A New Birth of Freedom


Somewhere on the way to the sea, South Carolina, United States of America
December 31
Major General
Military Division of the Mississippi (Army of the Ohio, Army of the Cumberland, Army of the Tennessee)
I root out and destroy secession, wherever it is found.


FEBRUARY 4, 2012 6:49PM

Republican First Responder Strategy

Rate: 23 Flag

I was driving to Court yesterday and heard an interesting exchange on the radio.

A conservative economist was discussing how state and municipal governments throughout the northeast were going bankrupt, due to the allegedly high wages of policemen, firemen, paramedics and other first responders. 

The economist stated that one of the reasons why first responder wages were so high, was because they were trained to do "superfluous tasks"---things they didn't need to do, things that overlapped with the job duties of other first responders.

The radio host asked this economist for an example of something he felt was "superfluous" when it came to first responder training and duties. 

The conservative economist stated  that Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training and basic first aid training were good examples of what he was talking about. 

He stated that ideally, only paramedics should focus on EMT and first aid training, because this "goes to the concept of economic specialization."

He stated that firemen should only focus on fighting fire, and policemen should only focus on fighting crime. He stated that its a waste of money to teach a fireman how to perform CPR or train a police officer to apply a tourniquet. He stated that this results in a needless repetition and overlapping of job duties, something that results in the wasting of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars each year throughout the nation. 

He said that a sensible Republican/Conservative approach to First Responder programs in America, both at the national and local level, would necessarily consist of (a) the cutting of wages for firemen, paramedics and police officers; (b) an economically efficient trimming of the training first responders receive, such that they can be pure-field specialists, and (c) working to ensure that new jobs are created, perhaps, from those duties and tasks culled from the abovementioned first responder teams. 

I don't know about you, but I think this economist is a useless waste of space. I think its a good idea that firemen and police officers know how to apply a tourniquet, use basic first aid, or apply CPR in the field. Oftentimes, when there is an emergency situation, you may only have a single police officer or a handful of firefighters at your disposal. It may take a while for a certified paramedic to arrive on the scene, and those lost minutes could make a difference between life and death. 

Yes, this may be redundant in terms of job training. Yes, this may not be the most economically efficient system possible. But I think this sort of redundance makes the most sense, from a human point-of-view. 

 What do you think?

Are the Republicans going totally insane here, or is it just me?


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What an idiot! All those specialists sitting round waiting for a call for their "speciality". Next he'll be calling for a 2/3 reduction of personnel with all of the remaining third trained to do everything! No use duplicating costly personnel, right?
Why not go one step further, and employ nothing but illegal aliens for first responders? I'll bet you could import 15 Pakistanis, and they could get by on the same amount of money as a 20 year veteran.
And you wouldn't have to worry about costs of unemployment insurance, pensions, health care, other fringe benefits, and Social Security because they were illegal!
Naah, it's not you. It's a bunch of rich guys trying to figure out where to find money where it isn't because they have it all, so they're picking the pockets of people without money, which is what many of them do now.
(...rolling eyes...)
I agree with Toritto. People who think and talk like this need to have their computers confiscated to force them to get out and interact with real people.
It's you.

Like I always say, checkbook arithmetic is a concept far more potent than the most ardent Progressive/Socialist.
Um yeah. So the firefighter daringly rescued the old lady from her burning house, then dumps her on the sidewalk and says "not my job" while she bleeds to death? Great plan. Why didn't I think of that?
The great game, these days, is to find stupid people and easily demonstrate their stupidity. This works well with almost all politicians. Of course, to play it safe, Republicans fit the mold every time but Democrats are a pretty safe bet as well. Economists are generally easy marks and military leaders slip easily into the category as well. It is, I suppose, a simple way to alleviate some of the pain that most of the people in control of the world are brutal idiots. But the pain, basically, remains.
Uncle Chri, of course, would be perfectly happy to be found at a fire in a rather crispy state by a fireman whose only recourse would be to shove an apple in his mouth.
Of course cross-training is very important. This man is full of it. It is just more right-wing propaganda,
Sounds like he's trying to create a union shop and I thought they were against that.

Really, though, he wants a bunch of minimum wage jobs with a very strict job description which would, in the end, require police, fire, and paramedics to respond to every call. How does that save money? The equipment required, all by itself, would bankrupt us. Unless they attach a fire hose to the police cruiser and keep the canine cop in the ambulances.
I have no words other than to say this "conservative economist" can't really believe he is right or correct with this idiotic strategy of his.
Hmm, I wonder if the economist is performing a redundant task? What the fuck does an economist actually DO? Do they create jobs? Are they running banks? Do they regulate the stock market?

