A deputy sheriff recently answered questions on Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” in an effort to humanize police officers.
He may have angered people with his candidness, however, when he said:
“80 per cent of the people we deal with are trash. And I can’t put that any better. We deal with the people that other people in the community don’t even know exist there. Because of this sometimes our mindset does get swayed into thinking that everyone is bad.
The deputy also talked about marijuana, detained suspects, phony 911 calls and how fast you really have to be going to get a speeding ticket.
A: Honestly, it's the fact that we are so hated. I take pride in my job and everything I do. The job itself isn't stressful because I enjoy the stress, and adrenaline that comes with it. It's the fact that we risk everything daily and are still hated by the majority of people. Even law-abiding citizens hate us because of a speeding ticket they got back when they were 16. But I guess that's just something else that comes with the job so we learn to deal with it.
Q: Aren't you immediately suspicious of someone who actually tries to assert their right to remain silent?
A: One of the things I tell everyone when dealing with the police is SHUT UP. Don't say anything. A good cop (and by this I mean a bad cop that's good at turning things around) can make the most innocent thing you say sound horrible.
A: 80 per cent of the people we deal with are trash. And I can't put that any better. We deal with the people that other people in the community don't even know exist there. Because of this sometimes our mindset does get swayed into thinking that everyone is bad.
A: I encourage it. We are filming you when we are interacting with you; it needs to be the same way around. Just remember that our safety is a priority. Don't hold the camera up to our face where it distracts us from what's going on.
Q: What are some ways people can show appreciation to police officers, to combat some of the feelings of being hated?
A: I was sitting down eating lunch one day and had a mother come over with her child, probably 5 to 6 years old. The kid said, 'Thank you for all you do.' I'm telling you dude, that 'bout broke my heart. It's rare we hear a thank you, much less from a child like that.
Q: Is it obnoxious that most people go about five over the speed limit? What's the speed that you will pull someone over at? Do you get sick of everyone slowing way down every time you cruise by?
A: I give 15 over before I stop and give tickets. I don't drive any faster than what I'm willing to pull someone over for. It's my preference, but I don't think it's fair for me to pull someone over if they were going slower than I was to begin with. I do hate when people slow down when I get behind them. Usually, I have somewhere I have to be, yet it's not major enough for me to have my lights on. Therefore I'm stuck behind someone doing 10 under the speed limit and it takes 20 minutes to get to my call.
Q: If you can't tell the difference between a bad apple and a good apple by sight, how do you know which apple to avoid?
A: Talk to them. Bad cops give themselves away almost instantly. The way they talk, dress, and carry themselves will tell you what kind of an officer they are. The bad ones brag about how many people they have arrested this week or what kind of drugs they find. These guys feed on self-gratification, which is what leads up to more corrupt stuff later down the road.
Q: Well maybe if you guys fired your bad cops instead of always protecting them we wouldn't have such a negative view of cops in general. Just saying.
A: I agree completely. Unfortunately, when the bad cops do get fired, that's not what gets publicity. It's the stupid shit that led to them getting fired and that's usually all the public ever sees. It's not newsworthy anymore when they remove the problem.
A: I've thrown a lot of weed away on the side of the road and let them go. Usually it's teenagers. If it's petty, I'm not going to ruin this kid's life with some stupid small charge because he made a dumb mistake. The bigger stuff though I'm not going to overlook.
A: legalise it and tax it. I have stopped making marijuana cases. It's a bogus law and a waste of our time and money. As long as they don't hurt anyone (never seen a stoner hurt anyone anyway) then I see no problem with it. Think we are still a long way from seeing that happen, though.
A: Vehicle accidents involving kids are the worst. As you can imagine, dealing with a dead child will never get easy. My favourite part is never knowing what's going to happen next. Everytime that radio goes off I get excited. I love the thrill of the unknown and the adrenaline that comes with it.
Q: What I want to know is what behaviours, actions, etc. do you appreciate from a motorist? I have to believe that is how I've avoided a single ticket after being pulled over 25 plus times.
A: What gets people tickets the most is their attitude. If I approached a car and was presented with someone like you I guarantee I'd let you off with a warning too. We come in contact with such hatred throughout our shift that when someone takes us back like you do, we appreciate it.
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