Half the Police Force Quit. Crime Dropped

The interesting story of the upscale Minneapolis suburb of Golden Valley.

The city hired a high ranking black female officer and followed up with a black Chief of Police. The largely white police union got their underwear all twisted up in a knot as a result and half of them quit.



The stupidest half quit, good riddance!

The Captain


Well, let’s see…maybe Chicago should get rid of half of whatever police force they still have…

Or perhaps Golden Valley is an outlier…


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The police do not solve crime. The police investigate crime.

Wealth stops crime to some extent. Or at least what the crime is shifts. How often it is investigated shifts as well.


Back in July there was a NYT piece about Happy Valley, MN (a wealthy suburb of Minneapolis). Well, it seemed the writer left out some important information.

In 2022, some members of Golden Valley’s city council and its mayor decided that the police department needed reform through various diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. The ensuing transformation led to an unprecedented number of police officer resignations over the past year and a half…

This level of staffing required the city to contract with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office to cover police calls 50 percent of each day

“Crime is down,” is true only if you rely solely on data collected and reported by the Golden Valley Police Department (GVPD). But the disclaimer on the police department’s crime statistics site clearly notes: “The below reports do not include data from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.”



Nice sleuthing.

Now, with my Steve203 non sequitur’s hat on, I’ll present a completely unrelated story that somehow - maybe- ties in.

In my previous and current industries, there is a strong trend to use contractors (and not employees) for certain roles. Among them, high risk construction, remediation and repair work.

It just so happens that once a contractor is hired, all liability shifts to that entity. That entity also takes the burden of reporting activities, incidents and outcomes.

Enter the management review with bonus encrusting statements like “we reduced our TIRR by 50%!”

If you cannot reduce or eliminate, change the report.


But many people seem to think that “deterrence” stops crime. One would think that would be easily debunked, since we have more per capita imprisoned than anywhere else on the planet and yet we still have crime.

As Leap says, wealth and opportunity stops crime. The police simply investigate it so it can be punished by the justice system. But it does not stop crime.


No one thinks deterrence eliminates crime - just that if you have more deterrence, you have less crime. But “per capita imprisoned” is a poor measure of deterrent effect, especially if that results from very long sentences. IIRC, the best deterrent effect comes a very high likelihood of being caught and receiving some punishment, even if it’s not especially severe.


Disagreed. People with education and opportunities seldom resort to crime. Except the white collar type. If all you do is try to deter through punishment then you have also trapped those very people in a bad place.


lol,and a good story. I have noticed that often. If management does not like the data, they change what is measured. The pump seal company hired a “management consultant” to do a market survey for them, to see where they stood vs the competition. There wasn’t any way they could spin the results, so they claimed the consultant’s methodology was faulty, and tossed the report out.



Deterrence is not the only way to reduce crime. I don’t think anyone claims it is. I’m just pointing out that deterrence also isn’t *useless in reducing crime. All modern societies (at least above a certain population level) have a criminal justice system. Even if you stipulated that a society could exist where everyone had high levels of education and vast opportunities, some crime would still exist. And there’s still the issue of how to deal with crime during in the societies where that Edenic level of opportunity had not yet been attained (ie. all of the ones in the real world). Even the countries with exceptionally robust social safety nets still have non-trivial levels of crime.

And that’s before you get into the relatively knotty problem that education and opportunity are not just absolute measures, but relative ones. By almost any measure, the population of the U.S. is vastly more educated than back in 1870 - back when illiteracy rates were at 20% and long before the implementation of near-universal public school education. But in many ways, the least educated today are worse off than the least educated back then, even though they are certain to be significantly better educated in an absolute sense. No matter how you structure a society, there will always be a bottom quintile on education and opportunity.


I live near Golden Valley, MN and used to live literally across the highway from it.

Point not mentioned: Most crime in the metro area is DOWN, quite significantly. Having a report of less crime is not really a surprise when it is happening pretty much everywhere in the overall larger area.


