LEOs don't get paid enough now. Without the union, that would only get worse.
I disagree, here.
I'm not against anyone maximizing their personal income. But the reality is that most urban/suburban cops can almost double there take home with side jobs, many of which are "off the books"/cash only endeavors.
That said, I'm all for paying cops as much as they can get in the collective bargaining process. They already get paid more than almost every other civil servant, because of their collective bargaining power.
Reform can only come from within.
I must disagree. If this was true, it would happened by now.
I'll put it this way:
"Self-regulation stands in relation to regulation the way self-importance stands in relation to importance."
-Willem Buiter (Economist)
In other words, if there is one lesson/truism that EVERY successful capitalist economy has learned over time....it's this: Self-regulation = No Regulation.
And if there is any better example of that (i.e. "self-regulation = no regulation") today than police unions, I can't think of one. [Actually, I can...politicians and judges....but that's an aside]
As for police unions...heck, they don't even weed out their own bad cops, or prevent fired corrupt cops from just moving on to the next town and being rehired. If "from within" were even remotely plausible, police unions would have agreed to create and enforce a national data base for police misconduct to keep bad cops off the streets.
Calls for police reform are as old as any man or woman on this board. I do not believe there will ever be meaningful police reform, as long as current unions continue to run the show.
Higher salaries would hopefully bring in a higher class of officers.
Again, I'm not against higher salaries, per se. But I think higher EDUCATIONAL standards are the only way to attract the "higher class of officers" you're talking about.
Let's be honest. I know a LOT of police officers. A lot. And most of them are former athletes (like me) whose careers ended the next level....and who (unlike me) gravitated to policing because it's the only job that where they can be "BMOC" again. That describes about 75% of all cops today. In times past, cops were among the most educated people in society because they had to have a high school diploma. And that's still the minimum criteria today in most places. But in the 21st century, a high school diploma (or a 2 year degree) is simply not nearly enough (in terms of education, social exposure/experience, etc.) to grant someone the authority to decide who lives and who dies every day on the streets of our cities.