Do Police Really Protect or Even Serve?

Police cannot be everywhere. They have only so many resources in the fight against crime. Even with a cop on every corner, there'd still be bad guys (and bad girls) getting away with murder -- not to mention assault, armed robbery, rape, drug trafficking, vandalism and any number of other felonies and misdemeanors.

Ok. I get the fact that it's an uphill battle. Even fully trained, armed and in great physical shape -- and even with the help of those adorable K-9 German shepherds -- the police will always be one step behind.

I believe our men and women in blue work very hard. I do not believe the stereotype of them sitting in their cars snarfing donuts. I mean c'mon. Krispy Kreme is gone. If police were really consuming all those krullers and coffee shift after shift, we'd have more donut chains in town, not less.

But I digress. I really don't care what they are or aren't putting in their mouths while on duty. I do care -- and have reason to question -- how they decide to respond -- or not respond -- to requests for help.

Those Coppers -- They've Got me Surrounded, See?

I will preface this by stating that I live within 1.5 miles of a police station. In looking up the address to get the mileage, I found out that this facility is not just a substation, either. I live by the police HEADQUARTERS of my city! One would think that having the police headquarters so close would logically mean my neighborhood (and let's face it, me, in particular) would get premier service. One would be wrong. But we'll get to that in a minute.

For what it's worth, I also live around the corner from a fire station. I can see the station across the park from my backyard. I hear and see fire trucks and ambulances racing out to save people all the time. They do not seem to be selective in their response -- the call comes in, out they go.  

How Many Cops Does it Take...?

The other day, about one the afternoon on a randomTuesday, my Hubby calls for me to come look outside. Peeking through our plantation shutters I see not one, but two police cars blocking our driveway. In front of the first car is a red sedan -- smallish, ordinary looking.

Various officers -- none looking older than about 18 -- get out and walk around the red car. What could be happening? Drug bust? Gang sting? Soon a third police car pulls up. Three cop cars. Six cops. This must be something "big" we think.

They look in the red car's trunk. Nothing. Hmmm. Can't be drugs. What is it? Do they have someone dangerous in the back of the squad car?

The young girl they drag out of the car does not look very dangerous. She looks rather ordinary. Long brown hair she keeps twisting around her finger and into a knot on the back of her head. Black shirt a little too short to cover the muffin top above her too-tight faded jeans. Black platform shoes. Hooker? Nah. Nothing sexy about her dress or demeanor.

They put her through one helluva field sobriety test. She seems to handle the hand-eye coordination part ok. But on the heel-to-toe walk she stumbles slightly on the turnaround. Heck -- in those shoes, I'd probably stumble standing still.

... to Cuff a Drunk Chick

All six cops are still milling around. Only one is actively engaged with the girl. And then, along comes another cop car! This must be the special breathalizer swat team. Yep. I called that one right!

She blows once, twice, three times. Finally, after well over an hour, they twist her arms behind her and slap the cuffs on. Oh, and have her blow again, one last time, just for shits and giggles.

Giving the benefit of the doubt to the cops here, perhaps the girl's tests were borderline. Perhaps she blew in the neighborhood of .08/.09 so they had to be sure.

In the end, it was your basic DUI collar. So why did it take six cops over an hour to execute it? Is this the best use of our taxpayer dollars? Surely there are "legitimate" crooks out there that at least four of those six cops could have been tracking and apprehending?

Apparently not.


Why DUI and not Carjacking... or Gunshots?

Do I think the young girl deserved to be arrested? Probably. Do I believe that getting drunk drivers off our streets is a good thing? Yes. But do I scratch my head at the fact it took so many officers so much time to do it? Yes. Yes, I do.

Especially when I've had quite a few experiences within the past 3 years -- right here in the same neighborhood -- where the police were not nearly as on-the-spot. Here are some examples:

1. Before we moved to this house in February 2007 we lived a few streets over. We shared a driveway with another house. One early morning about 2am my Hubby, who is a very light sleeper, jumped out of bed. He grabbed his flashlight and his cell phone. He shone the flashlight down into the driveway and shouted to the thugs busy boosting a car right below our bedroom window, "Hey, you thugs. Stop boosting that car! The cops are on their way right now!" He had already called 9-1-1 and told the police it was a crime-in-progress. If they hurried, they could catch them in the act. Needless to say, by the time two officers rolled up -- sirens and lights blaring -- a half hour later, those car thieves were way cross town, if not out of the county. The cops showed only passing interest in the evidence left behind. Kinda like a big, anticlimactic "Whatever."

2. Around about this same time my son went through a rather unpleasant juvenile delinquent (aka "punk") stage. He was brazenly smoking pot right under our noses. He was pissed off and surly and exhibiting signs of what they call Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD for you psychology buffs). One day I left him sitting in the car listening to his gawdawful gangsta rap music while I went into the store to do some errands. I came out and -- no car. He had "moved it" to another spot in the parking lot. Call it what you like, I called it stealing Mom's car.

And that's just what I called it when I hauled Sonny Boy off to that police headquarters I mentioned above. There are always cop cars in the parking lot there. I pulled up alongside one of them and told them I wanted Sonny arrested for stealing my car. This may seem like overreacting, but trust me, the car theft was the straw that broke old Mama's back.

The police had a nice chat with Sonny, during which time he confessed to them that he regularly smokes pot. He may even have mentioned that he made money by selling it (which at the time he did, I found out later).

The police did not arrest him. They didn't even give him a proverbial slap on the wrist. This was when my eyes really started opening. What, exactly, does one have to do in this town to get arrested?

 3. We spent roughly six weeks renovating our new house before moving in. We had cans of paint everywhere, construction materials, tarps -- nothing of value in the house. One morning we arrived to get started working to find that someone had tried to break in. The outer glass layer of one of the sliding glass doors was shattered. The outer handle on another of the glass doors had been bent. We briefly wondered if we'd made a safe choice. After all, the house does back up to a park.

