RE: [lpsf-activists] Clarification on LPSF support of the Private Patrol

I agree with Marcy. While I think it would be nice if the Patrol agreed to not bother perpetrators of victimless crimes I do not want to be involved in pressuring them to do so and I think we should support them in their present form regardless.

Dear Dr. Mike;

Victimless Crimes? We ain't got no Victimless Crimes. We don't need no Victimless Crimes. I don't have to show you any stinking VictimlessCrimes!

From The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Victimless Crimes soon to shown at a theater near you or straight to video.

See the video

Ron Getty

There seems to be confusion all around. I was not at the February
LPSF meeting, and do not recall whether I heard mention of the vote at
that meeting to support the Patrol Specials. Of course I agree that it
remains in effect. But it appears that no one who knew about and
remembered this vote considered Ann Grogan's request for an official
letter of support from us to be redundant, including Ann herself
(unless she was never told about the February vote). When I heard
"letter", I assumed she meant us as a group signing onto something
like the letter that myself and I believe several others in our group
signed as individuals.

  I have never said anything to the effect that the LPSF should not
support the Patrol Specials unless they meet certain conditions. On
April 27, in a message responding to Ann Grogan, I wrote,

"The city should officially embrace the SF Patrol Specials program,
completely remove the SFPD from having any say or authority over the
program, and adopt a zero tolerance policy for SFPD members engaging
in any pressure of merchants not to use the Patrol Specials or other
improper lobbying against the program."

  I also mentioned the Patrol Specials in an April 20 letter I sent to
SFPD chief Gascon, writing:

"While my previous communications have presumably been languishing
in your In Box, if not deleted from your computer, members of the
Libertarian Party including myself have also been in communication
with members of the San Francisco Patrol Special Police. All of us
are concerned that elements of the SFPD are seeking to shut down the
Patrol Specials because they do not want the competition, and that
toward this end they are abusing their authority to certify Patrol
Special applicants by delaying and turning down applications without
due cause, as well as pressuring merchants not to deal with the
Patrol Specials. So you also now have a number of people from the
community who wish to meet with you about this matter."

  Because I've long been aware of the Patrol Specials and had wanted to
initiate contact between them and the LPSF, I was happy after Mike
Denny reminded me about them by raising the subject on our list in
December to arrange a meeting with the group. And as mentioned, I
signed their online petition that Ann was promoting, even substituting
some of my own wording in order to make a more forceful statement on
behalf of their organization.

  So I'm hardly arguing that we shouldn't support them unless they are
perfectly libertarian. But at the same time, I think it's only smart
politics for us that when other organizations want something from us,
we try to get what we can for the cause of freedom in return. I see
nothing wrong with pressing the Patrol Specials, in a friendly manner,
to develop as positive (libertarian) an approach to civil liberties as

  When Michael, Phil and myself met her at Capri Pizza earlier this
year, Jane Warner offered to work with me/us on drafting some
protocols for the Patrol Special Police (Ann refreshed my memory after
this past Saturday's LPSF meeting that it was Jane and not herself who
had mentioned this). Unfortunately for all of us, Jane has passed
away, and I don't know that Ann or anyone else will be as willing to
work with us on this as Jane apparently was.

  In an April 28 letter responding to my responses to a letter she sent
to the District 8 Supervisor candidates, Ann sounded quite libertarian
in her take on this issue:

[me] It is... unnecessary and wasteful to have police resources
expended on controversial and often non-complaint-driven
enforcement such as arresting people for choosing what to put into
their own bodies, or arresting people for having consensual sexual
relations with other adults.

[Ann] Agreed. Wrong and a total waste of time...

[me] Even simply requiring that each arrest must be based on a
documented, written citizen complaint unless an officer certifies
that there is an immediate risk to life, liberty, or property,
could greatly reduce the need for police overtime that is currently
such a huge budget-buster.

[Ann] That's a good idea. never heard it. I'd like to hear more.

  More recently however, she wrote to Marcy, Michael Edelstein, and
myself after the meeting on May 8,

Frankly, I'm not certain that any officers, or I as their advocate
and client, can offer Starchild or your group anything further by
way developing a city-wide Patrol Special protocol that Starchild
feels he needs before he can lend his wholehearted support to the
Patrol Specials. That is so because of three reasons.

First, is the fierce independence of each beat owner in terms of how
he or she operates his beat and the issues he or she wishes to
concentrate on or pursue with respect to their private clients'
priorities with respect for the neighborhood's priorities in public

Second, is the fact that the smaller activist group of officers whom
I represent, have lost their Chairperson this morning, and the city
wide Association which is really not active, has lost their
President. It will take some time for the officers to regroup.

Third, these officers cannot say that they will not enforce the law,
even victimless crime laws, even as the SFPD officers cannot say
that. They duty is to enforce the law when called upon by the SFPD
to do so.

  I was pushing for the Patrol Specials to develop a libertarian
protocol on victimless "crimes" based in part on Jane's previous offer
to work on this, which came toward the end of the last time I saw her.
Maybe Ann or the other Patrol Special officers are unwilling to follow
through on Jane's initiative. Then again, maybe they are amenable to
doing *something* along the lines we suggest, just not as much as
writing their actual operational guidelines in libertarian terms. For
instance it seems possible they might be willing to formulate a
"mission statement" of the Patrol Specials that would state the
general approach of the organization in libertarian terms, without
being binding on individual beat officers or putting them in a
position where they have to say they will not enforce "the law" (i.e.
largely unconstitutional government statutes). For instance the group
could adopt a "lowest priority" policy for all victimless crime.

  It's too bad we were not more on the same page as a group when we met
at the library. I thought other LPSF members were aware that I am
generally supportive of the Patrol Specials, and would understand that
my goal in raising the points I did was not to oppose giving them the
support they want from us, but simply to secure as much progress for
civil liberties as possible at the same time. I think my motion that
we set up a committee to continue to meet with the Patrol Specials to
develop both our interests simultaneously might have been better
received by Ann and her colleagues if others in our group had echoed
my concerns rather than immediately expressing a willingness to "give
away the store", so to speak. But perhaps there's still some
opportunity for us to work constructively with their group to get them
on a more libertarian footing.

  For anyone who may be carte blanche opposed to trying to do this, I'm
interested to hear your reasoning. Do you similarly feel that mostly
good non-Libertarian candidates who are not running against LP
members, and are more pro-liberty than their rivals, should receive
the statements of support they want from us, without us pressuring
them to be more libertarian?

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))