Citizens and other Citizens (Police)


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Shield529
October 21, 2004, 02:26 AM
After the Rampart Update thread got me thinking (and before it was closed for boorish conduct), I thought I would like to open a thread so I could hear from everyone in simple terms without long news stories what their true concerns are about police and help answer any questions about why somethings are done the way they are. I hope this thread will be calm, polite, respectful, and informational. Frankly if it starts getting ugly I hope the Mods close it fast.

Anyone who is interested can start. But its late at night and this may be a bad idea we will see.:)

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rock jock
October 21, 2004, 02:54 AM
I respect and support the role of police in society. It is vital and necessary. That having said, while I believe in a strong poilce force, I oppose a police state. It is my personal belief that while the great majority of LEOs got into the job to serve their community, or to enjoy an exciting career, a sizable minority are attracted to the authority role, i.e., they are on a power trip. Mind you, they know their legal limits and are not about to start whupping on someone out of the blue, but they also know all about officer discretion and are not shy about exercising that discretion in almost every situation in such a way that enhances their authority figure persona. It is why I have a healthy suspicion of every LEO in uniform until I have a chance to get to know them. The flip side is that every LEO that doesn't know me probably has a healthy suspicion of me too. I have no problem with that whatsoever as long as the LEO understands that it works both ways.

Sindawe
October 21, 2004, 03:27 AM
I think thats an apt term for what went on there. ;)

I'll try to be succinct and to the point here. My chief concern with police the the sense that more and more officers of the Law/ Peace officers consider themselves somehow above the law when they are carring out their assigned duties. This includes violation of the Law. Things that people who are not police would be prosecuted and likely convicted for are forgiven and excused when the actions are done by the police. Mistaken address warrant entry, blatently illegal warrantless entry and the like that get people made dead who should not have been made so are treated with a minor financial penalty and a bad review. Additionally, there is the perception that when a member of the police is injured or killed, its of a higher priority than if the same occured to someone who is not police.

There are other issues, but they are subtle and complex, not relivant here.

The gist of it is, if the police truly are Citizens and not a priveledged class, then the actions that a member of the police does that would get any other Citizen charged for, should get a member of the police charged.

Hope that makes sense, its late, I'm tired and the cats are hungry.

pax
October 21, 2004, 04:34 AM
I have many friends in police service. They are good people doing an unpleasant but utterly necessary job. Frequently they feel beleaguered by bureaucratic dolts on one hand, and by surly citizens on the other. Given the tremendous pressure street cops are under, it isn't at all surprising that the "thin blue line" sometimes becomes ... well, thick ... in spots. What's surprising is that it doesn't happen more often.

On boards like this, without the benefit of body language and facial expressions, it is really easy to misunderstand what people are trying to communicate -- especially when what they appear to be communicating seems to be little more than a prejudiced personal attack, without facts and without merit.

My LEO friends are so used to being attacked by everyone on all sides, that occasionally they don't realize that a question can sometimes be only a question, not an attack.

My non-LEO friends are so used to the cops all joining elbows and chorusing, "don't mess with the fuzz!" that sometimes they don't realize that LEOs often have professional knowledge that the non-LEOs simply do not have.

Take, for example, the 21-foot rule as exemplified in the Tueller Drill. All cops know this rule, and gun school geeks know it. Most the folks who hang out on THR know it. But the general public doesn't know it. It is not common knowledge. It is knowledge unique to the armed citizen, be he LEO or not. Hence, when a news article is published proclaiming that a LEO shot a knife-wielding criminal at a distance of "more than 15 feet away!", the most common reaction from ordinary people is to wonder if such a shoot was really necessary. How can someone at that distance, armed only with a knife, for crying out loud, be a threat to someone carrying a gun?

The ignorance is out there, and it comes out in pointed fingers and angry speech while sitting around the Sunday dinner table in relatives' homes. It comes out in barely literate letters to the editor. It comes out in "news" articles, frequently devoid of fact but containing plenty of opinion.

The LEO confronted with this ignorance, day after weary day, grows restive and impatient. He's already corrected the error, over and over again, in his personal life. He's already explained to his wife, to his barber, to the neighbor across the fence, to the clerk bagging his groceries. And he's tired of it. After awhile, he begins to realize that correcting people's misconceptions about the realities of law enforcement work is a full time job in itself -- and mostly pointless, too. So the experienced LEO doesn't respond anymore, unless the burst of ignorance is coming from someone who matters to him -- or unless the ignorance is so egregious that he simply cannot contain himself anymore.

In this state of mind, he turns on his computer and fires up THR. And comes across yet one more "cop-bashing" thread.

Now mind, not everything that is called cop-bashing is actually that. Cop bashing, to my mind, is to attack the entire profession of the police officer; to claim that all cops are power-mad freaks or lazy doughnut-stuffing gluttons.

