A troubled American city with a history of conflict between police and civilians has decided to try out a new law enforcement and public relations strategy: replace the existing police force with unarmed pacifist Mennonites. The new Mennonite police force will be identified with a yellow stripe down the middle of their suspenders and will be equipped with nothing but print-outs of the Sermon on the Mount.
“Police aren’t armed in quite a few countries around the world,” said Freedomville Mayor Reginald Johnson. “Norway, Iceland, New Zealand. So we figured we’d find a few Mennonites and try it here.”
The hope is that the new police force will be able to de-escalate problematic situations using non-violent Mennonite strategies such as shunning, gossiping, and making people stand up in front of church and confess their crimes.
“Not every traffic stop requires a standoff,” said Johnson. “Somehow Mennonite communities have survived and even thrived without the threat of violence. A good shunning can go a long way, you know.”
Major media outlets such as CNN have called the idea “flawed,” complaining that shunnings just don’t make for exciting television. Johnson, however, said, that the less excitement they have the better.