“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shaking my head yet again

Had another of those "beat a coworker" moments the other night...

Working a DUI special & I manage to arrest a young lady on her way home from the bars. Now, to set part of the story - she is an attractive girl, and is dressed for a night out at the clubs, not for a night in jail. I even go out of my way to warn her before going in that there are liable to be drunk men there who will definitely ogle and possibly get mouthy - and that if she would like a blanket or some coveralls I will make sure she gets them. She politely declines, and we proceed with the processing such arrests take. Also please keep in mind - this girl has been an absolute lady the entire time - honest, courteous, respectful and everything else we so rarely see in drunks.

So, our prisoner in question is sitting there hooked to the rail as I complete my paperwork, when another officer brings in a prisoner of his own. He then looks over at mine and says in a voice for all to hear, "Wow, where'd you get her coming from, the strip bar?"

Before he can even continue to run his mouth I've grabbed him and pulled him around the corner, and I start in. Explaining that he's being rude in the first place, that he will not antagonize or even speak to my prisoner unless absolutely necessary in the second, and that if he wants to keep being an ass I'm liable to unhook her and let her kick him in the crotch with me helping. Based on his facial expression I think once he got past the shock he kind of got the hint.

Things like that annoy me beyond words. We have a bad enough time dealing with people as it is, and then some idiot like this makes us all look horrible. Yet, it seems without fail, there are certain officers who get their kicks out of humiliating, insulting, or otherwise antagonizing people who've been arrested and are in jail. Particularly when it's not even their prisoner. I don't let it go on around me, but unfortunately there are plenty who ignore it or look the other way.

Something I always used to tell new officers when I trained them - you treat your prisoners the way you would want someone to treat your parents or your spouse if they'd been locked up. You don't insult them, you don't humiliate them, and you remember that words like "sir/ma'am" and "please" and "thank you" go a long way.

With rare exceptions, people don't start their day, or go out for the night, planning to end up in jail. When you start adding alcohol and drugs to the mix then you add even more stress and emotion to a difficult event. Sure, there are times you have to fight people, or put them in a time-out chair, or whatever - but the vast majority of them in my experience will work with you if you simply take the time to treat them like the human beings they are.

Even when they're under arrest, they are still citizens and part of the community - you know, the folks we swore to serve and protect.


Unknown said...

For your sake, I'm glad you showed some restraint. For his sake, I wish you hadn't.

Wandering Soul said...

Well said!

Josh Kruschke said...

In my experience there are two types of people that become cops. Those that want to make the world a safer place and those who got picked on in high school looking for some pay back.


Daddy Hawk said...

Amen brother. The Golden Rule...it's not just for church anymore.

Guffaw in AZ said...

You sound like the real Kilvinsky, of New Centurions fame.
And, that's meant to be complementary.

MrsMonicaLB said...

good job!

Jeff said...

Well said

Anonymous said...

I think a big part of the problem is the change of focus from the people and the old phrase "serve and protect" to the legal system with the new monicker of "Law Enforcement"

Firehand said...

Used to be a guy on Capital Patrol here who... let's just say that NOBODY would work with him unless ordered to. take the comment from your guy, add in as contemptuous a voice imaginable and give him that attitude all the damned time.

Why he didn't get canned- for the good of the agency if nothing else- I still do not know. Worst example of a cop I have ever personally seen.

Melissa said...

Necro-posting again to say THANK YOU for giving your coworker what for. Between her honest demeanor and you making sure she got treated impartially, I'll bet she never drives drunk again. We need more cops like you.

(I own a pair of stilettos I'd be happy to apply to your coworker's privates any time he needs it.)