Cattle get out of the fence? If your real neighbors are off at work, that's OK: there's a full-time neighbor you can call to help you catch them and get them out of the road. Somebody break into your neighbor's house? There's a full time member of the community to come take a report and serve as a witness in court, so that your neighbor can get their insurance agency to pay their claim. Same if there is a car wreck: here's a full time citizen who's ready to render first aid and serve as a witness to what happened in court.The Blue Model of policing -- to adapt WR Mead's term -- is that police are instead a kind of tax-collector and agent of a distant state. The police then end up becoming divided from a citizenry that has some reason to think of them as a hostile force. That is deeply unhealthy for a nation committed to self-governance, and the natural friendship between the citizenry and the police-as-good-citizen is lost.
If there's a crime, all citizens have the power to make an arrest and bring the offender before a magistrate, as well as to testify as to what happened. Even detective work is just citizen work -- which is why there are private detectives, just as bounty hunters are just using the ancient power of citizens' arrest. It's just that few people have time to spend trying to figure out a crime that happened in the past, and we benefit from having forensic resources that cost money (and require training), so we pool our resources and designate someone to get training we all pay for. But it's citizen work.
There's a riot? All citizens should get together and, guided by the officials they have commonly elected to take charge, help restore order.
But worse yet is this idea, h/t D29, to have us policed by people who aren't citizens at all:
Allowing work-authorized non-U.S. citizens to work in state and local law enforcement, particularly in jurisdictions with large immigrant populations, can enable agencies to more closely represent the diversity of their community. Especially as agencies work to serve communities with a large percentage of limited English proficient (LEP) residents, excluding officers who are not U.S. citizens may significantly limit the number of applicants who speak languages other than English....That is a deeply dangerous and terrible idea, for reasons I am surprised are not immediately obvious to the author.