But to wonder whether the 75 year old lady really needed to be tasered, is not to attack the very profession of police officer. To proclaim, based only on a single news story (which was notably heavy on opinion and light on facts), that the officer should be fired, hung from the rafters, or driven out of town on a rail, may be hasty. But it is hardly the same thing as claiming that all LEOs are evil, or that most LEOs are vicious little people with a hunger for power.

But say a different news story gets posted, one in which it is fairly apparent that the cops weren't on the side of the angels this time. (By the way, that's the nature of news. It's time to worry when such happenings aren't news anymore, but are so commonplace they earn no headlines.) Perhaps a handful of cops were indicted, or convicted, of a whole series of abuses -- abuses that went on for several years. They've had their day in court, and they're guilty. Whatever the story, the facts are that some cop -- or a whole department full of cops -- made a royal mess of things. They screwed the pooch, and everyone knows it.

Does the thin blue line still link elbows and defend their fellow cops against all takers? Sometimes it seems so.

When thinking people encounter this phenomenon, the most natural thing for them to think is that all cops are willing to cover up for the bad cops (and there are bad cops, just as there are bad cooks and bad taxi-drivers and bad hairstylists ... hopefully you will never meet all of these on the same day!).

If a good cop covers up for a bad cop, is the good cop really good after all? That's the question we end up facing, time after time, when it appears the cops are circling the wagons once again.

Of course, sometimes the perceived wagon-circling is nothing of the sort. It's an attempt to overcome ignorance on the part of the critics -- to explain the 21 foot rule to that boisterous fellow in the corner shouting, "Why'd you have to shoot him? He was still a room length away!"

That a simple but informed explanation by a good cop is sometimes taken by others as defending a bad cop is not surprising -- not any more surprising than it is that some questions are taken as attacks when they are, in fact, only questions.

All of that can happen between people of goodwill, people who really intend to communicate and have no malice toward one another. Throw in a few malicious questions, from people who really intend to attack, and the situation becomes more hairy.

Really prejudiced comments are part of the cycle, too. Even in a law-abiding community like THR, there are plenty of people who hate all cops, on principle, because they hate all authority figures ... or because they got an injust ticket once ... or because they had a truly nasty and completely undeserved experience with our legal system. Whatever the reason, these folks are now convinced that all LEOs are would-be baby killers, and only their shrill online voices are preventing blood from running in the streets.

It's just too bad that online LEOs so often respond to all questions as if the questioners are attackers with hidden agendas. Such behavior is downright infuriating, no matter what its cause -- and it hardly provokes others to respond with sympathy and kindness to the LEO's answers.

It's too bad that so often, non-LEOs refuse to extend professional recognition to LEOs, and refuse to concede that LEOs just might possess knowledge of dealing with criminals or the legal system which the non-LEOs simply do not have. Instead, they too often decide that any answer a LEO gives is simply evidence of wagon circling, of the thin blue line linking its elbows yet again. They refuse to extend trust or respect to the people they are conversing with -- and it hardly provokes LEOs to respond with trust or respect to them.

It's not as if I have a solution for this one. I only know that when I err, I'd prefer to err on the side of kindness and compassion. I'd rather err on the side of trust. If there's any doubt at all, I'd rather respond to questions that could be attacks as if they really are only questions. I'd rather ascribe good motives to people, rather than evil ones -- especially when trying to communicate by such a limited medium as this one.

I only wish that all my online friends, LEO and non LEO alike, would do the same.

pax

Morgan
October 21, 2004, 06:08 AM
PAX - a well written, thought out response.

There are so many misconceptions about police work and police motives that I don't have the energy or time to deal with online/public BS.

Spot on with: ...the experienced LEO doesn't respond... I don't waste my time with such things anymore, despite the urge. A shame, really, as I know many on the board would be friends if we met - but debating police issues online isn't worth the time and aggravation.

In the spirit of your words, any in Colorado/Denver that have questions about local police stuff or just want to go to the range or have a beer sometime, feel free to PM me.

brokendreams
October 21, 2004, 08:28 AM
Without having read the follow-up posts...


I work in security a LOT of my co-workers and friends are retired police. I tell them every day that I'm glad they were cops. Good guys. Extrememly nice.


The cops I meett on duty are often very much the..Well I'm sure you can fill in your own expletitive.


Just tonight... We were skateboarding in an underground garage because it's raining. Four LEOs roll in to talk to us. The three OLDER gentlemen were extrememly nice after they were certain we were not a threat... hands on the hood of the truck, legs spread, searched. The young guy with them kept putting his hand on his cocked, locked, and unsnapped gun. This makes me nervous as a gun owner. When someone does that, they intend to use it. The old guys kept there hands away because we were not a threat. He was also a powere hungry bastard who probably joined the force just to exerciise power over the bullies he had to deal with in high school.



