Originally posted by seeashrink
reply to post by StlSteve
Yes! I said "be honest, it goes a long way". But thanks for reinforcing the point. We have heard it all and its amazing how people think that they
are the first to come up with the lie they are telling.
Thanks for the reply.
Cops have seen it all, and heard it all, so many times from so many people, that they can usually see a lie coming before you open your mouth to
. I've seen situations where a guy was going to try to lie his way out, and the cop pre-empted the lie simply by saying "DON'T you lie
to me" when he saw it coming, and got civil results - and the truth of the matter.
The only time I've ever been arrested was by a first-year cop. Many, if not most, cops are sort of badge heavy in their first year or so. I chalk it
up to insecurity, and an overly aggressive attempt to gain control that they aren't confident yet that they have. Shrinks say that a certain
percentage are just bad seeds, but not most. For most, it's just a confidence issue which they haven't had enough time on the job to develop yet.
In my case, the arrest was as much my fault as his, though. I'd just come back from one of my "trips", had a rucksack and a duffle bag in the
trunk, along with some equipment. Still had the airline tags on 'em. The cop pulled me over for a sticker violation - the car had been sitting in a
lot for a few weeks, and I'd not yet had time to get it back up to spec. Well, then he wanted to search the car. I thought it a bit odd to search for
a sticker violation, but had nothing to hide, so I told him where my M9 was, and said he could have at it.
He got all sorts of excitable, told me how he'd had guns pulled on him, blah, blah, blah. I wasn't a stranger to seeing the business end of a gun,
so took that in stride, but his attitude after that was getting to me - which I should have never allowed to happen.
Finally, after he'd carried on about it at length, I got exasperated and said "look, if I'd any intent of shooting you, or even pulling a gun, I'd
sure as hell not told you where to find it. It's in YOUR possession now, not mine, so relax."
Mistake three. At that point he was feeling like I had more control than him, since I issued the order.
Then I threw out the kicker. Being pretty ill myself at that point, I said "I bet you ain't been a cop 6 months, and would piss yourself if a gun
were drawn on you".
Wasn't long after that I found myself wearing a cute new pair of bracelets, sitting in the cruiser as the search continued, and when he found maps,
and most especially a ski mask (the place I'd been was COLD - the airline tags proved that), well, it was off to the station we went!
Gotta hand it to him, though. After we'd calmed down and were talking on the way to the station, he didn't charge me with near what he could have.
The judge threw the whole thing out on the DA's recommendation, anyhow.
Keep in mind that this was all pre-9/11, so he wasn't thinking "terrorist" as much as he was "bank robber", and the maps had him all sorts of
confused about even that. The officers were all very cordial when I went to the property section after the trial to get all of my "evidence" back.
No problems at all.
My point is, escalation ain't always on the doorstep of the officer, even if he IS new and even if he IS badge heavy. You treat them like people,
you'll generally see the same in return.
I've even had officers recommend to the judge that charges be reduced - like a State Trooper in VA, nabbed me doing 85 in a 55. Could have took my
license right there. We talked while he was writing me up, and he reduced it on the spot to 74 in a 55 to preserve my license, then told the judge
that he thought it ought to be reduced to "improper equipment" at the hearing, since I was such a nice guy and didn't give him any trouble at all.
The judge reduced it, I paid my fine for a non-moving violation, and drove off keeping a closer eye on the speedometer.
I believe that when dealing with law enforcement, look to the badge to see who's in charge there, but look to the man behind the badge for
interaction. Those simple rules have never failed me except when I ignored them, whichever side of the situation I was on at the time. People are
people, and you get what you give. Once you get a feel for what control REALLY is, you realize that going over the top to try to maintain it counts as
a LOSS of control in reality.
Takes a lot of cops a year or so of OJT to figure that out, and a certain small percentage never do, or never want to. Can't react to ALL of 'em as
if they were in that minority.