Service Design Quick Sketch: Replacing the Police

  • You could have each month focus on prototyping and trying solutions for different topics (e.g. engage/invite the NYC design community to coordinate solution-driven architecture, complementing other design authorities and strategies)
  • Here’s who can help you: #1 Adam St. Lawrence at the Co-Creation School #Antigua Forum #DesignSwarm #DesignSprint

Resolve most disputes on the spot.

Parties can reach an accommodation — using tools that combine game theory, wisdom of the crowd, disintermediation, asymmetric negotiation, and AI-based intermediation.

There are no “police”. There are citizen certification levels.

Citizens of all ages can become certified in resolving every kind of problem including cat-in-tree-rescue, grass-measuring, speed-limit-enforcement, on-demand marriage counseling (this will be popular), on-demand friendship dispute resolution, on-demand jury of neighbors (income stream idea: the new court tv will be streaming from your local street corner lol — just show up if you want to be on it) with possibility to appeal, on-demand logistics/intelligence sharing, non-injury accident, injury accident, first aid, mental illnesses of different kinds, hit-and-run-tracking, highway patrol, burglary, armed incidents, victim assistance, criminal capture, murder investigation, and everything in between. Actually, I think we can still call them/us Police, since there is nothing inherently wrong with the word. But there will be many more, because it will be all of us, as certified and well-rated. Someone’s going to think this sounds very USSR. I see what you mean, but just try to see it in a way that would be good. Your ultimate skepticism is useful though; with something so delicate and important we need as many communicative detractors as possible.

There is no 911.

There is a central clearinghouse for all city calls.

There is no police stations and no central meeting location.

Instead, there are neighborhood certification centers. These are residential or commercial properties converted into learning centers. Anyone can get certified and training goes on indefinitely. Those with the highest certifications teach those with the lowest. Instead of police hanging out with eachother at the station, highly-certified individuals will continue their training and teach people of all ages self defense and combat, ham radio, and every other certifiable skill. This will foster so much neighborhood camaraderie and give vulnerable people a positive place to learn from role-models. Because it is manned with security 24/7, in addition to being a 24/7 learning center, it can provide 24/7 victim support services and deploy victims to safe houses in the area or host them there (perhaps a small bunkhouse). With this safe spot to go to — not just when a crime happens — to have a safe place to for citizens of all ages be and learn and grow into a productive and societally-networked person we can expect much better citizen communication and camaraderie. Crime will plummet from this innovation alone. These neighborhood secure community centers can also provide training for and deploy emergency materials and services in conjunction with state and federal departments and organizations.

What is required

  • certification design
  • an Uber-like app
  • purchase of community centers — every 1–3 sq miles; restore blighted properties where possible
  • a budget (for reference: Seattle’s $400M budget could fund 200 community centers @ $2M each)
  • personal breathalizers that measure for multiple substances, reporting of use of debilitating prescription pharmaceuticals, and/or other means to ensure high-level responders are fit to respond



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