Policeman complaints

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by OdinIII, May 29, 2020.

  1. OdinIII

    OdinIII

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    What is an average number of complaints per year for the typical officer in a typical department? .1? 1?

    I keep seeing the number of complaints in the news and I would think that the only way to never get a complaint would be to not do their job. I’m assuming few customers want to give a five star review.
     
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  2. Ramjet38

    Ramjet38 Mentally Frozen

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    With some people if they're not complaining they're not breathing.
     
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  3. pgg00

    pgg00

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    Around here our proactive officers get multiple complaints a month. Usually filed by the defense attorneys to try and get the case tossed. None have been founded and they are allowed to lie and falsify without recourse.
     
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  4. nikerret

    nikerret Mr. Awesome

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    Too hard to tell. I got four complaints in one incident, once. I’ve also gone several months with nothing. Some people will complain about anything. Others, you foresee a complaint coming and it never does.


    The four complaints in one incident were I was driving lights and siren to assist another officer with an arrest:

    1. I was driving too fast. Complaint was I was driving 65 in a 55.
    2. My siren was hard to hear.
    3 & 4. I had to stop to look at the map, when the bad guy got in a car and started driving, in the adjacent county. Two people stopped to ask what I was doing. Both complained I did not answer their questions, to their satisfaction. Sgt. asked if I was rude, they both said I was not, but they thought it was my job to abandon assisting the other Deputy so I could spell everything out for them.
     
  5. ReaPer105

    ReaPer105

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    An active officer will get complaints. It's a fact of cop life.
    My agency saw less complaints when we got body cams. Someone would come in, the IA guy would pull up video right then and watch it with them. 95% said something to the effect "that's not how I heard it went" or "I remember it differently" and remember they have an appointment and have to leave without signing a complaint.
     
  6. kiole

    kiole

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    I think the number is less important than the substance of the complaint and if there is a pattern.
     
  7. Batesmotel

    Batesmotel

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    I know several cops. They all get complaints.

    Drunk crashed his car. Complaint against the cop who arrived on scene for not pulling him over before the crash.

    Woman called 911 in domestic violence case. Filed complaint against the cop who took hubby in.

    One of my renters tried to sue a cop and the South Salt Lake PD because the cop busted him for serious drugs found while investigating a robbery. They confiscated the drugs and some of the equipment in his shop.

    Good Cops are just easy targets.

    I didn’t have issues with the cops. I filed complaints against the DAs office. Armed robbery suspect caught with our cash still in our deposit bag. DA kept the cash as evidence. We never got it back. Impounded as Court Costs.
     
  8. Goldstar225

    Goldstar225 NRA Life member

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    As others have stated, the more active an officer is, the more complaints that will be generated. Some time the citizen just wants to get back at the officer and figures that the complaint will jam him up or it's just a way to harass the officer. The best thing that ever happened was in car video then body cameras. Sometimes the officer was in the wrong.

    I did have one lady complaint that my officer yelled and screamed at her and her daughter. Knowing the officers normal behavior I believed it to be unlikely and a review of the video showed that while he was firm his conduct was professional and he never raised his voice. When I notified her of my findings she refused to believe it and felt that I was covering up for the officer. I invited her to join me and view the video for herself and she did. She intently watched it and had me replay it. At the end she said "That's sure not how I remember it". I believe that this lady was sincere in her belief and in the substance of her complaint but was horribly mistaken. Without the video she would have told all that the police "cover" for each other. Instead she apologized and invited us to come to her restaurant.

    In the end, it's not the number of complaints filed that's important, the number that are found to be valid is.
     
  9. OdinIII

    OdinIII

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    Goldstar - Thanks for the story about the lady. I’m old enough to have experienced many times that what I thought happened didn’t really happen. Our minds are power things.
     
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  10. cheygriz

    cheygriz God Bless Trump

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    I averaged 3-4 per year.
     
  11. wprebeck

    wprebeck Have you seen me?

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    I didn't get nearly as many as I should have, given the PC world that exists today. Only went through a couple of official investigations for use of force, cleared on those. Had some crybabies from the internet get their feelings hurt more than once and complain. Nothing happened there, either.

    I have a very direct way of talking with people and my speech was not what one might view as entirely professional. I also used a tag line from a cheesy 80's movie as my primary view on dealing with people: be nice, until it's time not to be.

    Worked pretty well. I communicated VERY effectively with people and didn't suffer stupidity at all. If people didn't like that, I didn't care. As I said many times over, despite the mistaken belief that I was in the customer service business, this isn't BK and you can't have it your way.

