Having a little trouble with your city budget? Fire all your cops as city bosses did in Alto, a community of about 1,200 in east Texas, roughly halfway between Dallas and Houston.
The Forbes writer who latched onto the story writes:
In the meantime, for protection against ne’er-do-wells, petty thieves and outright criminals, citizens of Alto will have to rely on the Cherokee County sheriff’s office, headquartered 12 miles away.
There is so much wrong with that, beginning with idiocy of policing the ne-ers. If the five fired officers spent much time correcting Slim and Jake for idling away their days whittlin' on the court house lawn, they weren't actually police, more like armed harassment agents for the Calvinist class.
Then there's that strange distinction. Mr. Forbes-Writer, a petty thief IS an outright criminal.
I'm not all that worried about the safety of the good folks in Alto. I'm no Texan, but I've lived there. I'm still blessed with Texas friends. The first time I ever saw the window sign saying "We Don't Call 911" was in Texas.
A not-unusual mindset in that part of the world holds that a good cop can be handy to have around when things go bad, but it isn't always that big a deal. Dee Brown once wrestled to the ground the myth about outlaws taking over the western town when the marshall went on vacation. The most likely result of such a try was a set of coffins propped vertically for the convenience of the town photographer. Then the good citizens cleaned their guns, put them away, and went back to their store-keepin', doctorin', and whittlin'.
Alto hopes to hire its cops back in six months. but maybe they'll rethink. This could develop into a useful little experiment in anarcho-capitalism, nice Alto people going politely about their private affairs, not thinking much about the belt gun unless a clueless thug gives them reason to.