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

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


    What’s your view on those who join up for SWAT or other roles that would be traditionally considered “riskier”? Are they generally wired different to “normal” cops/people? Is there a certain type that is attracted to these roles? Is it a prestige thing/extra salary thing or is it viewed as just being a normal thing to sign up for?

    Ah SWAT…the question “Where’s SWAT?”, Answer “Half of them are in the gym getting another set in, the rest are finishing up with their hair gel & adding more Velcro to their kit”

    I served on our SWAT team for a few years when I was younger. I don’t know that they are wired to a different degree as such. From personal observation I’d say it attracts those who like a challenge, like a degree of action, high level of fitness, and want to practice the craft in a different manner. You get access to all sorts of amazing training, near endless ammo and range time, and opportunity to do some cool things & missions.

    Some agencies will pay a specialty pay, some don’t. Its not a promotion, its an assignment, so it’s not really a money thing. Yeah, they’ll get extra OT for a call out, but then there is the hassle of being on call and having your home life interrupted routinely. Where I am, you have to have four years post probation patrol time, then there is a series of interviews, file reviews, fitness & shooting tests to get selected. We don’t have a limit to specialty assignments, some lads will stay on it for years (I did five) because they thrive on the team dynamic, fitness and the mission.

    It’s really just a normal career path, sure, some people roll their eyes at them as the glory boys, no more than any other specialized unit. It does help your CV in the department, shows dedication & a willingness to go above & beyond. I enjoyed my time there, other than the day one of my friends was killed on a mission.


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


    Gang,

    I'll get to that question hopefully tomorrow, got things to do today.

    Stay safe.


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


    Feb 1, Rochester, NY: a 9 yo girl pepper-sprayed by the police, none of the three thugs in uniforms (I won't call them 'officers') on the scene stopped to think that hey, maybe it's not the best idea to do that?

    Three questions:

    (What I'm scared to think is that if any of those five thugs from the events I mentioned was here, doing the AMA like you are doing now, they'd likely come across as civilized, balanced and reasonable individuals, like you do).



    Ok team, will make an attempt at answering your questions, and they are very fair questions that should be asked. As with all things, there usually more to the story as I have only seen what’s in the news. And no, I don’t work for Rochester PD, I’m in Texas.

    1. Doesn't your blood boil when you learn about those stories? (I sincerely hope your answer won't be 'I wasn't there, I don't know all the circumstances' etc. etc.).

    Yes, this sort of thing pisses me off, as we are all tarred with the same brush. Based on the video footage in the news, I can’t articulate a reason to pepper spray the girl just to get her into the car. That’s just dumb. Despite her being nine, if she needed to be restrained for her or others safety, we only have handcuffs, we don’t carry soft restraints. If she was acting up/out and running all over the place, whatever, a restraint may have been called for. Likewise getting her into the car. Rochester is Baltic cold, and if she was contributing to the chaos in a residence, it’s not unreasonable to put her in the car, she’s contained & out of the weather.

    The police can use pain or pressure points to gain compliance, that is a legitimate use of force under law. But there were three of you, and a nine-year-old. Again, I just can’t see any reason to do that. From the video, a failure I saw was to de-escalate the child despite being cuffed, get her calmed down, make take a while, then get her in the car. If that fails, she’s nine FFS, just gently but firmly pick her up and get her in there.
    To me this speaks to a cultural norm in Rochester PD. The fact it even crosses the officers mind to do that says a lot about their attitude. This was a failure, pure and simple, and outside any other compelling information, indefensible.

    2. Have you ever got an impression that law enforcement services in the US draw psychopathic types and not only is there no process in place to filter them out at early stages of their 'service' but the tribal culture inside the forces (the thin blue line, is it?) reinforces psychopathic behavior?

    Having been in the career field for over two decades, my observation is most of us are pretty average balanced people, more conservative in outlook, service oriented and a bit jaded to be fair. Most respectable agencies have various psych. tests as part of the hiring process, but I can’t speak to how good, bad or indifferent those are at determining a persons psychology. I suggest that is an unfair assertion, there are over 450K cops in the US, so law of numbers says there will be bad apples. Sure, we're human too, but that's not a carte blanche to do what we want.