Oh wait, they're ultra smart people who tell us idjits how money works, how trade operates and where money is being wasted in ineffcient fields about which they seem to have no practical hands-on experience. If I were president, I'd:
A) Cut funding for bankers and their inefficient lending habits
B) Remove the dead wood jobs of economists in the government, because I already know how money works, trade operates and where inefficiencies in spending are; and
C) Create more jobs, maybe based on the removal of those redundancies in training between bankers, mortgage brokers, financiers and economists.

So, does this sound more or less crazy than the spew from that economist about First Responders?

I mean, the name implies it all: First Responders. I don't know about you, but I'd damn sure like my first responder to an emergency know CPR, how to do basic First Aid and I'd be greatful if I needed it and they were also certified Emergency Medical Technician.

When it comes to emergency response (I was trained in CPR and Certified in Basic First Aid since I was 13, part of my Disaster Preparedness Team in the Air Force and served as a member of the Emergency Response Teams at all my high tech positions) I think we would be wisely spending our tax dollars and public funds to train as many as possible in these potentially life saving areas.

It's not redundancy, it's a form of life insurance. I've never used my CPR training, not once. I have used my Emergency First Aid training, swimming instruction and Basic First Aid training to save four lives in the course of time. I don't know, but I'm pretty sure each of those people, plus their family and friends, would consider the public and tax funds used to train me was money well spent.

I am not now, nor have I ever been in this lifetime: A fireman, a police officer, an EMT or field medic. I have saved lives and I attribute that to the training I did recieve. I hope if something ever happens to me where I need that help that someone else paid attention and got that training too.

RW, you seem always to spot the incredibly smart stupid people in the world. I can't say I envy you, but I am proud to be able to read what you have to write about them.

Efficiency is a laudable goal when you're talking about machines. It even applies to many human situations, but certainly not all of them.
"From a human point of view" doesn't enter into the picture anymore where conservatives are concerned. It's not just the insanity, it's the calculated callousness that makes my head spin. Like Jan said, "brutal idiots" in high places. I'm curious--did the interviewer follow up and asked questions like have been asked here, or let him spew this "economic plan" as if it weren't utter nonsense?
I think if you have to ask whether this is insane reasoning, Rw, you've gone round the bend yourself. Why do you waste time with this stuff? Cutting budgets is busy work. It's what politicians do when they've run out of ideas and the only effective things they could do would offend the rich. So they get everyone talking about stupid shit like this. Really, stop helping.
It's not you.
The "economist" is an idiot, which is pretty much synonymous with "conservative" in the popular use of the word. It's sort of a mental illness that limits the victim to myopia and contradiction combined with delusions of intelligence.

The state and local governments aren't victims of high wages, they're victims of the conservative's destruction of the economy. Of course, the conservative ideologue can't see that and wouldn't admit it if they could. They cling to the idea of liquidating American workers to save America because they are so damned dumb they don't see the interdependence between wages, demand, supply and investment. The idea we can reduce wages to promote economic growth is self defeating.

Another contradiction is the claim that the investor class will be more willing and able to perform their function if they make more money, but the same incentives don't apply to labor. Like I said, these people are fumbducks.

Some even go so far as to compare macroeconomics to checkbook arithmetic and think that throwing in the requisite reference to progressives and socialists somehow elevates clownish to competent. I guess, though, that if that's the only argument you have and you lack the capacity for shame, you might as well use it. Over and over and over again. But hey, nobody will notice....

The "economist" clown is so intent on "proving" a "conservative" meme he ignores function. The fire fighting infrastructure has to be maintained at a certain level because, even though fires are infrequent, they sometimes require a massive response. I know more than a few firemen and can state with absolute knowledge there is a lot of downtime between fires. So, using them as medical first responders increases the value of the infrastructure you have to have anyway.

The fire fighters have to have EMT-type training and equipment to care for their own and victims of fires. The initial reason they were used as first responders is they have, by necessity, some of the proper equipment and training.
I once watched a lady go out of control on a curve and wrap her car around a tree. I called 911 from what was then my car phone and the ambulance showed up, but then had to call the FD to "Jaws" her out of the car. Anecdotal, but a good illustration of the need for both.