We called the police and a nice young officer came out. He took down the basic information. I asked if he intended to dust for prints. Nope. I found this odd -- more than likely there would be finger prints on the bent door handle. Well yes, perhaps. But home invasions are not a high priority for the police, he told us. Besides which, it would take at least six months to process the prints. Did we still want to insist? No thanks. We'll let you get back to your real work officer.

The next day we ordered an alarm system.

4. And last but certainly not least, the incident that shook my faith to the very core.

As noted above, our house overlooks a park. One early morning, about 5am, we hear what sounds like gunshots. They seem to be coming from the other side of the park on the playground side. After the third or fourth shot we call the police. They say they'll send someone out to look into it. About half an hour later, just as we've gotten back to sleep, the shots start up again. We call the cops again. Have they sent anyone out yet? No. Will they please? Yeah, yeah. Basically, like, take a number and we'll get to you when our coffee break's over.

The gunshots are going off intermitently. One. Then silence. Then another one. Then silence again. Like someone's shooting into the air.

Seven am comes around. I get up and take my son (who is behaving -- this week) to meet his coach to go to a basketball tournament. I come back. Hubby greets me. He says, "Take a look across the park." I look out. There is yellow crime scene tape hung from trees and playground equipment. There are police cars and a big white van. "What happened?" I ask him. He tells me that he heard activity over there and went over to investigate.
Turns out some guy shot himself in the head. Hubby saw the body, curled up underneath the slide. He said the poor guy looked pitiful.

Hubby talked to some of the cops and asked them why they hadn't responded earlier to our calls. A bit later TV news reporter came to our house and interviewed Hubby. He didn't mince words. He told her about our 9-1-1 calls.

The story never ran. I can understand why. It wouldn't exactly make our police force look very good, would it? Nor would it bring back the poor guy shooting off warning shots before finally giving up and turning his gun on himself. As pitiful as he was, the cops' lack of response is more so.

This time, they've got real blood on their hands.

Good Cops, Bad Cops -- Family Men and Fiends

Oh, but don't worry. They won't respond to my neighbor, either.
Oh, but don't worry. They won't respond to my neighbor, either.

More by this Author


Comments 74 comments

Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I can perfectly understand where you're coming from as my family has had several similar almost-encounters with the police. I say almost because they never came when they were needed the most and the drama was at its peak! Oh well... but cops do look better on TV and in the movies - good or bad. Thanks for sharing MM, I enjoyed the read as usual :D


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

Great hub, MM! I hold the utmost respect for the position of police officers. I have met, however those that didn't deserve to wear the badge, but did. It's very frustrating. I live in a small town, and 2 cops are the minimum for traffic violations. I know alot of drugs run through here on the way to a near-by larger town, so having backup might be warranted. But when I NEED a cop, and one doesn't show, what to do??

Walk Quietly and carry a big stick, I guess because I don't see it getting better any time soon.

Thanks for the info--you did alot of research!!


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California

MightyMom, I understand your concerns. How can 6 cops go to imprison a female drunk, but none to shots being fired! Where are the values?! Thanks for your hub!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

I totally agree, Cris. Cops on TV look and act like superheroes. I particularly love the ones on Law & Order -- all three varieties. I actually do have respect for the officers themselves. But I (obviously) get frustrated when they seem to have their priorities bass akwards.

Proud Mom, me, too. I can only imagine what doing that job day after day does to your outlook on people and the world. Can we say, JADED?

K@ari -- good to see you. I like your avatar and appreciate your stopping in to comment. Thanks! MM


ColdWarBaby 7 years ago

Very important words Mighty Mom. Also excellent impartial critical reporting.

This is symptomatic of a failing social structure. It's a very complex and dangerous problem and doesn't bode well for the future of our society.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

CWB -- Like so many of us here on HP, I just calls it as I sees it. I don't want to live in a police state. But on the other end of the spectrum I don't want to have to rely on my own aim with a firearm to protect my home/property.

Sacramento recently elected a new mayor (Kevin Johnson, former NBA star). One of the main reasons I voted for him is his law and order, more police on the streets stance. In my wildest dreams I NEVER would have thought I'd do such a thing. But this is all after the above incidents.


ColdWarBaby 7 years ago

Sorry to be the pessimist Mighty Mom but I think more police will just mean it will take ten of them to deal with that DUI instead of six. Since they'll all be too busy taking care of important things like that, they won't have enough time to respond to "shots fired" which is much more likely to get dangerous.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2009/02/28/15-y...

I can do without the police myself. I've experienced many abuses by the police and have witnessed quite a bit. Don't want to go too much into it. But good hub, MM.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks for that link, GT. I had one similar that I thought about putting in her -- shows inappropriate touching of a drunk girl at a police station. The girl is NOT under arrest.

The cop in the movie "Crash" keeps coming to mind. Blech.

CWB -- We are in agreement. Idealistically, I would like to think that more cops would mean better service for real emergencies. But I fear you're right. DUIs are big business -- they bring $ into the system. I may write a hub about that.


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

I saw that video, MM!!!!!! Wasn't that horrible?!?!?!!!!!!


ColdWarBaby 7 years ago

It's all about the revenue.


