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Now ye're talking - to a US police officer Part II

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  • 20-01-2021 6:49pm
    #1
    Boards.ie Employee Posts: 12,597 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Boards.ie Community Manager


    Hi guys,
    In 2019 we had a US police officer on to do an AMA and unsurprisingly it proved to be very popular. At the time he had been a patrol officer for 23 years, now closer to 25. This was part of his intro:
    Yes, I am armed, all police in the US are armed. My basic duty wear is, 9mm Glock 19, two pistol magazines, Taser, Asp, two pair handcuffs, radio, OC spray, small torch, latex gloves. We wear body armour under our uniform shirts. Uniform is a traditional tan uniform shirt with metal badge, black trousers, jacket as required in winter. Hat is a baseball cap.

    Our agency is in the process of transitioning to a body camera system, probably implemented later this year/early next year. Our cars all have cameras (front facing) and also record the prisoner cages to include audio.
    You can read the full introduction - and the thread - here.

    Since that time, a lot has happened in the US concerning various police officers (and others) and he has very kindly returned and offered to do a second AMA for us.

    Please be respectful of the person taking time out of their day to answer your questions. If you can't do that, just don't post please.
    Post edited by Boards.ie: Niamh on


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,331 ✭✭✭✭jimmycrackcorm


    What's your opinion of how the Capitol cops behaved in the riot - seems to have been some being complicit and others trying to do something about it.
    Is there political bias in the police?


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    How many trainee police academy graduates have you mentored so far in your carreer? What are the most common mistakes made?


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,701 ✭✭✭Midnight_EG


    What's your take on the George Floyd incident and the subsequent BLM movement/riots? Do you think it was a just reaction, or was it something that was coming anyway :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,790 ✭✭✭✭listermint


    What's your thoughts on redirecting funding from arms and military style gear and other non community policing items back into social work social care and community operations so you can get back to actual criminal police work and move away from all round baby sitting. Comes under the banner but inappropriately named defund the Police.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,524 ✭✭✭finisklin


    Hiya and welcome back to AMA.


    I enjoyed the last round of this and it was really informative.


    Have you experienced where politics and policing cross paths?


    In what situations does this manifest itself and have you first hand experience of it?


    Plus if the justice department and policing has done its due diligence and successfully investigated and prosecuted an individual, does the presidential pardon system undermine natural law enforcement?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,943 ✭✭✭✭the purple tin


    Is there a cop show/movie/book that you thinks depicts police work the most accurately?


  • Registered Users Posts: 472 ✭✭Piehead


    How far does being Irish get you in the US?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,474 ✭✭✭Mimon


    When you interact with members of the public do you have to be constantly on guard and looking out for threats to your safety?


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,647 ✭✭✭✭punisher5112


    Does the Rookie look realistic to you?

    Have you noticed even more hatred towards the badge from civilian.

    Do you feel due to BLM.and the race card constantly coming up that other officers or even yourself taking more time to think or process an issue which in turn could end up deadly due to taking longer to act due to not wanting to look like or coming across as a racist due to the perp been black or Asian for example.


    What do you make of this BLM and antifa rubbish.

    What do you think this 4 year president term will be like and will we see all these protests, but mainly peaceful riots and shootings so CNN says..... again before the 4 years are up.

    I would say officers including yourself would love to see mental health given a huge boost and care for those that need it.

    Thanks for coming back.

    Hope the family and you are well. Happy new year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,522 ✭✭✭✭Tell me how


    Do you think the training practices of police recruits is appropriate for preparing them for the job?

    What is the pass rate of a typical class and approximately how many applications are there for every place on the training class.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,480 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    why is the armour under your shirt rather than over it?

    in addition to your mentioned personal kit do you have carbines etc in the car?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,468 ✭✭✭CruelCoin


    Hi, and happy new year to you.

    Are there areas that are "no-go" to the police?

    Like we see in the movies, do you avoid certain areas such as "the hood" ?


  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    You get to create a brand new law, making it illegal to do anything you want - what is that law?


  • Registered Users Posts: 684 ✭✭✭Toblerone1978


    Do US police actually eat much doughnuts?


