I've blogged before about opaque phrases like "smart on crime" -- phrases that have no very obvious definition, but that inevitably turn out to mean a bunch of proposals to empty the prisons or not put anyone in them to start with.
A first cousin of "smart on crime" is "smart policing." I have been largely unable to tell what that means, but being a suspicious man, I've had an inkling it means something bad. Today I think I got a clue, courtesy of this story. It seems that a police captain is suing the deputy chief for directing him to order his officers to attend a not-entirely-conventional event at the local mosque:
A Tulsa police captain has filed a federal lawsuit claiming his civil rights were violated after he was reassigned and placed under investigation for refusing to order officers to attend a voluntary social event at a mosque.
The events leading to the lawsuit started last week when members of the Tulsa Police Department were invited to attend a "Law Enforcement Appreciation Day" at the Islamic Center of Tulsa. It was advertised as a social gathering featuring food, an opportunity to watch a Muslim prayer service, and an invitation to join lectures on beliefs, human rights and women.
According to [Fields' attorney], no one responded to the invitations and no one volunteered. The following day, Fields received a directive ordering him to find officers to attend.
Now your guess is as good as mine as to what this is actually about. It's no doubt a good thing for the police to know their community. But you have to wonder what's going on when they're ordered to watch the prayer service of a particular religion, and to participate in lectues about whatever Islamic religious leaders think of "human rights" and "women." What would the reaction be if the police were ordered to do the exact same thing, except in a speaking-in-tongues, evangelical Christian church?
When I was growing up, the cops were supposed to catch crooks, and that was about it. On the other hand, when I was growing up, it was a long, long time ago. No one had heard of sensitivity training, political correctness, or "smart policing."