Iceland's Police Are Not Our Police

Iceland's Police Are Not Our Police

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How do we love Iceland? Let us count the ways: It's been cited as the most peaceful country in the world the last three years running. It has no army or air force. It has very little economic disparity, with most people belonging to a vast middle class. It has free health care and education, strict gun control, uses mostly geothermal energy, was one of the first countries to legalize gay marriage, and has been a key supporter of Wikileaks. It averages fewer than two murders a year, and in 2013 saw - and grieved - its first police killing of a civilian, ever. People trust its Coast Guard and police more than any other public body, and the Instagram account for police in Reykjavik, its capital, show why - this sure ain't Ferguson. These guys can't possibly be as consistently gleeful, benevolent, big-hearted and happy in their work as they look in the pictures. Still, take heart, all ye who enter here: They illustrate that our species - minus racism, poverty, rage-inducing disparities and a pathological, ill-educated, war-honed, guns-r-us-culture - can do so much better.

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