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Law Enforcement versus Peace Officer- Causes and Solutions

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posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 04:41 PM
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One thing I have noticed is that there are a metric ton of threads on here with inflammatory titles and a good bit of ire against police officers and rightfully so given some of the actions outlined.

The point I wish to get across to everyone here on ATS is that police officers and deputies come form society and that society as a whole shares in the responsibility for peace officers morphing into "law enforcement" such as we have today.

We have become less civil as a whole. I think we can all agree on this. We have become impatient, products of the societal push to immediate gratification. We hear the term "respect" bandied about without realizing that it needs to be earned and not just given. Heck in some neighborhoods not giving proper "respect" will get you shot in the face (whatever "respect" means to the banger in question). We have become a more violent society (physically and financially) as the "I'm going to get mine" attitude has pervaded every strata of society from the poorest guy living in a cardboard box to the corporate boardrooms and the highest elected offices.

Keeping all of that in mind, being a peace officer today is MUCH harder than it used to be. It requires dedication, hard work and eating a LOT of crow from society as a whole. Being a "law enforcement officer" is easier- MUCH easier.

Now when you consider that officers are chosen from society, one with a sense of entitlement, one that sees immediate gratification as the norm rather than the exception, that attitude carries over and becomes a default for the officer. The difference is of course that now that member of society has the power to affect the lives of others.

So how do we, as a society, make the necessary changes to our police forces to return to where we should be?

My own opinion based on 12 years as a peace officer:

Restore "beat cops". Police officers are isolated from the community in cruisers. While he vehicle is an important piece of equipment there should also be officers walking downtown, getting to know the neighborhood and interacting with the community.

Officer involvement in the community through the Police Athletic Leagues, Explorer programs and community activities like playground construction and graffiti abatement. Suggest to your mayor and town council that officers actually be forced to spend one day a week (paid if necessary) to engage in these activities. Once the officers get to know the people and vice-versa there is going to be a level of respect that is earned that goes both ways.

Solid training by experienced Field Training Officers. Having a good FTO program in place is key. This is where a department can weed out those unsuitable for the job and mold the upcoming officers into being community oriented peace officers versus a badge heavy LEO.

Elect officials such as mayors and councilmen who will back these ideas 110% as the prevailing societal culture is ingrained from the day the officers are children and first exposed to society as whole. There will be resistance to change but with any organization- reform MUST come from the top down. This is the starting point.

Appoint citizen/police review councils where controversial arrests/actions can be reviewed by both civilians and police. Make the proceedings transparent and available to the public. These councils I have found to be TREMENDOUSLY helpful to both the department and the community and show that the concerns of the community are taken seriously and addressed.

This is of course just my opinion and my opinion and a dollar will get me a cup of coffee but I worked quite hard to be a peace officer and ensure any rookies I trained followed my example. The ideas above worked in my town- start spreading the word to yours. You might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome!
edit on 30-6-2011 by SFA437 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 04:49 PM
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As the saying goes,

An armed society is a polite society.



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by SFA437
The point I wish to get across to everyone here on ATS is that police officers and deputies come form society and that society as a whole shares in the responsibility for peace officers morphing into "law enforcement" such as we have today.


NOPE!

It is called personal responsibility.

When a cop acts out of line that is his fault, not mine.



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 04:55 PM
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As I have said SFA , would that there were more of you to work with on the problems vexing us all. The attitude you express is like a call to service to us all. And it will only be through partnerships between police and public that heal the deep wounds in our society.
seed



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 04:59 PM
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Sadly it is my humble opinion that a police man (part of my community) does not create the revenue stream a police officer (enforcement officer) does..



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 05:12 PM
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I live in a city that was ranked No. 1 on Forbes' "Most Miserable Cities in America to Live In," and I have seen a drastic change in our downtown area since they started the bicycle patrols and began putting officers on foot more. It does help when officers have more of personal connections to the people in their community.

Although I agree that the ideas you enumerated here are all good ones, they will not change the propensity for officers to overstep their bounds...there are too many temptations out there for a weak-minded or unscrupulous officer and those temptations are not going to go away. Implementing these ideas also will not curb some of the ego-driven attitudes of many officers who can't see beyond the "us and them" mentality.

I was a cop for several years myself. I know what they're up against out there....and I also know some of the negative public perceptions they encounter derive largely from misunderstandings people have about policies, procedures, and laws. Nevertheless, the bad cops who make the papers are making it hard on the good ones trying to do their job. It's an unfortunate truth that isn't going away.
edit on 30-6-2011 by NightGypsy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 05:12 PM
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Originally posted by Kitilani

Originally posted by SFA437
The point I wish to get across to everyone here on ATS is that police officers and deputies come form society and that society as a whole shares in the responsibility for peace officers morphing into "law enforcement" such as we have today.