Peppermint Thrift profile image

Peppermint Thrift 7 years ago

Great Hub! It is questionable what most cops intentions are and thought processes. On a less dangerous note, in college, I had my identity stolen (actually this has happened to me three times so far) and I tracked down who might have done, how they gained access to my information, where they worked, where they lived and a phone number - no arrests were made - I filed a report and cleared my name but never heard anything more about it! If I had a badge - I could have arrested them myself! I had their address, name, workplace and phone number! Another time this happened to me, an idiot (whom I didn't know) tried to issue a new bank card in my name (which the bank - now my ex-bank allowed them to do over the phone) - but the idiot criminal called my house pretending that he was the bank, leaving his home phone number on my caller ID! I recorded the message that he left, photo-copied the number off the phone and did a reverse phone look-up and found his name and address. Took this info to the police - but still NO ARREST! I, again, filed a report, fired my bank, got a fraud watch on my information and never heard about it again. It's really disheartening when you do their job and find out all of the information (name, address, phone number, etc.) and they still do nothing about it...Maybe I should have made a citizens arrest and at least gotten to beat up the perps a little myself.


pgrundy 7 years ago

In the midsized Indiana city where I grew up there were neighborhoods the cops just wouldn't go to. Everyone knew this. It wasn't any big secret and no one seemed to care all that much. Ironically, those neighborhoods were the most dangerous, most high crime areas. When I was 24 I got mugged walking home from work. I ran into a stranger's house to escape the mugger. It was comical in a way but not really--there were two little kids watching TV in the livingroom and they both looked at me and called, "Mom!" When the police got there, one of them said "I'd mug you too if I was him!" (Smooth, that one.) The other cop said I shouldn't be living in that neighborhood because I was just going to keep getting mugged there, too many criminals. That has been my experience with cops fairly consistently on the occasions I've had to deal with them. They don't make much money, and they are often guys with attitude problems who gravitate toward a job that pays them to act out.

God bless America.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

I'm thinking it's time to start a "Traumatic experience with public servants" category on the forum. These stories blow me away -- except, on some level, they don't. Not at all. Peppermint Thrift -- I don't know what to say. Did the cops give you any reason they didn't bother to follow the lead you so generously supplied that led directly to the perp's house? That's just flat out negligence/laziness. I wish I knew the protocol when cops fail to do their duty. Taking it to TV sometimes works (here there is a service on our main news channel where if you're not getting satisfaction with an issue like streetlights, banks, insurance companies, whatever it is, you turn it over to this TV squad. Amazing how they are able to cut through the BS and get results!). Anyway, sorry that happened to you. But glad you're here!

PGrundy. Only you. Only you would incite the cop who comes to investigate your mugging make a comment like that. Lord help us. Not sure if this is a LOL or COL (cry out loud). I'd forgotten the old "you were asking for it" routine. That pretty much goes for walking down any urban street nowadays, doesn't it?

I do want to go on record as stating I do not live in one of those neighborhoods where it's well known the cops don't bother policing. We have cops around all the time here. Just never when it's really important -- like people are getting ready to off themselves.


pgrundy 7 years ago

Only me? Really? Ouch. No, actually the cops in South Bend have a rep for pretty much hitting on ANYTHING that is still breathing. I mean, don't marry one--it rarely goes well. (My advance apologies to marisue--Yes I know there are exceptions.)

I was young at the time--20ish--so there wasn't really anything uniquely 'Pam' that made this particular cop an asshole. Many of them are assholes, and they're fairly indiscriminate about it. There's even a 'cop bar' in town for women who have a fetish for these macho jerks. They are about on a par with baseball players in that regard.

I did grow up in one of those DMZ neighborhoods, and I'm glad I don't live in one now, but I think it would be great if cops actually did the job they are hired to do in ANY neighborhood. There's something really repellent about the idea that cops would (of course!) avoid neighborhoods where there might be CRIME! LOL!

It's not funny, really. It's so freakin' typical--eight or ten of them clustered around a traffic ticket and meanwhile meth is flying out a door across town, bodies are littered across the yard, and windows are boarded up from all the breakins.


Clara Ghomes profile image

Clara Ghomes 7 years ago

I agree what we usually see in TV is just the opposite in reality. I do respect our police officers, but sometimes really get frustrated when they are not understanding the importance of a human life.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 7 years ago from Neverland

Wow...now HERE is a hub to really get me thinking. You raise many good issues about how police arent nearly as many in number as the criminals. But there's got to be a better way when responding to suspicious or criminal activity. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging my dusty old brain to get back to work mulling it over.


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

I really enjoyed this hub Mighty Mom,I share a lot of your way of thinking here for the police.I have a wonderful friend who is a cop here in my town.He is a 6ft5 great Dane,he goes upwards forever.I hadn't seen him for a little while sadly.The other day I was sitting on the porch drinking a coffee and suddenly a police car pulled up.I Panic rose in my heart, oh hell what had I done?

Thank goodness it was him just coming around to say hi and to sing some karaoke.I also had a love crazed plumber stalk me when I lived out West.The police were really helpful at removing him from my front bushes at 3.00am in the morning.There are so many stories I could tell where they helped me out.


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

Welcome to the real world :)

DUI makes money for the city/county with little effort and usually very low danger to the officers, as well as speeding tickets. The rest is either laborious or dangerous. What did surprise you?

In turn, you surprised me enormously. Mother giving her own kid to police for moving her car? Lucky you at the moment they did not need an example to scare other kids. I just hope you understand after the fact how stupid of you this was...


Peppermint Thrift profile image

Peppermint Thrift 7 years ago

No one from the police dept. kept me updated on my case(s) and I did call them a few times (and even went in with my dad at one point) but the usual was always said "Make a report. We'll get in touch when (if) we find anything. After awhile you just put it behind you and that's what they want you to do. I now have a fraud alert on my info but it seems to annoy me more than anything but it's just about the only way to semi-protect yourself. Great hub & loved all the comments!


jjrubio 7 years ago

None of that suprises me. My fiancé was murdered in his home. I told the police to fingerprint the house and they wouldn't because of their sheer laziness. Sadly the story of his demise ends there. No justice was ever served for the sad ending to someone so special to me. Its not right. 

Another sad story, My friend gets beat by her husband. Chooses to stay with him and one day called me while he was beating her. I called the police and demanded that they go there, I gave them the address and told them I could hear him ounding on her over the phone. I heard the police show up and then within 20 minutes she says, they are leaving and they didn't arrest him. WHY THE HELL NOT? THEY DIDN'T CARE.