    I agree there is a thin blue line culture and how firm that line is depends agency to agency. Some are more entrenched than others, NYPD for example, those guys are living in the past with their attitude IMHO. As Peter Drucker supposedly said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast” and it’s true. I would submit, most people who become cops are probably pretty reasonable people to begin with, then, when exposed to a relentless “us vs. them” attitude, and the “don’t worry, they deserved it anyhow”, become subsumed by the cultural norm. Based on what I saw about Rochester PD, I’d say that attitude is alive & well there. I don’t agree with it, and ultimately, it’s going to hurt us as a career. Because we won’t police our own, we’ll lose that power to someone else.

    3. Don't you fear that a day is due when people's frustration reaches a critical point and you start having more Christopher Dorners taking justice in their own hands, and the good guys in the force will pay with their lives along with the bad guys?

    I don’t fear a day is due, I’ve been hearing that since I joined the force. I suspect if you went back to the original Bow Street Runners, they were probably saying the same thing. We’ve plenty on our plate right now with the Proud Boys, Antifa, Oath Keepers and all the other loonies out there who seem to think the world is ending. Taking the law into your own hands never ends well, for anyone, be it the cops or the public.

    What I do fear, to a degree, is the absolute blindness of some police unions to what’s going on around us in society. They are relentlessly hunkering down, have made some dubious political alliances and making poor strategic choices. Unions have never been popular in the US, and they have been under serious attack politically in the last ten years. The positions some of these unions are taking on defending inherently bad cops very publicly feeds into he narrative that unions must be busted, they are bad for all of us. Then we’ll lose the right to negotiate decent wages, pensions and so on. Sure, bad cops like the ones in the George Floyd case and Rochester are union members I’m sure. And their union should be prepared to defend them. However, when your client is clearly in violation of a policy/law/statute, there has to be a point where the union says “look, they have a solid case, you are clearly wrong, they did everything properly, now all we can do is minimize damage”. But no, they’ll go to the wall on every single thing and create an adversarial situation. That’s what I worry about TBH.
    Hope this gives some clarity to your good questions.


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


    I hope to answer this tomorrow. Just notified I'm on standby due to an ice storm, may get called in. And dammit, I was just about to open a nice beer. Bloody work :mad:

    Be safe, keep washing those hands.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,620 ✭✭✭✭dulpit


    I hope to answer this tomorrow. Just notified I'm on standby due to an ice storm, may get called in. And dammit, I was just about to open a nice beer. Bloody work :mad:

    Be safe, keep washing those hands.

    If you had opened that beer (or beers) would you have stood down? Or were you on call anyway?


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


    Speaking of beer. Do you have a 'cop bar' where all the officers go for a few jars or is that just in the movies.


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


    Last year in Buffalo, 75yo Martin Gugino shoved to the ground by two thugs in uniforms (spent a month in hospital with fractured skull and brain injury) and not only nobody stops to think that hey, maybe it wasn't OK, but the whole unit resigns to protest their suspensions. Today I'm reading the charges against them were dropped.

    I’ll use this example to talk about the Use of Force (UOF) and the grand jury process. Note: I’m not defending this incident, again, I wasn’t there. I watched as a few of the videos to get a better feel for the incident.

    Background: The city had declared a local curfew, and after various announcements, the order was given to clear the area. In my patch, that is a lawful order to vacate the area, so if you don’t, you can be arrested. It will be argued, Gugino was breaking the law, he given multiple opportunities to vacate the area and failed to comply with a lawful order. The officer did shove him, and yes, he fell & was badly injured. Now, ask the question “Who created this situation, the police or Gugino?” I assure you, it will be strongly argued Gugino was afforded every opportunity to depart the area and he willingly refused, therefore he could be considered a proximate cause to the event. Without knowing Buffalo PD’s UOF policies, I can’t speak to their rules, but as an informed observer, I can offer it was a shove, not a strike, baton strike or anything else. Gugiono’s age won’t factor into this, in the video he doesn’t appear infirm, moved well and walked directly to the officers. Clearly he was intent on some sort of engagement, be it verbal or otherwise.

