I think the main problem with the general public is that they see their car ticketed for illegal parking (I realize this isn't by police services in
some places but others it is) or they get pulled over for speeding or driving infractions, and are handed tickets… But then, if their home is broken
into they are told to wait for a couple hours because the matter isn't pressing.
Please show me an instance where an officer continued to perform traffic stops while they were enroute to a burglary call. If you do find one please
tell me if their agency requires patrol to work those investigations or just take the initial report. Secondly there is a huge difference between the
2, since for traffic the violation is directly involved where as a burglary is generally not.
The other factor to consider is the size of the department and what people are responsible for criminal investigations, whether it be major crimes or
property crimes. My agency has detective squads that deal with property crimes. We respond and do a basic report and forward it on to their division
for assignment and follow up. Also there are departments who have dedicated traffic divisions which do nothing but work accidents and look for
traffic violations. Just because you see a police car with someone pulled over does not mean other areas of the city are being ignored. Its also the
very reason you will see a cop ignore a traffic violation. If its not the area they are assigned to they are not going to spend to much focus on
So before we go down the road of a blanket statement, we should take into account those factors people choose to ignore.
This has nothing to do with LEOs on the ground, it has to do with the machine. How police services can be used to generate revenue.
(I don't know if this example is applicable to everywhere but I do know police services have revenue generating income streams and requests that are
costly and their urgency is managed by mandates and policies which do not always seem to be "protecting the public", and I do believe other examples
are out there.)
I see this argument used a lot and what people refuse to take into account is Law Enforcement does not generate revenue. The court system does that
when they find a person guilty and assign a fine as punishment. The legislature does that when they draft a criminal offense and assign a
classification to it (Felony / misdemeanor / infraction).
Secondly, those fines do not go into law enforcements budget, they go into general revenue, as required by almost all state laws. In Missouri a
police department is restricted when it comes to how much funding can be assigned that come from fines
(For more info research Mack's Creek). If we issue state citations we see none of the fines (either the department or the city).
Below is a study that showed a higher speed limit was safer.
Comparing the group of limit-raising states and the group of unchanged states, the study demonstrated that fatality rates dropped in both groups,
essentially equally. Raising speed limits did not affect overall safety. The study examined fatality rates on all roads in each state, so that the
expected usage shifts from less-safe undivided highways to safer and faster freeways were accounted for, helping to explain the favorable safety
results associated with higher freeway limits.
There was a better study I know of, which I can't find, but if I remember correctly it showed that safety speed limits in many places were actually
5-10mph under what was the safest speed to travel on various stretches of roads. Which begs the question, are the limits there for safety or for
**note** It also showed that going under the speed limit was equally unsafe. Similar to the above.
Speed limits are established based on construction, line of sight distance, residential / school versus commercial zoning, etc. As an example when
you exit a highway you see a yellow speed sign. Those are recommended engineering suggestions on what they think a safe speed would be based on the
various criteria. Even though the yellow says 25 mph, there is no law violation if a person continues doing 70 on the off ramp. It only becomes an
issue if an accident results from the speed.
As an example Springfield Missouri conducted a study of their intersections and found in some areas they needed to lower the limit while in others
they actually raised the limits.
The main question is - as a whole and not as an individual, is this speed limit appropriate. They take into account that not everyone is going to be
safe behind the wheel and do their best to find a happy medium. How much havoc would be created if we allowed people to drive at the level they think
they are capable of? We know first hand that some people think their skills are better than others when in reality they shouldn't be allowed to
drive a gocart on a closed track, let alone a real car on a public road.
Another thing to add is the "3 felonies a day" argument. That people
unknowingly (statically speaking) c.......
My caveat about the above one, is that the author (a civil rights lawyer) is also selling a book, so his estimates may simply be a result of his
eagerness to sell copies and his bias in his field.
Im sure his stats are based on his experience in Boston, which compared with other crime stats will either be higher or lower. trying to compare
state laws to each other is not easy.
Consider the following penal code:
Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as
possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or
imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
Hearing or knowing about a crime, makes you guilty of one. And considering that:
According to the latest surveys, cited by the DEA themselves, there are about 12.7 million people who have used some illegal drug in the last
month and perhaps 30 to 40 million who have used some illegal drug within the last
The problem with the above crime, and I see this a lot from people, is it is Federal and not State. As a municipal officer I cannot enforce Federal
Criminal Law, no more than they can enforce State / Local / city law / ordinances. Some exceptions exist (joint task forces etc).
So singling out a crime without placing it in proper context can and does lead to confusion and misunderstanding. Hence my constant argument on
people needing to learn how their government works, at all levels, and how those levels interact with each other, and how people fit into the
…I get the feeling with the numbers that high (no pun intended) for just one year (10%) that over the lifetime a very high % of people either
experiment or use something illegal. And everything involved with that makes me consider that the civil rights lawyer might very well be very
Tight knit families are not going to turn in their children the first chance they get.
Again, trying to make a blanket example does not work in this case. The laws in Florida are different than the laws in Missouri are different than
the laws in New York are different than the laws in California are different than federal laws.
In conclusion, ignorance of the law is kind of a given in the US, under the current judicial system. There is no sense to many of the laws on the
books. Many laws are not moral nor do they bring about a moral society. (Given the incarceration %'s and the effects of the system).
All laws are available for people to research. For those who don't wish to educate themselves are in fact willfully ignorant. Just because a person
does not know does not make them non responsible for their actions.
The hypocrisy is the problem.
Willful ignorance is the problem, not hypocrisy.
For people to feel they "entrust us with their authority" means that people need to feel like it was actually them, doing the entrusting. Not some
political machine that manipulates the law to their needs with business interest or corruption making the calls in some room that no one will ever
hear the conversation from.
Then get involved in government and vote. Engage your elected officials and hold them accountable. Understand that just because law enforcement does
something you don't like or agree with does not mean all law enforcement are corrupt and it does not mean they are enforcing questionable laws. Law
Enforcement does not make the laws, your elected reps do.
People lay the entire blame on Law Enforcement because they don't understand how government works. Law Enforcement does not make the laws, the
legislative branch does. Law enforcement does not establish fines, the legislative does. Law Enforcement does not determine guilt or innocence, the
courts do. Law Enforcement does not charge anyone, the PA's office does.
The issues raised are created by entities other than law enforcement. Reinforcing what ive stated already, not understanding how things work results
in people being pissed because they blame / cite the wrong area. Don't like a law, petition to have it repealed / changed / modified. Don't like a
fine, petition to have it changed / repealed / modified.
In respect to the OP, I think the points I've laid out, play into the psyche of the average person and their knee-jerk reaction towards law
*Also, sorry for off quoting you so much, I only do so to present another side for debate. I'm not trying to pick on you.
edit on 20-1-2014
by boncho because: (no reason given)
Your fine man - no worries. You are one of the few people I enjoy debating / conversing with. Pick away - I don't take it personally. I view these
threads as an opportunity to try and educate people on the "why" questions. Whether or not they agree with it, I hope they at least take away some
useful info. If they do then I feel I served a purpose.
As for the OP and article, sensationalizing a topic that is not supported by the facts (not to mention a TnC violation by not using the exact article
title) is my irritation. Law Enforcement is automatically guilty and people ignore any and all info . laws that are taken into account if it supports
The very argument people make against the police are in turn used by those people doing the complaining.
Example - Ive asked and no one can answer me - How does a person look "obviously deaf"?
I have no issues holding law enforcement accountable or to a higher standard. I just take exception when people wish to apply standards / issues that
cannot be taken into account. For those people to constantly complain while ignoring the fact is also a part of the overall "problem".
sorry for my lengthy response.