I just had an idea about policing. The issue with modern police structures is that they're effectively isolated from the civilians. However what if you conscript civilians into creating a civilian police force with an active cycle of duty, like jury duty. And I guess by that I mean, civilians take the patrol, and grunt work while career police maintain focus on more serious criminal activities and investigations like murder and organized crime.
Yes absolutely. A few quick thoughts from someone who has thought about this alot soas not to clutter the personal chat thread.
Police in most nations currently do not exist to protect us but rather to extort money through fines and enforce property relations. Speeding tickets in my city constitute more revenue than taxation to take an example. Removing the role of criminal extortion from police "duties" would go a long way.
Police being accountable to civilian courts.
Volunteer policing like you describe is a good idea and something I personally advocate. The role of policing is too broad. My thoughts are to distribute roles even further than just civilian matters and extremes. There should be community patrol dedicated to a variety of tasks and not responsible for other tasks in society. Think separate community patrols for traffic assistance, petty crime, domestic disturbances, emergency relief, animal control, violent attacks like shootings, bomb threats and so on. All branches should be accountable to public civilian courts and career cops shouldn't exist. Although for the most specialized jobs, say bomb squad, long terms would be in order due the need for long technical training. And all patrol should have at least a 1/1 ratio of deescalation training to technical training barring fields like bomb squad that won't be expected to interact with people. Moreover deescalation should be the rule not the exception and that includes arrests. Barring very dangerous situations like shootings arrests shouldn't even be practiced.
And screw the word policing too. The goal shouldn't be to police and control society but rather to enable people to flourish. Consequently that means the role of community patrol is to prevent harm, not control people.
Maybe not short, rip me :3
Edit: And all patrol not expected to encounter violence should not be armed heavily. A small baton and self defense training is fine. But directing traffic does not warrant armament nor should people directing traffic be expected to use violence as an example.