There is no end to the lunacy that can come from a government functionary when he has newfound money and a desire to keep the folks “safe.” Take Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw who now has $1 million burning a hole in his pocket, thanks to the Florida Legislature.
The money will be used for a new violence prevention unit ostensibly to prevent shootings like the ones in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo.
Bradshaw said plans are to use specially trained deputies, mental health professionals and caseworkers to respond to calls made to a 24-hour citizen hotline with a knock on the door and a referral to services, if needed. The goal won’t be to arrest troubled people but to get them help before there’s violence, Bradshaw said. As a side benefit, law enforcement will have needed information to keep a close eye on things.
“We want people to call us if the guy down the street says he hates the government, hates the mayor and he’s gonna shoot him,” Bradshaw said. “What does it hurt to have somebody knock on a door and ask, ‘Hey, is everything OK?’”
What does it hurt? You might ask that question of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., were he still alive. Or maybe you could ask Lisa Messina, who called police because her son was suicidal and who watched as a sniper shot and killed him while his back was turned. Or you could talk to Daniel Jensen. Police used a Taser on him rather than help him try to save his house, which was about to catch fire from the house fire next door.
My guess is Bradshaw’s unit is going to be quite busy. There are a lot of people who hate what governments — from local to State to Federal — are doing, and they’re expressing their displeasure on websites like this one and on social media and in public. Add to these the calls from neighbors with an ax to grind and jilted lovers looking for some sort of revenge, and Bradshaw’s unit is going to run through that $1 million pretty quickly. After all, here’s how police respond to emergencies: