage.

    A spokeswoman for Mr. de Blasio said in a statement that the mayor looked forward to discussing the details of the legislation with the Council and would “continue to work closely” with Ms. Mark-Viverito.

    “The mayor has made a clear commitment to reducing unnecessary arrests while protecting the quality of life of all our residents,” the spokeswoman, Monica Klein, said in the statement, highlighting a drop in arrests for marijuana possession since Mr. de Blasio took office.

    Under the proposed legislation, police officers would be encouraged to issue civil summonses to New Yorkers for public urination and the other affected offenses. Those accused of such violations would then go to a civil court run by the city’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, where they would face fines and civil judgments rather than warrants and jail time. In most cases, the fines would range from $25 to $250 for first-time offenders.

    The Police Department already issues thousands of summonses that are handled in such courts, often for code violations related to street vendors. The police also use a civil option with bicyclists on the sidewalk, writing tickets that send many to traffic court unless they directly endangered pedestrians, and with first-time turnstile jumpers in the subway, who often go to a civil transit court.

    The cost of making the proposed changes, which would require a significant expansion of the administrative court system, must still be worked out, Ms. Mark-Viverito said. She added that the city would also reap savings in the form of reduced jail and police resources.

    The bills would also provide an avenue for indigent offenders to perform community service rather than pay fines when appearing before an administrative judge.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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