It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Cops, Better or Worse?

page: 1
3
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 01:11 AM
link   
Many years ago when I first started in Police work, things were dramatically different.

College degrees were not necessary, or even thought of as desirable.

Prior military was a HUGE plus.

And,

You absolutely, definitely needed to know how to fight.

We went to work, for around 5 dollars an hour, and as a general rule, we would be fighting before the shift was over. We did not have Capstun, Tazers, ASPs or even PR24's. When you went to arrest someone, and they resisted, you either fought them or took a Butt Whipping. After enough of those, you got out, simply understanding that police work was not for you.

Now it seems to me, that the new generation of Cops are something completely different. Although they are taught DT (Defensive Tactics) in the Academy, they are indoctrinated that the weapons on their belt are their first choice in an arrest.

As such we get Old Ladies being Tazered, young children being gassed and everyone else being beaten with a stick.

Back in the day, (To coin a phrase) when you went to arrest a big guy, backup may be an hour away. You used your life experience to "talk" him into submitting. That or you took your chances and just grabbed him, hoping for the best. That sounds really risky, but you know what? We made it through. About the same number that are making it now. And we never gassed an old lady, or electrocuted a kid.

Don't get me wrong. I am college educated, but it was a different time. I learned how to talk to people, to respect them even if I was arresting them. The new Cops today seem to sadly not have those skills, but MAN can they write a report!

Believe me, I know it is a different world out there, more dangerous and deadly. But I was never told this was an easy profession. I have had to do what I had to do in order to survive. I am neither ashamed nor proud of that. It is what it is. I have however always tried to treat everyone with the respect that should be afforded any human being. I am sadly seeing less and less of that every day.

Please don't think I am not completely satisfied with my career choice. It has been good to me, exciting and fulfilling. But if I had it to do today, I doubt I would consider police work as a viable choice.

Thoughts?

(Please try and not flame me, I am just being pensive tonight after a bad day at work... Thanks)

Semper




posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 02:59 AM
link   
Well, I'll take your word for much of what you wrote, because you have actually worn the uniform. I will agree that it was a different world back then. Seems like every cop in the city knew my old man when I was a teenager.



As such we get Old Ladies being Tazered, young children being gassed and everyone else being beaten with a stick.


I've seen some examples of this, sad to say. Do you see this being done more by the oldtimers, or the newer recruits?



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 05:44 AM
link   
Most of the "old timers" that are in my generation, that I know, wont even consider carrying the Tazer...

The young cops can't wait to get their first...

Shame

Semper



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 06:43 AM
link   
I have just one question.
Since today recruits are taught so called Defensive Tactics shouldn't use any self defence or martial arts training before they use the likes of a tazer ?
Anyway I would rather a cop used the likes of a Tazer on a suspect rather then risk injury in some kind of physical confrontation.



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 07:04 AM
link   
...and your bad day at work would be nightmarish for many of us...

I suppose I might be pensive too, in your line of work. Over the years, the problems I've had with police officers, whether warrented or not, always seemed to be the younger ones. I suppose experiance does tell.

I'm curious, what sort of psych evaluations are done prior to hiring, and are they an ongoing thing as you progress throughout your career? This would seem to be required to weed out the bad apples.

"can't wait to get their first"... Nice attitude...not. I hope they've been weeded out?

Well I hope your feeling better about your career today...

Hmmm... Forgot to answer your question...

I'd say, overall, worse... But only because of a lack of life experiance outside of school. You can have all the "book larnin'" in the world, but it doesn't take the place of experiance. Not because police dept. are deliberately hiring thugs, or anything of that nature. Just sheer youngness, to coin a term.

[edit on 14-8-2007 by seagull]



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 03:46 PM
link   

Originally posted by xpert11
I have just one question.
Since today recruits are taught so called Defensive Tactics shouldn't use any self defence or martial arts training before they use the likes of a tazer ?
Anyway I would rather a cop used the likes of a Tazer on a suspect rather then risk injury in some kind of physical confrontation.


Well in theory yes...

However, real life police work, like so many other things, is a completely different story...

Example...

