The police also do many things that don’t have to be violence work. You don’t need a gun to deal with a pothole or a noise complaint or help a lost child or direct traffic. In talking about the police as ‘violence workers,’ I am highlighting how much work they do that they don’t need to do. — Professor Micol Seigel
Our proposal for a team of Care workers was in part inspired by the insights of American Studies and History Professor Micol Seigel, whose recent book Violence Work: State Power and the Limits of Police, unravels a series of myths about the police and points to a contradiction in what municipalities ask of their police forces. On the one hand, they are asked to be violence workers, while on the other hand they are asked to be ‘all-purpose-problem-solvers’ for situations that do not require the threat of violence.
Below is an interview with Professor Seigel on WFHB Community Radio out of Bloomington, IN. It is entitled, “The Myth of the Municipal Police Force.” Check it out: