I wasn't speaking in that sense. I rarely (if ever) speak about individual officers action with generalizations.
Yes, exactly. In many places though I question who is in charge of designating who does what, how much and how often. At the same time, I will not
deny that many cities have great police forces.
Resource allocation at the line level is usually done by the Sgt's, depending on agency size. In terms of divisions, that is up to the Chief /
Sheriff / Command staff).
Well, I guess it depends on how you look at it. If "general revenue" was being sent to Africa for children in poverty I would agree with the
sentiment, but because a police force issues fines or lays charges (which will result in fines) which do go back to the city, and the people in charge
are responsible for funding, etc. It's a bit of a big circle. Also, whether its a city fine, a state case, or federal case, in some way one of the
three are getting something out of it. Don't forget asset seizure as well.
Law Enforcement does not issue fines. - Judges / Judicial
Law Enforcement does not lay charges. - Prosecuting Attorney / District Attorney / US Attorney.
As for seizures, that goes in its own category. In general asset seizure is a civil issue. When items are seized from criminal trial convictions,
its usually drug related (trafficking) and its usually vehicles / electronics / etc. Seized items, depending on state, go to public auction. The
money raised does not all go to the city, especially from drug seizures. In my state if its over a certain amount the money is required by law to go
to the Schools. Federal seizures are different.
(Disclosure, the above was done I believe during hard economic times for Chicago, or budget cuts, something like that.)
When calls come in they are prioritized based on severity / threats to human life etc. A person who comes home to find their house was broken into
and the burglars gone are going to take a back seat to calls where life is in jeopardy. Active incidents will take priority. It not because of
officers wanting to be lazy - We truly do not have enough officers to handle the call loads at times. The priorities that are established will never
make people happy when they are victims of a crime.
While I get having your home violated and items stolen is a major issue, its not going to trump an incident where someone is in jeopardy.
Under the Texas law aimed at funding law enforcement and hitting criminals where it hurts — their wallets — people can have their property
confiscated even if they’re never charged with a crime.
Which, if someone who is affected by it challenges it in court, you will get the it refined or thrown out all together since its a technical violation
of the 4th amendment. An agency in Illinois as well as New Orleans (Katrina) had their asses handed to them in state and federal court by seizing
items with no criminal charges attached. The items were ordered returned (in Illinois it was like 50k in cash and in New Orleans they were ordered to
return all confiscated firearms in addition to compensating those people who had their weapon confiscated but not tracked, resulting it disappearing.
the Katrina ruling was specific harsh towards the NO government and Police.
Such laws are widely accepted around the nation as a way to fight crime by depriving suspected criminals of ill-gotten gains. Every year, cars,
cellphones, computers, cash and even real estate, are seized from people connected to crimes and the proceeds given to local law
I don't agree - respectfully before you make that claim you would need to look at the laws for each state that govern seized items from criminal
But a 2008 report by the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice declared that the crime fighting tool has “become a profit-making, personal
account for some law enforcement officials.”
Across the state, some district attorneys have been accused of using forfeited funds to pay for casino outings, trips to Hawaii and alcohol at staff
Resulting in investigations and prosecutions.
Sometimes, those who have had funds seized may have been innocent, as in Tenaha, Texas, where about 140 drivers were stopped for minor or nonexistent
traffic violations between 2006 and 2008. Officers confiscated property such as cash or jewelry, while allegedly threatening drivers with money
laundering charges if they didn’t immediately give up their rights to the items.
Again, an issue for the courts to resolve.
Keep in mind both are extreme examples. The problem though is things like this is not unheard of. I believe quite a few more examples could be found.
And whether you are a city officer, state or fed, LEOs tend to get painted with the same brush. So even if your agency is on the up and up, another
one can bring you down in public perception.
Just like any other profession, you are going to have those people who do something that makes the whole lot look incompetent / crooked.
Also, with the internet, each story that's posted some treat it like it's happening in their backyard. Personally, I can debate and talk about
whatever happening a hundred or a million miles away, but unless it's in my own area I rarely find it emotionally involved. A lot of people, not so
Another reason why I will look for information / articles aside from the one the OP's provide. I want to see both sides to better understand what the
incident is about.
I do not doubt that many places still have good law enforcement. I'm not familiar with Missouri though. I am speaking generalized and also on the
issue as a whole.
If a person signs away their rights to an item, that's on them. However, I find the example problematic because the intent is to threaten the person
to obtain a result. That would be the text book example of coercion, which if sustained in court can result in the case being thrown out with
Again, a judicial issue.
If that's the case it doesn't apply to what I'm talking about. I know that when you travel state to state though you do notice that speeding is
treated much differently in different regions, also city to city. So the example I gave does not apply to everywhere. (Which I should have probably
Your good man.. I was giving a more specific example of the general issue you brought up. Speed limits are determined byt he state / local
governments - not law enforcement.
I totally agree with you here. And it's ironic because someone is probably a dick to a one cop, they might take it out on one that does't even
enforce the same laws, and the cycle continues. Just like one guy might be a real dick to a decent cop, and a dick cop might be nice to a decent
Something I do when at work and making contact with a citizen is to remind myself this person may be having one of the worst days of their lives, and
can possibly take that out on me. I don't take it personally and do my best to resolve the situation in a manner that is best for all. I make It a
point to ask the victims what type of outcome they are actually wanting out the situation.
I also do my best to not drag the past into other calls. Just because I arrested you for drug possession last week does not mean I am going to ignore
a crime where that person is now the victim. The one thing I like to do, time permitting / call type permitting, is to take the extra 5 minutes to
explain things to the people I am dealing with. I have found that can have more of an impact on the situation, resulting in understanding on both
With that being said I will say this about the Law Enforcement view -
Officers will be exposed to situations that a person would not experience in a life time. Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Elder abuse, drug
overdoses, suicides, accident with fatality, having to perform next of kin death notifications, kidnapped children, sexually abused children.
This is one of the main reasons Law Enforcement may appear to be cold and uncaring. Its also a reason officers are going to have what some may view
as a sick humor. For the most part those actions are the release of the bottled up "emotion" for lack of a better term.
I think people fail to see that side of the coin.
The main problem with public/police relations though is there are no boundaries between agencies or even individual officers for most people. So they
see anyone in uniform, and they are all the same in their mind. Same type of thinking can happen on the other side as well. Profiling. Which is ironic
because people are mad about profiling but then profile the same.
I see both gripes between law enforcement and anti-law enforcement usually involves the exact same king of thinking. Which is why I also chalk it up
to something way above the heads of both parties.
The boundaries are there however they are not as clear as they once were. Starting with the North Hollywood shootout, to columbine, to Sept 11th have
all impacted law enforcement in a major way.
* - North Hollywood - lead to patrol officers having access to / being assigned assault rifles. The police were outgunned in terms of weapons,
ammunition and assault rifles.
* - Columbine - Lead to departments creating a new response method for active school shootings. Officers prior to columbine would secure the
perimeter and wait for special response / SWAT / etc to arrive and enter. Afterwards, the first couple officers on scene, regardless of jurisdiction,
would enter the building in an effort to end the threat as quickly as possible.
* - 9/11 (specifically changes in interaction . cooperation of agencies only) Prior to officers would need to remain in their jurisdiction unless
requested to respond. There was no concrete method in place to deal with something the size of 9/11. There was nothing in place that allowed law
enforcement from one state to operate lawfully in another state (We saw this during Katrina where the governor had to sign orders conferring Louisiana
arrest authority to non Louisiana law enforcement (federal is different).
While I work for a municipality I am able to make an arrest anywhere in the state of Missouri. Unless its something severe I am going to be a good
witness as I don't like to crap in others people sand box and make them clean the mess up. Officers from border states to Missouri, who enter this
state in performance of their job, are automatically granted authority to operate in MO.
Maybe but you can't tell me you know every law off by heart.
By heart - no.
Can I reference laws that might have been violated while im working - absolutely.
Its my job to make sure im up to date on current laws / court rulings. Citizens on the other hand don't bother to follow up on those things because
it doesn't "affect them". Citizens obligations should be to take the time to learn the government, how it works and how to go about getting
information for their questions.
Yes I agree. Everything I said in last post was on public perception. And I lay blame specifically with the people at the top.
I lay the blame on everyone - from the officers who make us look bad, to officers that wont take the extra few minutes to explain / answer questions,
to citizens being apathetic about government, not knowing how their government works or how laws are applied.
In summary, although it's unfair, I think the point I was trying to make was that what one agency does, the others have to live with the image and
perception. My generalizations are not "all of them are like this", it's more than "all are seen like this."
And corruption, cronyism, and protectionism is a part of the culture in politics which trickles down to other government groups. Something that we see
everyday, throughout history.
I get what you are saying - To been honest its the responsibility of the people to hold their government accountable. Its the responsibility of the
people to watch how their elected officials represent the peoples position. Every state has a system in place when it comes to government misconduct /
law enforcement misconduct / elected official misconduct.
The problem is the citizens don't bother to avail themselves of those mechanisms for seeking a redress of grievances. they tend to complain about it
yet never get around to doing something about it. they just repeat the same " the system doesn't work, its corrupt, whats the point etc etc
If people truly feel that way then they should not be yelling every time they see an injustice. If you don't care enough to participate, why bother
to get involved in the first place?
Hopefully this answers some questions -
As a side note I know im not the only officer on this website. If anyone has a different angle / understanding / or notice my argument is not
accurate, by all means jump in and add info / point me to the correct info.
Understanding starts with communication.