* I would watch the Christopher Guest mockumentary about a motley crew of neurotic social workers, psychologists, and assorted liberal arts grads attempting to deescalate crises as the newest unit of a defunded police department.
How many minutes into the movie before the retired sociology professor played by Eugene Levy gets paralyzed from the neck down by a jittery crackhead?
* I used to know a lot of police officers, and they all universally told me, When responding to a domestic dispute call, the very first thing you do is, go into the kitchen and turn off the stove, make sure there are no pots of boiling water. Most domestic disputes involve a man physically abusing his woman, but once the po-po arrive, the woman will suddenly side with her man against the cops, and that’s when the fun begins.
I look forward to troupes of Bennington and Oberlin grads getting scalded, in their new role as unarmed social-work Peace officers. I can already hear “Imagine” being sung en masse in the emergency rooms. Hell, maybe I’ll go back to working an ER, just for the lulz.
* But they should be large and muscular social workers so they can wrestle problem people down without shooting them. They could wear uniforms to make them identifiable, perhaps blue.
* Anyone who has worked at an inpatient psych ward will testify as to the general emotional unpredictabality and inordinate strength often possessed by residents. Decades of consistently positive interpersonal relations are no guarantee of future safety. Minimal physical conditioning is illusory once biochemistry flows, and lethargy flips to berserker mania in microseconds. Experience informs being calm, quiet, and kind but always defensively aware. Most conflict can be prevented with mindful situational awareness and control, but it is always surprising how strong, fast, and brutal individuals can be. Unfortunately, only experience can teach this wisdom and many find they’re not actually cut out for the job upon their first difficult situation….