    As for he rest of the Buffalo PD stepping down in solidarity, I suggest that was a bit much. Again, like my earlier post about unions, while that may have felt good to “stick it to the suits” it’ll only hurt them in the long run. In the court of public opinion, they are now painted with one brush of “we’ll support anything a cop does right or wrong” as opposed to taking a wait & see what the courts say. As cops, that, in my mind would have played out better.

    As to the charges being dropped, grand juries are secret, and only the prosecutors present evidence & witnesses, so we don’t know what was said. I’m willing to bet the legal point centered around “did the officers use excessive force when they shoved the man?”. Watching the video, the officer appears to shove the man open handed, no strike or blow, no weapons were used. The shove was the cause of the fall where Gugino subsequently sustained the head injuries, certainly. Remember, the law splits hairs like scientists split atoms. The shove was the likely center of debate, not the subsequent injuries. It is unlikely the officer intended any further harm than a shove to move the Gugino along, and watching the video can support that argument. The officer was walking, not charging, used an open hand to his shoulder, not his head or neck. When the officer shoved, him, he had no idea Gugino would sustain a head injury. So, it could be argued, it wasn’t an unreasonable thing to do in the circumstances.

    A grand jury is made up of 12 citizens, and regardless of how good a case was presented, it was the jury who refused to indict, not the DA. While this may seem one sided, & callous, after all, Gugino did get seriously injured, but if the jury won’t indict, the DA’s hands are tied. No more than we disagree with other court indictments or verdicts, the law is not about popularity, it’s about the law.

    Use of force.
    Police are trained on a Use of Force continuum. It starts with officer presence, verbal commands, intermediate force, open/closed hands pain compliance and deadly force. The nature of the incident will determine where you enter on the force continuum. Sometimes a loud command from a uniformed officer is all it takes to gain compliance. Intermediate force is hand on, grabbing, holds, open handed shoves/pushes and open-handed strikes/blows. There are also blows with the baton, taser shots or taser drive-stun (held against the body), pepper spray and pain compliance. Pain compliance is typically pressure points used to gain compliance. And of course, deadly force is usually a firearm.

    The concept is use minimum UOF to gain compliance and match the threat. The situation drives where on the continuum the officer enters. If you are being shot at, well no need to get your stick out, its match the deadly force. The use of any given degree of force will be viewed through the lens of “was it appropriate, proportionate, and reasonable to achieve the objective”. This will be context driven and consider the totality of the circumstances which may include things like, size of the subject vs. the officer (i.e. 65kg officer vs. 150kg former wrestler or vice versa), was the officer alone and in a crowd, what has the subject done (did he/she just murder someone or steal a pack of cigarettes), was the subject intoxicated on drugs or alcohol, did the subject have a tactical advantage over the officer (approached from behind & grabbed him/her), what weapon did the subject have or be perceived to have or have access to and so on.

    In my agency, all uses of force other than verbal are documented, subject is evaluated by EMS, photographed, then the incident is reviewed by supervisors, internal affairs & our training branch to determine was it in compliance with dept. policy, the law and training.

    Long way round I know, but it’s a complex subject and not one prone to a simple answer. I hope this helps shed some better understanding on UOF and how it is picked apart.


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


    If you had opened that beer (or beers) would you have stood down? Or were you on call anyway?

    I wasn't on call, they rang and asked was I available. If I'd even had a sip, I would have said no of course. Ended up no call, so all good. The only people on call are usually SWAT, the duty detectives, Crisis Negotiation team and the Crime Lab gang. They are on a rota, usually week at a time. If you are on call, then you have to be available within one hour of notification, so no beer of course. Those on call get $2.00/hour to be on call and OT once alerted. I did it on SWAT, it can be a nuisance, makes spontaneous plans challenging and requires a tolerant partner & family.

    Rest of us, they can ring & ask but we're under no obligation as we're not on call or at work. Only ever happens with things like this ice storm, flooding or some sort of event that will go on for a long time.