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Do you think that US policing and indeed, the US in general has a 'force first' mentality towards problem solving?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,752 ✭✭✭knucklehead6


    Neyite wrote: »
    You get to create a brand new law, making it illegal to do anything you want - what is that law?

    Follow up, you get to throw out an existing law, making it legal... What goes?


  • Company Representative Posts: 189 Verified rep I'm a US police officer, AMA


    What's your opinion of how the Capitol cops behaved in the riot - seems to have been some being complicit and others trying to do something about it.
    Is there political bias in the police?


    Capitol PD on the day probably did the best they could. There were some intelligence failures which are being hotly debated about how much was known about an actual violent threat to the building. There was also some executive level concern about a too heavy-handed response after the backlash to the BLM protests earlier in the year. And while everyone is up in arms about the “intelligence failure”, we have to be careful here. Free speech is protected speech, and its tough to draw the line between someone saying “down with the government” (free speech) as opposed to “we need to burn the building down & hang them all” (threat). And even then, is it a realist threat or just a gob****e moaning on.

    Any officer who participated/facilitated in this deserves to be sanctioned, end of. Have your personal beliefs, fine, but when you don the uniform, its time to be neutral. If they were off duty and at the rally, fine, but if they participated in unlawful activity, then they are probably done as cops.

    How many trainee police academy graduates have you mentored so far in your career? What are the most common mistakes made?

    Biggest challenges rookies have is not understanding officer safety/awareness and failing to learn that “street sense” and how to deal with people. One can learn the laws, rules, etc., but picking up how to handle people & have awareness is a you get it or not thing which some people never get.

    What's your thoughts on redirecting funding from arms and military style gear and other non-community policing items back into social work social care and community operations so you can get back to actual criminal police work and move away from all round babysitting. Comes under the banner but inappropriately named defund the Police.

    Philosophically I support the idea of expanding social services, mental health, homeless outreach, etc., as ultimately this population have needs which cannot be met by the criminal justice system. However, gutting police budgets is simply moving the deck chairs. There is probably a middle ground which is lot in the current environment. I sense cities who slash their police budgets will be struggling to address a loss of police capacity from their citizens in the future. Where I live, due to the loss of police budget, in order to keep officers on the street, several specialty units have been disbanded. Now there is no gang unit, no parks unit, bomb squad at a bare minimum, no lake patrol, 70% reduction in traffic unit. All this will be fine until the public start clamoring about gang crime, traffic accidents, etc. Then what? My point is this is a complex social issue and not easily fixed by making less cops.


  • Company Representative Posts: 189 Verified rep I'm a US police officer, AMA


    Have you experienced where politics and policing cross paths?
    In what situations does this manifest itself and have you firsthand experience of it?


    Well politicians make the laws, and we enforce them, so there is that. Other than a few “do you know who I am?” or “I’m good friends with XX”, not really. Sure, polices can change how we do day to day things, but that’s just life.

    Plus, if the justice department and policing has done its due diligence and successfully investigated and prosecuted an individual, does the presidential pardon system undermine natural law enforcement?

    No, that only happens every four years and those pardons are generally reserved for political hacks, not an issue for us.

    Is there a cop show/movie/book that you thinks depicts police work the most accurately?

    Scoot & Bailey (at least the first 2 seasons) gave a good accounting of the investigative process. The Wire is my all time favourite, probably the best police show ever. It really picks apart policing, a declining community, budgets, the press, drugs. Probably best cop show ever. Netflix is running “The first 48: Atlanta Homicide” which is pretty accurate depiction of the murder investigate process. “Homicide: A year on the killing streets” by David Simon is a gritty insight in to the Baltimore PD. “The Wire” was based on this great book. What will never be depicted is the sheer amount of time cops, especially detectives, spend on the phone, typing reports and doing research. It’s doesn’t make for good TV does it?


  • Company Representative Posts: 189 Verified rep I'm a US police officer, AMA


    When you interact with members of the public do you have to be constantly on guard and looking out for threats to your safety?

    Yes, everyday I plan on going home to my family. It keeps you safe. Basic street skills, becomes instinct.

