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The Direction of Law Enforcement

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by wichaka, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Been in the job since '87, and I too am disappointed in the direction the job is going.

    There's a lot of self-entitlement attitudes coming in with some of the younger crowd being hired, again not all of them...but in the last few years, there's been a good increase in this type of personality.
    The younger crowd tends to want to 'prove' themselves a bit, but usually in the wrong way. I tend to recite the "Two Bulls" joke quite a bit to describe the way they act.

    Then you have some of the older types who tend to be sheep amongst the sheepdogs. Will do anything they are told, regardless of the task. Some don't really have a sense of what they are doing, if its tramples someones civil rights or not.

    In the job, you have a few different dynamics going on at the same time...the politics of the Admin., the public, the city/county counsels etc., along with the village idiots or "Frequent Flyers" as they can be called sometimes...at times its as everyone wants a piece of your caboose. Not a good thing for those who truly want to make a difference in the job. We pretty much only deal with 1-2% of the public.

    With all the above, sometimes it is hard to figure out who's good and who wants to end your life.

    Making blanket statements about anything or anyone really serves no purpose. Because someone has a bad experience with a Ford, all Fords are bad?
    One bad Dell Computer, all Dell computers are bad? One bad experience with an Outback Steakhouse restaurant, and they are all bad? Let's be a bit reasonable.

    Do some in the LE world abuse their power? Golly-Bob-Howdy yes! I'm not so blind that I can't see that. Do some act better than thou? Yep

    Do some get away with things that the average citizen can't? Now that is open to a very deep discussion, as some folks may not know that our lawmakers have allowed most of what LE people do be excused as long as they are operating under the "reasonable" officer standard, as well as "color of law", in which if the officer can articulate the reasons for their actions, they for the most part will not be held liable...at least criminally. I know this may cause a lot of whining, moaning, and gnashing of teeth, but the lawmakers put this in place.

    I will be going over what governs the use of deadly force for those interested, so all can see what we operate under...what we can, and can not do. Which we are allowed to do much more than the citizen can...by far. This is taught in WA State to LE types, but alot is the same in Oregon as well.

    Do I support a right to carry a firearm in all 50 states for everyone? Yep
    Are we the United States? Apparently not, its more like the Separate States of America.

    To end this post, we need to stand together to make the change. Acting like some of the lawless folks at the 'Occupy' camps won't get anyone anywhere, it will only make the change harder.

    Be well all...I'll let the post flow for a day or two before I respond, unless there are some pointed questions. I'm an open book, feel free to ask anything, I am my own person...I'm not a cookie-cutter LE type...which is probably why my personnel file is so thick! :woot:
     
  2. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Looking forward to this, Steve!
     
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  3. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    An example of the way the LE world is set up....taken from a fine example from a friend of mine, I couldn't have said it better;

    Comparing to the game of football;

    There is a field - We can only operate within that field.
    We can run-punt-pass-kick-etc.

    But whose rules is the game governed by? NFL? - NCAA? - Canadian?

    Then we have the coach, who will impose his own rules how we will can play the game.

    How does this relate?

    The field - The area in which we can operate

    But who says what we can and can't do? Well, we have the rule makers.

    First we have Federal Law, then State Law, which can be more restrictive. Next we have County/City Laws/Ordinances, which can again be more restrictive.

    How about the Coach? Or in the this instance the Sheriff or the Police Chief, they can dictate again what we can and can not do thru their policy/procedure manual(s)...even though Fed-State or local laws may allow it.

    Try to keep up with all that while the lawmakers, or those in the Supreme Court (The Supremes), state court(s) etc. keep changing the rules. :huh:

    Gets tiring to the point of throwing up the hands and wonder why we do this job to begin with...geez all I wanted to do was to help people. ;)
     
  4. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Excellent post. The points you bring up as an LEO are the same I tried to articulate in another thread.

    LEO's have a tough job. Some handle it well and with grace and others handle themselves and the job like raped apes in a china shop. To judge every person on their actions and attribute that to every person who does their job is nothing more than knee jerk stupidity.
     
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  5. FireArm

    FireArm Beavercreek 97004 Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer

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    Separate states of america is right.
     
