"Are we breeding a police culture of “additional victims?”

diamondbar1971

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My agency hadn't lost an officer in 20 years when suddenly we lost two in under a year; it was rough. The first officer died due to inexperience or overconfidence but tragic none the less. The second died to the inexperience of another officer who is no longer on the department by choice, for that reason but in any event because of the sacrifices of these two fine officers we have been actively addressing that "I will be sued mind-set."

The academy, we have our own, still covers liability but it is relegated to a small portion of each class that has a high liability factor (guns, tasers, DT and so on) because we dont want anyone going into a situation where a gun should be out but "we dont want to get complained on because we pointed a gun at somebody with a felony warrant for assault."

We also do not want someone to rely to heavily on a taser because it is so much safer than going hands on; there is a time and a place for DT/Arrest Control and there is a time for the taser, not always the same time.

I know that we are members of a modern society but we are the warriors of that modern society and we need to be able to protect our citizens from the predators Corrupting our confidence(s) and putting too much worry in our hearts will only lead to more officers getting hurt or quitting because we are mired in the thoughts of "potential litigation."


a lot of issues within law enforcement is attitude. a large percentage of officers are very young and most have a good heart mind and soul, but it seems that they are all taught the same accross the country and they think they are 10 ft tall and bullet proof; if you couldn't take care of yourself before the academy, you sure as hell can't after either. my personal favorite is a 21 year old officer stating "i am a trained observer" to a person who has been driving longer than the officer has been on this planet...its not intimidating, its pathetic...the veteran officers need to instill in the rookies that police officers are citizens themselves and also that they may be a police officer, but they too are still a civilian, a civilian police officer, nothing more nothing less, be cool, be nice, but ever on the alert! too much military style within law enforcement and the general public is aware of this and that that creates problems-oh well have a nice day.
 

Archangel M

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on about the "civilian" vs "cop" thing..I refer to Merriam Webster:

ci·vil·ian
Pronunciation: \sə-ˈvil-yən also -ˈvi-yən\
Function: noun
Date: 14th century
1: a specialist in Roman or modern civil law
2 a: one not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force b: outsider 1
— civilian adjective

Police officers are expected to behave to a different standard 24/7/365 and can face far more serious job repercussions for off-duty behavior than "civilians" .

Not that you are doing it here, but after years of taking "civilian complaints" regarding officer behavior (like saying "Im a trained observer" to an older "civilian") is that more complaints are about the "civilian" not liking have been subject to a young cops legal authority than they are about any inappropriate behavior. Their ego got a bit bruised and they didnt like the feeling of having someone with the authority greater than theirs "talking down to them". The worst officer safety habit I can think of is having a cop act like (or forget) that they are a COP, with the authority and responsibility to act where others do not.

Nobody likes "having their peepee slapped", but the "civilian" thing just makes me roll my eyes. LEO's have different duties, powers (even off duty) and limitations on their behavior than "civilians" regardless of someones dislike for them or their title.

Having been a soldier as well...even soldiers are subject to the local flatfoots authority.
 
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Archangel M

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PS-Cops are as much (if not more) an "agent of the government" as a soldier is.
 

jks9199

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I get so sick of that "civilian" argument...

Yes, police are representatives of the civil authority. Yes, the term "civilian" originally distinguished military members from the general public. But, unless you're being pedantic, it's commonly understood now to have a broader meaning. "Civilian" personnel in a police department (or fire department) are those who are not sworn personnel (yes, many places still swear firefighters in); the support staff, dispatchers, and others who aren't directly engaged in the primary function of the public safety agency. And to the population at large.

What other term would you suggest? Laity? "non-sworn people?"

It's become a term of convenience, the same way that even though Xerox is a brand name, we don't generally say "photostatic copier."

Too often, those falling back on that argument seem to be trying to derail the actual discussion, rather than actually face issues raised.
 
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