    Speaking of beer. Do you have a 'cop bar' where all the officers go for a few jars or is that just in the movies.

    We don't for whatever reason, just not part of the agency personality. For us, we went hard against any kind of alcohol related issues 25 years ago. That behavior has become a bright line most of us won't touch. Its more common in other cities, especially the older forces like NYPD, Chicago etc. But then those agencies seem to be more tolerant of some degree of misbehavior than we are.

    At a conference some years back, talking to a few lads from a "large, traditional, north eastern agency" shall we say. When asked how we'd handle a stop where it was one of our own, they were aghast that we'd call the SGT, make the arrest and so on. Seriously. they were gobsmacked. Their response was "we'd give him/her a lift home in the cruiser, tow their car and check their keys in the drain for the inconveniencing". It was our turn to be gobsmacked!!!
    As the saying goes, "actual mileage varies with use", eh?

    There is a part of me which says we are missing a unique camaraderie & fellowship opportunity by not having a watering hole like that. All part of bonding & team building on the squad, but we do have our get togethers, but not at a specific spot.

    More ice & snow forecast, and not to be morose, but an officer in the Dallas area was killed yesterday while responding to a ice related traffic incident. It's not always fun at work is it?


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


    Please don't hit me with the night stick but do the vehicles get fitted with winter tyres and in real bad areas would chains be used.

    How much abuse can the crash bar on the front take?

    Very sad to hear the officer was hit, I believe he was outside the car at the time, I seen the man was laughing as he was led away.

    Very sad that life is worth so little to some.

    I honestly think the government and law makers are letting genuine hard working citizens down and imo criminals are to well looked after. That goes here in Ireland too.

    I believe there should be more done for those in such positions you are as all the horrible things that happen and are seen.

    On the part of not to buy an ex cop car I'm sure there are ones you all would know about that had a much easier life and would have been well looked after.

    Would many buy them and try to pass off as unmarked.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,421 ✭✭✭Damien360


    I won’t quote your whole post but at $2/hour on call rate, who would bother ? How long can you be on call for ? Is it one shift (12 hours or 8). For one hour notice and the lack of sleep, disruption of home life, why would you volunteer? Do you even get thanks if you turn up (as you said you are on OT then).


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


    Please don't hit me with the night stick but do the vehicles get fitted with winter tyres and in real bad areas would chains be used.

    It depends on where you are. We have so little snow & ice here, we don't have any of the kit really. This storm in Texas is a aberration, happens every 20 years or so. Its not worth having the chains and tyres. In the northern, more rural areas of the US, I would imagine they have that kit. However, snow tyres and especially chains mean you can only drive so fast, so that might be a complication. Texans don't do well in this stuff, and certainly can't drive in it. Fair question, no need for the stick :o

    How much abuse can the crash bar on the front take?

    It's attached to the chassis, and its pretty solid. They are not designed for crash protection as it is an after market installation. We used them to slowly push damaged cars out of a junction after a crash while waiting for a tow-truck, they protect the grille & lights from branches on some of the country roads too. That's about it

    Very sad to hear the officer was hit, I believe he was outside the car at the time, I seen the man was laughing as he was led away.

    Yes, the driver is alleged to have been intoxicated, officer was one year into the job. Bloody shame. Haven't seen footage of him laughing, but if he was intoxicated and just in a wreck, his head wasn't right. That footage won't help him in court, a jury will love that. The likely charge will be intoxication manslaughter, be difficult to prove assault on a public servant.

    On the part of not to buy an ex cop car I'm sure there are ones you all would know about that had a much easier life and would have been well looked after.

    Yeah, the CID cars are probably fine as they don't get hammered like a patrol unit, and they are maintained per manufacturers instructions. But they end up with serious high mileage, so I'd still pass.

    Would many buy them and try to pass off as unmarked.
    look like like a weird zebra.

