Yet, he was a good cop in other ways because he cared about the community

Police operate differently depending on the political makeup of their Sheriff’s office and District Attorney (Prosecutor’s) Office (law enforcement with/vs court system) and the character of the department in general, along with the character of the neighborhoods they serve.

There’s not always cooperation between departments at all levels. Of course they try, but “big fish in small ponds” is universal wherever you go.

If they don’t live in the neighborhoods they serve, there’s a greater chance of problems as they’re not as invested in the communities personally.

Then again, there can be problems if they do. One example from when I grew up: local cop played poker with local mob families frequently because he went to school with them. Anytime one of them was up for a trial, evidence would vanish, witnesses would be on vacation, etc. Or if there was a raid, suddenly nobody would be there. He’d tip them off first.

Yet, he was a good cop in other ways because he cared about the community. No proof, so nothing could get done and again, he was great in every other way, so any complaints were internal really.

Some depts don’t get adequate funding or if they do, some mis-spend on equipment and not enough on training.

Then you have the cops who want to make the world a better place and then you have other cops who were bullies/were bullied in school and have that us/vs/them vengence thing going on. Oh, and the wannabe military but I think they end up in SWAT team type positions so they’re happy.

I dunno. I’m glad we have police. But that’s why they need to be watched. Citizen cameras and body cameras are good. Transparency in departments are good. I think they need better equipment than cheap pistols and fast cars and better training for mental health recognition and some negotiating skills.

With effort, I think it’s possible to produce high quality law enforcement in the USA across the board but each community is unique so there’s that.

Thanks. I came from a kind of new agey, eclectic family (didn’t realize so at the time) but mom worked for the local Prosecutor’s Office (DA elsewhere), worked right across from the courthouse and jail for the county, so I got to hear stories as a kid about crazy cops, crazy lawyers, crazy criminals, sad cases from the files, etc. I think it gave me a decent perspective overall.

Some areas are better than others. Some require college. Some don’t. Many are cop family heavy, many aren’t. There’s no one “best way” I think. Small communities have different needs than big cities. Some crimes can be ignored that would be big local news elsewhere. Some departments cover up rape stories from the press for privacy, others don’t for transparency. Depends on the area.

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Saw a video the other week showing a young cop detaining a 14 yr old boy who was acting strangely. Nothing really bad happened but when a neighbor came by and asked, “The boy has autism. Do you know what autism is?”, he replied as he had the boy on the ground and his hands in cuffs, “No ma’am, I don’t know anything about autism”, I felt sad.

Autism is so common it should be a basic part of training. I know split second decisions have to be made but it could’ve been avoided had he known the neighborhood better and had a little better training.

But given his ignorance, he otherwise did ok. But giving ignorance extra powers over citizens shouldn’t be taken lightly.

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I think it will. I know having citizens and media reporting incidents makes it hard for departments to attract new ranks but there will always be people who want to keep an ordered community. Budgets are usually thin and departments work with what they have.

Where I am now (Naples, FL), we have an excellent Sheriff’s office. No complaints from me. They’re deputized as INS now for years yet they know to leave more illegal immigrants alone so long as they’re just doing their jobs and staying out of mischief. Being a tourist area also helps in that they don’t want to do things to embarrass the department or the officials here.

Where I came from in New Jersey, it was more political but I can’t complain there really. Such a small town with low crime meant that three cop cars came by for every little whiff of an incident, whether a 12 yr old was seen drinking cough syrup at 9pm on the street or someone’s driving oddly.

But not too bad. They knew everybody and kept an eye on people that had the potential to be problems but weren’t, like the odd guy that rode his bike wherever the kids hung out and would talk to them at length. Definite creep potential but since he kept his hands to himself and nobody complained, they let him be. Yet, they’d drive by slowly to let him know they’re watching and we kids knew they’d have our backs if needed.

That sort of thing.

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