Police Officer

Police Officer


10 Years Experience

Around the Way, FL

Male, 40

Cheating death and fighting communism: that is how a fellow officer once described our job. It was meant to be funny, but as time went on it seemed all too true.

I spent more than ten years in law enforcement, all of it on the street in uniform patrol. I've been a patrol officer, instructor, sergeant and lieutenant.

Do not report crimes here. Nothing here should be considered legal advice. All opinions are my own.

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615 Questions


Last Answer on October 29, 2014

Best Rated

What's considered to be the best and worst assignments or "beats" as a cop? For example, I could swear I've heard that if a cop is in the doghouse at work, he might get assigned traffic duty or desk/paperwork stuff...

Asked by mark over 9 years ago

Depends on the officer and the jurisdiction what could be the "worst." For example, some cops work hard to make detective, while I would hate the job. The worst for them would be to have my job, and the reverse for me. In most jurisdictions there are some patrol districts that are busier than others. Getting assigned to one of those could be considered a punishment for some people.

When do you call a forensics team in to look at a crime scene? If my apartment gets robbed while I'm on vacation, is that considered "important" enough to dust for prints, or do they only get called for homicides and stuff?

Asked by jorgegrenada over 9 years ago

The severity of the crime generally dictates who will process the scene. At my department, all of the patrol officers are equipped and trained to lift prints. So, on a relatively minor crime like an auto burglary, the patrol officer is responsible for processing the scene for evidence. We also have officers in patrol that are cross-trained to be evidence techs. These officers have been through multiple training classes for advanced evidence collection and have more tools than the average patrol officer has. In your example, a patrol officer would likely call one of these officers to help process the scene. For major cases, such as murder investigations, a specialized crime scene unit will be called in to work the scene. Traffic homicide cases are handled by a specialized unit of traffic homicide investigators. Evidence collection in these cases is similar, but these investigators are having to collect a lot of physical data that will allow them to reconstruct the physics of the accident. All crimes are important. However, a finite amount of resources requires departments to ration services. The more serious the crime, the more resources a department will be able to devote to it.

How much truth is there to the Blue Code of Silence? Have you ever seen a cop lie or claim ignorance to protect a fellow officer?

Asked by CarGo over 9 years ago

There is some truth to it, as people who are friends (regardless of profession) do tend to stick up for each other. You can find the same dynamic on a sports team, in a military unit, and in any organization where tight teamwork is essential for success. I've never seen a police officer lie under oath to protect another officer. Nor have I ever seen another officer turn a blind eye to unethical or criminal behavior. Does it happen? Sure - but no where nearly as often as Hollywood depicts.

Does the murder of a minority gang member in the projects get as many resources allocated toward solving it as the murder of a white victim in a wealthy part of town?

Asked by billO over 9 years ago

Yes. It saddens me to see certain political "leaders" suggest otherwise for their own personal gain. It saddens me even more that their are people gullible enough to believe it.

Do cops have monthly quotas for speeding tickets?

Asked by slowgrind over 9 years ago

Some agencies have used quotas as a method of ensuring officers maintain a high level of productivity. Frankly, quotas are unethical and are just a lazy supervisor's attempt to look good. If officers are not active, a supervisor should demonstrate leadership and inspire his or her people to provide superior service. Even if an agency employed a quota, I don't know that timing would have any bearing on enforcement. It is possible though. Maybe a topic for Mythbusters?

When you respond to a domestic violence call, if the woman insists that "everything is fine" but you suspect (though cannot prove) that all is not fine, what do you do? Do you have to take her word and leave?

Asked by NOLA Brad over 9 years ago

Depends. What other evidence do I have that something criminal is taking place? For example, do I have witnesses telling me something different? Do I see injuries on the woman? Can I see damage inside the residence from a fight? If someone called 911, do I have recorded statements from the woman (or others) that give me evidence that things are not "fine?" There have been numerous cases where a woman has been standing at the door telling the officers "everything is fine," while the man is behind the door/around the corner threatening to hurt/kill her if she tells the cops anything else. Officers are obligated to investigate each case fully, but within the confines of the law. If no evidence exists, and the woman insists "everything is fine," that may be the end of it. If other evidence exists, officers will investigate as far as they legally can.

What happens to the drugs that are seized during drug busts?

Asked by HGHG88 over 9 years ago

Drugs are held in evidence storage until the conclusion of the criminal trial. At that point, a judge will typically issue a court order for their destruction.