Now, that was pretty typical of ALL my encounters with police, unless it was a traffic stop. I've been handcuffed twice for absolutely no reason. I wasn't even FINED after being detained. And all the cops could say was "Man, you're lucky we didn't release the dogs" and he kept loosiening his grip on the rope to let the dog lunge at us. Funny thing was, all we were doing was playing Hide-n-go-seek. The other time I probably deserved it because I was drunk at a party.


I'm a security guard, so I understand the need for security.I also want to be an LEO one day, preferably U.S Marshall. But I ALSO understand the true meaning of being a cop. TO PROTECT AND TO SERVE. Not to harass and intimidate, as some of the local LEOs seem to think.

one-shot-one
October 21, 2004, 01:33 PM
the police have/do a very difficult job, one that i would not do for the pay that they receive. most of my dealings (including: houston police, county sherriffs, texas hiway patrol and my own local township police) have been positive to mildly annoying. the officers should realize that their actions are watched on and off duty, and oppinions are form by us based on these actions.
one of my petpeeves concerns a guy that lives down the street from me, he is an officer for another town near by. one saterday i observed him speeding thur our neighborhood in his personal truck not in uniform being pulled over by one of our police, he pulls over and flips his badge out the window and the local policeman waves him on. this did not make me happy with either of them.
now if this guy runs over one of my or a neighbors children that badge is not going to help him.
if your going to uphold the law you should first know how to obey it.

TheEgg
October 21, 2004, 03:50 PM
I don't waste my time with such things anymore, despite the urge. A shame, really, as I know many on the board would be friends if we met - but debating police issues online isn't worth the time and aggravation.

This makes me sad. I hope you would re-consider.

Even though I have friends who are cops, and relatives who are cops, I know little about what it is like to BE a cop. If those of you who have that knowledge don't take the time to inform the rest of us, the lines of communication will dry up, and the situation will only get worse.

Talk to me, talk to Pax, talk to the majority of people on this and other boards who are willing to listen. Ignore the ones who won't listen.

Carlos Cabeza
October 21, 2004, 04:57 PM
Great post Pax ! Your final paragraph contains some very wise stuff. Thank You. ;)

Morgan
October 21, 2004, 05:39 PM
The Egg sez:
This makes me sad. I hope you would re-consider.
I think I've found a happy medium, as per my last paragraph.

TheEgg
October 21, 2004, 05:46 PM
I respect your decision, but I just don't think it will achieve the results I keep hoping for.

But, if I am ever in the area, I may PM you!

BTW, just in case it doesn't get said enough, thank you for your service.

DigitalWarrior
October 21, 2004, 06:17 PM
My problems comes from a very small list of causes:

1. LEOs must enforce unjust laws.
2. LEOs have been elevated to "super-citizen"
3. LEOs try to "get around" constitutional protections

1. It is not the LEO's fault that he is the instrument of injustice, but I do not have like the boot on my neck. Any time I drive without a seatbelt, I may be stopped and fined.

2. I cannot own more than a ten round magazine. LEOs may. Not their fault, but I don't like it.

3. My really big issue. I have a police text book about how traffic stops are conducted. There are a lot of things that are recommended that are ways to skirt my protections.

There is a lot about gaining a consent to search by misleading them. For instance it is recommended that they say in a traffic stop "I am not that interested in a joint, I am really looking to make sure you don't have 20 kilos of coke." then when they find a half a joint "I just said I wasn't THAT interested, hahahahaha". Or you make them wait until a K9 unit is available to sniff the car.

Then to top it all off they recommend pulling "normal people" over all the time for pointless stuff (and keeping it in a log book) so that when they see a car they suspect they can pull it over and it will not be "outside their normal behavior". In other words randomly stop people so when you stop someone you want to mess with, you can say "but I am that petty with everyone".

There is a lot about getting people to give up their protections. WELL THOSE PROTECTIONS ARE THERE FOR A REASON! You don't try to bypass rights, you respect them.

:barf:

feedthehogs
October 21, 2004, 06:43 PM
Police officers are like the rest of us.
They are not bred from a different gene pool.
They will have the general good, bad, indifferent, condescending, etc attitudes that the rest of us have. Family problems affect them just like us.

Like most workers, their work generaly goes unappreciated which tends to increase the indifferent attitude.
There are some officers who should not be cops just like there are some in our work places that should not be there either, but just are.

The difference is they have the power of authority over non police officers.
Some abuse that power.
The majority do not.
But we as a society tend to focus on the defects.

How many have bosses that abuse the power given them?

The very few stain the uniform for the rest.

We want to be taken as an individuals and so do cops.

In my dealings with law enforcement, most have had mutual respect on both sides.

In the few that have resulted in bad attitudes on the cops part, I just ignore and think maybe he just found out his dad died or something and excuse it.

