Recognizing Police Legitimacy

Recognizing Police Legitimacy

This is a discussion on Recognizing Police Legitimacy within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; https://www.forcescience.org/2019/10...rce=newsletter “Unquestioned command” and “all reasonable steps” define the authority that society expects its police to exercise. Courts demand that orders be reasonable and support ...

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    Ex Member Array AzQkr's Avatar
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    Recognizing Police Legitimacy

    https://www.forcescience.org/2019/10...rce=newsletter

    “Unquestioned command” and “all reasonable steps” define the authority that society expects its police to exercise. Courts demand that orders be reasonable and support a legitimate law enforcement purpose. That “reasonableness” is assessed through the lens of reasonable officers. Officers who are ideally screened, hired, trained, and then lawfully empowered to recognize and immediately act when the risk of allowing an individual’s behavior to continue becomes too great. Officers who also appreciate that some of the most challenging people to manage, are innocent people lawfully stopped.

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    VIP Member Array SouthernBoyVA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzQkr View Post
    https://www.forcescience.org/2019/10...rce=newsletter

    “Unquestioned command” and “all reasonable steps” define the authority that society expects its police to exercise. Courts demand that orders be reasonable and support a legitimate law enforcement purpose. That “reasonableness” is assessed through the lens of reasonable officers. Officers who are ideally screened, hired, trained, and then lawfully empowered to recognize and immediately act when the risk of allowing an individual’s behavior to continue becomes too great. Officers who also appreciate that some of the most challenging people to manage, are innocent people lawfully stopped.
    Have to ask. Why would police be stopping innocent people? At the minimum, the police must have RAS before they can stop someone. And if there is RAS, in their eyes the person(s) stopped would not be innocent. This is an honest question for my own edification and is not meant or intended to become argumentative.
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    Funny, but the author takes an episode that Denver ended up paying a half-a-million dollars to settle (because the police over-reacted to, essentially, disrespect and roughly arrested a couple over their backtalk regarding a traffic stop) and trying to build the case that society has the right to expect people to obey the orders of the police. In the incident that he uses as an example and lead in to his point, the police had a LOAD of time, the very essence of the incident is that it was protracted, the citizens engaged in LOTS of talking, questioning, and even directing the officers. Yet, the author then talks about how under time pressure the police should expect compliance with every order. Sad article. Next.
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    I think the police undercut their own perceived authority when there are stories of them abusing their authority so regularly. Police, as a profession, need to understand that corruption, excessive use of force and general bad attitude toward citizens will erode the perceived authority of all cops in the country. The linked story is a fairly mundane example. But minorities have excused their running from police by citing situations where cops have shot minorities when they were pulled over. They claim they were in fear for their lives. No less a source as National Geographic had an article on minorities' fear of being pulled over by the police. A lot of that may be BS, but the police have to realize if they don't stay squeaky clean on their use of authority, the perception of that authority will naturally erode.

    Look at Ferguson. That cop was justified and I'm glad he was not prosecuted. But he could have handled that situation a lot better. The fact that he screwed it up so badly caused riots and contributed to eroding the perception of the police for years to come.

    Look at the common wisdom on what a concealed carrier should do if they are involved in an SD shooting. "Don't talk to police!" And that is good advice. It would be nice if the police would be understanding and try to do the right thing. But no, anything you say will be used to try to destroy your SD claim, so you shut up until your lawyer gets there, just like a criminal would do. And keep in mind, we all know that when gun confiscations happen, it will be "officer friendly" coming to take them, unless it is a SWAT team.

    I have great appreciation for police, but I see them make themselves the enemy all the time. They need to remember who they work for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoyVA View Post

    Have to ask. Why would police be stopping innocent people? At the minimum, the police must have RAS before they can stop someone. And if there is RAS, in their eyes the person(s) stopped would not be innocent. This is an honest question for my own edification and is not meant or intended to become argumentative.
    They can have RAS and you can still be innocent.
    You are driving down the road minding your own business and a call is dispatched for a shooting that just occurred in the area. Bad guy left in a vehicle similar to yours with no direction of travel given. LEO en-route to the scene sees you coming the other way. You are completely innocent, but you are getting stopped.

    Situations like this happen every day.
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    WHY ? did the jurisdiction pay these folks 500k with-out a trial, and before suit was filed ? WHY ? more to this...the digital age has revealed brutal police tactics, second guessing cops is a booming biz...WHY ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    They can have RAS and you can still be innocent.
    You are driving down the road minding your own business and a call is dispatched for a shooting that just occurred in the area. Bad guy left in a vehicle similar to yours with no direction of travel given. LEO en-route to the scene sees you coming the other way. You are completely innocent, but you are getting stopped.

    Situations like this happen every day.
    When I was 18 years old I got pulled over for speeding. It turned out I was speeding in an area where somebody had just robbed the store and was seen taking off in a vehicle at a high rate of speed in the same direction as I was going. And I want to clarify when I say speeding I was doing like 75 in a 30 Zone.

