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What is causing the degradation of law enforcement?

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posted on May, 30 2009 @ 02:24 PM
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I’ve noticed a growing number of posts on ATS showing police misconduct. With them come the derogatory comments about law enforcement officers. While the majority of the officers depicted in these videos deserve scorn and ridicule, not to mention criminal charges in many cases, they ARE NOT representative of law enforcement as a whole. It is very sad to think that we have 100’s of 1000’s of law enforcement officers who care about and help people every day. What has caused law enforcement to start to degrade in society?
Don’t get me wrong. I, a former officer, believe that law enforcement is not the same career field so-to-speak as it was 30 years ago. There have always been bad cops who abused their authority. But in general people used to get into law enforcement because they truly wanted to help people. It was a calling of sorts. The personality type of police 30, 40 years ago was more ethical than they are today. Today, police are largely “ethical” due to fear of getting in trouble whereas 30, 40 years ago they were ethical because they had a code of honor that upheld morals, ethics and “doing the right thing”. I will also go so far as to say that police looked more at what the spirit of the laws they enforced were as opposed to the letter of the law. And the people that got into law enforcement back in the day didn’t do it for money or prestige. Conversely, a lot of the people getting into law enforcement today do get into it for the money (at least in California). This really creates a cultural shift in law enforcement from officers doing the job because they truly believe in what they are doing and want to do the right thing, to officers viewing what they do as “just a job”.
But there’s more. In many agencies the people that typically promote up the chain of command are the rear kissers. They move up faster than most of the people in the department that are willing to confront their superiors when they see something wrong. So you end up with a bunch of people in the department’s command that are spineless rear kissers. The leadership then is more interested in quashing dissent and being yes men to TPTB than actually doing the right thing.
All of these factors are contributing to the lack of quality in officers that you are seeing today. Unfortunately, I believe it is going to get worse. Every time someone lumps all of law enforcement together in their derogatory comments it only serves to run out what good cops are left.
So I ask the ATS membership…What is it that you expect from law enforcement? And I don’t need to see the sarcastic responses like “cops who don’t beat us”…Seriously, what do most people expect from law enforcement? Or are there people on here that think society can function without it?




posted on May, 30 2009 @ 02:36 PM
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When I first joined law enforcement, I joined to help people . . . not write citations to gain income for the city.

I joined to help people, not try and pin anything I can on them.

I joined to help people, not try and be the voice of reason when my fellow officers are mistreating someone.

It did not work out too well.



posted on May, 30 2009 @ 02:39 PM
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PhoenixDemon, you have just described the entire "modern" population with very few exceptions. This has happened to society in general. Police are people within that society so why would they be any different? Same thing in corporate America. It is what's wrong today.

[edit on 30/5/2009 by Iamonlyhuman]



posted on May, 30 2009 @ 02:44 PM
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reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 


Yes I totally agree that society as a whole is degrading. With all of its advances and civility there is still a lot of injustice and unfairness. I keep thinking that if there ever is a revolution that all of the "good cops" will be on the opposing side of the government.



posted on May, 30 2009 @ 04:29 PM
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I think people take the police for granted. People moan about them and even hate them but at the end of the day if something happened to a member of your family they will always try and help you. If your child went missing they would be the 1st people you rang, and they would have loads of people trying to help find them.

Yes some officers will break the rules, but that will only be a very small percentage. As in any work place, people always bend the rules. But most people do there job the best they can.

I know loads of people who hate the police, but I look at how they live and they break so many laws day in day out that they probably deserve arresting.

I dont really break any laws, definatly not any serious ones. Obviously I have broken laws in the past, everyone has. But now I live a quiet life and I never get bothered by the police.

And I have a lot of respect for most police officers, I wouldn't mind being one actually!



posted on May, 30 2009 @ 06:09 PM
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Originally posted by xxpigxx
When I first joined law enforcement, I joined to help people . . . not write citations to gain income for the city.

I joined to help people, not try and pin anything I can on them.

I joined to help people, not try and be the voice of reason when my fellow officers are mistreating someone.

It did not work out too well.


How poignant and illuminating.

I would give you a whole bunch of stars. It is so sad that our police have been called upon to toadie for the PTB, rather than offering help to those who need it.