Training and actual knowledge of the law I think is lacking overall which leads to problems.

There should be some type of citizen review board in each district when problems arise and not have incidents investigated by their own only.

I would not like an airline examining its own plane crashes.

They should, like us, be held accountable for mistakes. The severity of which should be determined like any work place by the citizenry they serve.

Don't hate cops for the crappy laws they have to enforce.
Change the laws.

Don't hate cops because some shyster lawyer finds technicalities in the law that they can circumvent and blow a real legitimate bust and then the cops try to find their own technicalities to up hold those busts.

It must be a real drag arresting a person 4 times for DUI only to have him released back into the driver pool over and over with no jail time.

Zrex
October 21, 2004, 07:15 PM
Observation & some questions:

The 20 year veteran deputy out in the country that pulls you over will stand there and shoot the ???? with you about his Kimber for 10 minutes and tell you where the best place to get a chicken fried steak. The 1 year LEO who pulls you over in town will pull you out of the car, disarm you and make you stand in the rain for 20 minutes while he calls for backup because the color of your eyes on your DL is GRY but is GRN on your CHL.

Why is it that the old guard seem to have a better idea how to deal with the public? The young cops who grew up watching COPS think their job is to harass you and make your life miserable and try to exert their authority over you for sometimes complete and total BS reasons.

When does a cop make the decision that they are not there to serve and protect but instead blindly enforce unjust laws?

Why is it that its ok for a cop to treat civilians like criminals when they have done nothing wrong, but if a citizen is cautious about a cop, then they are hiding something or up to no good?

Why is it that exerting your constitutional right not to have your car searched singles you out for extra harassment?

Why is it that some cops go nuts if you try to take their picture while they are filming you with their dashboard cameras, or if you try to record them with an audio recorder?

What is it about a badge and a gun that makes people treat you like a parent treats a child? Do they think the condescending attitude works? Do they just like to have their butts kissed? Do they like hearing, "yes sir!"?

SMLE
October 21, 2004, 07:15 PM
I know a few Cops and I generally respect all cops. But there are a few bad apples. I think the problems start when a cop starts thinking he/she is THE LAW, instead of a SERVANT of THE LAW. "WE THE PEOPLE" are THE LAW, and the Police work for US. That said, this problem is not limited to the Police; it is all too pervasive in all branches of Gov't. top to bottom.

On a slight tangent. I also get really ticked off that those so-called "Civil Libertarians" who scream one moment that the Police are facist thugs just itching to crush our civil rights, then turn around and scream just as loudly that "Only the Police should have guns". :banghead: :barf:

sendec
October 21, 2004, 08:07 PM
Not a one of you to this point is or has been a cop, right? How many have been on a ridealong? How many have been thru a civilian police academy? How many have degrees in law enforcement or criminal justice? Just curious as to where all this knowledge comes from........

pax
October 21, 2004, 08:18 PM
sendec ~

I've been on a ridealong, and have gone through the citizen's academy offered by the local police.

Did you read my post? Or just skim it? I know it was too long, but I was trying to say something I thought was important.

pax

Zrex
October 21, 2004, 08:33 PM
Not a one of you to this point is or has been a cop, right? How many have been on a ridealong? How many have been thru a civilian police academy? How many have degrees in law enforcement or criminal justice? Just curious as to where all this knowledge comes from........

Speaking for myself, my observations are just that - personal observations. My questions are based on my perceptions which are based off my limited observations.

Perhaps one of the reason people dont like cops is because the only time they deal with cops is when a cop is writing them a ticket or punishing them for some reason. Individual cops that I have encountered in a non LEO situation I get along with, they seem like normal decent people. The chief of Waco Police goes to my church, and we have chatted on numerous occasions. I did not even know he was the police chief until someone told me. I did not know you were a cop until today (maybe yesterday shows how much I pay attention), yet we seem to have some similar views on things.

Cops that I have encountered while actually working have been for the most part frustrating. Don't police have something better to do than to bust my balls because my inspection sticker is on the shock resovoir of my Bike instead of below the license plate? It is still clearly visible from the rear of the bike, like the law specifies, why bug me about that? Its those single encounters that piss people off. Are the police just bored and looking for something? Is it fun to waste 20 minutes of my time and put me in the dangerous position of being parked on the side of a 2 lane road with traffic flying by? Seriously - my goal in life is just to be left alone. I'm a "live and let live" sort of guy, and I hate being the object of someones entertainment. Hell, write me a ticket for going 63 in a 60, it is far more important for me to watch my speedo constantly instead of the road, right? They drive on by the stranded motorist who cant change a tire because they are 150 years old and cant stand without crutches, but they cant wait to go ticket someone for a marginal infraction of a stupid law designed for nothing but increasing revenues.



