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04-03-2021, 00:50   #166
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Wednesdays answers

After moving here I've been struck by the amount of personally owned vehicles which officers have kitted out with blues/reds to be hired out as security at construction (Normally road construction) sites. How much does that cost, how long does it take to get the money back, and do they actually do anything at such locations? What percentage of officers have such gigs on the side?

Yeah, you can spend as much as you like on kitting out your car for those OT jobs. I don't know as I've never spent the money, I don't do those jobs. I've only done OT through the department, never wanted/needed one of those long term OT jobs. The side job pay varies depending what it is, but it's generally around the $40-$50/hour level.

This is a unique American thing being able to hire off duty cops in uniform. Like all things, its agency dependent, but it generally works like this: Side jobs have to be dept. approved, and can't be related to alcohol, vice (think strip clubs) or any sort of job that reflects poorly on the dept. It's made very clear, even though you are in uniform, you are not acting as an agent of the dept, so you assume all liability out of any actions you take. Get hurt, its on you, make an arrest, it's on you to process it and "own" it. We're allowed to wear the uniform as it's a visual symbol of being a cop. Some jobs might be plain clothes, but most are uniformed. Some events like a large sporting event will contract with the dept, we'll get the OT through work and the event reimburses to dept. I like those, cushy, easy OT and it's all "work".

How difficult did you find the Academy, and would you have found it more difficult had you not been prior service?


I didn't find it that hard personally. Some struggled with the fitness and academics, but most of us graduated. About two thirds of the class were no-military and they did fine. The recruiters make an effort to prep the candidates, as for academics, some people just don't study well. This isn't hard really, but there ya go.

One thing I have to give props to local police for is how they have to deal with all sorts of depressing things in society we like to ignore, from the drug-addled to the child abusers (physical or otherwise). Has there ever been anything you've seen which has caused you to despair for humanity, or say "sod it, I'm quitting tomorrow"?

Not really ever had the "eff this, I'm done" but there have been good days and bad days for sure. There is a higher suicide rate in LE than the general population, as of two days ago, 21 cops died of suicide in the US this year. We do get beaten down but the never ending negative stuff, thats why we're a pretty jaded, cynical bunch. I don't despair for humanity, but doing this for a couple of years, you tend not to hold most of the human race in very high regard.

Presumably you are familiar with Sir Robert Peel's Principles of Policing. How many of them do you think are (a) still valid, and (b) still followed? For example, I would argue that there has been a shift away from #7: Though non-military police are officially "civilians" in US (and international) law, I wonder if there is a common separation or "them and us" attitude by the police use of the term "civilian" to mean "Member of the public" or "private citizen".

I would submit those principles still stand today and are broadly reflected in most agencies core policy documents. As for number 7, that's part of what I speak to above. There is an increasing siege mentality in LE, and it really came on strong last year. No one who is not in this career field can really understand the pressures, stresses, highs & lows of this job. Other public safety like fire & EMS get it to a large extent, but the public at large doesn't get it as much as they like to think they do. I see the same with military, if you've never served, you'll never understand what military life is like.

Yes, we're civilians in a police uniform and we live, play, eat & go to school in the same communities we serve by & large. However we see a side of it no one else does, so it can be hard bridge that mental gap sometimes. We use terms like "civilian", "complainant", "suspect", perp", "victim", "involved" as a means to distinguish people, and it tends to bleed over into our personal vernacular, but probably not unlike any other profession.

I do find it interesting that we are one of the few professions everyone loves to tell us how to do our job regardless of their qualifications. Doctors screw up all the time, yet we don't have a gang of people shouting at them during an operation and questioning their every move. No one would dream of following a lawyer around with their iPhone to record them would they?

I like this video from our partners in the Met in the UK.

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...he+met+the+job

Good questions gang, keep 'em coming, but wash your hands & wear your mask!!!
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04-03-2021, 02:50   #167
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Originally Posted by I'm a US police officer, AMA View Post
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.


