Police are one of libertarians’ favorite punching bags. At best libertarians are skeptical of law enforcement, at worst they are outright hostile. This is partially, of course, because law enforcement is the armed wing of the state. They are charged with enforcing laws that libertarians often do not agree with. It is also because libertarians, like most Americans, do not understand policing, or police themselves. Here are five things that citizens should know to better understand the institution of policing and police officers themselves.
Author’s Note: This article will reference Pew’s Behind the Badge Study. Page numbers will be in reference to the PDF that is available here.