If you limited medical response to only ambulances and EMTs, you would have to expand that ambulance infrastructure, which doesn't save money, but adds cost. Ultimately, all that's accomplished is you either reduce adequate response or spend more money to give firefighters more time to work-out, cook, eat and sleep at the fire station or, as a conservative assbabbler would claim -- turn them into progressive socialists!
You already know my opinions on most things economic. If I were inclined to give you a longer answer, I've have said something along the lines of what Paul O'Rourke just said. He said it pretty well, actually.
This idiot apparently doesn't understand that following his advice would require MORE public employees. But then the Libertarian ideal is always ultimately idiotic and in opposition to reality. Philosophically it is the opposite of utopia, and practically it always leads not to absolute freedom but to absolute anarchy. See Somalia for an example of Libertarian religious belief put into practice.
Said it once and I'll say it again: Austerity is the only game in town because it leads to privatization. It's an infomercial for more predation, more capital expansion, which is profiting fewer and fewer all the time. It also indicates the bankrupcy of the productive part of the system, ideologically as well as literally. Better to listen to old hits way over on the end of the FM dial....

The intellectual vacuity of this argument is stunning. In the context of municipal or county bankruptcy, the debate about cross-training first responders, especially at the expense of higher wages, is moot, unless a reduction in force is being considered. This is obvious and easily foreseen, but hardly mentioned in the post or the comments.

Following the logic here almost begs the question about why police aren’t being trained in the art and science of garbage collection or why garbage men aren’t being trained as first responders. After all, they patrol the same streets. In doing this we would, of course, enhance the wages and benefits of both sets of workers and keep them all employed at the increased expense.

It seems far more important to demonize the economist by labeling him or her. Heaven forbid that common sense would escape the mouth of one considered a Conservative or, worse yet, a Republican.

Thus, we have plumbed the intellectual depth of much of the foregoing.

Checkbook arithmetic always prevails over the passionate outcries of those who want more government, more first responders, more cross training, and more money thrown at whatever is felt contributes to a beautiful society without regard to the cost. This is the utopia of LBJ, whose ambition it was, not only to reduce poverty, but also to eliminate it.

The argument here has no clothes. However, please feel welcome to pick up your fiddles while Jefferson County, Alabama, Orange County, California, your preferred northeastern city, etc., burns.
UncleChri: are you saying that you support this policy?

Are you truly saying that you endorse a policy that would cut CPR and First Aid training for police officers and firefighters?

Do you think your views are indicative of Libertarianism, and/or the conservative movement in general?
I mean "representative" of Libertarianism and/or conservatism in general.

Why is it so important that you label the persons who discuss this issue? Is it impossible for you to discuss this issue unless you categorize them?

This is, of course, part of the reason that almost all of the foregoing is vacuous. The one way to insure that common sense is excluded from a political discussion is to start yelling at each other the way opposing fans do at the Super Bowl.
Like Progressive Socialist?

You didn't present an real argument and never do.
We could plumb the depths of your intellectual prowess with a thumbtack. There isn't a single commentator here who couldn't flog you into submission, even though your pissy pompousity wouldn't allow you to admit it. The clumsy circumlocution doesn't, though you think it does, remotely resemble intelligence.

However, taken as a whole, you're truly hilarious. You label as an insult, get thumped and then cry about labeling. Yup, your mind is a steel trap of logic...

Thanks for the grins.
You want to know what happened to Jefferson County, Alabama? They sure didn't declare bankruptcy because there were too many first responders. Read about it here.
UncleChri is suffering under the delusion very popular amongst conservatives that the way to stimulate the economy is to shut down most of the essential services of a country, fire as many people as possible to save paying out wages, and pay off all debts to the wealthy sector of a country in the hopes that the money will be invested in producing goods that nobody can now afford. What happens under those conditions is that everything gets worse since the wealthy find it much more profitable to play games with their wealth in the financial sector that does not stimulate the economy at all. That's what is happening in England and the US and where ever the financial powers are strangling the economy. Money will not be invested where there is no market to provide a return.
Uncle Chri has a point -- in his case, a public education was an obvious waste of taxpayers money.
Wow. . . . . I guess all these insults prove my point.