    I won’t quote your whole post but at $2/hour on call rate, who would bother ? How long can you be on call for ? Is it one shift (12 hours or 8). For one hour notice and the lack of sleep, disruption of home life, why would you volunteer? Do you even get thanks if you turn up (as you said you are on OT then).


    The $2/hour is the on call pay, you get that for being on call regardless of whether you get called in or not. OT starts once you are activated. When I did it, it was for a week at a time, every 6-8 weeks and you can trade your on call off to someone else. Its part of being on a special team, terms & conditions sort of thing. Don't want to carry a pager, then don't be on SWAT or whatever.

    Under US labour laws, if an employee is subject to call back with associated restrictions (one hour standby etc.) then the employee has to be compensated for the restriction. As I'm currently not on call, I'm under no obligation to even answer the phone, let alone come in. With the storm, they were calling around just in case. Ended up not being needed, not a big deal.


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


    Cut & paste error here....

    It has happened that old units have been tried to pass off as a cop car. It won't fool us, we know what we're looking for and can run plates. A new state law requires the cars be "rendered so as to not apparently be a police car" before auction. The mechanics now spray a bright orange stripe all round it. Looks like a weird zebra that was graffitied.


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


    Cut & paste error here....

    It has happened that old units have been tried to pass off as a cop car. It won't fool us, we know what we're looking for and can run plates. A new state law requires the cars be "rendered so as to not apparently be a police car" before auction. The mechanics now spray a bright orange stripe all round it. Looks like a weird zebra that was graffitied.

    That's hilarious....
    Only thing is I suppose they could just use spirits to clean it off.

    I remember they were at this with ex buses where I work, they even got creative and turned some into the hot wheels with flames and all down the sides.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30 rodia77


    I just want to thank you for so extensively addressing my 'Rochester and Buffalo' questions -- I know they weren't phrased in the most neutral way possible and probably not a great pleasure to deal with, so I appreciate your insight all the more.

    (BTW, I'm also a fan of The Wire, finished binge-watching all five seasons a couple of weeks ago).


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


    Would you like to have your kids follow your footsteps?

    Can you throw up some pics if allowed on what you feel it's like to be an officer, understand nothing personal but say the car and kit and how you remember where everything is as I believe you or most would have a huge amount of kit in the vehicles.


    Really really appreciate all the time you have taken out of your time and I sincerely hope you motor on formant years to come.

    Are you into motorcycles?

    Would you like to be a motorcycle cop?


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


    Gang...epic weather over here...slammed, be back at this in a day or so....


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,620 ✭✭✭✭dulpit


    Gang...epic weather over here...slammed, be back at this in a day or so....

    Jaysus, I saw the snow. Stay safe and warm!


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


    dulpit wrote: »
    Jaysus, I saw the snow. Stay safe and warm!

    That in itself is something I'm sure Texans never hear :-)


  • Registered Users Posts: 394 ✭✭teediddlyeye


    Have you seen "Inside the k" on rte?
    I'd be interested to hear how US police would react to some of the characters on there getting up in the face of the gardai in a very threatening manner. I'd bet a lot of viewers would be delighted to see the gaurds a bit more heavy handed.

    On a kind of similar note how do you think the justice system as a whole compares between Ireland and the US? The incarceration rates in the US are shocking but at the same time the situation here is equally ridiculous with lads wandering the street with hundreds of convictions to their name. Would you say Ireland can be too soft in policing and sentencing?

    Thanks

    "I never thought I was normal, never tried to be normal."- Charlie Manson



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


    Finally, a few minutes.....needless to say, work has been mental for the past few days. Tomorrow will be bad as well, it's freezing hard tonight, so all the morons will be trying to drive tomorrow and the resultant crashes....normally we'd do 6-10 traffic accidents/day, we did nearly 60 day before yesterday.

    Most of us lost power to our houses as well, so our ever tolerant families have been dealing with that (self included, we went 39 hours with no power) as well. if things settle down, I'll answer the last round of questions.


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


    Some shots of the weather and crashes would be great, it's extremely interesting for me anyway and love anything with an engine in it....

    Why is it that people are so stupid they continue to drive at speed even with the snow and ice.... It's mind dumbing howstupid.