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  6. jvbutter

    jvbutter Cornelius, Or Active Member

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    Not in law enforcement, but I echo your statement. It seems to me those who speak up are often in this category. Call it pushing the line, or challenging authority either way, we need to always question authority (and not without respect) and pay attention of what goes on.
     
  7. SonicBlue03

    SonicBlue03 Snohomish Well-Known Member

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    The entitlement issue is a symptom of the prevailing changing attitude amongst people in this country. While it's not just with the younger generation, I think we're seeing it a lot more with them because they're a bit more vocal with it.

    Really good post, wichaka. For every bad LEO story a person puts up here I've probably seen two positive ones personally. LEOs are a cross section of the population so the same as all of us.
     
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  8. rob240p

    rob240p Vancouver Member

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    Can't wait to read your legal review!
     
  9. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    My father was a Deputy in Nevada, then a city Police Officer in Montana, and then a US Marshal. I spent my time in the service as a Military Policeman, and currently careerwise am still involved. It is refreshing to see a self-critical attitude presented here by wichaka, and my pride in the size of my personnel file might suprise him should he choose to glance over at my urinal. If one takes pride in doing what is right (rather than what is dictated) and point out without fear what is wrong, generally you will be treated as a troublemaker in the profession.

    I have also been the victim (more than once) of police who consider all they do as righteous and sanctioned. I happliy returned their victimization in court. I have also been the grateful recipient of consideration from the few who still believe they are problem solvers FIRST over enforcers, as my father was. He took great pride in the fact that he never discharged his weapon in all his years of service (even when he would have been fully justified in doing so, and to his own peril). He was of the belief that he was hired to take a few knocks, and to excersise EXTRA restraint (BEYOND that of a citizen) toward the use of force. He considered his job to require from him that his life was of LESS value than that of a citizen (or even a suspect), given that he voluntarily accepted the daily grave responsibility of the means to take a life. This is not to say he would not protect himself as per his greater duty to his family. He preached that he never encountered a situation where a citzen or suspect did not respond to honesty and respect when he offered it to them. Some would say he was awfully lucky. He would say he survived, slept well, and had no regrets.

    He also (in the later part of his career) had a great problem with the militarization/tactical aspects of civilian law enforcement. As a WWII veteran, he considered that militarization of the civilian force was entirely inappropriate, and severely damaging to the necessary favorable relationship between the citizenry and their police force. He felt that arrest and search warrants should be conducted as civilian-to-civilian, with all due respect to surrounding property and family of the subject of such warrants. He was disciplined severely on one occasion when he responded to a "barricaded subject", arriving before anyone else, and while the rest of the force was obeying orders to formulate a "tactical response", he chose to walk up to the door, knock, and spoke politely and respectfully to the subject, explaining his concern for the family and the house. Result? Subject in custody, and Dad actually testified in trial for the DEFENSE to full acquittal. Certainly not the very best approach to every situation, but Dad was fully adamant that under the same circumstances he would do the same thing again. He believed that resistance to law enforcement was very often a result of unreserved police action itself, escalation where none was necessary. His favorite summation of these scenarios was that "obviously the officer said something stupid" during a traffic stop, warrant service or other activity. Citizens, he believed had the right to say stupid, escalating and confrontational things. Police officers did not.

    He would rail and vent at television shows (and news reports) showing civilian police in disguising masks or hoods while they conducted warrants and such. He would say, "If you are ashamed to show your face to people, you are doing something to be ashamed of!" This belief would come under great criticism today, where such anonymity is considered regularly appropriate. Yes, he received his share of threats to his life from arrested suspects, but never did fear for his life as a result of being recognized at a later date for conducting himself in his profession as nothing of which he should ever find reason be ashamed.

    He also did not isolate himself in social circles to that of law-enforcement people. He was proud of his friendships with persons of "questionable character", who operated inside and outside of legal restraint. Granted, he tossed out any notion that he was "always on duty" and "bound to enforce and report" violations of law when off duty. Such associations with the "shady side of life" he found served him well, especially in the investigative arena of the profession. He was trusted by ALL.