Seems like everyone is willing to answer (if that's what these response are) for Rw, except, of course, for Rw.
To take it as an insult when requested to face reality implies a rather peculiar attitude. I guess that's the basis for the failure if educational processes.
Keep guessing -- it's a lot easier than thinking
Because the hell-spawn who cling to Cheney/Rove conservatism like geckos on the ceiling, yet can't bring themselves to mention their, or Shrub's, names, because of the direct line to the cause of the decline of our Empire, are ALL CHICKENHAWKS they are simply puritanical, credulous imbeciles, incapable of the type of action those of the Buckley/Goldwater crowd might muster when it comes to dealing with reality in public services and policy. Those who went through WWII and Korea knew how to run things, regardless of how colonial they may have been ... guys who could build a canal or a battleship in 60 days- not complete and total imbeciles whose every word is pure, total unadulterated gibberish with no basis in fact of any sort. Imagine the goddamn gall of getting up to say people shouldn't expand their skills in helping all of us survive and thrive! What a F*&$%^&G Jerk!
Uncle Chri: Your arguments and your perspective, from your blog, are clearly Conservative/Libertarian. Correct me if I'm wrong. That said, your arguments make absolutely no sense and you commit the same fallacy (ad hominem) that you are throwing at others.

I'm off to court right now, but will add to this debate when I return. Needless to say, your ideas are the sort of psychopathic short-term economic obsessiveness (that excludes all sorts of economic externalities that are directly caused by said ideas) that is driving this nation into third world status.
It's not insanity tho it was an awfully foolish, next-to-meanngless 'example' and just does no good for hi assertion.

Your initial comment was useless and irrelevant to the topic, only serving, in your mind, as a statement of wisdom (designed to replace the critical analysis you can't perform).

Speaking of intellectual vacuity and puffoonerous circumlocution, let us examine your response:

"The intellectual vacuity of this argument is stunning."

If you're referring to what follows, an accurate statement.

"In the context of municipal or county bankruptcy, the debate about cross-training first responders, especially at the expense of higher wages, is moot, unless a reduction in force is being considered."

The debate isn't about cross training first responders, it's about whether that, which is already done, should be done. The blowhard "economist" says it should not, as it's an added expense, both in training expense and pay to match the added skills, I presume. He tries to sound intelligent by adding the inapplicable concept of "pure field specialists," which in emergency situations presents the perilous inefficiency of lost time while "specialist 1" waits for "specialist 2" to arrive. Obviously, in terms of "county bankruptcy," you will spend more money in the aggregate without cross-training, so the concept is a false economy. The reason a fool "economist" or a blathering smart guy wannabe can't see that is the "thinking" template is ideology first, justification bent to fit second.

"This is obvious and easily foreseen, but hardly mentioned in the post or the comments."

It wasn't mentioned because it's nonsense and the comments weren't made by morons who pop-off first, then flop like a fish trying to back-track the justification.

Continuing the wannabe smart guy train wreck:

"Following the logic here almost begs the question about why police aren’t being trained in the art and science of garbage collection or why garbage men aren’t being trained as first responders. After all, they patrol the same streets."

Nobody is arguing this point based on proximity, but on the shared fact of emergency response as a job description. To reduce it to that particular display of moronic ad absurdum doesn't make you Mr Logic; it makes you a moron who thinks he has created a logical construct and a fool who thinks he has generated wit.

You're like a kid who overheard adults talking. You sort of pick up on the form of logic, but don't understand it's not based on using the language of plausibility -- there has to be a supportable inference in there, somewhere.
Also, you have to respond on point to truly be arguing with another person. You -- and I'm an expert in watching you "arguing" -- prefer to construct your own version of their argument and argue with yourself. You should stop before you need glasses.

The rest is just an extension of the intellectually vacant foundation of your shtick. First, crybaby conservatism -- you and Mr "economist" are being unfairly attacked *sniff* based on your self-identification as conservatives. A popular cop-out among the 2 digit IQ Right, but nothing more than whiny tantrum to the thinking-enabled.
You are not a victim of ad hominem attacks beyond your use of them. To be ad hominem, the response to your proffer would have to be limited to insult alone. Mr "economist" and Chris were taken down on-point. The insults that follow are based on evidence you supply in abundance, so are simply descriptive.

You wouldn't be a martyr...if you were smartyr...

Then the same Chris diatribe we've come to know and laugh about. Great Society! Socialists! Checkbook arithmetic! Utopia! Poor Churchill...you left him out of this one...

