To The Editor:
This idea actually supports Defund the Police, and "regionalizing" even one police "dispatcher" plays into it. "Regionalize" can obscure what is outsourcing or defunding, and "dispatch services" neatly evades the term police. This kind of language and bad ideas took away Gloucester Police department rights to local firearm training. It has led to anarchy, crime and death in our once great cities like Minneapolis, Chicago, Portland Oregon, and Seattle, laced with "police reform" when the opposite was needed. Transferring control from the family and town towards a centralized controlling global entity is proceeding apace. Covid era authoritarianism, including useless and dangerous masks for two-year-olds and pushing for jabs for three-year-olds, has been harnessed. At the bottom of that very steep and slippery slope are beaten and obedient souls with little freedom. And maybe no possibility of climbing back up.
But maybe not quite yet, as this is not the traditional MBTS way that cherishes family and local control and grants that power conditionally outward only as truly needed (and intended by the Constitution). The police are a unique pillar in preserving our MBTS American safety and freedom, the only ones licensed to restrain and even kill to protect property and life. Police decisions sometimes need to be made split-second by the best people, exercising their best judgment, and local dispatchers are a key part of that team. But the "police reform" movement (alluded to in the Sept 14 Selectmen Zoom meeting) unjustly and viciously swept the nation and took a heavy toll on police morale and desire to enter the profession. Covid-authoritarianism also now runs amuck. Therefore, what might look like an innocent looking outsourcing of even one police dispatch function actually works as a heavy foot on that steep and slippery slope.
This deceptively small change could harbinger other incremental changes that transform the police function in an authoritarian direction. It could extend beyond Middleton to where even more supposed superior coordinated support systems reside – like Beacon Hill, Washington DC or even overseas. Other changes in police function would creep in and …presto! Not so far off the police function would be somewhere along the path to brownshirts. In 1930s Germany, local police were first demeaned and then set up by fake crises to create leadership vacuums that were filled by Gestapo types. Stalin and Mao did similarly. All around us now are things that are accepted that were unthinkable just a few years ago, reminding what could happen here. This "regional dispatch" matter is therefore not about "operational" cost differences to be weighed and decided solely by the Board of Selectmen. It is about the very soul of the town and its hold on freedom, and as such should be decided by popular vote and referendum.