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.

SubscribeGet emails when new questions are answered. Ask Me Anything!Show Bio +


Ask me anything!

Submit Your Question

615 Questions


Last Answer on October 29, 2014

Best Rated

What's the difference between a good cop and a great cop?

Asked by c-town over 11 years ago

Motivation. I know a lot of really good officers. But the really great ones are the ones who are self-motivated to excellence. The problem is maintaining the motivation over a career. Dealing with the stuff on the street is bad enough, but inept leadership in departments can crush morale and motivation.

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 11 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 kind of hazing do rookie cops experience?

Asked by Erik the Gr8 over 11 years ago

No one has time for hazing at any of the departments I have worked. The closest thing to a rite of passage for new officers is they tend to get all of the bad calls when they are starting out. This normally isn't a "dump job" on them for being the new guy, but rather part of their field training. We try to get them as many calls as possible during their first 14 weeks, which is the initial on-the-street training they get. We want them to get as many different experiences under their belt while they still have an experienced training officer riding with them. New guys are going to make mistakes, but with a field training officer with them, the mistakes are fewer and can be corrected immediately. Typically, the "first" kind of calls are small hurdles they cross. "First" chase, "first" arrest, "first" fight, "first" death investigation, etc. Once a rookie is on his or her own for a while and other officers know they can count on them in a dangerous situation, they are accepted as an equal.

Have you ever worked with corrupt cops? Have you ever been offered substantial bribes to look the other way at the scene of a crime?

Asked by 305mayday over 11 years ago

No, I have never worked with corrupt cops. The only bribes I have ever been offered have been by drunk idiots who probably didn't know what they were saying. Regardless, there is no amount of money that someone can offer that would make me want to risk my freedom, and destroy my honor and integrity.

Are cops allowed to lie when interrogating a witness? Like, could they say "we already have your prints on the gun, so just confess to save time" even if it's not true? How about promising a lighter sentences - can they offer that and then reneg?

Asked by darrynscholes over 11 years ago

Yes and no. Some lies are ok, but some are not. Criminals lie to cops constantly, and it is my job to figure out what the truth is. Suggesting I have more information that I actually do is one way that I can get a criminal to trip themselves up in their lies. But, with all things, a court is going to determine if an officer's actions were reasonable. Generally, promises of a lighter punishment, not being prosecuted, etc. you cannot lie about.

Are there any laws that even cops think are excessive and don't go out of their way to enforce? Like someone doing 60 in a 55, or jaywalking on an empty street, etc?

Asked by iceman over 11 years ago

Of course. There are a lot of laws that police officers feel are excessive. Different cops have different views, but most officers tend to have a libertarian streak to them. (I know - it's not what it portrayed on the internet and in the media, but it is true.) So, many/most of the laws telling people what they can/can't do with their lives & property don't sit well with many of us. Things like getting permission from the local government to cut down a tree on your property or how many cars you can park in your driveway really don't sit well with most of us. Ultimately, most cops try to apply a little common sense to a situation. From your example, most of the officers in our jurisdiction won't stop someone for less than 10 mph over the posted limit.

Why do some cops still ride horses? Is that just for tradition's sake, or is there some practical reason for it?

Asked by naynay over 11 years ago

Depends on the department. Most agencies do not have mounted officers. However, horses are very good for assisting with crowd control. I think New Orleans and NYC still have mounted units exactly for that reason. Also, for rural areas, horses can go a lot of places that vehicles cannot. So, they also make sense for some departments that have to patrol or conduct search and rescue in rugged environments.