NOPE!

It is called personal responsibility.

When a cop acts out of line that is his fault, not mine.


Individually yes.

I am referring to the "law enforcement" culture as a whole and ways to rectify that. Societal norms are why these types of stories do not happen in Switzerland or Japan where the society is based on civility, mutual respect, ethics and tolerance. Our societal norms are immediate gratification, entitlement and selfishness.

That is the point of what you quoted- not an abrogation of personal responsibility- which both sides of the fence need.



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 05:15 PM
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reply to post by SFA437
 


No.

I do not need to change a damn thing in order for bad cops to stop being bad cops. Bad cops have to stop being bad cops. It is not my job to babysit rogue cops.



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 05:17 PM
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Originally posted by SFA437

The point I wish to get across to everyone here on ATS is that police officers and deputies come form society and that society as a whole shares in the responsibility for peace officers morphing into "law enforcement" such as we have today.


This is true, we sat back and expected the police to protect us, at the certain point we crossed a line and too much power was given and now we are seeing corruption and abuse of that power.


We have become less civil as a whole. I think we can all agree on this. We have become impatient, products of the societal push to immediate gratification. We hear the term "respect" bandied about without realizing that it needs to be earned and not just given. Heck in some neighborhoods not giving proper "respect" will get you shot in the face (whatever "respect" means to the banger in question). We have become a more violent society (physically and financially) as the "I'm going to get mine" attitude has pervaded every strata of society from the poorest guy living in a cardboard box to the corporate boardrooms and the highest elected offices.


I don't agree with this at all, 500 years ago we were barbarians. Examples don't need to be given go read history. On the whole man is WAY LESS VIOLENT. You are only spewing the same thing you heard in your training.


Keeping all of that in mind, being a peace officer today is MUCH harder than it used to be. It requires dedication, hard work and eating a LOT of crow from society as a whole. Being a "law enforcement officer" is easier- MUCH easier.


Not to be disrespectful, but shut up, just shut up about this already. In an age where almost every employer short of fast food is asking for a degree of some sort, you are not special when your job requires dedication and hard work. Guess what? All ours demand the same, oh yeah and EVERYONE takes flack from the public, ever seen what the cashier at McDonalds is treated like? Doctors and nurses? Lawyers? Garbage men? Lots of people put up with the same garbage not just you. Its not an excuse, deal with it.


So how do we, as a society, make the necessary changes to our police forces to return to where we should be?

My own opinion based on 12 years as a peace officer:

Restore "beat cops". Police officers are isolated from the community in cruisers. While he vehicle is an important piece of equipment there should also be officers walking downtown, getting to know the neighborhood and interacting with the community.

Officer involvement in the community through the Police Athletic Leagues, Explorer programs and community activities like playground construction and graffiti abatement. Suggest to your mayor and town council that officers actually be forced to spend one day a week (paid if necessary) to engage in these activities. Once the officers get to know the people and vice-versa there is going to be a level of respect that is earned that goes both ways.

Solid training by experienced Field Training Officers. Having a good FTO program in place is key. This is where a department can weed out those unsuitable for the job and mold the upcoming officers into being community oriented peace officers versus a badge heavy LEO.


3 great ideas. I'd love to also see officers paired up on the beat for safety, then I would like to disarm them fully short of their baton and pepper spray. Like in England, while police cannot see the logic in this it would actually solve a number of problems. Officers that are minimally armed will be forced to think through a situation more carefully, they will automatically have more respect for the person they are dealing with as they know they cannot just point a gun in his face and tell him to lay down. Officers will be forced to communicate clearly their intentions and instructions. Rather than what we are seeing more and more of today... Cops barking orders like the King of England to "Sit down, shut up, stay and obey." As these things come to pass we will see officers EARN BACK the respect of the people. Because I can tell you full out 100% government/police will NOT be receiving my respect automatically regardless of any changes they make to policy and operational standards, they will have no choice but to EARN IT BACK BY THEIR ACTIONS. The damage has been done and now the respect is gone.


Elect officials such as mayors and councilmen who will back these ideas 110% as the prevailing societal culture is ingrained from the day the officers are children and first exposed to society as whole. There will be resistance to change but with any organization- reform MUST come from the top down. This is the starting point.


Great in theory but it will never happen.


