Saturday, July 26, 2008

Playing the Odds

Here's an interesting article from Police Magazine:

Playing the Odds by Dave Smith

He talks about officers having a police thermostat - there are times when they "turn up" the risk in order to find the right balance... basically this is for those who I like to call "adrenaline junkies":

Some of us hear a little voice in the back of our heads on a traffic stop as we turn on the overheads to pull over that juvenile male in the hot car, and it says, "God, I hope he runs."

This is hilarious, because I have heard my cop say this phrase on way more than one occasion...

Broadcast dispatchers claim they can actually hear the smile on the lips of the transmitting officer at the beginning of a pursuit.

Oh yeah.

7 comments:

mistermanly said...

Hi MJ,

While I hate to point out the negative...well, not really :) the main public relations problem the police have is their driving habits. Truly, while I am a big police supporter, when I'm rolling down the road, forcing myself to pay attention to the posted speed limit, and a cop car breezes by without lights or siren on, I must admit that it really ticks me off.

I know that there are reasons for this, occasionally, but around here it's far too common for that. I have to think that, given the grand records Memphis has achieved as being #1 in property crime and #2 in violent crime in the nation, the casual attitude of our police where it concerns obeying the law themselves may well be a contributing factor.

While it's a pain, I know, if I can't stomp on the accelerator of my truck, which has a 350 cubic inch engine and a transmission which produces a massive amount of torque, to get me past the twits who clog our roads and waste my time, why should the police be able to do so when not responding to an emergency?

Just a crazy idea on how to start getting the general public more in tune with supporting our law enforcement agents.

Mister Manly

MJ said...

Most cops I know, including my own, do not speed unless they are on the way to a call. But most of the calls they get do not warrant a "lights and sirens" response.

The only ones where they can generally use lights and sirens are the worst ones, like domestic abuse or assault with a weapon.. So, if they're speeding they are probably trying to get to one of the deemed "less important" calls or to back up another officer.

In turn, the #1 killer of police officers is traffic accidents. So, there you go.

MJ said...

Oh, and if they didn't get to calls fast, regardless of what kind of call, people whine that they don't get there fast enough, so....

mistermanly said...

Hi MJ,

I wasn't being personal, just rambling. I hope some areas of our country are better represented by our police than we are, but around here, for some reason, this is a bigger topic of conversation than the blatant corruption of our elected officials, and the generally vastly sub-par operation of all other local government services, and has been for several years now.

While I'm most surprised that we, as in the general public, haven't risen up and lynched our elected officials, I also find it interesting that something as simple as being passed by a police car on the interstate can generate such public resentment.

No offense intended, just talking.

Mister Manly

MJ said...

Oh no, no offense taken :)

I hate that there are irresponsible officers out there who misrepresent those who are trying to do the right thing. But you can't ask a whole lot from people who aren't paid much.

With policing, most things are "damned if you do, damned if you don't".

mistermanly said...

Hi MJ,

Well, or so I hope, most places aren't like the Memphis area. Dang but this place sucks! For instance, our local morning talk radio host answers callers with, "You're on the air, glad you haven't been shot."

Even more interesting, and absolutely no fault of the actual people who put their asses on the line every day, is the most amusing recent confrontation between the city police chief and a local blog that regularly mocks the performance of the city police. Instead of trying to do a better job, said police official has instead diverted significant resources into legal motions to discover the identity of the person running the blog. And, no, it's not me.

The point being, don't move here. Unless, of course, you just need more excitement in your life.

Mister Manly

MJ said...

MM - Thanks for the warning. *crossing Memphis off the list of places to live*
People here complain about the police, but they are generally too afraid to say it in public - which is probably a good idea, since they may find themselves in a tough spot one day with no help from the [insert insult here] police. I live in a small town, and stuff like that gets around pretty quick.