I think a lot of people are taking this as some kind of sick burn on David Brown’s part towards the #BlackLivesMatter movement, but if you look at the totality of his remarks in his press conference, and his record while in office, I believe that he meant these words seriously and genuinely, and that his office really would place people in the communities that they want to help.
Taken to its logical conclusion, of course, this is not tremendously different from chickenhawking. You don’t have to be in the military to have an opinion about what the military is or should be doing, and you don’t have to become a cop to have opinions about what levels of force police should use. That’s not really the way democracies work.
BUT when viewed in what I believe to be Chief Brown’s intended context, I think there’s a lot of value to the suggestion. People become police for a lot of different reasons, some of which are good and some of which are undoubtedly bad or undesirable. I think we all accept that police need to exist, so wouldn’t it be better if people who were committed ideologically to improving policing in inner cities voluntarily joined the police force in an attempt to help make the problem better?
This, it seems to me, would only help, if some portion of people who are committed to eradicating the problems attempt to fight them from within, and might help increase empathy flowing in both directions on both sides of this problem.