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How Wayne State Police Helped Breathe Life Into a Blighted Detroit Strip

Stashed in: police, Po Po!, Privacy, Michigan

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Cheery and optimistic look at the upside of private policing taking over from public services, that skates right past any troubling issues. Basically the city of Detroit cannot provide enough policing for the community to thrive, so it has commissioned the entire police force of Wayne State University, which has taken over primary responsibility for a 4 square mile area around its campus. The department makes extensive use of video surveillance -- 850 cameras -- as well as "preventative" programs, such as sending officers along on home visits by parole agents so that violators can be arrested immediately. All of this has resulted in a best-case scenario for business owners and their patrons who are not concerned with privacy issues: crime is sharply down, businesses occupancy is sharply up, cops have time to chat with shop owners and the community has maximum services. On the downside, a private police force can track your car by license plate all the way to the Canadian border with ease... and if you're a parolee, you better keep your action squeaky clean even in your own home.

You're right, this article skates past any troubling issues and makes private policing seem desirable.

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