What is an Independent Police Auditor? The answer is actually quite simple. An Independent Police Auditor is just a mystery shopper for Law Enforcement. A mystery shopper, in case you didn’t know, is someone who is paid to audit, or randomly check in on, a business, service, product, or institution. The manager of a restaurant might hire a mystery shopper to audit the quality of his restaurants food and service. Like the restaurant, ‘we the people’, who are the true managers of our public servants, have a need to routinely audit public services to ensure that they are up to the quality standards that we deserve for what we pay through Taxation (extortion).
But why do police need to be audited? It is because they are a state monopoly. What is a monopoly? A monopoly is the exclusive control of a particular product or service. That is to say, a monopoly is a product or service for which you have no choice of competitor. Verizon Wireless is not a monopoly, because you can always go to AT&T. Your local road commission is a state monopoly, because there is only one road commission sanctioned by the state to maintain a certain stretch of road. Ford is not a monopoly, because one could always purchase a Chevy. Police are a monopoly, because the state only allows one local institution to be law enforcers.
What’s so bad about monopolies though? On their surface, nothing at all; they are merely products or services that people want, or else they wouldn’t exist. However, because monopolies (by their definition) lack any competition, they have no natural incentive to do a quality job. If Police Dept ABC does a shitty job at policing, and instead enforces unjust gun laws and shoots unarmed people routinely, thanks to the magic of government, there is no Police Dept XYZ to which you could call for policing instead. Our police know this, and because they know that you have no choice but to call NYPD if you are in NYC, they have no natural incentive to do an excellent job to keep you (the customer) happy. As well, because they know they have no competition, they have no incentive to be efficient and frugal with our stolen tax dollars. What if Police Dept ABC spends millions on equipment to subjugate peaceful citizens? It truly sucks, because tax dollars will continue to flood to Dept ABC if there is no Dept XYZ to compete.
Police Departments have incentive to do what politicians tell them to do, or else these police departments may actually lose funding from those politicians and programs they support. In addition, politicians typically only support certain policies or laws thanks to corporate and wealthy ‘donations’; any politician anywhere can be bought by someone. This means that not only do politicians get to choose what police enforce (thanks to suggestions from corporate sponsors), but they also can adversely affect funding to police departments who choose to NOT enforce unjust and immoral policies and laws.
Internal Affairs has no incentive to expose corrupt officers, because it makes their entire department, city, county, and even state look bad when even a mild case of ‘bad cop’ is properly exposed. No mayor, police chief, or sheriff wants to openly admit that they hired violent thugs and murderers by proxy. This is where we, Independent Police Auditors, come in. We have no particular biases about this officer or that department or this deputy or any of that; we simply want to add some artificial incentive for these monopolized law enforcers to do a quality job.
We Independent Police Auditors can prove that our actions directly improve the quality of service you receive from your public servants. In literally dozens of cities across Michigan, we have had experiences where someone was unjustly hassled by police, illegally detained, or unlawfully arrested many times. On recurring audits in those same cities at later dates, officers go out of their way to avoid hassling the auditors. In fact, after having an encounter with two auditors in July 2013 in which two men were illegally detained, every single roll call at the beginning of shift next day at that police department included a 15 minute lecture on the laws, so as to avoid such illegal detentions in the future. This particular dept passed their audit the next time, as is the case with literally dozens of other municipalities.
Are we trying to provoke the police? Not really. Simply filming a government facility is not inherently dangerous, or else Google wouldn’t be allowed to use Street View on government buildings. We prefer to be left alone, as that is the sign of a perfectly passed audit, which is a sign of quality services from our public servants. While a video captured by auditors of police harassment may make interesting viewing on YouTube for many, a perfectly boring audit with no police interaction is always the goal.
Why do we need to be armed and wear armor? Isn’t that excessive? Well, simply put, in the case of an extremely bad police department, one where the police are extremely corrupt and know nothing of the law or morality; they may be more likely to shoot us then and any other circumstance. Police are just human beings, like everyone else, and are capable of extreme violence at any moment, which we definitely need to protect ourselves from as auditors who may expose corrupt police. We obviously would prefer to not get into a gun fight, just as any police officers does not want such a thing, and the fact that we are armed usually deters a violent reaction from happening. Unarmed auditors have, in the past, been beaten on police department property on a day when security cameras didn’t work; police aren’t likely to try beating three men with sporting rifles.
We are peaceful people, encouraging accountability with our public servants, while purposely spreading a message of non-aggression and voluntaryism. Independent Police Auditors, like most people, just want to be left alone; we just do it for a living.