A few years ago, I had an idea for an alternative kind of 911 service. It would be a network of membership groups throughout the country, made up of people who pledged to respond when alerted to incidents of police violence. Anyone who witnessed, or was the victim of, a police assault could call a number and their call would be sent out as an alert to their local group. People receiving the alert could show up and act as witnesses, taking video of whatever happened and potentially convincing the aggressors to back down.
These guys have done much better. Peacekeeper aims to put private individuals back in charge of their own protection and the protection of their communities, with the help of an app that allows members to connect and form local networks of responders who will come to each others' aid when called.
Here's how the app works:
Just last week, Peacekeeper launched a new program to help Peacekeepers get training in firearms use and tactics. The "Guardian" program partners with Pulse O2DA to provide online training in the form of videos, manuals, tactical simulations as well as workshops and field days. The folks from Peacekeeper asked if I'd take a look and post my thoughts on the program, and I have to say that - with the qualification that I am neither a gun person nor a tactical expert of any kind - what I saw looks promising.
The focus of Pulse O2DA is more about building private defense networks and teaching non-professionals the art of gaining control of a crisis situation, than it is about firearms skills alone. From that perspective, it has developed what looks to be a very well-thought out training program that is not aimed at self defense, but at the defense of entire communities. From the Pulse O2DA website:
"At it's core, the Pulse Engine shapes conflict to your advantage, and to the disadvantage of your attacker. The Pulse Engine methodology focuses on rapidly exchanging initial disadvantage for advantage by increasing your interaction with your environment (cover/concealment, etc.) while simultaneously isolating and breaking your adversary down so that he is no longer a threat to you or others. Through the MoC1 courses we will show you how to empower those in your community to do what you have done already, self-organize and bring security to your community when needed."
Americans seem slowly to be waking up to the reality that our current system of granting monopolies on justice and law enforcement do not serve the people they are intended to serve - to put it very politely. After decades of police officers getting away with assaulting and even killing the people they are sworn to protect; as police forces become more and more militarized, waging war on the communities they are meant to serve; and as our prisons overflow with the perpetrators of crimes that have no victims, giving this country the highest prison population on the planet, even non-libertarians are starting to question whether this system really is in our best interests, whether it does in fact produce an orderly and peaceful society or whether it might in fact produce just the opposite.
Rather than tinker with a fundamentally flawed institution, or appeal to those with a monopoly on the use of force to weild it more justly, one of the most important things we can do to bring about a real system of justice is to start creating real alternatives right now. That's what Peacekeeper and Pulse O2DA are doing, and they are not alone. Groups like the Peaceful Streets Project, CopWatch and others are taking action to create real-world solutions to the problem that is monopoly law enforcement. I can only hope this is the start of a very big trend.