According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, the RSD said :
Sheriff's officials said they appreciated the men's work, but emphasized that police don't encourage citizens to apprehend suspects. It's safer to gather information and on an incident and any suspects and call 911, the officials said.
I understand the Sheriff's Dept.'s misgivings here, but this incident is further evidence that we can do a lot more to police ourselves. What makes it more dangerous is that most of us are unarmed and unprepared for such situations because we have been drilled to call 911 or wait for the police to arrive. We have farmed out our own safety to the government. Especially here in unarmed California -- and by "unarmed" I mean most law-abiding citizens are unarmed -- the criminals have plenty of guns.
We can do a lot of our own policing. Perhaps it's time to start rethinking public policy -- especially in this age of state and local budget crises and the coming public pension crash. We may have to do so anyway -- especially when the "Big One" hits us here in Southern California. Katrina proved that. It might save money, protect our liberty, and make us more responsible citizens.