I went down to her house and could see her neck and arms and legs bruised so badly. I am sure the cops saw that too and she told me she showed them. Sadly the police didn't care.

I suggest that NO ONE EVER MOVES TO CHULA VISTA CA. its horrible over there.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hello everyone and thanks for weighing in on the subjects of cops doing or not doing their jobs.

Pam -- I meant "only you" in that you seem to have an incredible knack for adding extra human interest to every adventure you have. Your cake is always iced and sprinkled, so to speak!

Clara and Ardie -- Appreciate you coming by and maybe you will write on a similar subject...

Blondepoet -- Now I want to hear all about your love-crazed plumber! LOL. Glad the cops kept him away from you, tho.

jjrubio -- My heart goes out to you. It sounds as if the police officers' inaction added salt to the wounds. I am shocked that they didn't dust for prints in a MURDER CASE. More than likely they would have had the perp in the system.

And finally, Misha. I would not take my kid to the police JUST for moving my car. That was the last straw in terms of his behavior, which did include telling me he was selling drugs. I am not sure why you think that was stupid. In hindsight, had they arrested him, it could very possibly have kept him from the course of action he took over the next couple of years. Let me just say this to you. On Friday I will be taking him to his 5th rehab. He is not yet 17. I haven't yet written about that part of my life, but there's enough fodder there to write a treatise. Unless you've walked a mile in the shoes of a parent whose minor child for whom she is still legally responsible is not only on drugs but selling them and running away from home and lying, cheating, stealing and failing school and goes truant (which I hope for your sake you never will) ,... you don't have a clue.


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

I definitely did not know such details, and I would have toned down my comment significantly if I knew them - yet I still maintain that turning a kid in to police is not an answer.

And I am not an alien to such a situation - my nephew went through a dozen years of drug addiction, so I know what you are talking about. His was probably triggered by his father's early death, I don't know what was the trigger for your son.

Anyway, I feel for you, and I am definitely not a judge to you, police just plain does not work as expected and can badly backfire... And rehabs don't seem to be an answer, too...

My nephew was saved by a girl, who fell in love with him. She loved him (well, I hope she still does - they have kids now), just genuinely loved - and this was enough...


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

MightyMom: I had the same reaction as Misha about turning a kid to the police; its stays on their record for many years, hindering employment and chances for success. My older nephew who is a teacher nowadays, and is now 40, was trouble for many years; one time my mother was being pushed by a meanish friend to call the cops and have him arrested for his tantrums and pot smoking... I was very upset and discouraged this; thankfully she didn't go through with it. Four or five years later he went back to college and got himself together. Not having a record allowed him to get employment. He is now married to a young woman from Thailand and teaches in Thailand. He emailed last night, telling me he is heaven at great school that hired him. :) 

Ha, after I finished writing my response to you, I peeked at Misha's second response, and its also about his nephew too. Maybe a confirmation of sorts for you. I empathize with you. I truly do.

Enjoyed your hub! I have had mostly good experiences with cops, but of course also the not so good one.  


pgrundy 7 years ago

Oh, yeah--I am kind of like that. Drama, drama, drama. LOL!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Excellent Hub and equally excellent comments.

I, too, wonder why it takes that many police officers to unscrew a light bulb, so to speak. My ex may have had some insight into this one day when he heard the fire station siren go off at about two in the afternoon on a glorious summer Sunday, when absolutely nothing was going on in our small town. In a few minutes, we saw the volunteers streaming into the station parking lot, blue lights blazing. Next thing we saw were the trucks rolling out, but stopping in the driveway. Then the hoses came out, the coolers, and the lawn chairs. Quipped my ex, "Guess the guys decided they'd rather wash the trucks at the fire house than mow the lawns at home."

It's not a big jump in thinking to postulate that a relatively low-risk situation simply becomes a gathering place for officers who have nothing else to do. I see something like this nearly every day in front of one of our schools during opening and closing hours...as many as all three of the township police cars will sit in the school parking lot while the school speed limit lights are flashing. Really, how many speeders do they think they need to catch at once, when their squad cars are clearly visible from hundreds of feet away?

About turning your son in. My heart goes out to you. I've had more than enough experience with drug addiction and its associated crime in my family, and I feel your frustration. I've never had to make a decision like yours, but I can see how I could. The only comfort I ever found within myself about coming to terms with the destruction and havoc these behaviors caused in our family is this thought: the children we loved are no longer there inside their bodies, demonic drugs are the only occupants.

Thumbs up, MM.


jjrubio 7 years ago

Well in that case the police ruled it as a suicide/ OD but I knew he WAS NOT on drugs. I would NEVER be with someone on Drugs. I am totally a legitimate person. And I do not hang out with bad crowds.

The police just didn't want to investigate. Someone came to the family later I was told ( 6 years later) and told them that he was murdered. Just as I had thought all along. Now supposedly the family said that they demanded they reinvestigate. I hope now something happens, But the evidence is gone!

 


jjrubio 7 years ago

I wrote a hub about it: Cold Case.....if you would like to know the story.

take care!


britneydavidson profile image

britneydavidson 7 years ago from united kingdom

nice hub....great collection of incidents...i have enjoyed reading it...i feel so sorry for that red car girl...well i think police is doing what ever they can...but some of them are really careless....they dont care about anything...but still what to say if we have currept polotician...even us police they have guns to protect....even uk police dont have it...lol...anyway great hub....thanx for sharing your nice views...


mcarolyn profile image

mcarolyn 7 years ago from Philippines

Sad to say that not all policemen gives 100% honesty on their duty. There some policemen who protects the enemy because of money :(


maanju profile image

maanju 7 years ago from India

A very good hub.


