In many big cities, responding to crime is no longer the police force’s top priority


This report from Seattle makes disturbing reading for those living there, but its implications stretch far beyond that city, and beyond Washington state as well.  The push to “defund the police” and impose left-wing, progressive perspectives on city administrations, prosecuting authorities and those who enforce the law has resulted in many liberal cities struggling with rising crime rates and increasing street violence.  Read this with that in mind.

Seattle Police are changing the way 911 calls are handled. Under a new system, lower priority calls will be funneled into a queue. If an officer never responds to that call, a supervisor can just delete it using what’s called “Z protocol.” Moving forward, anything unanswered by SPD due to a lack of resources will fall under what’s called “Z protocol.”

Seattle City Councilmember Sara Nelson believes the policy pivot is an outgrowth of under staffing. According to data in a recent SPD Finance and Response Time Report, over the past four years response times have gone up at all Seattle Police precincts, indicating it’s taking longer for help to arrive.

“Let’s be clear, the Seattle Police Department has lost over 400 personnel since 2020,” said Nelson. “Investigators, 100 of them have been moved out of specialty units like sexual assault and into patrol. There still aren’t enough officers out there to ensure a rapid response to 911 calls.”

. . .

Jim Fuda, Executive Director of Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound, says the failed defund the police experiment has led to the use of “Z protocol.” He’s concerned that without a follow up call or further communication from law enforcement, more people may start taking matters into their own hands.

There’s more at the link.

Note that Seattle’s approach hides the scale of the problem.  If the call is deleted from the 911 queue, there’ll be no record of it ever existing, so it won’t be included in the tally of crimes per day, week, month or year.  Without any official notice being taken of it, liberal politicians can trumpet that they’ve reduced the crime rate – when, in fact, they’ve done nothing of the sort.  They’re simply lying to their electorate.

Mr. Fuda isn’t wrong in his concerns.  Everywhere in the world, when police prove incapable of dealing with crime and violence, communities do take matters into their own hands.  In the South, that’s often referred to as the “3-S treatment“, applied to criminals as well as animals.  I’ve heard more than one rural resident comment along the lines of, “Yeah, we get criminals now and then.  So what?  I’ve got a backhoe.”  To date, I think that’s been more bravado than actual policy.  I suspect it won’t take much to change that.

In many parts of the world, the absence of effective law enforcement often pits gang against gang.  I’ve seen that at first hand, far too often for comfort, and played the game myself, paying off one gang for protection against others (sometimes the only way to get relief convoys through to their destination in parts of Africa).  Typically, a gang controlling an area of a city or slum will offer “protection” to those living there;  pay us so much a month, or provide us with the things we need, and we’ll stop outsiders from robbing and threatening you.  It won’t mean you’re immune to such crimes – the local gang will still commit them freely – but you’ll only have to worry about them from one source, and the gang bosses will keep them to a reasonable level because they don’t want to “kill the goose that lays the golden eggs”.  Of course, if a bigger, more powerful gang moves in, the “protecting” gang will hand over its area without hesitation rather than die for it, and turmoil will result until a new modus vivendi can be worked out.

I know a number of current and former policemen and sheriff’s deputies.  Their concern for the future is tangible.  Those in big cities can see the writing on the wall, and are almost uniformly (you should pardon the expression) looking to retire as soon as they hit eligibility, or transfer to a more rural department with less tolerance for current, politically correct administration.  They know if they perform their jobs without fear or favor, as they should, they’ll be pilloried as “racist” or some other epithet du jour.  The inevitable result is that they’ve stopped taking risks, and try hard not to put themselves into situations where they might find a liberal, progressive DA turning on them because they arrested, or hurt, or shot an alleged perpetrator of a politically correct race or ethnic group.  It’s hard to blame them.

I suspect – no, I’m sure – we’re going to see this problem spread across America, unless and until we, the people, do something about it, either through the ballot box or through more … er … direct measures.  I foresee a flourishing market in used backhoes.



  1. To date, I think that's been more bravado than actual policy.

    This is generally true, but it depends on the part of the country you're in. The caveat here is that people who know and practice the three ess philosophy live in areas completely foreign to those criminals who are likely to get ventilated. For instance, in a small town south east of me the local citizens decided they didn't want any peaceful demonstrators championing the BLM movement while marching down Main Street. So, all concerned white law abiding citizens broke out their shotguns, loaded them up with high brass, and lined the streets. What followed was a uniquely peaceful demonstration.

    …the absence of effective law enforcement often pits gang against gang.

    The Hells Angels tried a version of this in, I believe, Detroit, MI. The arrangement worked out well for everyone. One example was an elderly lady who lived across the street from the Angels club house. She had a picket fence around her front yard, and the fence was always being knocked down by the local teens and twenties. Then the Angels moved in and the fence was mysteriously repaired and never knocked down again. Homeless, would-be toughs, and other undesirables were informed that they were no longer welcome. They moved out.

    When the cops raided the Angels clubhouse, they got a real earful from the local residents. Everything had been peaceful, no car break-ins, no vandalism, no graffiti – then the cops showed up and ruined it.

    I am, by nature and intent, a law abiding citizen. I know the Hells Angels are not, but I wouldn't be adverse to this kind of arrangement in my neighborhood. Local businesses wouldn't mind it either, as thieves would be deterred.

  2. As a high drag, low speed operator of heavy equipment, I don't see the "I have a backhoe" statement as bravado. I look at it as having the peace of mind of being heavily insured.

  3. Looking at how the police refuse to protect, like in Uvalde, or actively assist the lawbreakers, like in Portland and Seattle, and viewing things like traffic enforcement for profit and asset forfeiture, I would argue that the police in many areas ARE the gang that is extracting protection money.

    The breakdown of law and order is just another step in the CIA insurgency manual. The citizens of the regime to be overthrown must see the old regime as ineffective and incapable of providing basic services. Those citizens will soon demand that someone help them. That is when the forces who wish to take power step forward to "help." The failure of basic government functions like police and the courts is a feature to them, not a bug.

  4. There is a campaign sign I saw on my drive home yesterday, as I passed through Issaquah, WA. That candidates' short message was:

    "Make Crime Illegal Again"

  5. I have heard that in some Jewish religious neighborhoods, if there is a criminal identified, the call goes out "hup him". Then there is a convergence of several hundred locals such that one cannot see what happens. Then when everyone disperses, the "criminal" has been stuffed into a a sewer and the sewer lid has been replaced. Thus, the three S's has occurences in other places…

  6. Largish untamed rivers work better than a backhoe, no telltale disturbed dirt. Another three S route!

  7. Around here we have some deep lakes. You don't ask questions if someone is stopped on a bridge late at night. Is what it is.

  8. The "Z Protocol" sounds like the prequel to Judge Dredd, where 98% of 911 calls get no response.

  9. This is just the LEO version of decriminalizing illegal acts. And it's very common in foreign countries too.


    As to the 3S method, there are still hollows in the Smokies where you don't want to do crime or even go into as the locals are very self-regulating if you know what I mean.

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