    A dying breed (perhaps nearly extinct) in law enforcement today. To the great detriment of our society and the honored profession.
     
  10. Tangent123123

    Tangent123123 Battle Ground Active Member

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    In before the Anti-LEO crowd posts. /cheer
     
  11. FourTeeFive

    FourTeeFive PNW Washington State Active Member

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    Thanks for posting this!

    As a 40+ something guy one trend I've noticed is what I call the "militarization" of law enforcement. The general vibe seems to be much less "to serve and protect" and a little more "fear us". My guess is this has come more from management than a natural progression of an officer's duties. I'm sure there have always been officers with attitude but it seems like lately I'm seeing more young guys who aren't exactly great at customer relations on the street. I know it is a lousy job so I don't envy their position dealing with the dregs of the earth, and maybe that is the attitude needed for the job.

    On another note I'd love to see more use of turn signals, proper lane use, and lack of handheld cell phone use from all LEO's, primarily State Patrol. I was always taught to lead by example, and it certainly helps in the eyes of the public.
     
  12. 1stIDFMP

    1stIDFMP North of Salem, south of Portland Active Member

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    Thank you for posting this +1!

    6 months ago, after 30 years as an Oregon LEO, and 3 years military police, I retired. I agree with everything you said (except my file wasn't as thick as yours..... ;)) :woot:

    - I haven't missed the job, one day, since I've retired, but I am damn (can I say that here?) glad I did it! :thumbup::flag:
     
  13. Old Hick

    Old Hick Oregon Active Member

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    How True this is. Thanks for posting.


    Stay Safe Brother.
     
  14. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
     
  15. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Spitpatch, if your dad is still alive please tell him I said thank you for trying to be the good officer! Thank you for your service to society as a whole. I wish there were more like him. I hope you follow in his foot steps.

    Howard

    And BTW. Great Post!
     
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  16. lowly monk

    lowly monk Beaverton, Oregon. Just a guy. Bronze Supporter

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    Very good post. Thank you all for your service!
     
  17. keitha300wsm

    keitha300wsm Lebanon, OR Member

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    Spitpatch, Thanks for the insight. I really appreciate how your dad handled the barricaded subject. The way some police handle situations is like a fire fighter bringing gasoline to a fire. I've always wondered if they were taught tactics to overwhelm and conquer, with a massive force. This should be an interesting thread!
     
  18. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    LEO are no different than the rest of us. some good, some not so much. to the good ones i say thank you very much for what you do. to the others (you know who you are) kma. this will be an interesting read, thanks for starting the thread
     
  19. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    What governs the LE when it comes to the use of deadly force?

    WA State Law - RCW (Revised Code of Washington)

    Federal Law 471 U.S. 1

    First we must explore the very language that is set out for us to operate under.

    Definitions;

    "Deadly force" - the intentional application of force through the use of firearms or any other means reasonably likely to cause death or serious physical injury. RCW 9A.16.010

    Some things that need to be pointed out;

    - It is an intentional act;

    - The action is reasonable likely to cause death, but not always.

    - Serious Physical Injury - what's interesting here, there is no legal definition in the state of WA. for this phrase.
    One can thank our great leaders in Olympia for that debacle.


    "Deadly weapon" - any explosive or loaded or unloaded firearm, and shall include any other weapon, device, instrument, article, or substance, including a "vehicle" as defined in this section, which, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used, or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing death or substantial bodily harm. RCW 9A.04.110

    Now we have a result of an action that does have a definition;

    "Substantial bodily harm" - bodily injury which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily part. RCW 9A.040.110 4 (b)

    "Great bodily harm" - injury which creates a probability of death, or which causes significant serious permanent disfigurement, or which causes a significant permanent loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ.
    RCW 9A.110.040 100 4 (c)

    "Necessary" means that no reasonably effective alternative to the use of force appeared to exist and that the amount of force used was reasonable to effect the lawful purpose intended. RCW 9A.16.100 (1)
     
  20. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    hey wichaka & spitpatch, how many words per minute do you type? it would take me all afternoon to put that many words together. i appreciate your time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012