There was a piece over at the website FastCompany with the provocative title "What Detroit’s Incredible Crime Problems Show Us About The Bleak Future Of Police". The story looks at the problems that have faced the bankrupt city of Detroit.
Detroit's staggering fiscal problems have led to layoffs and an exodus of police officers. The story touches on how Detroiters have tried to fill the public safety void with volunteer patrols and if a neighborhood can afford it, private security.
But to argue that this is the "bleak future" for police in general is complete balderdash. Very few other cities have fiscal problems on Detroit's scale and those that do arguably have less managerial dysfunction than Detroit.
I've seen very few cities trying to replace police officers with volunteer patrols or private security guards. There are cities that organize folks into Neighborhood Watch programs but these are outreach and crime prevention programs for police departments rather than a replacement.
If you saw the scary looking headline and wondered if this is where law enforcement was heading, don't. We're not being outsourced.