To Protect and Serve, or to Serve and Protect?


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XDn00b101
January 19, 2006, 11:24 PM
When I see Police cars that say "To Protect and Serve" and hear cops say it, I wonder if that's really correct? Is their primary function to protect human life, or to enfore law? What's more important to them?

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Optical Serenity
January 19, 2006, 11:28 PM
Its really more "Serve & Protect." I don't really know any police department that has a goal to protect the public, so much as serve it. Every dept I've been involved with makes it a point to serve the public, before even enforcing the law. Sometimes you have to enforce the law, sometimes a report is sufficient, and many times simple officer presence works too.

There are many functions of law enforcement that the typical citizen does not see, and really, the better a dept functions, the less you will see / know what they do.

I've never seen a dept that tells us, the officers, that we have to lock people up everyday. Most depts these days are all about fixing the situation, or leaving it better than we found it.

There are times I go a week without making an arrest, and sometimes I can't go more than 4 hours without making an arrest.

joab
January 19, 2006, 11:28 PM
The primary duty of the police is to investigate crimes and arrest criminals according to the supreme court.

They have no duty to protect any one.
Arresting criminals and investigating crimes I suppose could be considered serving the public.
Plus many other extra curricular programs that they are not duty bound to do

XDn00b101
January 19, 2006, 11:32 PM
They have no duty to protect any one.



Wow!:uhoh:

GoBrush
January 19, 2006, 11:35 PM
99% of the time their function is to serve they are to far away and to late to protect thats why all of us good citizens should have firearms of our own to protect ourselves. Hopefully when they show up to pick up the pieces it is someone elses pieces and not the Good Guys. May the Good Guys always win the fight!

Alex45ACP
January 20, 2006, 02:28 AM
More like "to collect and serve" :rolleyes:

LAK
January 20, 2006, 07:26 AM
When I see Police cars that say "To Protect and Serve" and hear cops say it, I wonder if that's really correct? Is their primary function to protect human life, or to enfore law? What's more important to them?
PR phrase only. They are public servants, and in their capacities as investigative and custodial agencies they do serve the public. And they are responsible for the protection of persons in custody, evidence, and other things under various circumstances.

But in the overall practical context they are not out there to protect anyone - their first responsibility being, and rightfully so, their own safety. Unfortunately their public service is largely hampered by being tasked with too many infraction rule offenses and other nonsense - and ultimately corruption at higher and political levels.
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Thain
January 20, 2006, 10:16 AM
Courts have repeatedly found that the government is not liable for their failures to protect, and the Supreme Court has upheld every such case that came in front of them.

Specifically, "A State's failure to protect an individual against private violence generally does not constitute a violation of the Due Process Clause, because the Clause imposes no duty on the State to provide members of the general public with adequate protective services." (See the Supreme Court decision Deshaney v. Winnebago City. Soc. Servs. Dept.)

Heck, law enforcement can release violent suspects back into society (Pinder vs. Johnson (Maryland)), which may result in further mayhem (In the case of Pinder the deaths of three children), and officials have no responsibility for that negligence.

Even worse, other jurisdictions have established the precedent that:
"... a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen..."
[Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App.181)]

In other words, the Courts backup a truth all of us know... Self-defense is your own responisbility. Not the cops, not your neighbors... Just ask Kitty Geneovse.

El Tejon
January 20, 2006, 10:19 AM
The primary function of the police is to gather evidence for the prosecution.

middy
January 20, 2006, 10:24 AM
They may not have an official duty to protect you, but the cops I know will protect you if they can, because they feel it is their duty whether the courts think so or not.

Unfortunately, they can't be everywhere at once...

jobu07
January 20, 2006, 10:26 AM
Yeah, it's my perception that most departments serve the purpose of investigating and solving crimes rather than preventing them. That's part of our rationale, as a group of second amendment enthusiasts, for daily carry and to look after ourselves.

Lupinus
January 20, 2006, 10:32 AM
It is their duty to collect evidence and solve crimes. If possible to stop crime in the process and to protect people but that is something that simply can't happen and isn't their primary role.

You're own safty is your own responsability, not the police. If they can great and I don't know of many police who would just walk by while you are getting your head kicked in. But it isn't their primary role and unrealistic to expect them to be there before you get hurt.

made2cut
January 20, 2006, 10:39 AM
More like "to collect and serve" :rolleyes:
+1 Yeah my experience lately has been a lot more collecting than serving :mad: . Along with my two buddies, 9mm & 45acp, I can do my own protecting.