    Does the Rookie look realistic to you?

    Haven’t seen it, TBH, I don’t really watch too much TV

    Have you noticed even more hatred towards the badge from civilian.

    There was more open hassle I suppose over the summer, we couldn’t get out of the car without five iPhones filming everything we do. But things are back to whatever passes for normal now, some like us, some don’t, same old same old.

    Do you feel due to BLM and the race card constantly coming up that other officers or even yourself taking more time to think or process an issue which in turn could end up deadly due to taking longer to act due to not wanting to look like or coming across as a racist due to the perp been black or Asian for example.

    There is an element of that to a small degree. I know some officers who won’t write a person of colour a ticket, just give them a warning. And I’ve heard of those who’ll go more softly, softly with some people, but for the most part we just do our jobs. It’s not like we’re going let a perp walk just because of their race.


  • Registered Users Posts: 81,702 ✭✭✭✭Atlantic Dawn
    M


    What is your opinion on guns? Do you have your own gun or collection of guns outside your police issued weapon(s)? Do you feel with the proliferation of guns in America that they are needed for personal protection or do they increase your risk of accidental injury or death?


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  • Company Representative Posts: 189 Verified rep I'm a US police officer, AMA


    What do you make of this BLM and antifa rubbish?

    Peacefully protest, say your piece, whatever. When you start throwing petrol bombs, burning businesses and hurling then you are breaking the law and need to be sanctioned. People have a right to be heard, just don’t start throwing things. BLM is helping a national conversation about race, diversity & inclusion which is long overdue IMHO. I see it as a symptom of a larger issue in the US, as a country we have a long way to go.

    What do you think this 4-year president term will be like and will we see all these protests, but mainly peaceful riots and shootings so CNN says...? again before the 4 years are up.

    No idea, can’t predict the future.

    Do you think the training practices of police recruits is appropriate for preparing them for the job? What is the pass rate of a typical class and approximately how many applications are there for every place on the training class?

    For the most part the training process seems fine. I’d like to see more time in academies on social issues, communication skills and mental health. If I had anything to say, I think all cops should have a college degree too, helps with maturity & critical thinking. Pass rate, it varies by academy, ours is around the 78% mark. Applications, depends on the agency & who wants to live where. The bigger, attractive agencies will be more competitive of course. The US is achingly short of police officers, combination of good economy (pre-COVID), millennial generation not as single career oriented, police is not seen as attractive as it used to be with all the protects, violence, etc.

    Why is the armour under your shirt rather than over it?

    Designed to be more professional & less intimidating. Latest trend is moving the armour to a vest worn over the uniform. This the weight off the belt to prevent back issues and allow a little more comfort in the heat. Agencies are going to a wicking polo style shirt to be worn under the vests.

    In addition to your mentioned personal kit do you have carbines etc. in the car?

    We do, M-4 carbine and shotgun lives in the car.

    Are there areas that are "no-go" to the police? Like we see in the movies, do you avoid certain areas such as "the hood"?

    No, movie bollocks. Sure, some cites have dodgy areas, but not no-go ones. Urban myth. Portland had their little police free zone & it didn’t go well did it? This is not Iraq, we serve the people, not fear them.

    You get to create a brand-new law, making it illegal to do anything you want - what is that law?

    More restrictive gun laws.

    Do US police actually eat much doughnuts?

    Answered on previous thread.

    Do you think that US policing and indeed, the US in general has a 'force first' mentality towards problem solving?

    Maybe to some extent. I mean we are all taught to de-escalate, verbal skills, etc. This is a complex subject and currently undergoing a lot of needed study. I certainly agree we tend to have a more directive and to some degree aggressive posture compared to the UK & Ireland. However, they are different societies, so its not a simple comparison. Bear in mind, he US is a very armed society, so you have to have officer safety in mind during an encounter. I'm telling you firmly to show me your hands as they might have a gun which could kill me, I can't take a chance.

    Follow up, you get to throw out an existing law, making it legal... What goes?

