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Old 04-29-2009, 07:26 AM
 
3,566 posts, read 4,491,128 times
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A good portion create their own animosity. There is far more discretionary power then people give them credit for. Some are 100% the greatest human beings. The Supreme Court says they don't have to come to your aid. They don't have to. So, in the grand scheme of things the social contract is already broken.


I don't know if any one remembers the female juvenile that was in a holding cell that got the bejeezes beat out of her. It was on tv for a few days. Well, she can't be held for ever. When she grows up and if she has children then the police stand a good chance of becoming their enemies as well. This is repeated on many different levels and in many different scenarios. So, when they need help or need information the community does not want to help them. The short sighted actions screw up the long term goals.

 
Old 04-29-2009, 04:52 PM
 
604 posts, read 1,050,793 times
Reputation: 217
No.
And with good reason.
Candidates now have to pass a pre-employment psych eval.
 
Old 04-29-2009, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,556,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbledeez View Post
[Candidates now have to pass a pre-employment psych eval.

The critical point, though, is that sociopaths cannot be screened by a psych eval.

In "The Mask of Sanity" by Hervey Cleckley, M.D., Cleckley describes the psychopathic person as outwardly a perfect mimic of a normally functioning person, able to mask or disguise the fundamental lack of internal personality structure, an internal chaos that results in repeatedly purposeful destructive behavior
 
Old 04-29-2009, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 34,366,957 times
Reputation: 4893
Any organization - any group, can have its "bad apples". That said, yes, I generally trust our law enforcement officers.
 
Old 04-29-2009, 06:17 PM
 
604 posts, read 1,050,793 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
The critical point, though, is that sociopaths cannot be screened by a psych eval.

In "The Mask of Sanity" by Hervey Cleckley, M.D., Cleckley describes the psychopathic person as outwardly a perfect mimic of a normally functioning person, able to mask or disguise the fundamental lack of internal personality structure, an internal chaos that results in repeatedly purposeful destructive behavior
Yes, actually, they can. That novel was written in the 40's, before any diagnostic criteria were ever established. There's several tests used today for assessing such pathology.
 
Old 04-29-2009, 11:01 PM
 
5,760 posts, read 13,326,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
Do I "trust the police"? That's a pretty broad subject. WHICH police? Trust them to do WHAT? It's like saying "do you trust Jewish people"? or "what's your opinion of Southern whites"?. Not a question that can be answered in one simple sentence.

Do I think the police are always "nice, polite, and professional" on the job? Certainly not...in my very LIMITED contact with them, I've seen some real 'fine gentlemen with a tough job', and I've seen several people who are OBVIOUSLY little more than "bullies with a badge".

Should this surprise us? I don't see why. We pick these people, (largely from working-class backgrounds), send them out into society to confront, on an hourly basis, the very worst that society offers..the drunkest, the most abusive, the 'craziest', the filthiest, and the very 'dregs' of society.....and we expect these 'cops' to handle their job with cool professional detachment, with NO regard for their own personal feelings, and we demand they be courteous and respectful to everyone they encounter. It's not going to happen, and I think we'd be foolish to expect it. The police are society's "guard dogs", not its 'pets'.....and if you want your guard dog to do his job, you stay OUT of his way and let him work....or risk getting 'bitten' yourself. It's an ugly world out there, and some of those on OUR side can get pretty 'ugly' too....hopefully it's a temporary condition.

Do I "trust the police"? No, not completely...but I trust them a little more than I trust the 'crooks'...the rapists, gang-bangers, child abusers, and violent drunks. And when these groups "clash head on", I NORMALLY side with the cops, unless there's evidence to prove they were out of line. When they DO get out of line, I would hope they get disciplined. This may not ALWAYS happen, but I think the police department 'disciplines' violent cops at least a LITTLE better than the gangs discipline THEIR out-of-control members.

Would I want to BE a policeman? Not for any amount of money. Since this is so, and since I ask THEM to do a job I MYSELF wouldn't do, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, when that is possible.
First things first: I'm a former cop. I was a cop for only about 3-1/2 years, so I can't speak from gobs of experience, but I do feel I had enough experience to have good inside knowledge (hope I'm right on this, since I'm working on a novel based on that experience . . . but anyway . . .). This was also about thirty years ago, so a few details have changed, but I suspect that the basic idea of what cops are about, and what it's like to be a cop, is pretty much the same.

There are lots of really good posts on here, very thoughtful and balanced. I've quoted MacMeal because he has made several posts, and all of them have been quite astute, including the last couple that add thoughts on broad societal issues. I don't have a lot of time at the moment, so I'll just say that I agree with what many on here have said, about cops being a mixed bunch, some good, some bad, a lot in between. Pretty much like any slice of society, though it's certainly understandable that the bad members of this slice of society can be especially scary, given the power they have.

Interestingly, I've had a few encounters with cops since my own time in the biz, getting the opportunity to deal with them from a citizen's perspective, all the while viewing their actions with inside knowledge. The mix of personalities has shown up in those encounters. A couple of the cops I've encoutered were pretty bad, a couple were very professional, and a few others have fallen somewhere in between.

