Reports of a man killing five children and three adults in a home in Houston, Texas once again highlight the other side of the coin in this whole discussion about citizen design of policing.
If citizens are going to be involved in designing the policing approach in their community (citizenpolicing.com), then participant citizens are going to have to consider what sorts of rules of engagement to design for situations like this.
Do you contain or suppress? De-escalate or detain? Hold back, go in? Did police wait too long? Should they have tried to enter before the High Risk Operations Unit arrived?
If we, as citizens, are saying we no longer want police, who are simply public employees, to be making these sorts of decisions on their own. We, as citizens, want to be the ones to write the rules of engagement. Then we have to be prepared to step up to the plate, have the time to think these things through, and then have the courage to stand by our police, if they follow our rules.
Are we ready to do that?