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What happened to the police I knew as a kid?

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  • What happened to the police I knew as a kid?

    I have many fond memories of just about all the police officers I met as a kid. They were extremely professional, set the example when it came to obeying traffic laws, and exercised high moral principles on and off duty. They acted as role models for the public and avoided using profanity in front of the general population. I bet that Bill Warnock was such an officer when he worked for the sheriff's department in the 70's.

    Is it just me that believes that such officers are on the endangered species list? I still meet officers that emulate what I noted above, but it's the exception rather than the rule. When I visit some police forums, I find their conduct and speech to be unworthy of their profession. The same may be true with security since security guards used to be retired police officers that also set a fine example in our profession. Now we have many s/o's who embarrass the occupation with sloppiness and at times, criminal activity.

    What do you think about this?
    Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

  • #2
    Originally posted by Mr. Security
    I have many fond memories of just about all the police officers I met as a kid. They were extremely professional, set the example when it came to obeying traffic laws, and exercised high moral principles on and off duty. They acted as role models for the public and avoided using profanity in front of the general population. I bet that Bill Warnock was such an officer when he worked for the sheriff's department in the 70's.

    Is it just me that believes that such officers are on the endangered species list? I still meet officers that emulate what I noted above, but it's the exception rather than the rule. When I visit some police forums, I find their conduct and speech to be unworthy of their profession. The same may be true with security since security guards used to be retired police officers that also set a fine example in our profession. Now we have many s/o's who embarrass the occupation with sloppiness and at times, criminal activity.

    What do you think about this?
    I see a general problem with our society in this regard. Traditional values regarding etiquette, morality, and family values have degraded since 30 years ago. It is a lot more common to see children bad-mouthing their parents, especially in urban places. We hear of cases in schools that are more common where children beat teachers and bring guns to school. These are just symptoms of a more major problem that starts at home.

    In the case of the police, I think some of that behavior is a small reflection of what they deal with on the street. It also has to do with popular culture picked up from peers. The macho mentality is a lot more ingrained now than it was before. It is more honorable to some to be able to shoot a bad guy who has a weapon than it would be to talk him out of doing something with it and giving it up willingly.
    Perhaps it also has to do with the inital focus of training. Things such as proper speech, stances, military bearings, uniform standards, and marching training have been deemphasized in a lot of places. The result of this is someone who has the knowledge of how to identify a problem and how to work calls, but shows up with a wrinkled uniform or with hands in pockets and coming off as being brisk and rude.

    In the case of security, there is a widespread lack of screening and training. People are hired and fired every week. Many times there is no telling who may walk in the door and get a security job. Many of our people also embrace the macho mentality and this is reflected in their conduct. I was in the office just a few days ago and saw a group of five guards walking in exchanging loud insults about people they saw at their posts, using a lot of cuss words, and cracking dirty jokes. And their appearance - good Lord - pants of the wrong size that sagged, wrinkles all over the place, food stains on the front of the pants - one even had a duty belt that wasn't fastened to the inner belt properly and was sagging down nearly to groin level. I don't think he was even aware of what position his revolver was in.

    I think a lot of these problems could be reduced by good supervision. A good leader should be able to instill a sense of pride in each officer, inspect and regulate each person's uniform, make sure they are following sound procedures on how they approach and address people, and help to improve a sense of morale and pride in what each person does. However, one leader can only hope to make a dent in a negative situation. A group of good leaders who act as one force can accomplish quite a bit.

    It is also paramount for those of us in uniform not to lose sight of what we stand for. We are here to protect those who are in the general public, sometimes when they act as if they don't deserve it. We are here to do our part to improve society, not to contribute to the corruption that already stains it. Remembering to value life and people's rights is what is needed in this day and age. If we lose sight of that, we become the very thugs we despise.
    "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."

    Comment


    • #3
      1stWatch: I enjoyed reading your post. Very well thought out and right on target. Just to add to what you mentioned about school children, when I attended school, we didn't need school resource officers. The teacher was the authority figure and parents taught manners and good behavior at home. If I was disciplined at school, my parents supported and reinforced that discipline at home. Today, parents expect teachers to instill good values and manners at school. When discipline is administered, parents often back their children instead of the teacher and/or principal. Is it any wonder then, why society is morally bankrupt?
      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

      Comment


      • #4
        Here is my 2 cents...(groaning heard throughout the board).....

        It has been a little over 30 years that the draft was stopped also.
        Before that time almost all people coming into Fire, Police, and Security fields were veterans bringing with them the dicipline the military taught them.
        They were used to and taught to wear the uniform correctly, the bearing, the responsibility and everything that went with military service.

        I can usually tell if someone has served or not just by the way they do things and how they do them. True some people have the disipline without the service background but you seem to see it less often.

