Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Supreme Court Rules Police Can't Be Sued

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 on Monday that police cannot be sued for the way in which they chose to enforce restraining orders. A Castlerock, CO woman was attempting to sue the Castlerock police for failing to act promptly to enforce a restraining order against her estranged husband, who during the hours it took the police to agree to respond to her complaints of the order being violated, murdered their three children and then committed suicide.

This is precisely why the government’s monopoly on police protection should be abolished. If private police forces were available to this woman the nature of competitive markets would have ensured a timely response to the violated restraining order. If the police force she subscribed to did not respond to protect her she would be entitled to sue for breach of contract. I would bet however that such issues would seldom arise because of the incentive to provide good service to customers in order to maintain a good reputation in the market and stay in business. Since she is forced to subscribe to only the Castlerock police force through compulsory taxes the police have no incentive to provide her with the quality of service she obviously was in need of.

Do you think citizens should be allowed to sue police forces for failing to respond to calls? What do you think about allowing private police forces to compete with the public police force? Or how about getting rid of publicly provided police all together?

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