Of course, I have never (knock on wood) actually needed a cop. Perhaps people who get help from the police have a different view. *shrugs* I will try to stay open minded in the future. I probably dont need to tell you, but tell some of your LEO friends, try to remember that not everyone is a bad guy, and a little respect goes a long way. I will try to keep the same in mind.

SMLE
October 21, 2004, 08:36 PM
Sendec; Your post is a perfect example of exactly what Pax was talking about in her long post.

From Pax:On boards like this, without the benefit of body language and facial expressions, it is really easy to misunderstand what people are trying to communicate -- especially when what they appear to be communicating seems to be little more than a prejudiced personal attack, without facts and without merit....

and:
It's just too bad that online LEOs so often respond to all questions as if the questioners are attackers with hidden agendas. Such behavior is downright infuriating, no matter what its cause -- and it hardly provokes others to respond with sympathy and kindness to the LEO's answers.

edited to change incorrect pronoun. :o (Sorry Pax)

Shield529
October 21, 2004, 08:44 PM
To Pax. That was a nice post I liked it.

To Zrex. I see what your saying about the younger officers. I am one of the very young ones but I subscribe to a different belief system and don't see eye to eye with many others my age. I think this difference comes from the fear instilled in these officers at the academy and the insistence or treating everyone like a threat, but they lack the ability to size up the threat and person quickly and lack the ability to be subtle in their self protection and defensive tactics.
With the "new" liability based policing, officers are being chosen directly out of college with NO life experience, their first exposure to the world is the officer survival class with plenty of dead cop photos and officers who are training them telling them that everyone is an equal threat who wants to hurt them. They then teach them very basic defense and firearms and send them out. These officers have never trained on their own and have not been told or encouraged to, therefore they have no confidence in their skills, (with good reason), and they do things like keep their gun unlocked with their hand on it after the threat has been assessed or when they should keep it locked in the first place or pat people down and cuff them when it may be legal but not needed or yell and shout commands when an old hat would not.
I have long ago decided my life is my own responsibly and I train and study like it everyday, that gives me confidence and changes my behavior towards other citizens, I try to teach this to new officers some get it some don't. They need to learn how to use defenses, weapons and control the suspect and situation without the person knowing they have been controlled or being offended, (Its hard but not that hard).

I like the way this threat is going thanks everyone.

Shield529
October 21, 2004, 08:54 PM
Another point to Zrex.
I notice you and most people complain about traffic enforcement, well guess what the number 1 thing people call and complain about is.

I don't write tickets for most things a warning will usually be fine, but repeat offenders, DWI, and suspended DL. I always ticket for.

Also the way I catch Burglars (my biggest problem) and drug dealers is traffic stops about 70-75% of the time. When crimes are commited most people drive to and from them and bad guys never have their vehicles in order. You would think someone transporting 10 Lbs. of Pot would renew their license plates and drive the speed limit, but no.

That said some cops are just plain an A$$ about tickets, I have been ticketed, (as an officer so much for thin blue line and super citizen that time), for less than 10 Mph over. I was disarmed and ticketed and he was a jerk the whole time. So yes I suppose you do have a good point there.

para.2
October 21, 2004, 09:25 PM
My problems with LEO's stem from multiple encounters which I initiated.
On over half a dozen occasions, over a period of some 5 years, EVERY responding officer, on complaints ranging from a burglary of my automobile, to fights in the parking lot of an apartment complex I managed, to a sexual assault on my then six-year old son, met me with an arrogant, "So what do you want me to do about it?" (yes, this is a direct and accurate quote. I wonder if they were teaching it at the academy?) and, in the case of the latter, he questioned my son's sexuality, and suggested that perhaps he enjoyed it.

On the three occasions,in 30+ years of driving, when I have been the subject of a traffic stop, the officer was polite, professional and respectful.

Bottom line, I no longer dial 911. If it's important enough for me to do something about, I handle it. Otherwise, I ignore it.:mad:

sendec
October 21, 2004, 11:00 PM
Pax,

Yes, I read your post.

People fear what they dont understand. Someone who has'nt been there will have the same grasp of policing that I as a male have of childbirth.

It's a cop thing, you wouldnt understand.

Hawkmoon
October 21, 2004, 11:19 PM
Sindawe summed it up pretty well, I think:

I'll try to be succinct and to the point here. My chief concern with police the the sense that more and more officers of the Law/ Peace officers consider themselves somehow above the law when they are carring out their assigned duties. This includes violation of the Law. Things that people who are not police would be prosecuted and likely convicted for are forgiven and excused when the actions are done by the police. Mistaken address warrant entry, blatently illegal warrantless entry and the like that get people made dead who should not have been made so are treated with a minor financial penalty and a bad review. Additionally, there is the perception that when a member of the police is injured or killed, its of a higher priority than if the same occured to someone who is not police.

