Do you fear law enforcement officers?

This is a discussion on Do you fear law enforcement officers? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Just a general question. The only way I'd feel really at ease around officers of the law is if I was one of them. Thing ...

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Thread: Do you fear law enforcement officers?

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Do you fear law enforcement officers?

    Just a general question. The only way I'd feel really at ease around officers of the law is if I was one of them. Thing is, I perceive that many average citizens have some form of fear when it comes to contact with or being in the near vicinity to a law officer or police cruiser. So much so, that sometimes I think I get a bit nervous in those close quarters situations. Deep inside I know they are people just like us and there to serve and protect the law abiding citizen. What would be the underlying causes for one to be alerted as to the immediate presence of an officer while being an upstanding citizen? Is it the possibility that we believe they stereotype us or give some of us extra scrutiny for one reason or another? Is it because of the remote possibility that they are able to find something wrong about you or what you are doing even though things are alright? Is it because of a uniform, all the hardware, and their demeanor? I've been meaning to ask this question for over a week now and finally did it as I can't stand holding it in any longer.
    Don't turn this into another LEO bashing thread as I think we've all had enough of that. I just would like to know your perceptions and feelings on this. Of course LEO are equally welcomed to state their views on the subject as I'd hope, and please don't take offense or feel you'll be defending some sort of position because I'm not suggesting anything, just conveying a point of view. Thank you.

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  3. #2
    JD
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    Do you fear law enforcement officers?

    Absolutely not.

    Then again, I was raised by one, raised around them, taught to shoot by them, dated their daughters, and to this day, still work with them.

    To fear them is simply irrational.

    What would be the underlying causes for one to be alerted as to the immediate presence of an officer while being an upstanding citizen?
    Usually they are where the trouble is, that's one reason to be alerted. Police respond to bad incidents.

    Is it the possibility that we believe they stereotype us or give some of us extra scrutiny for one reason or another?
    "We" is a pretty wide term, more importantly, DO YOU feel they stereotype us or give some of us extra scrutiny for one reason or another?
    Is it because of the remote possibility that they are able to find something wrong about you or what you are doing even though things are alright?
    No comment.

    Is it because of a uniform, all the hardware, and their demeanor?
    Again, this doesn't phase me, I grew up running around in Dad's motorcycle boots and gun belt. To me it would like someone being afraid of their GI Joe toys. As for demeanor, spend a few years in the Marine Corps, you get use to it.

  4. #3
    Member Array chickdiver's Avatar
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    I can't imagine why a law abiding citizen should be nervous in the presence of law enforcement.

    Perhaps this stems from the fact that I have a number of close relationships with LEOs.....
    A girl can never have too much jewelry or too much weaponry.

    - Princess Meredith NicEssus

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    Senior Member Array Natureboypkr's Avatar
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    I dont fear all cops, only the crooked ones.
    Mixed Martial Arts Record= 2-0.......Kyokushin Karate Record=5-0

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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Naw...Most of 'em are just big teddybears.

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    No, I don't fear LEO's but maybe its because I worked with so many in past careers

    Most of the time when the law abiding citizen has meetings with LEO's it is because something bad has happened. It becomes natural for LEO's to be associated with negative feelings.

    Next time you see them treat them like Marines and thank them for their service.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    I don't now. I did growing up, but then again when I was growing up I was a troublemaker and knew having cops around me meant I might get caught doing something I shouldn't be doing.
    "Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt

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    Member Array Airedale's Avatar
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    I neither fear nor am uncomfortable around them. I have no reason to be worried around them.

    I shoot with several LEO's every weekend. I also spent 20 years in the Army so I don't get worked up over uniforms or accouterments.

    Dave

  10. #9
    JD
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    From another thread, not quite on topic with this, but it does have some bearing...


    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Well...

    I'm not a fireman or LEO, but my dad was CFR in the Air Force, and became a LEO once he got out, and my half brother is a pretty senior member of one of the local FDs back home.

    This is one my my favorite anecdote conversations I had with my father.

    My dad came home from a bad day at work, I could tell he was tired, ticked off, and just generally upset. I asked him what was wrong, and this was the reply I got.

    "I should have been a fireman, EVERYONE loves to see the firemen, they're saving your home, saving your life, taking cats out of trees. When people see that big red truck coming, it's "THANK GOD, IT'S THE FIRE DEPT!"

    No one likes to see the police, you got robbed, beat up, your kid's in trouble, or you're going to jail. You get drunks in puking in the squad car, you got irate parents, people that aren't even doing anything wrong will say "Watch out man, IT'S THE COPS!"

    Don't be a Police officer."

    I didn't do either, I still work with both LEO and Fire, and quite personally, wouldn't want to be either one.

    Hat's off to you gents.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chickdiver View Post
    I can't imagine why a law abiding citizen should be nervous in the presence of law enforcement.

    Perhaps this stems from the fact that I have a number of close relationships with LEOs.....
    With out creating an us vs. them problem.

    Nothing you say to an officer can be used FOR you in regards to a court case. It can only be used AGAINST you. In that sense, by talking to them your only giving them a case against yourself.