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


    Is that a charger in the photo, hear they're quick.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,497 ✭✭✭auspicious


    Do you agree with critics that the U.S. police force has become too militarised or do you believe it is necessary to deal with the current and especially future society?


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


    Would you like to have your kids follow your footsteps?

    I’d been fine with it, they both have good personalities that would suit LE, not overly aggressive, and are inherently curious people. But they choose different paths, teacher & rancher, which I’m fine with, just want them to be happy. We have a few family teams on the force here all right though. And a noticeable number of cops are married to other cops FWIW.

    Can you throw up some pics if allowed on what you feel it's like to be an officer, understand nothing personal but say the car and kit and how you remember where everything is as I believe you or most would have a huge amount of kit in the vehicles.

    Now that life has returned back to normal, I’ll throw a few pics up of the inside of the cars, be in a day or so. My current focus is fixing two water leaks (well, dealing with plumbers) and trying to return the house back to normal.

    Really, really appreciate all the time you have taken out of your time and I sincerely hope you motor on for many years to come.

    Cheers man, I’m enjoying the questions!

    Is that a charger in the photo, hear they're quick.
    Yep, great pic of one of our traffic units isn't it? And yes, the Chargers are fast!!! Drove one during the drivers training refresher a few years back, that was fun!!!

    Are you into motorcycles?

    Not me, never got into them. Herself is the speed demon, she rode bikes before we met, was driving a sports car for the first few years of our time together. I’m more of an old truck guy myself.

    Would you like to be a motorcycle cop?

    Not really, but that’s because I don’t ride bikes. Those who do love it. They get paid to ride high speed bikes every day. We currently use BMW’s (can’t remember what type), but they are nice. The livery is white, with decals and the usual panniers for the radio, kits, radar, computer, ticket writer etc. Our motors team are 100% focused on traffic policing.

    Have you seen "Inside the K" on RTE?

    Yes, bloody brilliant TV. Really cast a light on the reality of daily police work in Ireland. I wish the Gardai did more of this sort of thing. It demonstrates to the public the daily grind, frustrations, danger and hassle inherent in policing. Also showed how viscous some of the criminal element are too. That is up there with The Wire on my list of all time best TV shows.

    I'd be interested to hear how US police would react to some of the characters on there getting up in the face of the gardai in a very threatening manner. I'd bet a lot of viewers would be delighted to see the Guards a bit heavier handed.

    I suppose it would depend on the agency & the officer to a degree. Talk is cheap, for me, so long as you keep your distance and don’t become a threat, I really don’t care. Heard it all before mate. If they were getting up in our faces, and I can articulate the threat, then yes, you’re getting arrested. Pretty simple really. Going heavy, while it might look & feel good doesn’t help in the long run. We’ll get them, it’s only a matter of time, most crims aren’t really that bright. Besides its not against the law to be an arsehole is it?

    On a kind of similar note how do you think the justice system as a whole compare between Ireland and the US? The incarceration rates in the US are shocking but at the same time the situation here is equally ridiculous with lads wandering the street with hundreds of convictions to their name. Would you say Ireland can be too soft in policing and sentencing?

    I wrote about this earlier in the thread. Can’t speak to Irish law, but in the US, in a court, the accused is only tried on the offense at hand. A previous criminal record cannot be introduced as it has been ruled it could taint a jury’s perception of the accused. I don’t know if that’s the same back home. I will say, Irish judges do have some weird things to say. I don't get the "donation to the poor box in lieu of conviction". What is that, from Charles Dickens? I especially love how they get into the whole "defendant was remorseful" thing. No s**t, really?

    As for policing, Ireland has the police Ireland wants. If they didn’t, they’d change it. People complain about the Guards not doing anything, right up until they get pulled for speeding, then it’s the “yous should be out chasing criminals” speech. I think the Guards approach seems to suit Ireland to be fair, although I’d submit, the gardai are about 30 years behind in use of technology. If I could change something, I’d look at that and simplifying processes by going paperless.

    Some shots of the weather and crashes would be great, it's extremely interesting for me anyway and love anything with an engine in it....