This coming from the ideological equivalent of a brain-dead Leninist Bolshevik. We can only hope a chainsaw could cut through the irony.
I think Boko is right about privatization. It's exactly the model being followed on Social Security: kill the tax base by undertaxing the wealthy so there's an excuse to cut Social Security based on austerity, then privatize it when it's cut.

The problem with austerity in economic terms is that business ultimately suffers because fewer wage-earners means fewer customers. That's so basic and yet so widely ignored.

I'm not getting into the Uncle Chri thing; Paul's doing just fine.
When you and your friends have stolen 26 trillion dollars it is very important to create diversions. Some bright eyed lawyer like yourself RW might start looking a little to carefully at Bush’s pet Golem Ben Bernanke.


So of course being as brilliant as they are republican pundits have adopted a policy of casting suspicion upon the Civil services that constitute the very fabric of a civilization. It’s those nasty EMS workers that are responsible for the missing 26 trillion. I have an idea! We can have that Mexican you got off for driving a deathtrap of a truck be retrained to do EMS work. Hopefully the first person he treats will be Rush Limbaugh the next time he OD’s.

I am not here to change your mind about anything. I am always here to improve the quality of political discourse.

That is the only reason I asked you why you believe it is imperative to cast the economist as Conservative and Republican. You seem to have the same necessity to classify my political philosophy before you can concentrate on the issues at hand.

Such shallow banner allegiance destroys the ability to listen and to reason objectively in political discussions. My useful idiots above should provide you ample evidence of that.

Your insistence on labeling the economist and me is indicative that you will evaluate what we say in the context of some checklist or agenda (likely evil) that you have concluded Conservatives and Republicans possess.

So be it. You’re entitled to your own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts.

Trust me, the only question here is whether those who advocate for more government services, EMT’s standing on every street corner, higher public worker salaries and benefits, etc., stop babbling before or after the applicable governmental entity goes bankrupt.
First Aid is a waste of tax payer money? When someone's having a stroke or a heart attack, yeah, I guess it doesn't matter if they have to wait another twenty minutes for the people who first respond to the call to round up the help the person actually needs.

Hmm..... Looks like Alan Grayson was right--they want us to die faster.

If this "Redundancy" of cross-training for medical emergencies was done away with, It would only take one or two people dying for lack of timely help to make the Right Wing start to kvetch and crab about "lousy service from EMT providers!" and yammer about having even more "proof" that the public sector is useless.

It's not just you--that Economist was a waste of oxygen.
Amazing conversion, Chris!
Labels are bad!
You can't go 2 minutes without labeling most anything socialism, then avoid actually discussing the issue by turning it into a trite rehash of your "socialism" shtick. You couldn't comment on even a foodie post without finding a way to call somebody a socialist. Just hope nobody performs the boring task of reviewing your comments or reading your posts.

I think this sudden conversion is because you can't really argue the point of this post and, in fact, only commented initially because you felt the need to "defend" the "economist" from the attack by the "Progressive Socialist."
Nice attempt at recovery, but nobody will believe you're here to improve the quality of political discourse...unless you mean your pettifogging pronouncements are quality political discourse.

So, let's forget using political labels to describe your general inability to get beyond regurgitating trite right-wing memes smothered in circumlocutory swill.

Pompous windbag is a nice catch-all label.

PS--loved your comment about me on Gordon's blog. Ya lil' chickenshit whiner....
Firstly, the suggestion on the table was not that emergency training be increased but that it be decreased. Increases weren't part of the discussion. This is an attempt to knock down straw dogs.

Secondly, the assumption that the level of public spending is responsible for our economic problems is, to say the least, interesting. We're in trouble because income has been polarizing like mad with the overwhelming majority of the money in very rich hands at the same time as we drastically reduced taxes on those who were ending up with a bigger and bigger share of national wealth. The ostensible reason we were doing this (as opposed to the actual reason, which is that those whose taxes were reduced paid lobbyists a lot of money to get those taxes reduced) was to increase employment but, as was shown during the Bush administration, we lowered collections from the wealthy and were rewarded with a Jobless Recovery, code for They Took The Money And Ran instead of creating jobs, then had the nerve to accuse the rest of us of being fiscally irresponsible. At least when we have public employment, public employees buy goods and services from American businesses, which boosts the economy by boosting the private sector, which has apparently lost Henry Ford's ability to notice that employees = customers and if you reduce one, you reduce the other.

