Tuesday, December 8, 2009

No Control----Police Drinking and Cop Culture Part 2

The liquor business is a muli-billion dollar operation for manufacturers, suppliers and victualers, but cops have turned it into a money maker for the department in fines and impound fees. In an odd dichotomy, the laws they enforce want you to buy alcohol, but not drink it. Interesting. Restaurants and bars have parking lots, but cops later arrest those who use those lots while doing business there.

So far, so stupid. But then, the same cop who drank and drove last night arrests the citizen on the next night for the exact same thing. Here she comes again, a cop’s BFF, Ms Hypocrisy.

A citizen review of these events can be handled in a systematic, methodical way. Without lengthy investigations or discussions, the cop is simply gone until the problem is fixed, no desk duty, no pay, just time off. As much time off as he or she would like to take would be afforded. The second offense would mean termination.

The primary message here is what parents teach children: actions have consequences. Keep in mind how many other jobs would fire a person on the first offense. This approach has two advantages. One, it gets the unreliable cop off the street and away from citizens, and two, it gives incentive to all cops to be equally responsible for themselves as they expect citizens to be, understanding that there will be no favoritism connected with the job, and no paycheck for time not worked, just like the rest of us. This is equality, and equality is the goal here. The message is the same to both cop and citizen. Drink OR drive, but never both.

Despite the logic being alarmingly simple to grasp, police are a result of Cop Culture, as taught at the police academy. There is an element of superiority causing the whole problem. The citizen review panel must send the message above all others, that the police and the citizen are equal. Teach that one lesson, and require it to be learned, and watch all other cop problems disappear.

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