Citizens of Oakland are Crowdfunding a Private Police Force (UPDATED)

Is private security more efficient than government security?

Security-GuardTired of rising crime rates? Sick of waiting forever for the government police agents to provide security? Do you think that everything is done better when it’s done on the free market? Apparently some citizens of Oakland, California do!

Private citizens in parts of Oakland have fired up three separate campaigns to hire a security force to patrol their area (Here, Here, & Here). The campaigners want to hire a firm called VMA Security group, which is an outfit with officers certified to carry firearms.

From TechPresident:

We shouldn’t have to do this,” says Steven Kirsh, who is running the last of the three Rockridge campaigns, “but we need to do this.” He doesn’t see the Oakland Police Department suddenly getting more resources, so in order to protect his belongings, family and property value, the $82 per household doesn’t seem like much to ask, for 12 hours of patrolling five days a week. For a four-month trial it will work out to less than a dollar a day.

Kirsh wrote in his appeal for funds:

What occurred last week at the Casual Carpool has ignited our neighborhood to act. Yet crime is getting worse, not better.  While the city and the police are doing what they can, we feel it’s time for us as a community to begin exploring a wide range of ideas and taking some action on our own. One idea that many have expressed interest in is hiring private security to patrol our neighborhood. Our neighbors in Lower Rockridge North/West have begun what looks to be a successful crowdsourcing campaign to fund private security.  We think it’s an idea worth testing on this side of College and we’re hoping that you agree and will help make this happen!

Another of the crowdfunders writes:

While there is little doubt you’re aware of the increase in street crime in our neighborhood, you may not feel like there’s anything you can do about it.  Many of us have been working with the police department, contacting our public officials, looking out for our neighbors, and participating in block and community organizing activities, like our Neighborhood Crime Prevention Councils.  Yet crime is getting worse, not better.  While the city and the police are doing what they can, we feel it’s time for us as a community to begin exploring a wide range of ideas and taking some action on our own.

One idea that many have expressed interest in is hiring private security to patrol our neighborhood. Our neighbors in Lower Rockridge North/West have begun what looks to be a successful crowdsourcing campaign to fund private security.  We think it’s an idea worth testing on this side of Claremont, and we’re hoping that you agree and will help make this happen!

security officerThese citizens are lucky that the owners of Crowdtilt are allowing them to run this campaign on their platform. Other civic crowdfunding platforms would not have been so kind. “We would not allow this project to be posted,” said Jordan Raynor, the co-founder of Citizinvestor. “We believe that local government entities are best qualified to make decisions for the good of all citizens.” Raynor’s site would only allow funds to be raised for projects like this if they went directly to a government agency.

Well then, if you aren’t a raging statist then it looks like your platform is Crowdtilt! Kudos to the citizens of Oakland for taking a stand to provide for their own defense! We at The Libertarian Republic salute you!

Bonus: Should all police and courts be privatized?

Economist Murray Rothbard argued that private defense agencies and private courts would be superior to government police or courts. But if defense and arbitration were totally privatized, wouldn’t the rich just take over? Rothbard destroys these arguments in the video below. Enjoy!

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