    I also went out of my way on a regular basis to help people. Even inmates, since that's who I dealt with all day. I was fair, but not the one to **** with, and that attitude saw me through two decades with only one suspension day for a minor policy violation. Not too bad.
     
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  12. Ftttu

    Ftttu

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    I had a complaint where a waitress was offended that I asked if she was born in Mexico after my partner started the “where were you born” flirtation line on her. I didn’t want to get in on his jibber jabber with her in the first place, so since she told him his first guesses were incorrect and she was obviously Hispanic living in a border town AND I was asked by my partner to give my guess, I guessed “Mexico.” Add insult to injury, I gave her my customer tip of $2.00 for that lunch - go figure.

    Complaints come in ALL forms because most people don’t want to answer to an authority figure so the sky is the limit. As time goes by in my retirement, my memories continue to fade, but I can tell you, MOST were as petty as the one above.
     
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  13. ray9898

    ray9898

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    They are routine. That is why when the media brings it up along with prior uses of force it means nothing without context. One guy can go a career without shooting someone, another can have 2 uses of their firearm in 6 months. It can be just happenstance and not an indicator of anything big.

    I have never had a sustained complaint in my career because I have never done my job outside of policy or the law but that certainly did not stop those who claimed I did.

    I assume if something happened tomorrow involving me that made the national spotlight someone would claim I have 'been investigated X number of times' and have 'been involved in X uses of force'. That would be true but the reality is I did nothing wrong.
     
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  14. Captain Steinbrenner

    Captain Steinbrenner

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    People complain for the sake of complaining.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  15. DonD

    DonD

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    My son had a great one early on in his LE career.

    A BOLO (Be on the lookout) was sent out by dispatch and he stopped a car that matched the description of the car. He went to the car's driver's side had a brief discussion and ID check and found that they couldn't have been the suspects. He was very friendly and sent them on their way.

    Within an hour, they filed an IA charge against him for profiling (they were African Americans).

    His LT called him in and asked WTF??? My son said it was BS and said he had recorded the entire stop on audio and played it for the LT. LT rolled his eyes and said goodbye. Don
     
  16. Recon-pull

    Recon-pull Billy Jacked

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    The influence of interest groups and so called civil rights activists along with a confederate willing media casts a large pall over the Boys in Blue. Now they practice defensive policing, refrain from making arrests because of community backlash and these Citizens Review Boards who often participate in the review of police complaints simply discourage active policing. I know many cops who have no faith their department will back them up. They have to rely on their unions. Look at what happened in Baltimore. Cops had no go zones. Politicians, who’ve never put their lives on the line Monday morning quarterback the police. I don’t know why anyone would want to be a cop in today’s environment. The body cams were supposed to ameliorate the number of complaints but they really haven’t. Defensive policing will result in many crimes not being punished. I don’t blame the cops for that I blame those people and institutions who foment this crap. God bless the police.
     
  17. ottomatic

    ottomatic

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    The obvious: harder working officer gets more complaints, and the also obvious: do-nothing officers don't.
    But there are exceptions: I remember watching I believe it was "60 minutes" or a similar program about a traffic cop in Texas, who had gone his whole career without a single complaint, despite being very productive. He simply had a very pleasant way about him that seemed to de-escalate any issue.
    Then all of us know "that officer" where we just cringe when they show up on a scene. They will turn any calm scene into chaos in two minutes.
     
  18. ede

    ede

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    My son when he worked in uniform said he got several a month. Anyone can file a complaint has zero correlation to wrong doing.
     
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  19. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    I think a lot depends on an where you work.. are you working a large, urban PD? I would think anything less than at least 3-4 a year, means you're sleeping your shift away somewhere. Are you working a rural county PD? You might go a few years w/o one.

    I saw an article yesterday, Chauvin had been an officer for 19yrs (I assume all with MPD)... and that he has 18 complaints on his file. Honestly, I thought that seemed pretty low.
     
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  20. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    I would imagine it's a lot higher than that. I know it was for me and I was an officer in the '80s/'90s, long before complaining and suing the police reached the level it's at now. I'd guess I averaged 4-5 a year, but back then the chief would just say "write me a memo about it." I worked in small towns where there was no such thing as "internal affairs." For a city officer in 2020? I'd think once a month would be pretty normal - probably higher, depending on exactly where you work and what your job is.
     
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