In Texas there is no such offense in the Traffic Code. I think there used to be something like that ages ago, but not now. I'll grant ya its annoying AF, especially those kids and their souped up Japanese cars. There is a pretty active group of them here, and they will try and race from time to time on some of the newer motorways. A few of them have killed themselves too. We've run a few operations to stop them and educate them when they have their gatherings. On private property, they can do all the burnouts, etc. they want, but racing on the public roads is just dangerous to them and the public.

[B]
Perhaps so.
It was me in a rented Mustang and the guy stopped me in Dallas at 9am. I had just driven 550 miles door to door from Laredo to Garland the previous night. 550 miles in ~5.5hrs. Just woken up in Dallas and on way to parents for some breakfast.

Loads of time to get me doing the deed yet @ 9am the next day for "exhibition of speed" in an automatic??

Totally unrealistic. Must have been on some "craic"
At that time!

BTW, i was one of those "jap" kids in the 350Z's, Eclipses etc.

I used to totally leave the ICE / Border Patrol Stations at max miles per hour after clearing US Customs & Immigration.

All i can say is that it was great going over to mexico for the food & drinks


WOW!

Used to love Laredo/ Neuvo Laredo & the border towns.
Perhaps not so much so nowdays.

Last edited by wandererz; 04-03-2021 at 03:09.
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05-03-2021, 23:51   #168
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How not to get a ticket

In reference to the above, don't know what to tell ya, maybe it was a city ordinance, seems like a cheesy ticket to me., but I wasn't there. Some towns/cities will pass noise/nuisance ordinances to curb racing and cruising. They have limited effectiveness IMHO.

A common question i get asked when it's realized I'm a copper:

"What do I need to do to get out of a ticket?"

Simple really, follow the speed limit, wear your seat belt & don't text & drive is what I say.

"but yeah, isn't there something I can say to the officer if I'm caught?"

An apology usually goes well, but would you want us to accept an apology from everyone we sanction, be a bit pointless, eh?

"Well, no, it's just......."
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06-03-2021, 06:39   #169
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Like with anything attitude and respect go a long way imo.

I'd say getting tickets off were easier years ago before all the tech.
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11-03-2021, 15:14   #170
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Detective questions

Gang,

A detective colleague has offered to answer of your questions through me. My colleague is a 25 year veteran of the agency, 10 years as a detective working child abuse and is now in Persons Crimes. Persons Crimes are assaults, attacks on persons that do not result in fatal injuries nor do they have a sexual component. Deaths are handled by Homicide, Sex Crimes are handled by a different section within CID.

Where we work our CID is broken out as follows:

Property Crimes: burglaries, theft, criminal mischief (i.e. vandalism), etc.
Auto Theft: self explanatory
Homicide: self explanatory
Financial Crimes: credit card fraud, cheque forgery, etc.
Environmental Crimes: Pollution, Illegal Dumping, etc.
Sex Crimes: sexual assault, sexual violence, etc.
Family Violence: Domestic assaults, intimate partner violence
Child Abuse: self explanatory
Cold Cases: ongoing review of historic cases
Persons Crimes: assaults, attacks on persons
Animal Cruelty: animal neglect, cruelty, etc.
Vice: Narcotics, human trafficking, forced labor, prostitution.

All our detectives start in property crimes to learn the trade, then can apply for the other sections.

Kathy is happy to answer questions through me, so allow some lag between when you post, I get it to her and she replies. She's incredibly busy, as work is unrelenting, so allow for some slack.
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11-03-2021, 15:53   #171
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Question for the detective. Why did she apply for the child abuse section ? I’m guessing this would leave you bitter and emotionally scarred for life. Did she ask for advise of serving detectives in that section first ? Is Person’s crime (what a strange title) a welcome relief from the other section ?

Based on stuff here, I’m guessing the conviction rates for both sections, former and current roles are low. Both would have serious intimidation of victims.

One she may not want to answer due to your own profession. Is the presence of a nosy uniformed cop a hinderance to these investigations (blind alleys) or a source of leads. Or does it matter, if it all boils down to the victim willingness to testify.