Appoint citizen/police review councils where controversial arrests/actions can be reviewed by both civilians and police. Make the proceedings transparent and available to the public. These councils I have found to be TREMENDOUSLY helpful to both the department and the community and show that the concerns of the community are taken seriously and addressed.


Again great idea, that is why it is already widely seen, but obviously it has a few inherent flaws. The first is that currently no LEO/Citizen review council is empowered to do anything further than review the incident and make suggestions. No LE-Organization will ever accept granting any further powers to councils like this because they consider the investigating of crimes their own jurisdiction. Police cannot police, police.



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 05:23 PM
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Your really oinking up the wrong tree by trying to shine a postive light on cops around here. I find it wildly funny that the most violent thugs who break the most laws everyday hide behind the name "peace".



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 05:35 PM
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S&F for you
I like your attitude
I was a Shore Patrol officer many years ago and I realize thats different but dureing that experence it was mostly boreing as heck we were always looking for something interesting to get into.
Could it be that todays cop is looking for ways to add excitement to an otherwise boreing day ?
Kind of like ..Hey lets go harrass the local chapter of the Banditos M/C while they have a picknic at the river park...
BTW .this actually happened ..as told to me by a friend who was a Constables deputy ..The chief constable repromanded the officers and told them to leave them alone as they were breaking no laws
What the officers didnt know was the Chief Constable was a biker..

edit on 30-6-2011 by granpabobby because: add usefull information



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 05:43 PM
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Originally posted by Lightrule
Not to be disrespectful, but shut up, just shut up about this already. In an age where almost every employer short of fast food is asking for a degree of some sort, you are not special when your job requires dedication and hard work. Guess what? All ours demand the same, oh yeah and EVERYONE takes flack from the public, ever seen what the cashier at McDonalds is treated like? Doctors and nurses? Lawyers? Garbage men? Lots of people put up with the same garbage not just you. Its not an excuse, deal with it.


I think you misinterpreted what I was trying to say. I was saying that being an LEO is easy, it's for the lazy and the unmotivated and the easy thing to do. Building up a level of trust and respect requires an officer to get out of their car and actually interact with the community in a friendly manner- criminals and good citizens alike. That takes effort that not many seem to wish to expend today.


Originally posted by Lightrule
3 great ideas. I'd love to also see officers paired up on the beat for safety, then I would like to disarm them fully short of their baton and pepper spray. Like in England, while police cannot see the logic in this it would actually solve a number of problems. Officers that are minimally armed will be forced to think through a situation more carefully, they will automatically have more respect for the person they are dealing with as they know they cannot just point a gun in his face and tell him to lay down. Officers will be forced to communicate clearly their intentions and instructions. Rather than what we are seeing more and more of today... Cops barking orders like the King of England to "Sit down, shut up, stay and obey."


Great idea- if we were British


There is far less crime in England, particularly firearm related crime. The Bobbies can be unarmed and maintain a degree of order simply with presence and a truncheon. The idea of the whole of the police force being unarmed is erroneous as well. There are armed squads available for emergency deployment when necessary.



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 05:49 PM
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Originally posted by Kitilani
reply to post by SFA437
 


No.

I do not need to change a damn thing in order for bad cops to stop being bad cops. Bad cops have to stop being bad cops. It is not my job to babysit rogue cops.


Nobody said you have to babysit anyone... anywhere... ever.

My point AGAIN was there needs to be personal responsibility both within a police department as well as in the community. The personal responsibility within the department is for the officer to not interfere in the lives of the community unless there is danger to the common good of the community. It is the community's responsibility to elect representatives who will, through authority of their office, ensure that the department they run is run according to the wishes of the community and punish those who cross that line.

If the extent of your involvement in a very serious issue is whinging on an internet forum without doing whatever you can to affect change then you are part of the problem.

Again- nothing was said about you babysitting. Just making that clear.
edit on 30-6-2011 by SFA437 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 05:52 PM
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Originally posted by thoughtsfull
Sadly it is my humble opinion that a police man (part of my community) does not create the revenue stream a police officer (enforcement officer) does..

You must live in a town that is well known as a SPEED TRAP
thats how the local Justice of the Peace makes 90,000 a year

If not .you still get my point
edit on 30-6-2011 by granpabobby because: add to content



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 06:00 PM
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reply to post by SFA437
 


Yes, OK, sorry. I do understand you more clearly now. I do however still feel that same way when LEO's spout off the lines about how hard work it is or how much dedication it takes.