        Comment


        • #5
          A valid point. You don't back-talk a drill sergeant unless you have a death wish.
          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ACP01
            They were used to and taught to wear the uniform correctly, the bearing, the responsibility and everything that went with military service.
            Ah, but what I see is they do teach those things at the police academy, but it is usually not emphasized enough by supervisors in the field while on the job, especially in big cities. If all the leadership takes on a sharp image, so will the officers. Compare, for example, the mental image most people have of the Los Angeles P.D. with that of Houston, TX. L.A. officers may not be well liked everywhere, but they certainly are respected. I have never seen any images of one of them with a sloppy uniform or demeanor.
            "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 1stWatch
              Ah, but what I see is they do teach those things at the police academy, but it is usually not emphasized enough by supervisors in the field while on the job, especially in big cities. If all the leadership takes on a sharp image, so will the officers. Compare, for example, the mental image most people have of the Los Angeles P.D. with that of Houston, TX. L.A. officers may not be well liked everywhere, but they certainly are respected. I have never seen any images of one of them with a sloppy uniform or demeanor.
              Now that you mention it, you're right. Many of the large cities allow their LEO's to look unkempt. Some of the equipment they wear is worn as well. I'm sure that expense is part of the problem, but the LAPD, CHP, and the LA County SO all look sharp.
              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mr. Security
                I have many fond memories of just about all the police officers I met as a kid. They were extremely professional, set the example when it came to obeying traffic laws, and exercised high moral principles on and off duty. They acted as role models for the public and avoided using profanity in front of the general population. I bet that Bill Warnock was such an officer when he worked for the sheriff's department in the 70's.

                Is it just me that believes that such officers are on the endangered species list? I still meet officers that emulate what I noted above, but it's the exception rather than the rule. When I visit some police forums, I find their conduct and speech to be unworthy of their profession. The same may be true with security since security guards used to be retired police officers that also set a fine example in our profession. Now we have many s/o's who embarrass the occupation with sloppiness and at times, criminal activity.

                What do you think about this?
                Thank you Mr. Security. But rigidity to enforce the law evenly comes at a price. When I was in service, the guiding principle was, be firm, be fair and don't back off. My reputation was damaged by that principle in that my efficiency report stated although I was an exceptional airman, I lacked mature judgement in that he fails to recognize that rank has it privilege. I was NCOIC Group Ground Training. I expected officers and fellow NCOs to take the required tests and not try to buy or bluff their way out. I soon learned officers did not show up for specified training but wanted credit for it. Others bought their way out. I marked attendance forms in a special way and if that special mark did not show up, no credit.
                When I was an officer, I was not trusted to obey the "blue code of silence," in other words exercise mature judgement.
                That followed me throughout my entire government career.
                My father and mother taught discipline through example. Discipline was no problem when I entered enlisted service.
                The problem I see in the schools, except around major military installations, is teachers, as has been pointed out are expected to rear their children, and no teacher is to discipline or intimidate their child. Hence, while many fine retired officers and NCOs have teaching certificates, few are hired in urban center schools.
                Case in point, young man acted up in a history class. The retired gunny told him to sit down and be quiet. The young man pulled a knife and started toward the teacher. The gunny the young man to drop the knife and return to his seat. The young man cursed and ran toward the gunny. As described, the gunny made a "lightning fast" move, disarmed the man and put him on "the deck." The parents were irate, the teacher could have hurt their child. The parents threatened to sue. The gunny was pushed out.
                My children thought they were reared in military camp. I yes maam and no maam my wife,"yes sir and no sir" my sons, yes maam and no maam my daughter, and I expected the same courtesy is return. It was forthcoming. Now all are in their 40's and state openly how they appreciated their upbringing, especially when they look at some of their peers.
                Like Mr. Security points to you talk back or attack a drill sergeant only if you have a death wish.
                We in the security profession must set a stellar example, to do otherwise, we will not make a difference and we must, absolutely must strive to make a difference. We must look sharp and act sharp. Our speech to the most despicable must be civil and restrained. Courtesy is contagious, it really is. If not returned and appreciated, there is no written saw or law that states you must react in kind.
                People in my line of country, security surveys and inspections, must report what we see and not swayed by the client. If the client knows and agrees to this upfront, it goes smoothly. If they do not, move on, don't take the assignment. I always have my retirement check to fall back on and I realize some of my fellows may not have that cushion.
                Enjoy the day,
                Bill

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bill Warnock
                  ....
                  When I was an officer, I was not trusted to obey the "blue code of silence," in other words exercise mature judgement..
                  That's how it should be. Forget about this us vs them mentality.

                  Originally posted by Bill Warnock
                  The problem I see in the schools.....
                  Case in point, young man acted up in a history class. The retired gunny told him to sit down and be quiet. The young man pulled a knife and started toward the teacher. The gunny the young man to drop the knife and return to his seat. The young man cursed and ran toward the gunny. As described, the gunny made a "lightning fast" move, disarmed the man and put him on "the deck." The parents were irate, the teacher could have hurt their child. The parents threatened to sue.
                  I grew up in southern Ohio and you even respected the bus driver. When that air brake came on, you knew that someone was in trouble. My bus driver was an old fashioned farmer, a big guy. One time a HS student, 17 or 18, tried to win a physical altercation with the driver. He got the tar slapped out of him. Granted, times have changed and this would never be accepted today. Nevertheless, we not only respected him, we also like him and many students chipped in to buy him a gift on certain occasions.

