Friday, March 02, 2018

Peace Officer

Greg Ellifritz  posts a great article over at Active Response Training.
In many states, cops aren’t statutorily designated as “law enforcement officers.”  They are more properly classified as “Peace Officers.”  We are charged with keeping the peace in the community and protecting our residents from both hazards and criminals.  We use the law as a tool to help us accomplish the goal of keeping the peace.  Cops who mindlessly “enforce the law” may or may not accomplish the goal of “keeping the peace.”  It’s a crap shoot.
I've found this to be true, especially in my role as school-house-cop.  Many times, when I go  into a room, whether it be a rowdy classroom, or an administrative office with an angry parent, I see that everyone takes a breath and softens their tone. I am the adult in the room, whether anyone else is or not.

They teach us, in the basic academy that our job is to use force, and the very first level of force is Officer Presence.  When we show up, things change. Yes, we are law enforcement officers, but out first mandate is to preserve the peace, and I'd much rather resolve an issue peacefully.
Unfortunately, a lot of police administrators don’t want to deal with “peace officers.”  Solving real problems involves a lot of work and effort.  Many bosses don’t want to do that.  They actively discourage officers from doing good work out of sheer laziness or fear that they will inadvertently allow an action that will later be criticized by the boss’ superiors or political controllers.
Wow!  That paragraph is so true. Every boss focuses on two or three things, and the officers under him or her tend to focus on what the boss wants done.  That's human nature. 
Cops quickly learn that they shouldn’t attempt to do anything significant at work.  It’s easier to write a few tickets and keep the bosses happy than it is to make political waves and get beaten down for genuinely trying to solve major community problems.
We all learn to avoid politics, especially if we work for politicians.    They don't want us solving problems, because many of those problems are of their making.
 Is the majority of your day spent fucking with people and generating inconsequential “stats?”  If so, you aren’t a peace officer.  You are a revenue generating cog in a political machine.  Your conduct will further undermine the public trust in our profession.  Stop it.
 Just wow!  The entire law enforcement community needs to read this whole article.  More at this link.


Anonymous said...

He must of spent time in Lubbock. Ben

Old NFO said...

Well said!

Jonathan H said...

Great article - it directly addresses the problem with too many departments these days and it explains why there is a growing gulf of distrust between officers and many of the people they are supposed to protect.