I suspect that the War on (some people who use some) Drugs has a great amount to do with the slippage of the integrity of our law enforcement officers. They often must go after people who are creating no issues, acting upon a fallacious set of drug laws.

Seeing these actions and enforcement of policies that really have nothing to do with keeping the peace (rather, it creates violence and corruption) leads many to have little faith in laws (actually, Acts, Resolutions, Mandates, etc. There are only three Laws).

This, at least, was a first strike to create the schism between the police and the people that they hopefully come to serve.



posted on May, 30 2009 @ 06:49 PM
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reply to post by Amaterasu
 


Amaterasu, I would caution you to not blur the "war on drugs" issue with the issue of degrading quality of police. While I agree the so called war on drugs is partially to blame. However, I can tell you from experience that most of the people involved in drugs are involved in other crimes against persons that they probably would not be in had it not been for the involvment of drugs into the situation. Believe me, I am not an "anti drug" person per se. I take a liberterian aproach. If someone wants to do something to themself without hurting anyone else, more power to them. But the minute it affects innocent people then that's when someone has to step in.



posted on May, 30 2009 @ 09:56 PM
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Originally posted by PhoenixDemon
reply to post by Amaterasu
 


Amaterasu, I would caution you to not blur the "war on drugs" issue with the issue of degrading quality of police. While I agree the so called war on drugs is partially to blame. However, I can tell you from experience that most of the people involved in drugs are involved in other crimes against persons that they probably would not be in had it not been for the involvment of drugs into the situation. Believe me, I am not an "anti drug" person per se. I take a liberterian aproach. If someone wants to do something to themself without hurting anyone else, more power to them. But the minute it affects innocent people then that's when someone has to step in.


And do you think that if there was no "illegal" status on these drugs (especially the herb), that these crimes would have been committed? Likely not.

I'm just saying that the Wo(spwus)D was the first shot. Alcohol prohibition created police corruption (amongst a great number of other problems we see with today's prohibition). The Wo(spwus)D has done the self-same thing.

On top of that, large numbers of people have established that the Wo(spwus)D, and especially as it relates to the herb, is foolish and having no respect for THOSE laws, begin to question laws in general.

Sure, there have been other influences. But the Wo(spwus)D was the first shot.



posted on May, 30 2009 @ 10:22 PM
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reply to post by Amaterasu
 


Amaterasu, I personally think they should legalize most drugs. I've lived the arguments on the front line of the so called war on drugs. I know how much of the WOD is BS and how much is legitimate.

And the crimes I'm speaking of would have been committed whether the drugs involved where legal or illegal. While I do think most drugs should be legalized, I know doing so will not alleviate all of the crime associated with them.

I'd love to debate this very subject but I think we are on the borderine of violating the terms of ATS service now. Discussions about drugs aren't generally allowed. Feel free to u2u me, I enjoy the intelligent discussion just the same.



posted on May, 30 2009 @ 10:40 PM
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Originally posted by xxpigxx
When I first joined law enforcement, I joined to help people . . . not write citations to gain income for the city.

I joined to help people, not try and pin anything I can on them.

I joined to help people, not try and be the voice of reason when my fellow officers are mistreating someone.

It did not work out too well.


That is the exact same view I had when I went into law enforcement too.

It did not work out too well for me either.


After 6 years I had had it I left and never looked back!

Couldnt take the way good people or people that had made a small error in judgement were being treated.

Everyone is guilty until proven innocent!! That is the way it is now folks and it is getting much much worse.




[edit on 5/30/2009 by pcgeek]



posted on May, 30 2009 @ 10:42 PM
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reply to post by pcgeek
 


Last line is absolutely correct.

Funny . . . I had enough of it after about the same amount of time as you.

Glad I am not alone



posted on May, 30 2009 @ 10:50 PM
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reply to post by xxpigxx
 


When people like us got out of it, it just leaves the thugs left to do the job.

The people with the open minds and hearts that are needed for that type of job soon find out it won't work because there are to few of us.

We quickly lose hope and burnout, finding that all of the values they taught us to use were a front, to only make you feel like it would be a glamorous job.

