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Watching events in Portland Oregon I was suddenly aware of how far the American Police have changed since I was a child. The picture above is of the famously dim but affable Officer Dibble from the cartoon show “Top Cat” from the studios of Hannah Barbara and shown on ABC (and our own BBC)from 1962 to 1969. The antics of smarty pants TC and his quick-buck schemes were constantly challanged by the decent, kindly, but eminently stupid beat Officer Charlie Dibble. He kept them in check, and the community safe with nothing more than common sense and a night stick. He didnt even use the night stick. Warm, homey, comforting. Policing by consent.

The second picture is of Police nowadays tooled up with spare military grade equipment for – well who knows why they need this level of kit. Certainly it is not being used in Portland against Terrorists or Drug Barons. Are we in war?

“It” the White House states ” represents a policy shift toward ensuring officers have the tools they need to reduce crime and keep their communities safe. It sends the message that we care more about public safety than about how a piece of equipment looks, especially when that equipment has been shown to reduce crime, reduce complaints against and assaults on police, and makes officers more effective.”

Well it certainly sends a message.

God, how the world has changed.

Copyright David Macadam 2020