This has happened in my career more times than I can count. I approach a rather large gentleman that I have warrants on. I have already made up my mind to arrest this man. I approach him and with complete confidence and control, place my hand on his arm and tell him that he is under arrest. In that moment I have taken control of the situation and 99.9% of the time the man will turn around and I cuff him. He very well may protest, but ALMOST always allow me to cuff him and then the fight will not ensue. It is all about controlling the situation before it controls you.

Two things have occurred in the undercurrent of the situation.

One: I took control and did not give him a chance to consider resisting...
Two: I gained some respect from him...

Situation two:

I approach the man and come within 10 feet or so of him. I square off and tell him he is under arrest. He will ALWAYS ask what for. We have now engaged in an argument. I tell him I have warrants and he must comply, turn around and place his hands behind his back. I remain at prime Tazer range and do not approach. If he does not, I will draw my Tazer and repeat the command, eventually gaining compliance or Tazing him.

I have initially demonstrated a fear of approaching him, lost any respect I may have been able to gain and was forced to Taze him. Granted I removed any chance of me being in an altercation, and made the arrest, but at what cost?

Do you see the difference?

By the way, Martial Arts, of which I have been a student for 18 years, is completely useless in Police work with the exception maybe of Judo....

Semper

ps... Gotta go for a conditioning run Seagull, I'll get to your answer this evening...

S



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 05:17 PM
link   
I hear what you're saying Semper. We are seeing the same thing in Corrections.

When I first started like you we knew that we were going to have to handle the situation and we were taught to talk to the inmate and if possible gain compliance verbally before using force. It's just so much easier to "talk" someone down rather then fight. Now we're trained in Defensive Tactics and are expected to use them. Hello; does anyone here think for a minute that inmates are really going to stand there while we put a straight arm bar take down on them? I don't think so if fighting is going to happen it's called scrapping and you just do it.

Our new officers are being taught that they are the latest and greatest in Corrections and don't need to listen and learn from experienced staff. They are quick to write an infraction on an inmate instead of dealing with him like another human being. I've found that talking to them and finding out why is the best way to go. Now obviously there are times when talking is done and action must be taken but in day to day interactions talking is best. The new officers seem to be unable to as you say Semper take control, issue orders (mind I said orders; not requests) and deal with things.

Okay Semper this rant is your fault but boy did it feel good to get it out. I hope you're feeling better about your profession today.

In answer to your question; yes it seems as if officers in law enforcement are getting worse. I think it's based on age and lack of experience more then anything. College is good; experience is better. We have cops here in town that just turned 21 which in my opinion is too young.



posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 12:46 PM
link   
Seagull,


I'm curious, what sort of psych evaluations are done prior to hiring, and are they an ongoing thing as you progress throughout your career? This would seem to be required to weed out the bad apples.


They are fairly extensive in the states I have been employed in. They vary as to type and intensity, but as a rule it is a written test consisting of between 100 and 300 questions followed by a one on one sit down with the good Doctor. Then a few days later you get either a thumbs up or down.

GH,

I feel for you!!!

But you know that you can "rant" to me anytime you want to!!!

Semper



posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 02:27 PM
link   
Here's a post about a situation that seems to illustrate semper's point.

www.belowtopsecret.com...


In a confrontation captured on videotape, a hospital security guard fired a stun gun to stop a defiant father from taking home his newborn, sending both man and child crashing to the floor. Now William Lewis says his baby girl suffers from head trauma because she was dropped.

"I've got to wonder what kind of moron would Tase an adult holding a baby," said George Kirkham, a former police officer and criminologist at Florida State University. "It doesn't take rocket science to realize the baby is going to fall."

news.yahoo.com...




[edit on 2007/8/15 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 05:29 PM
link   
Exactly my point Grady, THANK YOU!!!

In the "Good Old Days" we would have just approached him and escorted him back into the hospital...

Now mind everyone I am not debating as to whether he had a right to leave with the child or not, just the way in which he was stopped.

I firmly believe that in this one area anyway, technology is showing to be detrimental...

Semper



posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 05:56 PM
link   
Psych tests are variable, unfortunately.


Milwaukee has trailed far behind other cities in screening candidates for police officers a flaw that may help explain recent cases of alleged police misconduct here. Officials must reverse course and make Milwaukee a leader, rather than a laggard, in adopting smart procedures for hiring cops.

