Wednesday, February 20, 2013

LaTi: Private Detectives Filling Gaps Left by Police Budget Cuts

File under: As the state collapses.

LaTi reports:
 In an office in a sleepy town in southern New Jersey, Harry Glemser's phone rang. With no buxom secretary to take a message, he answered it himself.

It was a dame, looking to hire a private eye.

But this was no scene from a noir novel. The woman was calling because someone in a car kept lurking in her driveway, the engine running, when her husband wasn't home. She'd called the police, but they couldn't help. She hoped Glemser could.

Detectives like Glemser across cash-strapped states have been getting more calls like these as cities and towns cut their police forces to contend with deep budget cuts.[...]

Private detectives are just one piece of the private sector security and policing services that people are increasingly turning to as they worry about crime. The U.S. private security industry is expected to grow 6.3% a year to $19.9 billion by 2016, according to a study by security research group Freedonia Group Inc[...]

In California, where many cash-strapped cities cut police budgets during the recession, residents are turning to detectives, security firms and even the Internet.

After police cuts in Oakland, resident Dabney Lawless encouraged 400 neighbors to sign up on a website so they could send alerts to one another when they noticed suspicious people around; she also pays extra to an alarm company to drive through the neighborhood. Ron Cancio, the manager of a Stockton security firm, said that since the city's budget battles, residents often have called his firm for minor complaints, because they know he'll respond more quickly than the police.
Bottom line: There is a flip side to crazed government spending, what Ludwig von Mises called the reserve fund, gets drained and the state starts to collapse on itself. He wrote:

An essential point in the social philosophy of interventionism is the existence of an inexhaustible fund which can be squeezed forever. The whole system of interventionism collapses when this fountain is drained of

 We are seeing it only in spots at the local level in the United States, but as spending grows the exhaustion of the reserve fund can develop at any level of government.


  1. The police prevent crime about as effectively as doctors prevent cancer. The cops have never been much help against "lurkers".

    This is nothing more than the private sector stepping up to meet a demand. The statists will, of course, be horrified.

  2. This is the kind of "collapse" we should welcome with open arms.

  3. Police are too overworked hiding behind bushes with radar guns, busting potheads, waiting for somebody to slowly "roll" through a stop sign, and ticketing people for not wearing seat belts. There is no time for such trivial matters as potential life and death emergencies.

    1. And don't forget shooting up cars and people trying to deliver newspapers and torching cabins in lieu of apprehending a fugitive.

    2. We have 2 speed traps on the state highway running through my small town every Friday and Saturday. When they aren't busy fundraising, you can find them congregating at local food and fuel, home to the world famous Gnawbone Tenderloin, featured in Gourmet Magazine and The Today Show. (I kid you not, google it)