Originally Posted by Voyager
While I agree with you in general, I think there is a problem with this philosophy in that overlooking little things often snowballs into bigger things. Remember that part of the reason that Giuliani had a fair measure of success in NYC is that he had the police force enforce all of the laws, so that people again began to respect all of the laws.
I'm a firm believer you shouldn't have a law if you don't plan to enforce it. If we really don't care that people roll through stop signs, then get rid of the stop signs. Replace them with caution signs or nothing at all. Having laws you don't enforce just leads to a general lack of respect for all laws, in my opinion of course. :-)
We're actually talking about two different things. When I say "chase someone down," I'm talking about a high speed pursuit, where someone could go "tits up" at every intersection. And when the pursuit ends, there is a good chance of a shoot-out, etc. So I am referring to high-chance "deadly force" scenarios.
What you're talking about is called "the broken window theory." I agree with it as an effective investigative tool to massively reduce crime in a certain area.
Implementation of said theory is most often by use of a "task force" to saturate a crime-infested area, and goes something like this: Everyone gets stopped for the slightest infraction. Not because you give a shit that a driver just "Kommyfornia rolled" the stop sign, but because you want to ID/chat the driver and his passengers. So you "run" everyone through various data bases and in a few minutes, you know who's a "Boyscout" and who's a "saint." The Boyscouts go with you and the saints go on their way! Now, you know WHO everyone in the veh is and where they live. And, if they don't live in that hood, why they're there.
Also, you might ask the boyscout(s) WHY the inside or their veh smells like the coroner's office--OR the last rock concert you attended--ER--didn't really attend.
Next thing you know, he showing you his shrunken head collection in the trunk.
Look, I didn't say being a Boyscout was easy! AND who says there's no saints in the city?
Where things get a bit tricky is when Mr Boyscout wants to take you on a high speed pursuit. You have to evaluate what he's wanted for at that minute (perhaps only a "Kommyfornia roll") VS the danger to innocent people of you chasing him through the hood at 80 MPH, etc.