Amy G 7 years ago

Nice hub, well written. I just think it's sad that police officers are noticed when they screw up, when they forget something, when they don't react as expected (even when they don't know the whole situation yet.) Nobody wants to offer praise for the officers who kick ass. I know probably hundreds of cops, due to my career. And ya, there are the occasional jackasses that should be working in retail theft prevention, not on the street. But most of them are hard working people who do their job.

All departments have a set of guidelines outlining the required procedure for response to various incidents. These are called SOG's or SOP's Standard Operating Guidelines, or Procedures. In some cases, you may see a cop doing (or not doing) something because of those guidelines. They do it that way...or they don't feed their kids next payday.

I'm not saying all cops are awesome, because there absolutely are exceptions to the rule. But they do deserve a lot more credit than they get. Jesus, no wonder they're jaded.


Mr Nice profile image

Mr Nice 7 years ago from North America

Hi Mighty Mom!

Your info about Cops is great. Well all the bigger crimes are backed by police because there is lots of money involved. I don't believe without police help bigger crimes are possible. However, All I can say is there are good Cops & bad Cops too.

~ I m not against the police; I m just afraid of them.~  Alfred Hitchcock

~ Policemen so cherish their status as keepers of the peace and protectors of the public that they have occasionally been known to beat to death those citizens or groups who question that status.~ David Mamet

~ We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does not need to know, and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.~ Katherine Graham


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Maanju, Amy g and Mr. Nice. Thanks for commenting. Since writing this hub I watched the movie "Pride and Glory" with Edward Norton (always one of my faves). I've now added a link to the DVD. Check it out. Of course there are a million films about bad cops -- but this one just hit me between the eyes. The juxtaposition of family/parenthood with how evil some cops could be in their jobs. Shudder.

Thanks especially for the quotes. I love David Mamet!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Maanju, Amy g and Mr. Nice. Thanks for commenting. Since writing this hub I watched the movie "Pride and Glory" with Edward Norton (always one of my faves). I've now added a link to the DVD. Check it out. Of course there are a million films about bad cops -- but this one just hit me between the eyes. The juxtaposition of family/parenthood with how evil some cops could be in their jobs. Shudder.

Thanks especially for the quotes. I love David Mamet!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

MM:  Being a cop is a strange thing.  They are given this tremendous power and it goes to so many of their heads.  I think some of them start to believe the stuff they see on TV about cops.  It's the 'Absolute Power corrupts absolutely" thing.  They begin to see themselves as enforcers, but don't think they have to follow the rules themselves.  And there a gazillions of stories where particular caps have been exposed as being downright criminals, and there is no better job for a criminal than as a cop.

Thanks for a great and thoughtful hub!


AmbassadorOfTruth profile image

AmbassadorOfTruth 7 years ago from Portland Oregon

F the Police! Especially Toy Cops with Tazers. This agression will not stand.


Tackle This profile image

Tackle This 7 years ago

Great hub! The portion of your hub where you mention the officer's having commented that home invasions are no high on their list is terrifying. All the more reason for us to never act as Canada has in terms of gun ownership.

My God. Your stories make me want to run out buy a gun and put a laser site on it and perhaps a sawed off to boot for my wife to use.

*Just to play devil's advocate, if even for a second, I think that what you mentioned is true more often than not. On slow crime days you end up with more patrol units as was the case of the nearly inebriated you woman and on busy news, I mean crime, I mean news days -- law enforcement officials are harder to come by. Not sure though, maybe they are enjoying too many donuts in some cases and certainly your last where a suicide may have been averted.

Love your writing style.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Tackle This,

As a profession, I respect police officers. I think they are necessary and even if all citizens had guns in their homes to protect their families and property, I worry that the laws are written such that it's not clear that the homeowner would 'get away' with shooting an intruder.

Agree with you that the term 'there's never a cop around when you need one' didn't come out of nowhere. On the other hand, there are always quite a few cops around when you DON'T want one!

Thanks for visiting and appreciate your comment and compliment on my writing! MM


Dark knight rides profile image

Dark knight rides 7 years ago from Denver

It's always interesting to hear these kinds of stories. It makes you wonder about the thought processes going on. I'm curious, when you complained to the station, what kind of response did they offer?

I know the cops have a tough job, I certainly can't see myself doing it, but I wonder what really motivates many of them.


Jeffrey Neal profile image

Jeffrey Neal 7 years ago from Tennessee

Mighty Mom, I like your hub and this is so typical really. And the sad thing is the apathy from the cops is also grown out of the justice system, which would rather plea down an offense or lighten the sentence due to prison overcrowding, that makes the cops begin to feel like what's is the point. Talk to a new officer fresh out of the academy and then talk to one who's been doing it for 10 years...night and day in their attitude about law enforcement.

I believe most get into it because they want to make a difference, though. They just are always getting beaten down by various groups, and corruption is a constant lure. Truly the bad cops are the exception, but as one of your previous commentors has said, it is a condition of failures within our society and bigger than just the cops.

In response to your comment about the gun laws, you are very much correct in that some states are simply too vague, and it's a real possibility in certain locales that a homeowner shooting an intruder would end up in more trouble than the home invader. This is a horrible state of affairs because while firearms are not always the answer and certainly not for everyone, a person has every right to defend their home and its occupants.

The states that have endorsed some form of "castle doctrine" have clarified this for the legal system and removed two key points of doubt. If someone who doesn't live there forcefully enters, then the dweller, in the eyes of the law, has a clear reason to be in fear of their life (jeopardy) and the malicious intent of the invader is implied. This means that the gray areas are all but removed with none of this "duty to retreat" nonsense.

Sorry for getting wordy...I'm going to have to make a hub on it. :-) Yours is a great hub!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hello Dark Knight Rides. Most of my complaints against cops are left undocumented. As bad as the reaction times have been now, I don't want to be on some "do not react" list in case something really bad happens in my home or neighborhood.

