i thought i would start a thread in reference to some statements made by others about the failings of law enforcement in this county.
i have been a police officer since 2002, and by no means am an expert in all things in criminal investigation.
However, there seems to be an increasinly critical eye of how LEO perfrom their duties, especially from those who have never done the job.
i know there are some people of different races that state they have been harrassed based off of their race. this may or may not be true...in the city i work, we are required to give a "dispostition code" after each interaction with the public, based off of their race, age and gender. if a complaint arises, then our internal affairs division can check the calls that we went on and verify our intereaction with the public.
and thoses of us that work in areas with a high population of minorities are simply going to interact with more people of certain minorities, simply based off of the population.
unless there is a call for service, LEO's need to have probable cause to initiate a traffic stop or stop someone walking on the sidewalk. now if i see a car pull up to a known drug house for a brief period, see someone walk out to the driver and walk away, i have probable cause to stop that car. if you want to know why you were stopped-ask. i always explain why i stopped someone, and rarely have any issues.
if in the investigation of a crime a suspect resists, officers have the right to escalate the use of force in order to take this person into custody. obviously we have many tools at our disposal, and are required by our departments to use those tools in accordance to the training we've recieved on them. for instance, in our defensive tatics training, we are taught punches, elbow and knee strikes, kicks, joint locks and various other techniques in order to gain compliance. if someone pushes away from me and refuses to comply with my commands, i am authorized to use force to take them into custody. and whenever i do, i ensure that information is in my arrest reports, and that the suspect gets medical treatment, if needed.
all officers know that people do not want to go to jail, and may resist. however, they are not allowed to resist arrest, and there is an additional charged filed against the suspect if they do so.
i have been injured three times in my career when detaining suspects, and all of my co-workers have been injured as well. some of these can be as minor as twisting an ankle chasing a suspect over uneven terrain, to being hospitalized in a motor vehicle accident because a robbery suspect fled the scene, endangering the lives of the public as well.
every officer i know takes it personally when someone tries to fight with them, and they should. if i am injured in a fight, that means i am unable to work, and another officer has to take over my ward (or beat) because i am out. also, overtime pay increases if other officers are needed to work over, thereby costing the taxpayers more money. and all of us understand the risk in our profession, but obviously nobody wants to get hurt.
i am not asking for pat on the back, or trying to state that my profession makes me better than someone else. i am simply trying to explain some details to those who don't have any practical experience with law enforcement. many of you have jobs that i know nothing about, and i respect your lifesyle and am not going to blindly insult your competance or reasons for chosing your occupation.
for those of you that are intersted in learning more about LE or in bettering your community, i encourage you to look into doing "ride alongs" with you local law enforecement agencies, or even in becoming a reserve police officer.
for those of you that have only had negative experiences with law enforcement...well, i'm sorry. most people don't want to see cops until they need them. and if you've been arrested, well..you made a mistake. i don't look down on people for making a mistake and getting in trouble, unless they're one of the lawless individuals who continues to break the law and put innocent citizens lives in danger.
anyway, hope this helps clear a few things up...