Pubdate: Thu, 01 Jun 2000
Date: 06/01/2000
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Author: Lionel De Leon

When the police "play by the rules" the criminals have the
advantage,because criminals, by their very nature, disregard the rules.

In order to tip the advantage toward law enforcement, we have allowed
the police to become criminals in order to catch them. Our streets are
indeed safer, as statistics demonstrate. Our prisons are also crowded
and we have the distinction of having the largest per-capita prison
population in the world. The danger in allowing police the freedom to
use any means to catch crooks is that the police become above the law
and may justify even murder to achieve their means.

Police empowerment reduces civil liberties, and we have to be careful
not to be too zealous in our quest for criminal eradication. Otherwise
we may become a police state with regulations for every aspect of life.

Lionel De Leon,
Garden Grove