    So the cop that pulled me over had a reasonable suspicion based on clearly articulable facts that I was his guy.

    I wasn't exactly Innocent but I wasn't the guy he was looking for
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypher View Post
    When I was 18 years old I got pulled over for speeding. It turned out I was speeding in an area where somebody had just robbed the store and was seen taking off in a vehicle at a high rate of speed in the same direction as I was going. And I want to clarify when I say speeding I was doing like 75 in a 30 Zone.

    So the cop that pulled me over had a reasonable suspicion based on clearly articulable facts that I was his guy.

    I wasn't exactly Innocent but I wasn't the guy he was looking for
    Or he could have stopped you simply because you were doing 75 in a 30 zone.
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    One thing I think the police should get out of the business of is traffic enforcement. The technology exists to do that hands off now, more cost effectively. I think that role really creates a bad image of police and a does not help their relationship with citizens. It makes them seem like tax collectors or moving meter maids, not intrepid crime fighters.
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    Well heck @jmf552 , traffic policing is an income producer although arguable whether it’s cost-effective in resource utilization. Not so sure it makes the streets any safer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Or he could have stopped you simply because you were doing 75 in a 30 zone.
    He did stop me because I was going 75 in a 30 Zone. But four more cop cars didn't show up because I was going 75 in a 30 Zone. He told me why he pulled me over. He told me why he took me out of the car. He never ticketed me though.
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    Back in the days when I was a puppy policeman (47 years ago now) we were trained a little differently. We were taught that we were public servants, citizens selected to represent the community and handle the business of law enforcement so that other citizens (our employers) could go about their daily lives peaceably. We were never allowed to view ourselves as above the general public or superior in any way, certainly not the arbiters of right and wrong. "Firm, fair, and friendly" were the bywords we were taught to live by.

    Since that time there has been a movement toward viewing law enforcement as a profession, citizens have been generally discouraged from involving themselves in any way, and the cops seem to have developed the old "thin blue line" theory into an "us against them" mentality. Common courtesy from police officers has become perfunctory at best, and suspicion/hostility/contempt have replaced "firm, fair, and friendly" as the general practice. The young cops I deal with from time to time are distant, unhelpful, borderline rude, and generally project an attitude of indifference.

    I retired from law enforcement after 24 years, including 6-1/2 years as a small town chief. I trained, hired, supervised, and fired dozens of young officers over the years. I am not anti-cop, but I seriously long for the old days when the cops genuinely tried to be a part of the community rather than the overlords or rulers of society. The trend toward professionalism has produced little more than an arrogant clique with little or no concept of the fact that every bit of authority they might have is what we, the people, have chosen to delegate to them.

    I could go on for pages, but I think I'll shut down this rant for now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAXDM9 View Post
    Well heck @jmf552 , traffic policing is an income producer although arguable whether it’s cost-effective in resource utilization. Not so sure it makes the streets any safer.
    I agree. And the revenue producing (which I think is a government scam) can be done by machine now. Some cities have automated red light enforcement and speeding. The system detects the offense, takes a picture of your car and license plate and you get the ticket in the mail.

    And it's been around for a while, tried and true. I got a speeding ticket in DC several years ago. It just came in the mail with a picture of the rental car I was driving. Systems like that can give out a lot more tickets and there is no cop needed. It can free cops up to actually catch criminals.
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    Ex Member Array AzQkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmf552 View Post
    I agree. And the revenue producing (which I think is a government scam) can be done by machine now. Some cities have automated red light enforcement and speeding. The system detects the offense, takes a picture of your car and license plate and you get the ticket in the mail.

    And it's been around for a while, tried and true. I got a speeding ticket in DC several years ago. It just came in the mail with a picture of the rental car I was driving. Systems like that can give out a lot more tickets and there is no cop needed. It can free cops up to actually catch criminals.
    Doesn't work in Az. [ photo enforcement ]. All one has to do is contest the ticket that comes in the mail, show up and the judge dismisses the ticket. Most don't know this, but the ones that do aren't paying fines nor losing their licenses for multiple offenses, nor paying higher ins. premiums. So while it may work in theory, there's no more revenue generated than an leo giving the ticket on the street. Much harder to contest the ticket when the person who saw you violate the law is testifying.

    Traffic policing isn't about revenue generation, it's about keeping the public at large safer than otherwise if speed limits weren't imposed and enforced. IF no one violated traffic laws, there'd be no revenue generated. I suppose the next thing we'll discuss is "ticket quota's", another of those internet myths that's never been true with the exception of a handful of small towns [ 2 of which are in Fla. ] where enforcement became mandatory, even 2-3mph over the limit.

    So, camera's don't generate revenue either. They simply document civil infractions. Without violators, there's no revenue generation. And camera's don't catch impaired drivers, another big problem on the roads. We won't have to worry about technology taking over the role you suggest anytime soon, thank you very much. And no, the camera only catches red light violations through intersections and speeding, NOT "the system detects the offense" which if were true, would catch drunk drivers who don't speed nor violate red light laws.
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