I'm now a senior citizen, I guess. When I was growing up, we knew all the police officers by name, and they knew us by name ... not because we were bad kids, but because the officers back then practiced what is now being called "community policing" before it had a name. I still live in the same town. The officers now ride around all day in air-conditioned cruisers, never talk to anyone, don't know anyone, and aren't particularly interested in anything resembling community outreach. 6 or 7 of the highest paid town employees are police officers, and it's obvious from their conduct that they're just putting in time for the money.

The perception that many police think they are above the law isn't a perception, it's a fact. In my state, state troopers take their cruisers home when off duty. Even when you see one with the driver in civvies and the wife and kids on board, you'll never see one traveling less than 10 MPH above the posted limit. A friend recently sold a classic car to a buyer from another state. The buyer showed up, paid the money, and said he was going to drive it home. My friend asked what he was going to do about a registration. "I don't need one, I'm a cop." was the answer. Sure enough, he pulled out a badge and ID -- he was a state trooper from the next state.

A couple of years ago I went through a messy divorce to a woman from another country. At one point when things weren't progressing fast enough to suit HER, she wrote to the chief of my town's police department (and also to the judge of probate, the chief judge of the state superior court, the chief justice of the SCOTUS, and probably the President). Chief turned it over to a female detective. Officer called, left message on machine. I called back the next day. She says wife complained that I was illegally retaining her children's clothing (she had returned to her native country, with her 16 year old son). I explained that she had left some books, which I would ship as soon as my attorney told me to, but no clothing.

Officer said the complaint involved children (plural, even though there was only one) so she had to call in the state department of childrens' welfare. Told her there were no children in this country, and she could come over to confirm NO CLOTHING. Nope -- she was adament she had to call in the state.

This was mid-December. I spent possibly the worst Christmas season of my entire life, thinking every time the phone rang that it was going to be the state department of children calling. I called maybe a dozen times asking her to just come over and see for herself that there were NO CLOTHES. My attorney called her. She never returned my calls, she never returned my attorney's calls.

The following August, when we got a court date, my attorney went FOI and got a copy of the letter to the chief and the report filed by the officer. Turns out the day after I spoke with her she CLOSED THE CASE, saying it was a domestic dispute to be resolved by the courts. She never had the common courtesy to respond to any of my dozen or more calls to tell me that she had closed the case and I didn't have to worry about the state department of children.

That's a minor incident, but it's exemplary of the attitude problem. So what if I spent a ?????ty Christmas? Didn't matter to her. She was too busy doing God knows what to pick up the phone and return a call, or even ask a secretary or a dispatcher to call and tell me the investigation had been closed out.

"Protect and Serve"? What a joke.

Lest you think I am bitter ... I am. More so because I have relatives who are LEOs, and they agree that this is not the way it should be done, but they also recognize that in more and more jurisdictions, this is coming to be the way it is being done.

That's a problem. Common sense and civility apparently are no longer job requirements.

Edward429451
October 21, 2004, 11:20 PM
Just want to let you guys know that I'm here, but chewing on it a little before I actually post what I feel. Might just help to sleep on it first so it don't get closed, lol.

Always with the high horse eh, sendec? How could you be condesending to one of the greatest minds on the board? She spoke both sides of the issue with more eloquence than you & I could ever hope to have. Wish I could talk like that.

Old Dog
October 22, 2004, 12:27 AM
People fear what they dont understand. Someone who has'nt been there will have the same grasp of policing that I as a male have of childbirth.

Sendec, are you saying that since the non-cops don't understand what it's like being a cop, all of the attitudes, biases, stereotypes and assumptions arise out of fear?

It's a cop thing, you wouldnt understand.

Wow.

The young cops who grew up watching COPS think their job is to harass you and make your life miserable and try to exert their authority over you for sometimes complete and total BS reasons.

I have a problem with this statement as well. More generalizing, stereotyping and just plain wrong.

Art Eatman
October 22, 2004, 01:16 AM
Well, Sendec, I rode "Buddy Patrol" with the Austintatious PD for a few months back in 1973. Regularly worked the Friday night shift on the rough side of town.

The last 21 years, here in Terlingua, I've been around Border Patrol, Customs, deputies and constables as well as a couple of sheriffs. Mostly social, nowadays. I've "coffied up" with Joaquin Jackson as well as Jim Wilson...

Most of these guys are on my good-guy list. I don't have Presidio County's ex-Sheriff Rick Thompson on this list of course; he's doing life without parole for a metric ton of pure cocaine. A constable back in the older days here was a less than desireable creature, but he's retired, now. So, by and large, I as usual regard LEOs as good guys...

Since SFAIK Brewster County has only had two real scuzzies with badges during my 21 years here, I'd say the area's doing pretty good.