There are still good people in the business that have that hope and arent thugs. But they are few and far between.



posted on May, 30 2009 @ 10:53 PM
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reply to post by pcgeek
 


XXPigxx and pcgeek, I know the feeling. I guess that's why it disturbs me to see so many of the people slamming law enforcement. One side of me sees there point, but the other side still wants to defend the officers I know that are good cops doing the right thing every day. I feel for them, they are still fighting a thankless battle and loosing ground every day.



posted on May, 30 2009 @ 11:19 PM
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Originally posted by PhoenixDemon
reply to post by Amaterasu
 


And the crimes I'm speaking of would have been committed whether the drugs involved where legal or illegal. While I do think most drugs should be legalized, I know doing so will not alleviate all of the crime associated with them.


I would be interested in those specific crimes... But this is off topic. [smile]


I'd love to debate this very subject but I think we are on the borderine of violating the terms of ATS service now. Discussions about drugs aren't generally allowed. Feel free to u2u me, I enjoy the intelligent discussion just the same.


I do believe it's ok to point out things relative to how drugs might relate to the topic at hand - no personal use creppola, of course.

Getting into the issue of the WoD itself is, indeed frowned upon only because it draws the ones who cannot discuss it intelligently. So I will U2U you shortly (if my connection holds).

The crimes though, really are beside the point. It's the experience-vs.-propaganda thing that erodes faith in the law (and thus police), and the corruption the whole prohibition creates that is a large share of the issues in the degredation of the police.

[edit on 5/30/2009 by Amaterasu]



posted on May, 30 2009 @ 11:24 PM
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In my humble opinion, we live in a society that likes to fight or to wage wars.

Wars against nations, wars against drugs, poverty, even tactics.

So we are currently at war with drugs and terrorism. So this makes police officers soldiers in these wars, and the rapid militarization of our once civilian police forces explains why and where we are at.

So if the cops are soldiers what does this make You?



posted on May, 30 2009 @ 11:52 PM
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I would feel safer with a criminal than a cop.They are ego maniacs.Most of them beat there wives and cheat.They make little money so they must get off on having control over people.Of course there must be some that are good,I just never met one.



posted on May, 31 2009 @ 12:29 AM
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I believe a huge contributor to the incline in Authoritarian Violence and misconduct is that I believe a very disproportionate percentage of law enformment officers have had military training and have seen action in the recent invasions of iraq and affganistan. I have noticed the personality shift in law enforcement since the invisable and imaginary "War on Terror" began. Alot of police are behaving like soldiers on duty rather than domestic officers of the peace doing their jobs. This is where the problem lies for me. It is gobsmackingly obvious.



posted on May, 31 2009 @ 12:50 AM
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any police department is a living entity witch must eat grow and protect itself to survive. example; local police dept.receives funds based on # of arrests (lets say 200 arrests 10000 dollars a month)now what if next month only 190 people break the law.well now that doesn't justify 10000 only 97500 see what im getting at?they have to go out and "find"10 more crimes a month in order to justify their budget and why stop there lets get 20 more just to be safe that's 210 now they get 10250.wow they can hire more cops and the "rookies"are at risk so they are going to make sure they get enough arrests to keep their jobs and so on....................FEEL SAFER NOW?..............I don't!



posted on May, 31 2009 @ 01:23 AM
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So true. A friend of mine's boss was at the police station to fill out out a statement for fuel theft when he saw with his own eyes, The monthly quota written on the wall. What they need and what they've gotten so far. That is screwed up.



posted on May, 31 2009 @ 01:55 AM
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In a lot of places, less people want to become police officers, for a variety of reasons. Therefore, they have to allow less qualified people to become police in order to keep up with the need for policing. It just isn't a career that as many people go into anymore.

Most of the people I talk to who want to 'help people' in their career end up doing something a lot safer than police work, like medicine, nursing, and so on. Something like firefighting, while dangerous, still sounds more attractive to me, because the challenges in that career are more likely to involve things (fires, rescues, etc) than people (criminals, druggies, etc), and, at least personally, I'd rather go up against a blazing home with a fire hose than a crackhead with a gun any day, though I'd rather avoid both if possible, because I'm a wuss!



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