                  When I moved to northern Ohio, some kids smoked marijuana right on the bus. So which way is better? To me, it's a no-brainer.
                  Last edited by Mr. Security; 02-13-2006, 06:04 PM. Reason: Grammar
                  Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What I do not like is police officers who disregard the vehicle code when they are not running code. There is no legal justification for violating VC unless you are running code. Let me let you all in one something: A lot of the time you see officers running code they are actually not responding to a hot call or any call at all. If your shift is slow, make a log of the times you see them running code three. and try to get the tag on the patrol vehicle.

                    I say this because an SO I work with, verified a bunch of code three respones..except one: a sergeant who was running code to get to I-HOP to meet some other officers for lunch. He got suspended for running code without a valid reason. With most depts. its a serious violation and they will crack down. Just reminding everyone that as citizens we need to do our part and keep them in check.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The_Mayor
                      What I do not like is police officers who disregard the vehicle code when they are not running code. There is no legal justification for violating VC unless you are running code. Let me let you all in one something: A lot of the time you see officers running code they are actually not responding to a hot call or any call at all. If your shift is slow, make a log of the times you see them running code three. and try to get the tag on the patrol vehicle.

                      I say this because an SO I work with, verified a bunch of code three respones..except one: a sergeant who was running code to get to I-HOP to meet some other officers for lunch. He got suspended for running code without a valid reason. With most depts. its a serious violation and they will crack down. Just reminding everyone that as citizens we need to do our part and keep them in check.
                      You sir, are a gem.
                      I believe I speak for everyone here sir, when I say, to Hell with our orders.
                      -Lieutenant Commander Data
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Thanks sweety.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The_Mayor
                          What I do not like is police officers who disregard the vehicle code when they are not running code.....
                          In my area, police will often respond to important calls (not involving bodily injury) w/o using code. The reason is that when they respond code 3, there is always the possibility that the officer and/or a motorist(s) could be hurt in a traffic accident. Go to ODMP and look at all the fatalities that resulted from traffic accidents. It breaks your heart. Not responding code 3 unless the call is life-threatening minimizes the potential for such accidents.

                          As a former dispatcher, I listen to the scanner while driving. If I know the LEO behind me is responding to a call w/o using code 3, I pull over in a good spot and let him/her go around me because response time is always important. Who knows, someday the police may be coming to help me.
                          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mr. Security
                            In my area, police will often respond to important calls (not involving bodily injury) w/o using code. The reason is that when they respond code 3, there is always the possibility that the officer and/or a motorist(s) could be hurt in a traffic accident. Go to ODMP and look at all the fatalities that resulted from traffic accidents. It breaks your heart. Not responding code 3 unless the call is life-threatening minimizes the potential for such accidents.
                            Working patrol in security, I have responded at speeds above the limit on some occasions as well. Since we can't run lights and sirens, it's just plain speeding. The situations were real enough, too. We were not playing around. The risk of getting a ticket for going 90 mph was less than the risk of a guard or a fellow patrol officer getting seriously hurt or killed while getting attacked. Funny thing about that is, I was immediately released both times I was stopped for speeding under those circumstances. At the end of the shift, we all went home. The police who stopped me then knew that too. Since then I have worked with both those officers in incidents where I was their cover. Respect was earned and built up since then.

                            [/QUOTE]As a former dispatcher, I listen to the scanner while driving. If I know the LEO behind me is responding to a call w/o using code 3, I pull over in a good spot and let him/her go around me because response time is always important. Who knows, someday the police may be coming to help me.[/QUOTE]

                            I also carry a scanner. It is not always turned on, but I have it to know where I should be staying away from since I'm in a patrol car alone in a 15 mile zone. It would not bode well for me to drive into the middle of a pursuit or a shootout. That thing is a useful tool, provided it is not abused.
                            "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 1stWatch
                              I also carry a scanner. It is not always turned on, but I have it to know where I should be staying away from since I'm in a patrol car alone in a 15 mile zone. It would not bode well for me to drive into the middle of a pursuit or a shootout. That thing is a useful tool, provided it is not abused.
                              This is another reason why wannabees are putting themselves in danger when they buy a Crown-Vic and go out of their way to make it look like a police car. Some gangs specifically target the police as sort of an initiation right for new members that want to be accepted into the gang. Not a good idea.

                              I remember a case in Lower Manhattan, East Side, where a NYC housing police car was patrolling a street that I was parallel parked on. Just as the cruiser passed my location, the rear window shattered. The cops jumped out of their vehicle and asked me if I saw where the shot came from. I didn't even realize a shot had been fired! I had just witnessed an ambush from a sniper. Moral of the story: Make sure your uniform and vehicle colors are different enough for even the stupid ones to be able to tell the difference.
                              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                              Comment

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