Jeffrey -- I will have to look up whether CA has that kind of castle doctrine. With or without it Hubby sleeps with the Glock next to the bed. If anyone comes through our window or door we want to be prepared.

I see you know alot about this. So yes, DO write a hub! MM


Jeffrey Neal profile image

Jeffrey Neal 7 years ago from Tennessee

MM, just wanted to touch back with you to let you know I published that hub if you'd like to see it. It was getting rather long, so I couldn't include state-by-state data, but wiki quotes CA penal code as having a stronger version of the castle doctrine. Just google the term and it should be the first result. Let me know what you think of the hub. :-)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Cool.Thanks for letting me know. I would like to see it. Will check it out now! MM


Frank_Castle profile image

Frank_Castle 7 years ago from Greencastle, Indiana

You go, lady. The police officers of America (and indeed, around the world) are slacking and misproiritizing. They'll drive around, oblivious to their environment, until they find something "fun" Then they'll terrorize the person they "caught" until they have him/her in the car, simply b/c they can. Meanwhile, a crapload of other stuff is happening. This is especially true in the cities. In the suburbs and rural areas, sure, I could understand that they might be bored. That's still no excuse. Say it loud, lady!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks for your vote of confidence, Frank. I can see you've had your run-ins with the men (and women) in blue as well. Your viewpoint seems even more jaded than mine!

Appreciate the comment. MM


thirst4more profile image

thirst4more 7 years ago from Kansas City

I'm glad I read that. I've got some story's for you myself, as we all do I'm sure. I've got some of the same experiences with the same results you got as well as worse I'm sure I'll rehash later in a hub for all to see. Thanks for that.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

I've always had a problem with authority. Thought I'd outgrown it and learned to be a law-abiding citizen. Gun toting, but law abiding!

Looking forward to your interactions with the po-lice hub, T4M. MM


Doyle Wheeler profile image

Doyle Wheeler 7 years ago from doylewheeler@yahoo.com

I'm a retired police lieutenant but don't expet me to try and defend the unprofessional behavior of good many police officers. they come in all shpes, sizes and unforunately degrees of professionalism.

I just wrote a hub about the police in cleveland and how they failed to arrest a serial killer when they had the opportunity and it cost five more women their lives.

A lot of cities are really under staffed which is huge problem. six officers for one drunk female sounds very stupid and agree completely a waste.

Some time officers are setting out there waiting for a call and the dispatchers don't put the calls out. this has had diasterous effects at time.

I strongly recommend when you don't get the service you deserve you file a complaint with the department. As manager i could be everywhere all the time I had to rely on my supervisor. they could not be every where all the time either. you can't fix until you know it broken.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Doyle, I'm impressed that you came by to read this hub and didn't view it as an attack against your profession. You certainly know the inner workings of how officers get deployed to calls way better than I do.

The old saying, "There never seems to be a cop around when you need one," only applies if you're not doing something illegal. Ha ha.

As a followup to this hub, we had a very positive experience with a nice officer -- and on a Saturday night to boot -- who came and escorted our diminuitive but crazy/feisty neighbor Marge home. So go figure!


Sharin Griffin 7 years ago

Good hub! I live in a small town and the cops here seem to think that no emergency is truly an emergency. They like to arrest innocent people, waste months of their lives in jail, and don't even apologize when they realize they made a mistake, and if you know the cops, they don't touch you. You can kill and they don't care. We have an old neighbor that was obsessed with my husband, stalked him, terrorized my children, and even hit and killed my son's puppy in front of him just for fun. Her mom works for the police department so nothing has been done about it. I have a stack of reports filed on her, yet another neighbor went to get a chain back from her that she borrowed and she claimed he kicked her dog. I was a witness, no he didn't and there were no marks or injury to the dog. He was arrested the next week and wasted 2 months in jail then had to pay $200 restitution plus court costs. What is wrong with authority figures today?


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Sharin.Thanks for sharing your all-too-common horror story. I am beginning to think big cities and small towns are both the same in terms of police inaction (or inappropriate action). That story is crazy!!


Sharin Griffin 7 years ago

Your welcome, it is sad, and now to top it off this same girl has had my husband put in jail over some lies she made about his past. She hasn't known him that long, but the police listen to her and now my family is turned upside down. He's still in jail and they are stalling his court date. I just want him home before Christmas, but how do I do battle with a crooked county like this?


policewife 6 years ago

1)you said your husband woke up and saw this poor drunk chick. Were you down the street when she was driving crazy? How were they to know she was drunk? Maybe she was dangerous. They wouldn't have known she was a poor little girl till they got there. A cop in Florida did what appeared to be a normal car stop on his own. Ask his widow whether she would've preferred back up.

2) Its not auto theft. Its called breach of trust and its a civil issue. Its staggering how people want the cops to fix in one day what they have developed over years. Yeah, I'm sorry your son is having problems. I have relatives with similar issues. Its not the cops job to parent him or teach him a lesson.

3) So you heard gunshots? Did you know the address? Did you provide that address? So where they supposed to go knock on every door in your neighborhood and ask who was shooting the guns? Too bad they didn't have their psychic hat on hat day. They were out arresting rapists and responding to robberies.

4) Do you people understand that law and order and CSI is fake? Fingerprints CANNOT be taken from any surface. These shows do nothing but spread misconception.

I'm sorry that you had "bad" experiences with the police. But hubs like these just propagate the corrupt lazy cop stereotype. Yeah, there's never a cop when you need them. They aren't psychic. And there simply aren't enough in the world to catch every crime. And I can see why. Who would want to risk their life for ungrateful people like you and be paid terrible for it.

Shameful.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hello policewife. I appreciate your perspective on the hard jobs that police, sheriffs and high patrol have. You're right. They cannot be everywhere.