Officials also must scrutinize for signs of trouble the records of officers hired from 1997 through '99, when, amazingly, recruits didn't even have to undergo oral interviews and when all five officers charged with felonies in the past month came on board, as reported Wednesday by Journal Sentinel writers John Diedrich and Gina Barton. Three of those officers are involved in the case of Frank Jude Jr., who was beaten savagely last October, allegedly by off-duty officers.
Source

I don't know about other cities, but this is becoming a serious problem in Milwaukee now. People were screaming "We want more cops!!!!" so the city complied by lowering the standards of the academy so that more could graduate, then went lenient on the psych tests.

Now, the people are wondering why the cops are bad seeds... and why (typically young) people have bad attitudes about cops...

I'm in MA now, but it's the same problem. The cops are quick to push and scrap, they demand respect while giving none, they don't follow their own rules (raids without warrants), and they wonder why people eyeball them or spit when they roll by.



However, the same 'logic' applies with people in general -- demand respect without giving it. I see that happening constantly... so it's no wonder that the cops are playing by the same rules.


Semper, if I'm ever arrested (and goodness willing, I won't be), I hope it's by you or someone with your character. We don't always agree, but you are alwayscivil and respectful. Know that it is noticed, and very much appreciated.



posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 08:06 PM
link   
Thank you Diseria,

But I would hope we could meet over a Killians Red and not in my official capacity....

I'm buying the first round by the way...

Semper



posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 08:31 PM
link   
Me too


(and I'll get the second!)




posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 11:43 PM
link   
Semper:

I served in the period between the "old" style cops (60's and 70's) and the "new" breed coming in (90's).

One opinion I formed was that all the new-fangled psych testing and such was actually detrimental in the selection of officers.

TO explain: A lot of the old guys were or had somewhat spotty histories themselves before becoming cops. They however had graduated from the proverbial "school-of-hard-knocks", thus having good street smarts. They knew when to talk and when to punch.

The newer breed were often extensively tested and checked by various experts. They passed all the paper tests. However, I was stunned to find that a majority of them had never actually been in a physical confrontation (of any import) until they joined the force. Thus, they often overreacted to any sign of resistance.

You can test people in a classroom all you want about their theoretical reactions to a stress inducing event but, you know Semper, that you can't tell a cops worth until he hits the street.

Most of the old guys would have been weeded out by today's standards but they knew from real life experience how to handle themselves and get respect in a rough environment. The new guys only knew what they had read in books or been taught in the academy.


[edit on 15-8-2007 by passenger]

[edit on 15-8-2007 by passenger]



posted on Aug, 17 2007 @ 06:12 AM
link   
Your correct in that some of the "Old Timers" would never have made the grade today with the Psychological testing.....

Gave me a good laugh thinking about some of the ones that trained me sitting in front of a Frazier and going at it....




I think we are losing the common sense in our Officers....

Semper



posted on Aug, 17 2007 @ 09:07 AM
link   

Originally posted by semperfortis
Your correct in that some of the "Old Timers" would never have made the grade today with the Psychological testing.....

I think we are losing the common sense in our Officers....

Semper


It's true since Corrections started psychological screening many of our veteran staff wouldn't pass either it's sad really.

Semper, you nailed in on the head; common sense does seem to be lacking in many new officers. Well what do we expect? We are hiring 18 year olds to be Corrections Officers. How in the world is a teenager supposed to have the life experience to do my job? Parents imagine your teenager going to a prison everyday and working with the worst of the worst. How well is it going to work out for them?

Does anyone wonder at the frustration levels felt by myself and my fellow veteran staff? It can't be much different then the frustration felt by veteran cops at much the same problem.

You know my big fear now isn't how can I get myself out if all hell breaks loose but rather how can I get these kids out?



posted on Aug, 17 2007 @ 08:30 PM
link   

Originally posted by semperfortis
I think we are losing the common sense in our Officers....
Semper


Nail on the head.