    I have may LEO's that I do business with daily, and recognize most of them are people and put their pants on one leg at a time.

    Should you be affraid of them NO however, you should be educated about what their role actually is.

    Therefore, if you haven't seen this from an early thread you HAVE to watch it!

    Don't Talk to the Police- Prof. James Duane
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  12. #11
    Member Array chickdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob99VMI04 View Post
    With out creating an us vs. them problem.

    Nothing you say to an officer can be used FOR you in regards to a court case. It can only be used AGAINST you. In that sense, by talking to them your only giving them a case against yourself.

    I have may LEO's that I do business with daily, and recognize most of them are people and put their pants on one leg at a time.

    Should you be affraid of them NO however, you should be educated about what their role actually is.

    Therefore, if you haven't seen this from an early thread you HAVE to watch it!

    Don't Talk to the Police- Prof. James Duane

    Yep- I've heard that one.

    Sorry- I'm not going to disavow friends and near-family because they happen to be LEOs. I pick my friends carefully- and I'll trust any one of them before I trust pretty much any attorney.

    Regardless- the situations here are apples and oranges. I certainly don't fear LEOs in day to day interaction. In the event that one finds oneself being questioned by an LEO, one should exercise one's rights to representation, whether the LEO is a friend or not- that's just good common sense.
    Last edited by chickdiver; June 18th, 2008 at 04:41 PM.
    A girl can never have too much jewelry or too much weaponry.

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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    I think it's the fact that they have absolute authority over any interaction and the fact that most people have an inherrent sense of guilt.

    Most people break the law at least a few times a day. If somebody is watching close enough, you're probably going to be guilty of something. Knowing that the police are the ones who are trying to catch you makes most people nervous.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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  14. #13
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    It has been my experience that most LEO's will treat you with the same amount of respect that you show them.

    If you are open and honest with your dealings with them they will go out of their way to help you.

    It comes down to this Treat them like human beings and they will treat you the same

    There are a few bad apples, but that is just a few.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    For me, this is a complicated issue. One of my all time favorite people was a student with me in a martial arts class. He was a great guy, a great teacher to me, and a life long cop. One of my neighbors is a State Trooper, and another works as an LEO for some agency, I don't exactly know which. Both are good guys. Moreover, in the very very few interactions I've had with cops (I am lucky and have had only one ticket in 51 years of driving, but been stopped a couple of times and received warning), almost all have been quite O.K. One officer literally used the dialog in Verbal Judo, word for word. It was a perfect encounter with someone who had been trained and studied, and learned.

    All of that said, I have been bullied by cops as a youngster and a young adult.
    One instance happened when my dad's car was struck by a drunk driver and there was absolutely no reasons whatsoever for the officer's behavior toward me, my dad, except that we think the (bombed out his mind) passenger in the other car was an off duty cop. (The drunk driver even tried to sue us, claiming a third non-existent passenger was in the back seat and was injured.)

    Another instance occurred when I was in my mid-20s, and went diving with a group. We had permission from the land owner but a cop came along and said to us when we informed him the owner gave us permission, "well I'm taking it away." He also made threatening gestures as if he was going to reach for his gun. His hand kept nervously patting his holster. (Well, he was outnumbered, and we were armed with diving tools, but that was no excuse for his attitude or his action. Ability and opportunity were present, but jeopardy and intent weren't.)

    Another incident happened on the streets of mid-town NYC. My wife and I were merely walking along when the guy began yelling at us. Something about listening in on his conversation and "who invited you."

    There are just few enough lunatics among the police forces that I can not say I'm completely comfortable or unafraid.

    I do think that things have improved a great deal in recent years. I think there is much better training, and much more awareness of citizen rights than when I was a boy.

    My gut reaction is that until I've had a moment to judge the interaction, I am on-guard that the officer is not one of the good guys. I wish I didn't feel this way, but I do.
    Last edited by Hopyard; June 18th, 2008 at 07:00 PM. Reason: spelling correction/ grammar correction

  16. #15
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    Cops are just people...I don't trust people...almost no one!

    I respect people, I give them the respect that they sometimes do not deserve...that's me.

    Most people have jobs to do...everyone else's job seems easier...or could be done better...(when you're not the one doing it...), of course.

    Everyone's job has its ups and downs...
    Everyone's job has its problems...
    Everyone's job has its better performers and its slackers...
    Everyone's job has bosses who are liked and and some who are disliked...
    Everyone's job has its good times and its bad times...
    Everyone's job has its advantages and its disadvantages...
    Everyone's job has it stereotypes...(all cops eat doughnuts and all teachers are lazy...yeah, right!)...
    Everyone should be paid more for their job...
    Most people can't wait to retire so that they can do someone else's job (usually there is an opening because someone has retired to do something else...)...

    Life is complicated...we're all a little odd...enjoy what you have/do...learn to appreciate others...but be careful who you trust completely...

    OMO, yours may vary!

    Stay armed...be cautious...stay safe!
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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