The Life Of A Cop
Jordan Hass asked:
Have you ever had to arrest someone that you knew? (Family Member, Friend, Neighbor)
I've arrested a lot of people I know by name but they are not friends. I've never had to arrest a friend / family member. I know of someone at my agency whose brother got arrested and sent to prison (I can't remember the offence at this time). Anyway, the officer requested and did the arrest himself. The ongoing joke is that you shouldn't mess with him because if he will arrest his own brother he sure as hell would arrest you.
Okay, so if you're like most cops, I imagine you don't ticket/pull over all speeders. From what I can tell, there's usually a threshold beyond which you're going to get stopped. What's your usual rule for pulling over speeders, and of those you pull over (barring bad behavior), who's going to get a ticket?
Typically my own internal rules are 10 over to get stopped, 15 over to get a ticket. In school zones I lower it to 5 and 10.
What's been the absolute scariest moment you've had?
We had a double homicide one night and I was sitting at the suspect's house waiting for him to come home. The suspect had been on the phone with dispatch stating that he was going to kill the first cop he saw and then kill himself. It was 3 in the morning and very cold and quiet. I sat there for a long time thinking about what I would do if he came home, needless to say that kept me wide awake. I had a lot of time to think about good cover spots in the area, and possible take down tactics. I had my AR-15 loaded with 31 rounds and a few extra mags just in case. Sure as shit I saw a pickup coming down the road.
I radioed it in and I could hear my heart in my ears as the truck pulled into the driveway. The driver sat in the truck long enough for another unit to arrive and then he got out. We were on him like white on rice. I was cussing "Get on the ground mother fucker, get on the ground!" while looking at him through my front sight. He did get on the ground and if he had pulled something stupid he would have died right there. Turns out it was the suspect's brother who had come to get some personal items for him. He was scared shitless, as was I for a moment.
How much of what you do is recorded? Most traffic stops are recorded with the windshield mounted camera, right? But how much sound do they catch? Do you wear a mic?
All my traffic stops are recorded with in-car and a body mic. I used to hate it but I've grown to like it, it's been more of a help than a hindrance. The mics pick up just about everything. If two kids are lying to me I like to put them both in the back seat and turn the recorder on, they always say some interesting things in there.
Does it matter the kind of car a person is driving in getting out of tickets/having the cops ignore them? Or is the opposite true and envy sets in? Or do you just not care? What if a teenager is driving a nice car? Do you racially profile?
The type of car does not really matter to me as far as getting a ticket is concerned. I don't care if you drive a nice car. An old junky car tends to catch the police's attention more than something late model and conservative. I don't racially profile.
I live in the UK, where the police are not armed with anything above a baton or pepper spray. I've heard an interview with a British cop who went to the US and finds wearing a firearm very useful in her duties and wouldn't return to unarmed duty. I'd be interested in what you think about our method of policing, given that we don't have the 2nd amendment.
I think that laws are made for law abiding people. That means that if you make laws prohibiting guns, then only the law abiding people will not have guns, the criminals will still have them. I couldn't imagine doing my job without my weapon.
If I didn't have a weapon and the perp was armed I would just let them go. I'm not willing to die trying to stop someone from stealing a car etc. If it was a hostage situation I would have to go get the gun that I wasn't supposed to have out of the trunk of my car and deal with the situation, I'll deal with being fired later. Good luck to you crazy Brits.
I don't know if I asked this before, but maybe I'll have some new answers. What kind of reporting software do you use? Is it actual software, paper forms, or dictation? Do you like it? Or along those lines, does it help or make doing reports a pain?
We just started using some new reporting software, it is an actual police report writing program. Of course anytime you start using something new there's a group that hates it. We've had some problems but I think it's going to be an improvement, especially since we can lock up warrants and do reports in our car now. Doing reports by hand would be a major pain in the ass, but it would not be a show stopper.