By Cody Drummond
Since 911, our government has repeatedly worked to instill a culture in Americans of “see something, say something.” At airports, we are told to report suspicious behavior to the authorities. If we see a crime, we’re told to call 911.
There are two big problems with this approach.
First off, if you see a crime in progress, by the time that you call 911 and they arrive, the crime will already be over. The Bureau of Justice notes that in the case of violent crime, if 100 people call 911, one third of those will be waiting from 10 minutes to an hour for police to arrive. This is a problem, since the average interaction between a criminal and a victim is over in 90 seconds.
Once the police arrive, they may be able to interview witnesses, collect evidence, and find the criminal. But that’s cold comfort to the victim. If a girl is raped by a hooded man in an alley, she will live with that trauma for her entire life. That’s true whether or not the police track her assailant down and put him behind bars.
The same is true of any crime. If a violent criminal pulls a gun, robs a man, and then shoots him after the robbery, calling 911 will not bring him back to life. Police may track down the murderer, but seeing him in prison will not heal the massive hole left in the lives of the man’s friends and family.
“If you see something, say something” is not a slogan calculated to actually prevent crimes.
The second problem with this approach is that it encourages a culture of enfeeblement. We are told to hide behind our government protectors, simply relying on them to guard us from evil. If we see a crime happening, we are told not to intervene but merely to alert the proper authorities. They will be the ones who actually help others. All you have to do is sit tight and wait for them.
This is the wrong attitude. We need to stand up for ourselves, protect our loved ones and our communities; not just hope the government will take care of our safety. “If you see something, say something” fosters a nation of people content to wait for someone else to do something.
At Peacekeeper, we prefer, “If you see something, do something.”
If you see a girl about to be raped, and you have the combat expertise and the training to save her, you should do so. You should step up to save her life.
This isn’t about vigilantism, which is hunting down criminals after the fact. Street justice doesn’t end well.
Instead, it’s about becoming a force for good so that you can prevent crimes as they’re happening.
Crime prevention is the key. If you can stop the crime before that gun is fired, before that woman’s life is destroyed, that makes the world a better place.
Peacekeeper is a set of tools to help you do this. It’s a decentralized network of ordinary people who want to protect those around them. It’s a system that alerts you to crimes happening in real time so you can step up and save a life.
And what if you don’t have the expertise to intervene in a crime? What if the criminal is a muscle-bound thug with a gun, and you have no combat experience? Peacekeeper 2.0 lets you send out an alert to people who are nearby, willing to help, and who do have that expertise. If you can personally stop a crime, great. Even if you can’t, you can still be a force for good.