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The Police have NO Duty to Protect Individuals

Most people think that the police are there "to protect and to serve", but the reality is that they are there to protect and serve the community, not individuals. There are many court cases which show that the police have no duty to protect individuals, meaning that if they fail to protect you, there is nothing you can do about it. If you call the police and tell them someone is going to come over and kill you, the typical answer is to call them if the person shows up, which is often too late. Often the person just makes the threat, but what if the person follows through? Calling 911 when someone is at your door can be a bit too late.

There was a case where two women were at home and called the police because they heard someone outside. The police took a long time to show up and did not see anything, so they left. It turned out that criminal had broken in by that time. The women were abused and raped for something like 13 hours. They sued the police because the police had not protected them. It was thrown out.

Some time back Los Angeles wanted to get an increase in the sales tax to pay for 911 services and Willie Williams made a scare tactic ad to try to scare people into voting for it. It showed a woman calling 911 with a criminal trying to get in and she got a busy signal. What do you think the result would be if the woman managed to get through to 911? Would the police arrive in time to catch the criminal? Do you think it would be before or after the woman was attacked? The police would be on the scene to do a criminal report, but that does little good for the person attacked.

As a side note I mentioned this topic on a legal message board. There were some people on there who claimed to be in law enforcement. They were offended by the statement that the police have no duty to protect individuals. So were so offended that they threaten me and said that they would not stop a criminal who was attacking me because of those statements. They also threaten to come over to where I lived (fortunately they did not know where I lived) and beat me up. I don't think that they got the hypocritical nature of their statements. While most police are good people, there are some like this who give a very bad name to law enforcement.


There is another political ad trying to scare people in order to get more money out of people by falsely claiming that if you pay more taxes, then you will be safe. They say that other cities have more officers per person, but they ignore the crime rate differences, but they don't care about facts or reason, just emotions and fear. The ad is for a proposition to increase the sales tax in order to hire more officers. One could ask if additional police were so important, why don't the politians we elect consider this a priority and fund the police as they should so that we can be safe? If they don't, we should toss them out of office. Of course, then they would have to cut back in other areas which are not publically supported and they certainly don't want to do that (see throwing the bums out of office). If anyone things that increasing the number of officers will protect you, they are a fool. In the fear ad, the woman calls 911 and the operators says that the police are on the way, but they imply that it is too late by the end of the 30 second ad. If the woman had realized that she was responsible for her own safety and received training on firearms and bought a shotgun, then the outcome would have been far different and it would also be far cheaper.

I have heard it said that police chiefs are not really interested in making people safer. Why? If crime was reduced, then the budget for the police department would be reduced and the power of the chief would be reduced. More crime means more power and money for the chief. I have heard that the LA Sheriff has a small jet, which based on what I have heard is not used for transporting criminal, but instead transporting the elite in the Sheriff's department on their trips. On the other hand, the police officers on the street do want less crime since it makes their job safer and their lives are on the line.

For some additional information you might want to read This was some of the case law and a brief summary of the cases. There is also additional information from the home page of that site.



Index for Insanity, Inc.

Written: 21-Nov-2003

Updated: 26-Feb-2005

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