Random Thoughts Again

psu_dad
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby psu_dad » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:58 am

Good luck with that.

I didn't lay out 200-large for my sons' educations so they could ride a squad car around a crappy neighborhood. And I imagine anyone in law enforcement who goes to college does so because that's exactly the sort of assignment they DON'T want.
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Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:15 am

I'd be curious to know if there was any kind of study about the impacts of college education on police incidents. I'd be equally curious to see a study on the quality of people you get as cops vs. salary. I suspect the less you pay, the more likely it is you get people who should not have any kind of power over others, and I suspect money is a bigger factor than education, but that's just a guess.
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psu_dad
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby psu_dad » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:45 am

I'd be equally curious to see a study on the quality of people you get as cops vs. salary.

How would you measure the "quality" of people?

The police in my town (Snobville) are very well compensated and incidents of police brutality are virtually non-existent. But that doesn't mean the lack of incidents is primarily due to the "quality" of police officers. It's due to the fact that (a) 99% of the town's residents have careers, (b) they are extremely unlikely to commit violent acts, thus flushing said careers down the toilet and (c) they are not inclined to give police officers a hard time in the unlikely event they're pulled over.

Here's a call the Snobville PD rarely deals with: "Hey! would you come over? My neighbor and his wife are beating the crap out of each other on the front lawn. I think they're strung out on crystal meth again". Here's a call they commonly deal with: "Hey! would you come over? My neighbor's Great Dane pooped on my lawn again".

You put those exact same police officers in East St. Louis and pay them the same salary and who knows what happens.
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sameoldlama
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby sameoldlama » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:12 pm

I suspect police pay is a lot like other civil sector pay - it's all where you live. As B&W noted NJ / PA State Police requires a college degree and when you factor in pension benefits their compensation in prime earning years is well into the six figure realm. Local police in my area do well and depending on OT can make six figures. Depending on how contracts are negotiated some areas use a very short "end of service" time frame and allow OT to be included for pension benefit calculations - it wasn't unusual for police to retire at 45-50 with 75 - 100K pensions. Even if they took a lower pension many retire from one locality and simply take a comparable position with an adjacent locality and collect salary + pension.

It's all where you live also describes the level of job stress. When I grew up the most the Township cops could go a career and never pull their baton or a weapon - it wasn't Mayberry RFD but it wasn't Colors either. The area I mentioned near Dorney isn't a bad area in general and the majority of that police force may go a career and never draw their gun. The city near where I grew up (Easton) did at a time have a rep similar to Philly cops under the Rizzo administration - if you lipped off or took a swing at cop expect "use of force" - lawsuits drove the department to change and become accredited and that situation no longer exists.

IMO two things have happened that has made police work far more dangerous and quite frankly - requires police to be more "on guard" in even seemingly innocuous encounters. The drug trade has driven the level of crime and associated violence off the charts and this behavior has spilled into the "Mayberry" communities - no police force is immune from having to deal with drug related violence or encountering someone who is bat Emmert crazy and combative because they are on K2, meth, bath salts or whatever. There is no peaceable way to control a person wacked out on one of these substances. None.
The second is the societal shift of a lack of respect for authority and the "I do what I want and no one can tell me different" generation". As Shore pointed out how many of these negative police encounters are for minor offenses with a person facing a ticket, summary offense, misdemeanor and they escalate it into a physical confrontation with the police. And it's not just with police - you have citizens fighting over parking spaces, a McNuggett order, political clothing - anything. I have friends who are nearing the end of their teaching careers who can't wait to get out - not because they don't enjoy teaching but because an increasing number of students are coming in with no social skills or ability to behave adequately and they have no ability to discipline them. They describe some these kids as borderline feral. Teaching in urban schools won't be too far from being a cop in 10 years.

These two aspects are making urban policing near impossible. We can decry police being "militarized" - look at what they are dealing with in the drug trade, look at what they dealt with in Baltimore and Ferguson riots (and in Baltimore rioting sanctioned by the Mayor). Would you want to show up to that like Barney Fife with a single bullet in your shirt pocket?

Seriously - what would it take for any of us to sign on to be a cop in Detroit, Camden, Baltimore, New Orleans, LA - I'm all for calls for body cams, more training, doing stress assessments for cops who do a lot of street duty but I also understand that as much job related stress as I have it's mostly people complaining and yelling and demanding. Worst thing that can happen is I would get fired - I'm not going to wind up in a physical confrontation, killed or second guessed by twitter trolls, race hustlers and a sensationalistic media.
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Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:27 pm

dad - you make a fair point on "quality of people". I don't have a great response to it. My point was more about people who have an education are likely, hopefully, to be less like thugs. You also have to pay them more and higher salaries gives you a bigger applicant pool. But, you need the money to pay them.

Lama - the problem with your argument is that the cops now face fewer threats than they did in the past. Violent crime is way down in this country. I know you hear politicians talking about how we are overrun with criminals and it's never been more danagerous in the USA but that is simply not true. And, police deaths are down too. Yes, there were some small spikes recently but, from a historical perspective, the number of cops killed in the line of duty is still well down from where it was.

