Originally Posted by swatbwana
...i have seen and supervised a few bad cops that could not handle themselves and resorted to spray and stick before i ever would, but then i realized it was not their fault.
They have been allowed to thrive in our profession because of lax physical standards and poor training.
I started this job in 1983 with guys that i would put up against anyone physically as far as holding their own when the chips were down.
I can look at our present state across the country today and say "not so much".
Originally Posted by jsandi
more and more we are promoting the incompetent and incapable. The quality of new-hires has hit rock bottom and started to dig. We allow the bad officers to somehow skate while we punish the good ones who just make an honest mistake.
These two quoted parts make sense to me when I look back on how I was taught. In the academy, the emphasis was on theories, not application. They taught more about the theory of when to use what level of force for what situation than the actual ability to be effective in applying force.
Instead of giving ANY physical tests, the few things that were documented were done so just to measure progress. Progress was not graded, only recommended. However, PT and DT time was continually deducted from the curriculum to fit in more report writing (basic grammar and punctuation), ethics, and racial profiling training. With a GED or high school diploma, we should all be able to write a basic report. Any problems with a person in regard to ethics and being actively racist can not be taught or corrected in a few months at an academy. You are either racially motivated, or you're not. You either practice things ethically, or you don't. These things need to be checked by the hiring agency.
Throughout the beginning of grade school to the end of high school and what college I attended, it was drilled into my head that the only thing that mattered was learning enough to get a high paying job that commanded reverence. To aim for nothing short of upper management.
At the academy, I saw this mentality in full. Most of the people didn't care about knowing the knowledge on a subject. They just wanted to know the answers on the test. Most people only wanted the instructors to go over what would specifically be on the test.
At one time, tests may have been a measure of understanding on a subject. I have never seen it from a learning institution. Everything is about the written grade. Just having an "A" in something, sans understanding, is better than actually knowing the subject matter and receiving a "B".
LE, like most official measures in life, reward the book smart exclusively. However, in LE, the book smart don't fare as well as the street smart. Thus, they are promoted to management (ie. higher paid positions). This completes our circle of what should be sought after in life (per the teachings received by my generation).
Originally Posted by jsandi
we've been blaming the "one bad apple" for decades now and the official bad apple count has far exceeded the acceptable bad apple to bushel basket ratio. The argument no longer holds water when you begin to look at the sheer number and the magnitude of news stories in print and tv media today of misconduct and crimes committed by officers on a daily basis. And these are just the incidents that are reported in the media. Incidents from departments that are large enough to warrant media scrutiny.
Now this could be two fold.
First, its that incidents like this have been going on all these years, in the same numbers and rates. It took the internet to shine light upon the issue.
Or we are really are seeing a rise in cases of misconduct.
Which is it, i don't know.
But it is my experience that people rarely change regardless of occupation. There has to be consequences for bad behavior and those consequences have to be firm and permanent in order for them to make an impact.
I don't think people are any more good or bad today than they have ever been. There is no profession that hasn't been grossly soiled by reports of those "bad apples".
Combine the facts that the most sensational stories (as mentioned in a previous post) make the most profitable news and the great loss in privacy of individuals' activities (due to technology); and you end up with a lot of skeletons being exposed that 30 years ago would have stayed buried do to a lack of shovels and a willingness to let the dead lie.
The trend today is to play a dirtier political game than in recent history, but the pendulum will always swing. This was not allowed decades ago. We can find accounts of such behavior in older documented history.