Have she been shot or shot at ? In the context of a uniformed cop, is the detective more likely to get shot at as they may be working alone ?

Long winded answer. For Persons crime unit, a victim gets lumped on the head with a heavy object and the aggressor is known and you have witnesses, how long for conviction in the district. Here it can take a year before it gets to court and they are out living the life of reilly. Would a detective take it personally if the sentence is deemed low and would they go on the personal watchlist. Or is the volume so big that the detective just moves on to the next on list.
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14-03-2021, 13:26   #172
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Detective questions

Good questions, I'll pass them on to her.
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16-03-2021, 00:40   #173
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Part answer

Has she been shot or shot at ? In the context of a uniformed cop, is the detective more likely to get shot at as they may be working alone ?

Once, 25 years ago as a patrol officer, wounded, but survived no lasting damage thankfully. Detectives are very much less likely to get shot at. Despite what you see on TV, probably 80-90% of their time is spent at a desk, writing reports, making calls, reviewing video evidence, writing warrants, reviewing other evidence. There are interviews, be it with victims, witnesses or suspects, mostly conducted in the interview room as an unrecorded interview is too easily challenged by the defense. Also pre-trail meetings with the DA's office, and sometimes testimony in court. If they have to do surveillance, there is an element of sitting around in a car or whatever watching, but more and more that's done by cameras which can be remotely monitored.

Yes, they'll be out and about by themselves doing casework, but unless they were incredibly unlucky, likelihood of a gun fight is very small. If it they need to go somewhere dodgy, they'll bring a partner and even meet up with a uniformed officer or two, it's all about safety, not drama.

Our detectives don't make that many arrests as they'll issue a warrant and it'll work one of these ways.

Violent offender/dangerous suspect: warrant served by SWAT and/or fugitive team.

Non-violent, lower risk suspect: they'll call them (or their attorney) and have them turn themselves in.

Low risk suspect who is hard to locate: warrant is entered in the system and next time they encounter a cop, they'll get rolled up.

If a suspect absconds, and it's a felony, the warrant is turned over to the fugitive team & the US Marshals. These guys are very good at finding people.

When a detective does make an arrest for whatever reason, most times they'll call a patrol unit to take them in. Detectives cars don't have cages & cameras, they are not set up for prisoner transport.

I know this seems underwhelming, but its the reality of it, and would make a terrible TV show.
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17-03-2021, 21:55   #174
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Kathy's answers....sorry gang, she's busy, so there is a lag but she's happy to help, she's kinda flattered a group of people from Ireland are interested.

Question for the detective. Why did she apply for the child abuse section ? I’m guessing this would leave you bitter and emotionally scarred for life. Did she ask for advise of serving detectives in that section first ?

I was assigned, I didn't apply, I worked burglaries after I promoted, then was assigned to Child Abuse. It wasn't my first pick as I'm a mother (and now grandmother!). I spent a couple of years there and was re-assigned to Persons Crimes. Detectives are not permanently assigned there, it's too hard emotionally, it's exhausting and frightening. We have access to mental health services through work to help, but it's a sad place to work. When I was assigned, I was trained by a more senior detective there, it's all about learning how to work with victims. We're a joint interagency unit with the DA's office, State Child Protection Agency and some of the advocacy organizations.

Is Person’s crime (what a strange title) a welcome relief from the other section ?

Yes, its mostly assaultive crimes, that are non-family, non-intimate partner violence, fights, assaults, stabbings, shootings, everything up to homicide, then it's the homicide section.

Based on stuff here, I’m guessing the conviction rates for both sections, former and current roles are low. Both would have serious intimidation of victims.

We have a good conviction rate, some days are better than others, juries don't like child abusers. Most cases are plea bargained really, especially if there is digital evidence.

One she may not want to answer due to your own profession. Is the presence of a nosy uniformed cop a hinderance to these investigations (blind alleys) or a source of leads. Or does it matter, if it all boils down to the victim willingness to testify.

No not at all. The patrol officers are the point of entry into the system, we depend on them to take the initial reports and gather evidence. The more they gather, the easier it is for us. Their job is the initial investigation, take the report, then they'll call us in if needs be.