I'm not naive enough to be saying that the whole force needs to be unarmed. However the ones that are out interacting with the public "on the beat" need to be. Officers with less than 1 year on the job experience wouldn't be armed period. Rubber bullets would be standard rather than .45 ACP rounds for officers on patrol. Squad cars would be outfitted with the weapons taken off the duty belts for use if more extreme measures are to be taken. Officers would not be walking around armed to the teeth like they are now. Calls like DD would see one armed officer show up with 2 or 3 unarmed backup officers.

Like I said I would NEVER expect any peace or law enforcement officer accept these as necessary because at this point their training screams the exact opposite. The problem is your training has failed and now we cannot even rely on peace officers to protect us because they ALWAYS side with policy enforcement the first chance they get.

How about instead of posting on ATS about what changes should be made you go out there and get yourself featured on the next youtube video as the peace officer that stood for peace by sticking your size 11 boot down a LEO's throat the next time they are caught abusing the law. Then maybe then you could come back here and lay down the respect peace officers card... Just sayin'.

-Lightrule



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 06:07 PM
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Originally posted by Lightrule
How about instead of posting on ATS about what changes should be made you go out there and get yourself featured on the next youtube video as the peace officer that stood for peace by sticking your size 11 boot down a LEO's throat the next time they are caught abusing the law. Then maybe then you could come back here and lay down the respect peace officers card... Just sayin'.

-Lightrule


Heck I got a 3 level spinal fusion, a knee twice the size it should be and various pulmonary issues from breathing in the gods know what over in the sandbox. I can barely move as it is...

Some heavy handed LEO gets frisky with me considering my spinal fusion- then my hydraulics don't work if ya know what I mean. I happen to have a very close, personal relationship with my trouser snake



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 06:15 PM
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reply to post by SFA437
 


So... You are just a peace officer in name, not in action?

We're doomed.

-Lightrule



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by SFA437
Nobody said you have to babysit anyone... anywhere... ever.


Yes, you did. You are about to say it again.


My point AGAIN was there needs to be personal responsibility both within a police department as well as in the community.


To make bad cops stop being bad cops? No. That is their responsibility. Mine is to not break the law.


The personal responsibility within the department is for the officer to not interfere in the lives of the community unless there is danger to the common good of the community. It is the community's responsibility to elect representatives who will, through authority of their office, ensure that the department they run is run according to the wishes of the community and punish those who cross that line.


So your grand idea is that things should be as they are? Cuz that is how it is done around here.


If the extent of your involvement in a very serious issue is whinging on an internet forum without doing whatever you can to affect change then you are part of the problem.


What the hell are you even talking about anymore? Do you know?


Again- nothing was said about you babysitting. Just making that clear.
edit on 30-6-2011 by SFA437 because: (no reason given)


The point of your thread is that I need to do my part to make bad cops good. No, I do not.



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 06:24 PM
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Originally posted by Lightrule
reply to post by SFA437
 


So... You are just a peace officer in name, not in action?

We're doomed.

-Lightrule


I retired. Can't keep working forever, especially after serious traumatic injuries that keep you from functioning like a normal human being would.

Not much use in the world for someone like me anymore. Had I not been all effed up I'd have gone back to my job as an FTO and weeded out the kind of officers that generate the negative headlines from my old department. I'd have much rather done that than spend the rest of my life in pain but it is what it is.

I do take part in local politics, campaign for those whose ideas and platforms match mine and do what I can where I can to the best of my ability though.



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 06:31 PM
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Originally posted by Kitilani
Yes, you did. You are about to say it again.


Nope.


Originally posted by Kitilani
To make bad cops stop being bad cops?


Never said that was on you.


Originally posted by Kitilani
That is their responsibility.


And the responsibility of those who oversee them who are elected by the community


Originally posted by Kitilani
Mine is to not break the law.


Correct- no argument there


Originally posted by Kitilani
So your grand idea is that things should be as they are? Cuz that is how it is done around here.


Yes my grand idea is to vote to make changes in your community. Great thing about this country- everyone can vote. My grand idea is for everyone to try and raise their children to value others, their rights and to treat others in a way that they would like to be treated. Why you feel a need to oppose voting and raising children who respect others is a tad mindboggling.


Originally posted by Kitilani
What the hell are you even talking about anymore? Do you know?


I do know what I am talking about. What I am trying to figure out is your obsession with everything I post and incessant trolling.


Originally posted by Kitilani
The point of your thread is that I need to do my part to make bad cops good. No, I do not.


Incorrect. The point is that everyone should have a hand in making their community, town, state and country a better place to live.
edit on 30-6-2011 by SFA437 because: (no reason given)



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