    Plenty of shots online 😊 I don’t take pics at work unless its for evidence. We have a firm policy about that. If I use a personal device at work, it could be subject to an Open Records request.

    Why is it that people are so stupid they continue to drive at speed even with the snow and ice...? Its mind dumbing how stupid.

    Man, I wish I knew. Every time it freezes this happens. This is why police/fire/EMS are so jaded, we confront this stupidity daily. All last week I was at car accidents, mostly minor stuff, no serious injuries. I’d ask…” where were you going” “Oh, just wanted to get out and see the snow, I didn’t think it would be that bad”. I mean, what do you say to that? It WAS that bad…. astronauts on the space shuttle could see it was that bad…I got nothing.

    Do you agree with critics that the U.S. police force has become too militarized or do you believe it is necessary to deal with the current and especially future society?

    Militarizing the police….it’s a good slogan/bumper sticker, and like most of those, a gross simplification of a more complex issue. Yes, the police do carry more military grade equipment than before. When I started officers carried a pistol, nightstick & shotgun in the car. Now we carry pistol, tazer, stick (ASP), OC Spray, with shotgun & M-4 rifle in the car. I also carry a ballistic helmet & an outer vest with rifle plates. Times have changed.

    Why? The threat has evolved and officers face suspects armed with rifles and other heavy weapons. The effective range of a good pistol shooter is 25 meters. In a mass shooting scenario like a school, an officer needs a rifle to be able to engage a suspect at a greater distance. In the 2016 Dallas shooting which killed five officers, the Police Chief directed the officers working that event to not carry their patrol rifles, wear helmets or rifle plates. The intent was to not show a militarized image. All the officers who died, were killed as a result of rifle bullets piercing their standard body armor. It is worthy of mention, there were a noticeable number of protestors legally and openly carrying rifles further complicating the issue of what should the police be carrying in response. The suspect in that shooting was carrying an AK-47 type rifle & two pistols. During the gunfight, he was firing from beyond effective pistol range.

    More and more protestors are showing up carrying rifles, clubs, ball bats, etc. So, what options do the police have to deal with this? While we always want to be officer friendly and use minimal force, it’s not always that simple.
    Our SWAT team have two Bearcat armored vehicles which they use as needed. We used on last Friday to serve a warrant on a person who had repeatedly shot at his neighbors. They drove right up on him and safely took him down, no shots fired. It was the right tool for the job at the time. Do they use it every time, no, its based on risk assessment. But when you don’t have one, you don’t have much else to counter the threat.

    So, when there is talk of militarized police, its not as simple as “demilitarize the cops”. Does a patrol officer need to walk around carrying a rifle & be geared up like it’s Fallujah in 2006, generally no. But does he/she need to have the kit available, I would submit yes. Police using military kit, are doing so as a response to a threat. I will say, it’s a sad state when a patrol officer has to carry that kit every day, but that’s the reality we are faced with.


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


    This is a Bearcat....intimidating, yes? But it stops anything up to a .50 cal round, is fitted for four stretchers, full night vision & infra red. Best friend in a gunfight though.


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


    Great feedback, hope the leaks get sorted, seen the big thing now is electrical bills going up to just shy of $20k that's beyond ridiculous it's criminal.

    Feel terrible for those affected and sadly some have lost their lives, anyone going out on that weather definitely needs sectioning.....


    As it Texas it could be 10s of years before this happens again which I'm sure you all will be glad of.


    The charger is one muscle car I'd absolutely love a shot in. Amazing looking car.

    I seen the new Tahoe police spec on YouTube the other day, looks well and some new toys.
    You were saying they are getting more fords so I'd say you will miss the Tahoe as you were saying the ford is cramped.

    Use to watch chuck Norris years ago as kid as the Texas ranger, would there be many actual rangers like that anymore?


    Stay safe.


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


    This is a Bearcat....intimidating, yes? But it stops anything up to a .50 cal round, is fitted for four stretchers, full night vision & infra red. Best friend in a gunfight though.

