Every job title comes with duties that just downright suck. And it's no different for police officers.
They go through extensive training to protect their citizens. But, that's not their only job description.
Sometimes they have to deal with situations that may seem silly or are incredibly minor.
Other times the circumstances don't make a lick of sense.
Whatever the case may be, enforcing some laws makes officers uncomfortable and some of said officers have spoken out about it.
These are their words, and their encounters with the public.
Round of applause for those that dig their heels in and make the right call, even if it isn't in the lines of the law.
“I live in a community that is basically addicted to hunting. So most kids have their own rifle and car by 17. Our school obviously has a rule about not allowing guns on the property in any way, shape, or form. Sometimes people are hunting before school though and forget to drop the gun off at home first. My friend did this once. He was already a few minutes late for class so he went to ask for a slip to return the gun.
The gun was unloaded, in his trunk, and locked in a case like it was supposed to be. He went to the office to ask if he could be excused to return it home, it would take him maybe 15 minutes tops. Nope, the school fucking called the police. One of the town cops came, listened to the story, searched the vehicle and found the gun, perfectly and safely packed away. He looked the superintendent dead in the eye and said he wasn’t going to arrest a kid for trying to do the right thing.
The superintendent later tried and failed to have the cop fired.”—EJX-a
“My friend is a cop in an area with real gang violence and other issues. Chief got up for the daily briefing and told them they needed to prioritize reducing “recycling theft” which was homeless people digging through recycle bins to get CRV items.”—EGdad
“Not an officer but criminal defense attorney.
Driving while license revoked tickets are an absolute racket in North Carolina and savy cops have realized they don’t care to enforce it.
Basically what happens is a lower income person gets a traffic ticket for speeding or whatever. The judge will give them up to thirty days to pay the ticket after the court date. However, because the fines are generally $213 to $263, a lot of lower income people cannot afford to pay the ticket. So, once the time to pay expires, the DMV revokes their license. Then, someone will get pulled over for having a revoked license. At this point, they still have the reason for the revocation outstanding, they have a new (more serious) ticket, and they have to pay reinstatement fees with the DMV to get their license back (assuming they are able to clear up the reason for the revocation). Oh yeah, if you plead guilty to Driving While License Revoked, your license will be suspended automatically for one year for your first offense or even longer if its not your first offense.
Generally, people will not come to me (defense attorney) until they are already charged with Driving While License Revoked because that is when they realize how screwed they are.
The good news is, I have talked to some officers about these driving while license revoked tickets who don’t care about the offense – they just want to see the client get their license back. So, they will either tell the DA they don’t want it prosecuted or just get it set on a court date when the officer won’t be there so I can get it dismissed.
It is all about the money. Total fucking racket.”—hostilecarrot
“When I was a parking officer, there was an internal policy about not ticketing cars parked in this very wealthy neighborhood even if it was clearly an unsafe violation. They would park their trailers or small boats very close to intersections and that made it dangerous to navigate around there. Because there were too many “big wigs”, we could have risked our jobs if we ticketed someone there so they decided to not have the parking officers enforce it.
Edit: thanks for my first silver kind stranger! Now I wanna address a couple things.
1: My superiors expressed distaste for this policy when telling us about this, so they felt no pleasure this rule. This has more to do with certain elected officials than the police in this case.
2: I know a lot of people want me to leak this, but I have no substantial evidence to leak something so “off the books” for a local news source. We were only told this verbally once. Plus confidentiality would be a concern due to the small amount of people that are hired for this job and could likely be easily guessed on via process of elimination.”—Nevets52
“When I was a police officer I hated marijuana laws. I would just tell the person to dump it on the ground when I found it. I did the same when I’d find underage kids with alcohol; dump it out and be on your way. Aside from that I pretty much never wrote tickets for equipment violations such as a headlight out, etc. I would just politely let the person know they needed to fix it. Lastly, I would rarely write tickets for expired registration, especially when the person was clearly struggling financially. I couldn’t sleep at night knowing I had basically punished someone who’s only “crime” was being poor.”—JDDL0602
“Arresting homeless people. We usually just bring them in but forget to file paperwork on them, so they get a warm bed, a breakfast, and no record.”—Galemianah
“back in my LEO career days, I was always very uncomfortable with using dogs to search for drugs. Yeah, they really can sniff out drugs…but the false positive accuracy is so far out of whack with what SHOULD be a legal standard for reasonable suspicion that it’s little better than guessing.
If a dog hits on 100 cars, and 50% of them have no drugs in them…you just violated the civil rights of 50 people based on what a dog said.
Dogs aren’t people, you can’t interview or cross examine them in court.”—McFeely_Smackup
“Where I work there is a statute prohibiting leaving your car running unattended. It is called no puffing laws. This is very popular during the winter time because nobody likes to freeze while their car is warming up. However, doing this makes your car more likely to get stolen. It’s our policy that if an individual reports their car being stolen because they left it running, they will be ticketed. It Basically penalizes the victim of a crime.”—drypaddle
“Not a police officer, but still technically law enforcement at the time. When I was in the Coast Guard, I did a lot of drug and migrant interdiction down in the Caribbean. Chasing drug smugglers was pretty fun, but interdicting the migrants was always sad.
We would usually find Haitians or Cubans and the Haitians were always much worse off. It was pretty heartbreaking having to send them back after seeing the state they were in, and the state of country they were trying to leave. They would go through such great lengths to leave and we had to stop them. One guy tried to light himself on fire and others would try and injure themselves to try and get us to take them to US health care facilities.
The only redeeming thing about interdicting them was their ships were always very shoddily made and often times our act of interdicting them was also us saving them from a sinking ship.”—raym0ndv2
“Click it or ticket seatbelt enforcement. At least here in Kansas, depending on the amount of tickets written for sealtbelt violations (and other, I believe DUI’s are worth more ‘points’ on the scale”) the more money the state will give you to purchase equipment for your department. Sounds like a decent deal, right? Seat belts are an important piece of safety equipment, plus you can earn funds for better gear for your officers.
Departments get a little crazy over this one. Especially when they don’t get many tickets written because PEOPLE ARE FOLLOWING THE LAW. I know, because I used to sit and look for them, and when I couldn’t find anyone not wearing a seat belt for 2 hours and went off duty, I was told later that night I could no longer participate in click it because I hadn’t written any tickets. Because people were wearing them. Which is compliance, and ultimately the goal of the entire damn program to begin with. I told them fine, because the only reason I had signed up was because of the memo sent out that nobody had, and they were begging people to do it. I later was told I could come back and try it again, as nobody else had written any tickets either for the same reason, so long as we all realized that it’s up the the courts to decide if they had a seat belt on, and if you don’t see a seatbelt to write them a ticket even if they have one on when you get up to them. Basically telling us to cite people who weren’t breaking the law, so they could put numbers down, to get money.
Needless to say I left that department shortly after.”—Plummyr
My hope for 2020 and moving forward is that more people will speak out against unjust situations, no matter where they may be.