But I don't believe there's a group on this earth that's 100% good guys. I do believe that anytime anybody sees doofus behavior by some klutz, there's an absolute right to gripe. Parallelling Pax, the gripe oughta be specific; "some", not "all". But I've said that numerous times before...

Art

pax
October 22, 2004, 01:39 AM
sendec ~

It's a cop thing, you wouldnt understand.
*laugh*

Oddly enough, that's what I said. At least in part.

Maybe I should have used smaller words. Or fewer of them.

pax

When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet deep down in his private heart no man much respects himself. -- Mark Twain

Art Eatman
October 22, 2004, 01:50 AM
Polysyllabic words often create problems...

Art

Sindawe
October 22, 2004, 02:04 AM
Play nice, or you're gonna get this thread locked like the last one.

Baba Louie
October 22, 2004, 02:58 AM
Ahhh Police.
Ahhh Citizens.

Policing the Garbage in our society. Professionals for the most part. Dealing with traffic, domestic woes, drunks and the dregs. Seeing children hurt and maimed, or hurting and maiming others, dealing daily with 99% boredom and paperwork out the wazoo followed by 1% of sheer WOW! WASN'T EXPECTING THAT! (but glad that something broke the monotony)

Different than us? Yes and No.

Held to a higher standard? Darn right.

Trained and psychologically tested to see if they're right for the job? Uh Huh
They who have chosen to serve, who literally could end up dead or worse by the end of their daily shift, who still have to deal with the spousal unit and maintain a modicum of normalcy around the house or when not hanging with the guys, yet see every action being covered by paper under the magnifying glass of the media...

Why sure. Sounds like everymans day to day job in America (and elsewhere)... NOT

Helping a distressed driver with a flat in the snow or rain or 120 degree heat?
Giving time to community service programs?
Hanging out with guys they work with almost exclusively?

Learning that a lot of what you were taught in the Academy is only about 5% of what you find daily on the street and that it takes years of dealing with people to actually know what's what, but new laws are added annually or new rulings come from the court system.

Catching a bad guy and watching him walk out before you even have your paperwork done on him, knowing that he's scum and needs to actually fear righteousness... but doesn't, won't and will be back to doing his nefarious deeds of ner-do-well within 45 minutes of hitting the streets...

Sounds like a typical day at my workplace. Sounds like yours too you say?

What's that you say? But some of them are bad and are tempted by evil? Some are badge heavy and take or see things the wrong way? Selective enforcement of some laws but not others? Back each other up, even if they're strangers? Would actually take a bullet or die for their buddy just because he/she is wearing the same uniform and performing the same job?

Talk a drunken married couple with a battered wife into calming down only to have her turn into an inebriated banshee when she realizes that her wunnerful common law hubby is going to cool off downtown for a spell.

Actually run towards the sound of violent action when a smarter intellectual type (such as myself :D) might and should be hesitating while they/I consider self preservation first and foremost?

All that for how much a year?

Well, they might be a little different than you or me non po-po types. Maybe.

Take a Citizen's Academy class. Do the ride-along. Hang out at the Dispatch center for a shift (I recommend the full moon Friday or Saturday night shift if you're allowed) Try to put a set of handcuffs on a 5' 100 lb. female training officer who's told you she's going to "lightly resist" :uhoh: Then see how fast she does the same to you. Practice your "Command Presence" and "Use of Force". What's that thing called an "Exclusionary Rule"?

Walk a mile in the man's mocassins if you care to or are able. Then speak of things like "them vs us" and/or thank them for doing a thankless job.

NAAHHH. It's far easier to safely sit at a computer and lob in shots from afar. :D

I fight Authority, Authority always wins... I wonder why? They can afford Better Attornies probably

Carlos Cabeza
October 22, 2004, 12:21 PM
I wouldn't do a cops job for the meager pay they recieve. Hell, I make as much or more and any risks I take are purely at my own discretion, meaning I have a choice or not to put myself in harm's way. The LEO doesn't have the same choice.

On traffic citations : "Excuse me, the ticket or the lecture, but not both !":D

DigitalWarrior
October 22, 2004, 06:17 PM
Fun Fact 6: Martha Stewart was convicted of lying to investigators. She said she didn't do something she did not even stand trial for.

Yes, I want to change the unjust laws, but as I said, I don't like people standing on my neck and saying "but I was told to stand here by your elected officials".

I know there are good cops, but the risk/reward ratio makes me choose to avoid them whenever possible. I wish it was different. But it isn't.

I can make a judgement on people even though I am not them. Sorry the job is hard but get off my neck.

Fun Fact 14: A cop does not have to have reasonable suspicion to stop me on the street. So if a cop says "I'd like to talk to you." It is not a detainment because I may walk away at any time. So I say "but I don't want to talk to you." and keep walking until given an order to stop. Now you might wonder why I am rude, see Fun Fact 6. I am not trying to be argumentative on THR, I am just saying why I feel the way I do.