    Is there any reason why it's left military style, usually see them in black with swat on it or police. Looks like something that would and does safe lives.
    What would these be like for getting to the scene, they wouldn't be the quickest I'm sure.


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


    Great feedback, hope the leaks get sorted, seen the big thing now is electrical bills going up to just shy of $20k that's beyond ridiculous its criminal.

    Well yes, no one deserves a huge bill, however, and I don’t want to get any more into this, these consumers agreed to pay a going rate for electricity as opposed to a fixed rate. When electric is cheap, it’s great, you save, when its scarce, it gets expensive. Read the fine print!!!

    I see the new Tahoe police spec on YouTube the other day, looks well and some new toys. You were saying they are getting more Fords so I'd say you will miss the Tahoe as you were saying the Ford is cramped.

    Yeah, the Tahoe is a little roomier up front, but hey, they didn’t ask me. We’re also trialing a few hybrid Explorers to see how they hold up. Saves fuel & less pollution.

    Use to watch Chuck Norris years ago as kid as the Texas Ranger, would there be many actual Rangers like that anymore?

    The Texas Rangers are a part of the State Police (or strictly speaking the Department of Public Safety). The Rangers are the investigative arm of the state police, their remit is generally complex, trans-jurisdictional (inside the state) cases, cases beyond the capability of the smaller agencies and organized crime. They work very closely with the feds. The Rangers not undercover do dress in “Western formal” like Chuck Norris, no kidding. It’s almost a uniform to see them in their pressed western wear, chrome .45, western hat and boots. Very traditional :)

    Is there any reason why it's left military style, usually see them in black with SWAT on it or police. Looks like something that would and does safe lives. What would these be like for getting to the scene, they wouldn't be the quickest I'm sure.

    Most of the green & tan Bearcats (or similar) are ones acquired from the US Military through a program where agencies can apply for surplus military equipment which would otherwise be destroyed or rendered useless. This program ranges from the mundane like office furniture, uniforms, and binoculars to M-4 rifles, tactical vehicles and even helicopters.

    Agencies who participate must accept the item as is and are responsible for any subsequent repair, maintenance and operating costs. As it’s a loan, the US govt can request the items back, and they must be returned in the same or better shape than when received. Agencies can do whatever they want, paint, decals, lights, but that all comes off when it goes back. The paint on these things is a unique, rough camouflage paint which is expensive, so it’s easier to just leave them as is and save money. Our trucks have both seen 10 plus years of active military service, and need ongoing maintenance. If an agency buys one new from the manufacturer, they can paint it however they like.

    These are not first response emergency response vehicles, top speed is about 50 MPH and they are a bit top heavy. Our SWAT team generally works during the day and after hours have to be called out. Very few agencies can afford a standing 24/7 SWAT team, no one in Texas has one. When they are activated, designated members will go get the Bearcat if needed. It requires a HGV driver’s license.


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


    Someone asked about this a few pages back and I think I overlooked it.

    There are no “No-go” areas here, and not really anywhere in the US. It a western country, not Iraq. Sure there are some rougher parts of the area just like anywhere else, but nowhere we are afraid to go. We’re the police, we don’t have the option of saying “I’m too scared to go there”.

    Sure, some spots we’ll roll heavy with a few officers, especially if it’s a hot call (assault/burglary in progress, shooting, stabbing sort of thing), but nowhere we won’t go. I know places in LA, NY and even DC had some very dodgy areas but the cops never didn’t go there.

    Look what happened in Portland when a group declared a “Portland Autonomous Zone” and the cops left them to their own devices for about a week. (Which, I submit, was an incredibly short sighted idea by the City of Portland) There was, I think, 5 homicides and multiple sexual and other assaults.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,546 ✭✭✭wandererz


    Just wondering about something bugging me from years back.
    Is there such an offence as "exhibition of speed"?
    Was accused of this while sitting at traffic lights one morning for "revving" the engine. Which I wasn't, and was in an automatic to boot.

    Also, is one obliged to change ones driver licence address when moving home? Is this a ticket able offence?


This discussion has been closed.
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