To respond to your points:

1. No. My husband did not wake up and see a poor drunk chick. That incident was in broad daylight outside our house. She was a teenager, unarmed. She was already out of her vehicle taking the field sobriety test. Clearly the situation did NOT warrant several additional officers who stood around watching.

2. The incident my husband woke up to was a car stripping in the driveway right below our bedroom window.

3. As for the fingerprints, we are talking a glass door and door handle. I don't believe it is much of a challenge to lift fingerprints off these surfaces. The issue was the blatant unwillingness to even try.

4.As for the gunshots, we were able to pinpoint EXACTLY where they were coming from. We called the police more than once. Sure enough, they were coming from exactly where my husband said. The other side of the park behind our house.

Shameful negligence caused a man his life. The local news chose not to run the story. God forbid we make our cops look bad.

I am not ungrateful. I am just an ordinary citizen whose experiences have left me scratching my head.


Bob 6 years ago

Please read this about this incident near my hometown. It really goes to mm's point.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Rock_v._Gonzal...


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thank you, Bob, for sharing this. Very timely as October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Restraining orders are an absolute joke -- not worth the paper they're written on.

The police department's failure to respond to Ms. Gonzales after so many documented contacts, including a personal visit -- simply shameful.


spyder  5 years ago

Hey I'm from the toronto area and I've seen some bad things in the GTA done by cops . I was a squeegy kid back in 98 too 2000 and I was taken to a place called cherry beach and I was handcuffed behind the back and beaten almost to death and all bc I was homeless ! At five yrs old I saw my dad kicked down a flight of stairs cuffed behind his back and when the sargent saw him roling out the door the other cops said he was drunk and fell. ! But the most recent it I have been getting stalked for 5 yrs now , death threats, and sexually harassing phone calls . I've changed my number 6 times and even cell providers as well but yet nothing has been done about it at all ! What else can I do to get this stalking to stop let the catch me out one night and get my. Ass handed to me before something gets done or what ?


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Spyder,

I'm really sorry to hear about your less than positive encounters with the police. I think so much has to do with THEIR perception of YOU in how they treat you.

If you have a record of these threatening phone calls and death threats, the police should take them seriously enough to arrest the person who is harassing you. Here in the states, getting a restraining order is pretty much a joke. But have you tried getting some help from domestic violence groups (I assume you are female but you could certainly be male and be harassed!). They might have some good ideas on becoming invisible to your stalker.

Good luck. I hope your situation works out better -- much better -- than getting your ass handed to you! MM


unknown 5 years ago

The South Bend police have been following me for ten years,seven days a week 24hrs a day. They even have neighbors snitching on my goings and comings here in Indiana. They behave like terroist,why? are they under some kind of contract where they get


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hello unknown. I am sorry to hear about your situation. It doesn't sound like a pleasant way to live at all. I hope you are able to find out why the police are after you.

Stay safe and free. Thanks for visiting. MM


ddsurfsca profile image

ddsurfsca 5 years ago from ventura., california

We have the same sort of police service here in my town, maybe they are training all at the same place. I also have problems with the type of policing that calls for entrapping the neighborhoods that need it so that "they get the bad guys behind bars before they commit crimes" as one detective told me. How do they know who the bad guys are before they do anything? I think that when they have "backup" cars arrive to help it also encourages the kind of behavior that allows them to get carried away and beat someone to death, as was on the news last week.


mandadoodles 4 years ago

talk about nail on the head! wow! showing their true colors. BLUE AND SHADY LIKE!!

I've had terrible run in with the cops ;[. I was riding a motorcycle in an open field, no fencing or anything, I'd seen people walking dogs and such up these giant hills. So i decide to take my little xr50 (stock) for a put with my bf. When we exit and are going to leave theres a cop inspecting my truck. He proceeds to write me a trespassing ticket (which cost me $600, originally $160, but 210% tax, how is that possible!?!) OF COURSE i only brought about $200 on me to court and had to get on a payment plan. :l. this happened in "anaheim" it was borderline. anyways.. 4 cops showed up, unlawfully searched my vehicle without my consent, started yelling at me to sit down and not talk, I asked to get some water out of my car and they didn't allow me to move for at least an hour and a half. Yes I had some pot, but I also had a medical card at the time. BUT THAT DOESN'T MATTER, they proceeded to take my medicine, yes its medicine to me I got into a terrible motorcycle accident and i can NO LONGER take pain killer pills (IBUPROFEN).. I just throw up now cuz I've taken so many. They 6 officers lectured me on how stupid I am for smoking and that I was lying about not being able to stomach pills anymore. They took it and when I asked if i could get it back in court they said " if you can win the case, haha" not funny dick cops. I won the case, and they had NO record of any medicine being taken, just possession. I had a good amount, asked the judge how i could get it back, and said I had to go to the police station. YEAH RIGHT..not dealing with those dicks again. FUCK THE POLICE FOR TAKING ADVANTAGE OF INNOCENT PEOPLE THAT CRIMES ARE MINOR TO UNNECESSARY SLAP ON THE WRISTS. I DO NOT SUPPORT ANY POLICE. My aunt is LAPD and even SHE says cops are terrible these days, lying to save their ass's and such. Not impressed with our "protectors". Makes me sad cuz I wanted to be a cop when i was young ;[


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Sorry but not overly surprised to hear your story. If the published fine for trespassing (assuming you were on private land -- sounds like that part you are not disputing) is $160 how in the heck did it end up at $600?

If you have a medican card for the cannabis that is your legal medicine. They had no right to take it anymore than they could take a bottle of Percocet if you had prescription pain pills. It's not their business why you need a medical prescription for weed. It's legal and you were in possession of it legally.

Just a typical abuse of power by the rogue cops who do this kind of sh#t because they can. If you really want to get outraged, go visit my Rape hub and read about the poor woman who was pulled over by a cop and RAPED repeatedly.

I only mention it because ... as sick and annoying as your situation was/is, it could be even WORSE. Sad to say.