So that’s another thing that Radley Balko managed to leave out of his NYT piece.


Most crime rate statistics are notoriously reliable. For example, if you hire more cops, they might observe more crime and the crime rate goes up. Converse is true as well.

Well-publicized police abuse cases lower the crime rate because people trust the police less so they report fewer crimes.

Law-and-order mayors can oversee a drop in the crime rate, because compliant police departments want to protect sympathetic politicians by underreporting crime.

The most reliable crime statistics are homicides because they can’t be easily ignored, and car theft because people need to report theft to their insurance companies.


You meant to say “unreliable”.

You can see this in action right now for all sorts of low-level crimes. People know that the cops aren’t going to come for most things, so they weigh in their mind “report it and waste an hour or two for no reason” or “go on with life and suffer the loss”. A perfect example is vehicle break-ins in SF, the number of reported break ins has been pretty constant over the last 5 years, but anecdotally, including all sorts of public videos, etc, it is likely to be way up. But the victim of a break in can either report it to the police and waste a few hours with no useful followup, or just go to their mechanic and ask him to find a window at a local junkyard and replace it. They’re going to have to do that anyway, so why bother adding the extra few hours with the police? There was a feature on the SF news a few weeks ago that said there were about 15,000 vehicle break ins so far in 2023, and the cops arrested 30 people in total. So what can SF people conclude from that statistic?


Some insurance companies (actually, many) require a police report in order to submit a claim on criminal damage to property. Depending on the policy (deductibles/the amount of damage), it might be worth ‘losing’ a few hours of time for a report.


Based on a bunch of anecdotes, people don’t want to report it to their insurance company. First, because it is usually just around their deductible level anyway, and second, because of the level of hassle (submit claim, submit police report, wait), and third, because there is a perception that their insurance rates will rise if they submit claims like that (some states allow insurance rates to rise, some do not, but the perception exists everywhere), and fourth, because a broken window needs to be fixed immediately to make the vehicle usable again, no time to wrangle with an insurance company to get approvals.

Quick window repairs is apparently a pretty widespread service now in SF. It’s almost commodity like at this point, so the prices have been commoditized as well.


I agree that in your scenario, this is probably the best route to go - i.e. do not submit an insurance claim if the amount is trivial, if the claim is difficult to submit, that rates will rise, and that you have to have the window repaired pronto.

I suppose I’m thinking more generally since I’m in an adjacent industry that sees a lot of this kind of activity: the smash and grab affects more than just a window, the claim is not that difficult to submit, the insurance rates do not rise as a consequence, and another vehicle is either available or the damaged one is drivable.


Some of the videos I’ve seen are incredible. The thieves are even considerate in many cases and they break the small triangular window near the C-pillar rather than breaking the more complex door window (that slides down). The incredible part is how quickly they can do it, they drive near a target vehicle, glance through the windows to see if anything of value is in sight, exit car, break window, open door or reach inside with hand, grab whatever is there, enter their car, and drive off … all in less than 60 seconds. I even saw a video where they were able to get the trunk open somehow to see if there was anything of value in it!

Oh, I agree that if there is more damage than, say, a simple $500 window repair at In&Out Auto Glass, that there will be a claim made. I know that nowadays claims are really easy to do, some insurance companies even allow you do it online right from their app on your phone. But , I am talking more about perception rather than reality, the perception is that making a claim is a hassle, the perception is that making claims will raise your insurance rates, etc.

I hate all dealing with vile thievery, and have always avoided being a victim by

Only having had one new car in my life, and that one I left ostentatiously unlocked with nothing in it.
Not washing my car more than necessary for vision safety and preventing paint decay
Keeping my home welcoming and pretty in the front yard but fortress forbidding in most other aspects.

My habits have served me well. I have never had a problem in far more crime ridden Mexico, neither with my home nor on notorious highways.

Why why why do gringos walk around in Mexican resorts with Rolexes on their wrists and diamonds on their fingers?

david fb

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