Robert Kirby: Maybe we should try a police draft and elephants instead of dogs

Robert Kirby

It’s time for serious police reform in America.

Not only do some police officers fail to do their jobs properly, but there are people telling them how awful they are who don’t have a clue about how to do the job themselves.

I can fix that.

We could do what the Salt Lake City Police Department has done and suspend certain police practices such as the use of its K-9 program. After all, people don’t like being bitten, especially if they don’t deserve it. Or even if they do.

But government moves slowly. I guess that’s why Salt Lake City has yet to get back to me on my proposal for a police elephant program.

Laugh if you must, but it makes sense. Elephants are large, ponderous and less apt to a rush to judgment. Not only are they huge but also deliberate.

Suppose a burglary suspect refuses to get out of his car after being stopped, chased and finally forced off the road.

Instead of sending what is essentially a wolf with a degree into the vehicle to drag him out and make him bleed in the process, release an elephant.

The elephant would lumber up to the car, reach inside with his trunk, and extract the suspect. I think we can all agree that if an elephant wants you to get out of something, you’ll get out.

Granted, there is a risk that the suspect’s head might get pulled off in the process, but elephants move slowly enough for the handler to back it away before that occurs.

It comes down to the suspect either getting out on his own, or having sufficient time to decide which part of himself he wants left inside the car once the elephant makes up its mind.

Such is not the case with police dogs. While they can track and sniff for drugs, they are essentially barbed wire wrapped in fur.

Elephants, on the other hand, can be cross-trained to roll on fire calls and serve as fire extinguishers. They also make good tow trucks.

Unfortunately, that’s only part of the law enforcement problem. We still need someone to call when our stuff goes missing, our neighbors won’t shut up, and people venture into our homes without being invited.

Let’s not forget murders, armed robberies and sexual assaults. Someone has to be available to do something about those.

So, if not the current police system, then who, how and what?

This is where I come in with another brilliant idea: I propose a police draft.

Seriously, with all the highly self-qualified folks out there proclaiming that they can do the job better, why shouldn’t all people get a chance at being a cop whether they (or we) like it or not?

We do it by the lottery system, the same one the government used to try to send me to Vietnam.

Maybe this is going too far. After all, if some people can’t behave themselves in a protest, do we really want them walking around with a badge and a gun?

Let’s just wait and see what Salt Lake City says about the elephant thing. The nice thing about elephants is that they supposedly won’t let you forget.

Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.