Anyway. Thanks for visiting and commenting. MM


Five-oh 4 years ago

Have you ever thought that maybe the police were on another critical call across town? You have to understand that you are not the only citizen needing assistance. I will regularly be on a call that I can not break from when a shots fired call comes out. Often times if there is only a single caller reporting gunshots, a lower priority is placed on the call due to the fact that it is likely unfounded. As far as there being six officers at one DUI, how do you know that they were not training new officers. Often times in field training new officers are brought to observe more sienor officers perform evaluations.

I know it is easier to bash cops than praise them, but you have to understand that we have a whole city or county to patrol.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thank you, Five-oh, for your insightful comments. Of course I'm being overly dramatic in my hub to illustrate a point. It's very clear that I do not set the priorities for the cops in my city.

I also appreciate that even in the course of a routine call things can change on a dime.

My husband and I actually ran into a police officer sitting in a hot tub at a resort last night. Some of the things he was sharing made me realize how very difficult your day-to-day jobs are. So thank you for your bravery and doing everything you can to keep us safe!

MM


Five-oh 4 years ago

I'm glad that you are able to try and take a look at things from another perspective.

I work in an area where there are approximately 15 officers covering a whole county. That includes highway patrol, city PDs, and the county deputies. Sometimes we get so swamped with calls that we can't respond to a shots fired or a possible DUI driver because we are out on a domestic violence or fight or even a homicide.

I myself, run call to call for about 8-10 hours out of my 12 hour shift. I usually MUST put in 4-20 hours of overtime in a pay period just to Write reports and conduct follow up investigation. My family life and my social life are practically non-existent. After all of that is said and done, I get to hear about all of the complaints the citizens have about the response times, salary, and handling of calls.

Those are all things that I wish citizens would take into consideration before tearin apart the police. We are normal people too who give up a lot to serve our communities.

Also, just a side note about your home invasion. Without suspect information, we have nothing to compare fingerprints to. Additionally, the cost for having the prints examined by a forensic lab is astronomical, so often times taking fingerprints is a waste of time all around and our time would be better spents trying to track down suspect leads or your belongings.


NightFlower profile image

NightFlower 4 years ago

They might protect and serve some but to be honest, I couldn't say I would trust them to do the same for me. I've always said if I found myself in a high speed chase through some terrible chain of events that happened by mistake. I wouldn't stop until I got to a safe spot where I thought there were witnesses which quite possible would get me shot. I joke about it but I'm also afraid that it is more true than not. I hear of too many fatal "accidents" or terrible circumstances such as a teacher who called the police because she saw someone suspiciously staking her house. Because she was afraid she had a male friend come sit with her until the police came. When they got there instead of them being concerned regarding why she called, they began questioning her about the male friend that sat with her. She responded simply he's my next door neighbor I just wanted him to stay with me until you showed up.

The questions about the neighbor began to intensify to which she answered, "Well what about the guy that I saw around my house? When she wouldn't provide more detailed information on the neighbor, rather than asking the guy themselvespr (who was next door) they began threats to taze her. The situation escalated until they began the act of tazing her. She began begging them not to, wailing and crying out please don't do it to which the policeman began tazing her from the ground. The neighbor came outside after hearing her crying and told her to try and get up, it would be okay. She was so weak she couldn't get up by herself so he helped...that was on video and a true story. How does a phone call for help turn into her being tormented by those whom this teacher thought would protect her?


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Five-oh,

I don't know what county you work in but it scares me to read how overextended you are. You can't keep up that pace indefinitely. You will get stressed out and angry and resentful. Anybody would. I don't want stressed out, angry and resentful public servants protecting me.

As for the fingerprints -- I knew who tried to break into my house and his prints are in the system. But I get your point on that.

The scenario that really frosts my buns is the guy who committed suicide in our park. That was not one phone call. It was multiple calls just from my husband. And other people had called, too. No, the cops really do have that guy's blood on their hands.

NightFlower -- that is a frightful story. Sounds like abuse of power and we know it happens. How common it is is anyone's guess. I hope that with the incident caught on tape the teacher got some justice.

Thanks for sharing.

MM


NightFlower profile image

NightFlower 4 years ago

Thank you MM for this hub but let's just say I've seen it happen way more than it should and too often.


the patriot 4 years ago

It is DEFINITE that cops - in America - don't do their job. A good example is police officers not arresting women who accidentally flash their junk while wearing skirts. Indecent exposure is illegal, but the cops don't care about that! We should demand that either they stop letting women get away with flashing people, or that they lose their job!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

That's exactly what I'm talking about, too, the patriot! There is a total double standard on flashing in this country and it's wrong! I am a woman and a feminist. I do not agree with women flashing their coochies and that somehow being more ok than a man flashing.

Now, if you're saying that the police are somehow encouraging this behavior by not taking action, that's even worse.

In cases like these, I think we're saying that the police are looking the other way -- but secretly (or not even so secretly) we know they are NOT looking the other way, are they? LOL.

Thanks for your comment. MM


the patriot 4 years ago

Speaking about my last comment, we seem to have a dillema. On the one hand, my long - held belief that President Obama would end discrimination against EVERYONE has come to an end (no more "change we can believe in"). On the other hand, the Republicans don't seem to care about cops giving female flashers "special rights" (why didn't both Bush presidents, as well as Republican governors, do anything about it?). There must be some way to "take our country back" and hold cops accountable for their actions. I can see why America is going downhill.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Well, there are those who blame the government for our country's problems and the cops are part of government, so it makes sense. LOL.

Flashing is flashing whether you are Paris Hilton or B. Spears or some pedophile dude in the park.

But I can't picture the cops taking a little V shot as anything more than titillating...

Ending discrimination againt everyone? Don't we all wish. That's a tall order. Obama's tall, but not anywhere close to that tall...

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