There have been so many thoughtful posts on here that I won't be able to address them all from my inside perspective, even when I have more time. I hope to add more later, though. We'll see what happens. The other thread about cops on Great Debates a while back ("Do Americans have a schizophrenic attitude toward the police?") began like this one, with several pages of insightful posts, but then degenerated into venting and cop-bashing, with a lot of posts that fell far short of the standards that are supposed to be maintained at Great Debates. If that happens here, well, I don't want to get back on just to be a target for anger and hatred, but I'll hope this thread maintains the more thoughtful tone it has had so far. Kind of busy these days, and haven't been around C-D as often as I have at other times, but this topic interests me, for obvious enough reasons, so I'll try to get back on with more thoughts, so long as the thread's quality holds up. Or, if anyone has questions about the inside view, feel free to ask, and I'll get back with thoughts as much as I have time for.
 
Old 04-29-2009, 11:38 PM
 
339 posts, read 627,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Let me hasten to add that I am not painting all cops with the same brush. I have personally known some damned fine people who are cops, and I have seen some that I do not know, behaving in honorable and meritorious ways beyond the call of duty.

Psychologists estimate that Sociopaths comprise about 3% of the general male population. Somebody said 700,000 cops. That's 20,000 sociopaths with guns, badges, and virtual immunity from challenge. That's more sociopaths than Hitler entrusted to do all his work for him.

Police recruiting cannot select for sociopathy. They are everywhere, and in most casees, the only people who know they are sociopaths are their wives and children. To make matters worse, a law-enforcement career is ideally suited to a sociopath, and there are probably more than 20,000 of them in uniform.
Do you mean psychopaths or sociopaths? Psychopaths are actually smarter and blend in to society better. Sociopaths really aren't either. You habitually paint sociopaths as these undetectable masterminds. They are not. These types can simply convince themselves and "try" to convince others they are not liars. They believe their own lies, have no conscience about their own lies, etc., but it doesn't necessarily mean that others do. Psychopaths, on the other hand, are more convincing and organized. Also...out of your 3 percent that are potentially sociopaths, 2 percent of those probably aren't sociopaths...they are actually probably just idiots.
 
Old 04-29-2009, 11:44 PM
 
Location: An absurd world.
5,165 posts, read 8,080,306 times
Reputation: 2007
No and never have. An incident that happened to my father (now deceased) made my opinion of them even worse.
 
Old 04-30-2009, 12:06 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,556,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDTD View Post
Do you mean psychopaths or sociopaths? Psychopaths are actually smarter and blend in to society better. Sociopaths really aren't either. You habitually paint sociopaths as these undetectable masterminds. They are not. These types can simply convince themselves and "try" to convince others they are not liars. They believe their own lies, have no conscience about their own lies, etc., but it doesn't necessarily mean that others do. Psychopaths, on the other hand, are more convincing and organized. Also...out of your 3 percent that are potentially sociopaths, 2 percent of those probably aren't sociopaths...they are actually probably just idiots.
I'm not a psychololgist, but a brief overview of the subject suggests current thinking that inclines to placing psychopathy as one of several behaviors falling under the umbrella of sociopathy. While 3% of the male population is diagnosed as sociopaths, there could be another 3% who exhibit a life-long tendency to sociopathy, but not yet fulfilled.

This would suggest the scary picture of at least one child in every classroom having a father who is a sociopath.
 
Old 04-30-2009, 02:43 AM
 
339 posts, read 627,385 times
Reputation: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatday View Post
Any organization - any group, can have its "bad apples". That said, yes, I generally trust our law enforcement officers.
I agree. People don't hear about the 10,000 good things that cops do, but they certainly hear about the one stupid thing they do over and over again. The 10,000 good things don't make for good news. When people meet a cop, it's usually because they were going a little too fast and reason that "the cop had nothing better to do". Or they got something stolen, have watched too much tv and think that the cops can just find their stuff in an hour through technology that really doesn't exist, etc. Cops can't seem to do enough for some people but are often deemed "overzealous" when they do actually do something by the very same person. They can't win, but most cops know this and still choose to do it without complaining.

On your point...I know tons of cops. I know it varies by region (because I do somewhat believe you get what you pay for and salaries in some regions are atrocious), but 99 percent of the cops I know are doing it because they want to help society/community. Now...motivation may change to it simply being more of a job over the years (but still with a "help the community" attitude) due to the fact that people, whether justified or not (usually not), always have some sort of conspiracy theory or see the one idiot cop on the news and decide all cops are like that. I can see how never being able to do anything right according to the people you are trying to help for the most part could change your attitude after years.

Finally, I have had two close cop friends murdered in the line of duty. Both cases were on traffic stops. Some of the people here (given the opinions I read), should they have driven by during these traffic stops, may have said, "There's another donut eater harassing an innocent motorist" or use the "fill the quota" line everyone is so fond of. Both killers in these cases were "wanted" and dangerous individuals (obviously). Luckily both were caught after the murders and before they hurt anyone else. Unfortunately, my friends couldn't have caught these guys without incident on the [traffic stop] before they could hurt anyone else instead of getting killed themselves. Situations like these are examples of why cops may be a little stern at times. There are a lot of dead cops who were really nice guys/gals.

The tangent aside...I agree.
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