Long winded answer. For Persons crime unit, a victim gets lumped on the head with a heavy object and the aggressor is known and you have witnesses, how long for conviction in the district. Here it can take a year before it gets to court and they are out living the life of Reilly. Would a detective take it personally if the sentence is deemed low and would they go on the personal watchlist. Or is the volume so big that the detective just moves on to the next on list.


It's about the same here, my investigation will take the time it takes. If I need cell phone evidence, it can take months to get that back from the phone companies, especially geo-location. Once I get my part done, it's passed to the DA for prosecution. COVID hit us hard, backed up the courts for months. I don't take it personally, I can't, I have too much to do. I'll always try and ask for a restraining order, bracelet or other bond conditions, but that's up to the DA. I don't have time to worry about it, I average 30 cases a month and I work alone on them, so it's not something I have the time to think about.

And Happy St. Patrick's Day!!
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17-03-2021, 22:07   #175
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How often would ye practice at the gun range?
Does the department supply or pay for the ammo you use when practicing?
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17-03-2021, 22:10   #176
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Thanks for the answers. If I may follow on from one answer given. You were assigned child abuse section and then on to next section. Will you be left in your new section or get moved on in a few years? What are the criteria for moving section (except for the obvious getting out of child abuse section).

I’m guessing you were a normal beat cop at some point. What’s the attraction to detective role ? Are the work hours normal shifts like the traffic guys or could you be called out of bed (section dependant) as the movies paint that picture.

30 cases a month is insane. Would you consider your section short staffed ? I get the impression that there are an awful lot of normal cops and as much as a city may need. Does the same criteria not apply to detectives section ? Or is the budget blown on normal cops and their kit (cars etc).
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18-03-2021, 14:13   #177
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Weapons qualifications

I'll take this one:

How often would ye practice at the gun range?
Does the department supply or pay for the ammo you use when practicing?


We qualify twice a year with pistols to include day/night fire. Once annually with shotgun, rifle and tazer. Asp and pepper spray is every other year.

Standard day qualification is 50 rounds, timed shots at ranges from 25 to 3 meters. it includes magazine changes, malfunction drills and offhand shooting. Qualification (state mandate) is followed by various stress shoots, i.e. around barricades, after running, exiting a vehicles, etc. The dept. supplies all the ammo, which is good as it's a "green" range and that stuff is expensive.

Night qualification is similar to the day, except it incorporates use of flashlight, and we don't shoot the 25 meter target.

Shotgun is all 25 and 15 meter with slugs and buckshot. Rifle is 25 meter and closer. Tazer is short class and firing three cartridges, pepper spray is short class and a quick spray. Likewise with the Asp, short class followed by fun and games in the red suits pounding on each other using the training batons.

Annually we are required to conduct 80 hours of continuing education over and above weapons qualifications. Our academy offers various classes to meet this requirement and of course there are other training courses we can attend as budget allows. Within a four year cycle, the state mandates the following topics:

Child Abuse detection
Mental Health responses
Cultural Diversity
De-escalation
Legal updates (new laws & case laws)

Failure to meet this requirement will result in unpaid suspension and loss of your license.
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18-03-2021, 14:20   #178
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Detective questions

As before, I've passed these on to Kathy, so standby. Interestingly, this site is blocked at work, as are any other overseas sites to include RTE!! Bloody cyber people!!! :-)
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18-03-2021, 14:39   #179
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Would anyone that is not able bodied any more due to an accident, shooting or health issue be allowed to continue as a detective or would all if any be on desk duty?


Seen a clip recently of a 91 year old still doing the best in an unmarked and walks the best in full uniform.

This wouldn't be allowed in Ireland as they must retire at 60.
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18-03-2021, 14:40   #180
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As before, I've passed these on to Kathy, so standby. Interestingly, this site is blocked at work, as are any other overseas sites to include RTE!! Bloody cyber people!!! :-)
Ah us Irish are always up to no good ;-)
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