I'll eventually say this elsewhere, but I might as well say it here first:

The deficit is often compared to a hole. If that's the case, taxpayers and customers are the shovel; you need both to dig us out. It is easier to dig out of a deep hole with a shovel than a shallow hole without one. Moral: Worry about the Shovel. That's what's wrong with austerity: It dismantles the shovel. (And, conversely, what's right with stimuli.) As Keynes pointed out, the time for austerity is during prosperity, when you don't need the shovel as badly. In bad times, austerity will just prolong them. That's what's happening in Greece at the moment.

You can get out of financial trouble two ways: 1. Spend less 2. Make more. Taking the second option off the table when it's recently been shown not to work is way more about ideology than sense.
No, not just you. [r]
Unlike Uncle Chri, who resents being called what he is, I have no problem being labeled a Progressive or a Liberal, tho I think some of my views -- and certainly some of my prescriptions -- don't fit neatly into the stereotype. I do object to being called a Communist, since I'm not, tho I do see the merit in socialism, at least the variety practice in Western Europe.

The fact that Uncle Chri resents being labeled for what he obviously is suggests that he doesn't really subscribe to the political philosophy he espouses so ineffectually. If so, he certainly has plenty of company when it comes to hypocrisy -- the only Republican candidate saying what he believes is Ron Paul -- and what he believes is sheer lunacy.
Hi RW. :) Your economist is incorrect as to efficiency of delivery of services on one count for sure, as police are often the first ones there, since they are more mobile, on patrol, and on the same network.
Given their often military background, cost per se is probably not that much of an issue as to life and death first aid, formal training or not after that service. A lot of people of that policing mentality, they would do that anyway as to wanting to know how to avoid showing up at a car crash, and not knowing what to do and watching someone die because of that. At least the good cops, which is the majority in my experience. They like to think that they are on the right team, and help, if usually in a much more.... aggressive defense of "The Rules."
Pensions and healthcare from different times... that's where the money is in a lot of the public sector in states with older industrial bases, like GM as a cost that ... isn't easy to deal with now.
Things were different when promises were made as to pensions and healthcare seeming cheaper, and yet, people who are public servants rightly get ticked if you change those rules, as they took more in benefits and less in wages as an implicit tradeoff, and you can't save the way you can when you're young.
In teaching, union rules in my experience do have some effects that one could argue about, like paying more for a Master's degree once you get it, and not hiring entry level Master's degrees for that reason, for example. Although, benefits and overtime with police and fire, that was the understanding from a certain time and place too. Its still not investor banker money, or even "Senior Investment Economist Money," but maybe "Senior Fellow/Policy analyst money," if there are some police and fire people who .... do pretty well on the overtime, like 140,000, if its not some huge number either. Those professions, minus teaching, also tend to generate a lot more early retirements due to injury, unlike economists, and how long can someone chase someone down an alley or climb a burning building's stairs without risking a heart attack, on average, as to why some things have been done the way that they are done too. You could save some money here and there with career transitions for police and fire to what is a pretty natural fit, high school teaching and coaching, but he's overdoing non-specialization as inefficient, other than it rationalizing pay scales.
Note by the way, and I know this from experience, economists often ... are a little bitter about not having a finance degree, as finance majors are dumb economists, like economists are poor engineering math students, and finance is way easier than third year Ph.D. courses, finance pays better, and gets the girls more, and... gottta take that out on someone?
Another issue I have with his argument is mass casualty scenarios, if, that argues for more civil defense.
If there is WMD use on American territory, a low probability but high consequence event, or hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, you want both first responders and the general public well-prepared to know what to do per basic injuries. They won't be able to google it if there is a cyber attack on infrastructure either.
What I like about you, Herr Rich, is that you are a good Spartan. You put the Polis first, which this economist clearly does not.
Spartan was our high school mascot. :) He's not thinking about low probability but very high consequence events, which changes that picture a lot, as does the reality that police are not garbagemen, in the sense that garbagemen have a very different routing problem so to speak. With collecting trash, that's a linear programing issue as to efficient delivery of services, where you have stated route times and such, and fixed routes too. That's not the police, as the demand for their service, if it has patterns as to location and time, has a hugely different order of magnitude random component, and also tons more strategic elements as to a game between cops and robbers, the latter of whom don't want to be in the same time at the same place as the cops, unlike trash, which only seeks to repose in the landfill or recycling bin.