TallPine
January 20, 2006, 11:11 AM
In this county, it seems like the sheriffs' primary duty is to serve papers as necessary ;)

At least that is the primary reason that they ever leave the county seat, other than to drive the main highways once in a while. The deputies never come out to my neighborhood unless there is a specific reason: process service, 911 call, or wildfire evacuation. The SO has a contract with the county seat to provide police service (there is no city police) 24/7 and usually there is only one deputy on duty at a time. So you see where that leaves us :uhoh:

Actually, it suits me just fine - for three minutes or thirty minutes, you are still pretty much on your own.

TarpleyG
January 20, 2006, 11:30 AM
In this county, it seems like the sheriffs' primary duty is to serve papers as necessary ;)

At least that is the primary reason that they ever leave the county seat, other than to drive the main highways once in a while. The deputies never come out to my neighborhood unless there is a specific reason: process service, 911 call, or wildfire evacuation. The SO has a contract with the county seat to provide police service (there is no city police) 24/7 and usually there is only one deputy on duty at a time. So you see where that leaves us :uhoh:

Actually, it suits me just fine - for three minutes or thirty minutes, you are still pretty much on your own.
In Texas, we had Constables in addition to the Sheriff's office that handled all that. I wonder if any other states are like that?

Greg

WT
January 20, 2006, 12:13 PM
To enforce the law - make arrests, issue citations, guarantee revenue for the city and employment for the prosecutors, judges, etc.

See NYPD policy statement below:

"Officers are reminded that failure to write the required amount of summonses and failure to make the required number of arrests for each rating period will result in substandard performance ratings and may result in poor annual performance evaluations." - Deputy Chief Michael Marino, 75th Precinct, NYPD - as quoted by the New York Post.

Monthly quotas:
4 parking violations
3 moving violations
3 quality of life summons
1 arrest
2 stop and frisks

dolanp
January 20, 2006, 12:29 PM
To serve when available with no obligation to protect. All rights reserved.

Live Free Or Die
January 20, 2006, 12:41 PM
Where I live, the primary responsibilities of the police seem to be (in order of frequency):

- Handing out speeding tickets
- Making a report after a property crime
- Sending that report to the local paper
- Showing up after domestic dispute has concluded

I honestly think there are far too many police officers in my county. I don't know how else to explain the 2-car speed traps every mile or two along some of the highways here. There are a handfull of property crimes each week -- almost all of which are never solved. The police force is too large, and it apparently relies on speeding tickets to pay for all the doughnuts. :neener: Joking aside, cops in my county have specific days each week when they go to court to testify against contested tickets. They earn time-and-a-half for the hours they're in court, so it seems like there's an institutional incentive to hand out a lot of speeding tickets.

And while I'm ranting, it really irritates me that cops get away with breaking so many traffic laws -- doing exactly the kinds of things they hand out tickets for. Just about every day on my commute I witness a cop driving tens of mph over the limit, changing lanes without signaling, tailgating, passing on the right, and so on. Is it possible that some of them are responding to some sort of emergency? I suppose, but then why don't they turn their lights and sirens on?

A co-worker's brother is a cop in my county, and he said that driving "as fast as I want" is an implicit "perk" of being in a position of power. It's exactly this attitude that reinforces my belief that, in many cases -- maybe even a majority of cases -- the kind of person who becomes a cop is the kind of person who desires power over others. Same with politicians. There must be some axiom that describes this elegantly.

ball3006
January 20, 2006, 02:24 PM
rules that the police do not have the responsibility to protect individual citizens.............Police are mostly reactive, not proactive.........unless, you are a politician or wealthy.........chris3

mercedesrules
January 20, 2006, 02:48 PM
Police are the enforcement arm of the state. Their only job is to protect and preserve the power of the state. Anything else they do is incidental to that purpose.

LAK
January 20, 2006, 09:54 PM
... "Officers are reminded that failure to write the required amount of summonses and failure to make the required number of arrests for each rating period will result in substandard performance ratings and may result in poor annual performance evaluations." - Deputy Chief Michael Marino, 75th Precinct, NYPD - as quoted by the New York Post... (etc)
There should be substantial jail time for the public officials who implement or follow these kind of directives.
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Steve in PA
January 20, 2006, 10:03 PM
More like "to collect and serve" :rolleyes:

Try not driving like an idiot and there won't be any "collecting" :rolleyes:

JMusic
January 20, 2006, 10:42 PM
After seeing some of the things I saw in LE I sometimes thought there wasn't alot worth protecting. Sometimes when I read some of these threads the same thoughts cross my mind.
Jim

Car Knocker
January 20, 2006, 11:26 PM
In Texas, we had Constables in addition to the Sheriff's office that handled all that. I wonder if any other states are like that?

Greg

Many years ago, when I lived in Northern California, I was served (twice) with paternity suits by the local Constable.

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