Not to turn this into a forum of reminisces, but a story that illustrates this point:
A vet asked pointed out something to another new guy, a small thing. He asked rhetorically: "Whata we gonna do about that?" The new guy answered, "Let's bust him!!". The old-timer immediately got hot and said, "You A#$%^&*@! You're out here to keep the peace. NOT to stir up F@#$%^&* TROUBLE!
The point is the new guy was going "by the book" not realizing that you can't use "the book" on the street. You have to know when to hold and when to fold. I see that a lot of the new guys don't. No common sense as you said.



posted on Aug, 17 2007 @ 08:53 PM
link   

Originally posted by semperfortis
I think we are losing the common sense in our Officers....
Semper


This is true, I think, of the whole nation regardless of fields.

One thing I would like to point out, however.

Semper, you are speaking as a seasoned officer who has had the opportunity to have lived in both worlds. You're both educated and you have the field experience and have had the advantage of knowing a population of officers who learned police work experientially from the start, rather than starting with academics and then entering the field and applying the theory.

What I have gotten from your posts is that somehow the negotiating skills of the current crop of officers is diminished in contrast to officers of the past and that surprises me.

You'd think that formally educated officers would be better at that and that police training would have plenty of training on how to defuse potentially violent situations before they get out of hand.

I'd also expect that officers who learned their skills on the street would be less likely to use diplomacy rather than force.

I hope you understand these observations.

I would also like to know among which group you see the problems. Is it mainly the newer, less experienced officers who lack the negotiating skills or do you see this also in officers who are your contemporaries or older?

Is it possible that with the new emphasis on "cops on the street" we simply have a problem with lack of experience and the same cops who exhibit these problems will mature and become more "mellow" with age?

Or is it, and excuse me if this has been broached and I missed it, that there is a characterological issue here on a massive scale?



posted on Aug, 17 2007 @ 09:19 PM
link   
First one has to understand the concept of "Discretionary Arrest Powers."

In every state I have experience with, Officer are given arrest powers and those powers are discretionary. If that were not the case, traffic officers would be mandated to stop every vehicle going down the road at 1 MPH over the limit. Every time someone stopped to admire some scenery, they would have to arrest them for loitering....

The use of discretion in making or not making an arrest is perhaps the officers most powerful tool. It allows the officer time to be involved in cases where there is real danger, potential harm or other more important concerns than driving 5 mph over the limit.

With that in mind, I will suggest to you that there are times where a normal person, ie. not a cop, may be shocked at the officer not making an arrest. And vice versa. Experience, the situation and the environment all must be considered prior to moving to make the arrest. There is no teaching this, this requires real time on the streets and in uniform.

Formally educated cops are a blessing, don't get me wrong. I am not advocating less education in the police force at all. I just feel as if this one requirement has become too important and there is too little emphasis on those with some life experience to fill the positions.

As far as which groups I see this problem in, simple. The newer, younger officer most definitely. Some can be attributed to pressure to make arrests and look good, some to ego and no small part to machismo.

I see this as a societal issue though more than one exclusive to police work. So many lawsuits have come down and the city/county/state is always pressured to settle because it cost so much more to go to trial, the new officers are afraid for their future and in many instances rightfully so. That and it seems the criminal element has become somewhat more deadly as the respect for law enforcement has decreased.

Young officers feel it safer for their physical being and their pensions to not lay hands on a subject. Combine that with ego and machismo and there you have it.

Ethics is a subject that I feel is not taught nearly enough in the academies or as an ongoing in-service training. Discretion really is at times the better part of valor.

Semper



posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 12:22 AM
link   

Originally posted by semperfortis
Formally educated cops are a blessing, don't get me wrong. I am not advocating less education in the police force at all. I just feel as if this one requirement has become too important and there is too little emphasis on those with some life experience to fill the positions.
Semper


This issue doesn't just apply to cops though, it's affecting all aspects of our society. You can read all you can about riding a bicycle, but until you actually get on and pedal you don't know anything about riding one. Some things can never be taught (in an academic sense) they have to be learned by experience. We seem to have lost sight of that. All the weight is given to "certification" now.

Our society places far to much emphasis on what you were trained or certified to do as opposed to what you actually can do. Cops are just a profession where it shows the problem in a more public light.

We also have fallen into that trap of thinking "Anyone can do anything with the right training and supervision." Crap. Some people ain't cut out for the streets and we need to recognize that.



new topics

top topics



 
3
<<   2 >>

log in

join