Image

Of course there are still incidents, but you make it sound like the cops are facing some new threat to their health and well being unlike anything we've seen in history. And, that is simply not true.

Btw, 2105 was one of the safest years to be a cop in terms of cops being shot and killed. But, that same year the police shot and killed 965 people. So, while it's getting safer to be a cop, the same can't really said about being around them.
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sameoldlama
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby sameoldlama » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:31 pm

And what is factoring into those numbers?

Your beat cop is no longer policing every crime in the city - like in Prohibition era - you now have agencies like the ICE, DEA, ATF dealing with the more dangerous situations. Police are also better equipped in terms of things like body armor and training. Advance in medical treatment impact those numbers - 30 years ago the cop in video shot by my boyhood home is a casualty.

I'm not afraid of being harmed by the cops - and it's not because I'm a white guy - it's because I'm not involved in any criminal enterprise for a living and whenever I've had any interaction with the police (which has included me getting pulled over / tickets / fines) I complied with their directions.

I agree it's not OK for police to whup on somebody who has committed a misdemeanor even if the person becomes disrespectful - but if you are going to continually fail to comply with commands, physically challenge the cops and engage in actions that can be construed as threatening you have to realize you own part of whatever outcome results.
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LioninVa
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby LioninVa » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:16 pm

_dad mentioned watching Cops. I watch LivePD on the occasional Friday or Saturday evening when there is nothing better to watch. For the most part, this accounts for my run ins with law enforcement (aside from the occasional voice mail that police are coming to get me if I don't pay some fine). While I am sure there are some bad, if not corrupt, cops out there, that can be said about just about any profession; just look at the scandals at tOSU and Maryland. But I want to believe that most of the profession is honest and hard working. The job of a policeman sucks; I mean, you never know what is coming around the corner or on the radio. Sadly, anything can happen and a lot of the options are dangerous or life threatening. Yet, most of them run towards the danger to protect us. The ones that go over the top and use excessive force need to be held accountable. The ones that do it right need to not be bunched in with those who do not. Easier said than done, however...

sameoldlama
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby sameoldlama » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:33 pm

LioninVa wrote:_dad mentioned watching Cops. I watch LivePD on the occasional Friday or Saturday evening when there is nothing better to watch. For the most part, this accounts for my run ins with law enforcement (aside from the occasional voice mail that police are coming to get me if I don't pay some fine). While I am sure there are some bad, if not corrupt, cops out there, that can be said about just about any profession; just look at the scandals at tOSU and Maryland. But I want to believe that most of the profession is honest and hard working. The job of a policeman sucks; I mean, you never know what is coming around the corner or on the radio. Sadly, anything can happen and a lot of the options are dangerous or life threatening. Yet, most of them run towards the danger to protect us. The ones that go over the top and use excessive force need to be held accountable. The ones that do it right need to not be bunched in with those who do not. Easier said than done, however...


Agreed 1000%.

(I watch the show sometimes too - not as good as the COPS - that's an all time classic).
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Ed Tom : Age will flatten a man Wendall

Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:09 pm

Your beat cop is no longer policing every crime in the city - like in Prohibition era - you now have agencies like the ICE, DEA, ATF dealing with the more dangerous situations. Police are also better equipped in terms of things like body armor and training. Advance in medical treatment impact those numbers - 30 years ago the cop in video shot by my boyhood home is a casualty.

The first part of that is patently false. It is simply not true that you have federal authorities dealing with more dangerous situations. Those are limited agencies with very specific jurisdictions. And they don't have a ton of people. They are not nearly the force the local cops are. Second, most every time there is a story about a cop getting shot it's usually one of 3 situations - a cop pulls someone over and someone in the car opens fire, a cop stumbles upon a situation, or the police show up to some kind of domestic disturbance. It's not the TV or movies. Cops are generally not getting into these epic gun battles. It is overwhelmingly some mundane, every day thing they do where someone gets shot.

The second part of your argument about advances in medical technology and body armor may be spot on. I did a very quick google search on trends on cops who were shot at vs. killed, but nothing obvious came up. But, given the general trends on violent crime, I'll be shocked if the trend is not the same for police as it is for the rest of us.
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psu_dad
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby psu_dad » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:49 pm

My point was more about people who have an education are likely, hopefully, to be less like thugs.

Perhaps, I don't know, but I don't see it as a practical solution.

In a town like mine, being a police officer is relatively easy. The places where you need people who can keep their cool under pressure tend to be less "hospitable", shall we say. Why on earth would someone want to assume massive student loan debt in order to patrol a beat in such a place? And It's my understanding that people who pursue Criminal Justice degrees do so to MINIMIZE the time they would have to spend on patrol, particularly in "bad areas". They're looking for cushier positions and faster advancement.

Years ago, I knew a young guy who took a commission with the Air Force after college and they picked up a sizable amount of his student debt. I suppose police departments could do that. The problem is that the guy I mentioned was made an instant lieutenant in the AF. The AF didn't spend that money in order to make him an MP, nor would he have taken that offer.
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