    I’d decriminalize some low-level offenses and divert smaller stuff like shoplifting (under a certain value), to an alternate resolution process.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,902 ✭✭✭DellyBelly


    Looking at what we see over on the news in Ireland regarding the US police force are most American cops racist? And is the reason they do not like blacks is because of their high crime statistics. We have a similar problem here with the travelling community. And how can this be fixed?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,951 ✭✭✭✭Tom Mann Centuria


    Did you watch Live PD? Any opinions on same.

    Oh well, give me an easy life and a peaceful death.



  • Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 21,502 Mod ✭✭✭✭Agent Smith


    Trump often touted he had the support of Law enforcement groups, And even got presidential Endorsements from some of them
    Is this true among many Rank and File Cops?


    How do you feel the Covid Pandemic has Affected policing in America over the last year?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,758 ✭✭✭kksaints


    Would you have any experience of policing large concerts or sporting venues during events?


  • Registered Users Posts: 51,652 ✭✭✭✭tayto lover


    What’s the percentage of women in your force?
    Would you find it harder dealing with a violent incident if your partner was a woman or are they actually better at calming down offenders?
    Is the murder rate high in your area?
    Is juvenile crime high and how are they dealt with? What works to reduce it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,522 ✭✭✭✭Tell me how


    This ties in with previous questions relating to funding of the police versus other services and also your comment as to the amount of time spent doing mundane tasks but are there any police activities which you think would be better carried out by administrative staff allowing police more time to police?

    Also, I'm living in the US for a couple years and am bemused at the isolate structure of police forces with every town/city having its own one. Do you think that there is much inefficiency because of this which could be improved if policing was done with a more cohesive structure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,617 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha


    When you first moved there did you find it hard to adjust to the weather? What has been the highest temperatures you've experienced there and does it ever get so hot that you just cant go outside

    Do you and those you know there have any opinion on Senator Ted Cruz? Do people see him as a bit of an idiot or actually respect him?

    And how much is a litre or gallon of petrol and do locals complain about it being expensive


  • Company Representative Posts: 189 Verified rep I'm a US police officer, AMA


    What's your take on the George Floyd incident and the subsequent BLM movement/riots? Do you think it was a just reaction, or was it something that was coming anyway?

    I’ll separate the two. George Floyd’s death was a series of bad judgement decisions culminating in the death of a man. If you watch the whole incident bodycam video (about 35 min), the officers never made an attempt to de-escalate the encounter. They started aggressive and stayed that way. Floyd was a little jerky and somewhat non-compliant at the start, ok, they went hands on and restrained him. All good. At that point, there were opportunities to sit him down and sort the scene out. He was reluctant to get in the car and they forced the issue which started them down the road of dragging him to the ground & ultimately choking him. Without knowing anything else, I have to ask the question “why didn’t you just sit him down & figure it out?” He was restrained, there was three of you, granted there were two other subjects to he dealt with on scene too, but I’m not aware of any weapons involved, so it could have gone another way. Even if they did have to fight him, once he was under firm control, relax things. Most agencies prohibit chokehold and have so for years, authorizing it as a force option is just a bad idea. MPD obviously has a serious police cultural issue, the officers feared intervening with the senior officer and FFS, they use chokeholds.

    I offer BLM was probably coming anyhow. As much as the US like to think we’ve made race & equality progress, we have a long way to go. This was the match that lit the fuse IMHO. Unfortunately, due to the previous administration’s portrayal, BLM became associated with violence, which in turn drew in Antifa, anarchists and general-purpose troublemakers. Encouraging heavy handed police responses didn’t make life better for anyone. I also suggest BLM was a catalyst for general discontent with whole sections of the population who feel marginalized and disenfranchised; be it unemployment, COVID, lack of access to real jobs, student debt, and polarization of all politics. The encouragement of Proud Boys, the 3%ers, and the rest of the gun toting, Q-Anon crowd who are looking for a fight further fanned the flames. We all have some work to do, unfortunately, the police get stuck in the middle in many ways and bear the brunt of the anger.


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  • Company Representative Posts: 189 Verified rep I'm a US police officer, AMA


    Gang,

    More tomorrow, time to get back to my home repairs list :-)

    Stay safe out there.


This discussion has been closed.
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