If you believe I am out of line, please tell me what good comes from unnecessary exposure to Law Enforcement Agents? Again civility is the word of the day.

Mr. Clark
October 22, 2004, 07:31 PM
...and any risks I take are purely at my own discretion, meaning I have a choice or not to put myself in harm's way. The LEO doesn't have the same choice.
There's a draft for LEOs?

Cosmoline
October 22, 2004, 08:14 PM
My main problems with law enforcement are:

--Too many LEO's increasingly view themselves as part of a "warrior" caste. They view citizens as "civilians" not worthy of respect.

--The "thin blue line" mentality is another problem. There seems to be a notion that without active patrols of police, we "sheep" would be overrun by the criminal "wolves." The LEO's in this case are seen as the wolf hounds, or the wolves who fight for the sheep.

--The use of LEO's by local government to raise funds for city and state programs is particularly awful, though of course that's not the officer's fault. I do hate seeing speed traps set up that clearly have nothing to do with safety. In Alaska it's not unusal to see double fine work zones left in place long after the work has been completed, with troopers lurking off to the side of the road. The increase in minimum fines is another problem.

That said, most of my encounters with LEO's have been positive. I view them as a very important force for ensuring that court orders are enforced and that crimes are investigated. I don't realistically expect them to be able to stop crime before it happens, and I don't think people can blame them if crimes do take place.

Edward429451
October 22, 2004, 09:28 PM
OK, my dislike of cops stems from a variety of things many already commented on. Eliteism, heck that covers a lot of ground right there. I've been literally ripped off by them, had them try and find a something to charge me with when I had 'done the right thing' and called them for assisstance. They've lied under the color of law to me, taken stuff out of my house that wasn't on any warrant and was not immediately and obviously incriminating and had nothing to do with why they were there. I lied to them, they wanted to strike a deal, I believed them so told the truth thinking it was an honorable deal...I got charged with a felony for lieing and when I asked them to uphold their end of the deal I was told that its perfectly legal for an officer to lie in the course of his duties in order to get someone to do what they wanted them to do.

Thats the short version and encompasses several incidents.

Another thing is...I want to be able to recognize the police as my friend. I don't want to be at odds with them, hell were supposed to be on the same side. It seems like though, every time I make a step forward in being able to put my attitudes behind me...2 or 3 lick my boot boy types step in and quash any goodwill I may have built up with their bad attitudes. Its like they dont want to have goodwill or be on the same side. Mutual trust and respect means just that, "MUTUAL"--Effort on both sides.

artherd
October 23, 2004, 02:53 PM
Same problem I have with everybody, power corrupts.

DigitalWarrior
October 24, 2004, 03:24 PM
Power corrupts.

Police have an awful lot of power. Power is the true test of character. Some men can handle it. Many can't.

Hawkmoon
October 26, 2004, 12:44 AM
Helping a distressed driver with a flat in the snow or rain or 120 degree heat?
??????

Don't take this wrong, it's an honest question -- Were you being serious, or were you joking?

I ask because where I live the only "help" any LEO even might consider offering a stranded motorist is to park behind him/her with the bubble gum machine flashing while they wait for the tow truck to arrive. Often they don't even do that.

"Flat tire, huh? Got a cell phone?"

"Yes."

"Okay. Have a nice day."

Cosmoline
October 26, 2004, 01:48 PM
LEO's are not there to help with flat tires or engine problems. It's nice if they want to help, but it's also a waste of taxpayer money.

Powderman
October 26, 2004, 02:09 PM
Baba Louie and Carlos, if you're not cops, you should be. You have a better understanding of what cops actually do than some COPS do! And that is not an exaggeration.

Yes, police work is all that and more. You end up with some truly screwed up scenarios--and some truly funny ones, too.

You learn that the white-collar guy you are ticketing can be true, pure scum--and that the homeless guy you are talking to next can be a good person, a true gentleman who's down on his luck.

You can come to work raring to go, and be bored for 10 hours. Or, you can come to work half dead and totally sick with a splitting headache, and within 10 minutes have someone at gunpoint.

So, what are the rewards? Why is it worth it?

On rare occasions, a real scumbag REALLY screws up, and we get to take them down. HARD. And for a change, they DON'T walk on bail within 24 hours.

Driving up next to a car that contains a lost family from another state, who do not realize that they are in the middle of Crack Central, and actually keeping them out of harm's way.

Taking a guy to the Greyhound station, and watching his despair turn to hope when you give him $10 bucks to eat on for the day. (Incidentally, it also happens to be YOUR lunch money--but what the heck, you can bum a buck or two for the vending machine.)

And, the biggest award:

Having a girl or boy look up at you, and seeing them desperately tug at mom or dad's hand, whispering fiercely: "That's what I want to be!"

Baba Louie and Carlos--thanks.

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