Professional courtesy or special treatment?

Professional courtesy or special treatment?

I got this link to a site where various law enforcement officers complain when others in their profession don’t extend “professional courtesy” to them or their family and friends, which apparently means that they think that they shouldn’t be issued tickets or citations for breaking the same laws that would get civilians cited.

There are dozens of stories listed, plus a “d**k of the month” award for the “most egregious” offenders. I would hope that most cops would be appalled at such disrespect for brother LEOs just doing their jobs.

What’s especially ironic is that on a page on the site entitled “What cops want you to know” is this piece of advice to the general public: “Here’s how to get out of a ticket. don’t break the law.” Seems like excellent advice for the cops too.

Police do a difficult job under difficult circumstances, which is why they are compensated pretty well in general. (Look at the lists of top-paid public employees in your town, city, or state, and cops will be well-represented.) We should accord them the respect and honor they deserve.

But that doesn’t put them above the law or entitle them to special treatment under the law. I can’t think of anything more corrosive to a democratic republic than arbitrary special treatment for a protected class.

If I get stopped going 75 in a 50, the officer stopping me can give me a warning or a ticket. That’s his discretion. If he stops an off-duty cop or a family member doing the same thing, he should use that same discretion. It should not just be an automatic warning or a turning of a blind eye. That’s not right.

  • The highest paid cops are probably not the hardest-working ones, but rather those who work the greatest number of externally-paid “detail” shifts providing security at malls, stores, highway projects, and, come to think of it, the occasional abortion mill.

    Here in this Blessed Commonwealth, any highway work site—including the phone company opening a manhole—requires the presence of a cop.  In 49 other states, flagmen do this safety work.  Just try to get that law repealed.

  • Thanks for the link.  It’s a fascinating read. I must admit that I feel naive hearing the stories of so many cops who actually believe that they are above the law in many respects.  It makes me see police officers in a new and very disappointing light.

  • I work in law enforcement, in communications.  As to police being well paid… depends on where you are.  Here, beginning salary for a cop is $8.00 an hour.  It is sad, but the Animal Control officer makes $9.25 to start. 

    As to the mentality of cops… I have seen it change over the last 20 years, or so.  20 years ago, the cop was someone who was there to keep the peace.  If you were egregiously breaking the law, you were dealt with.  These days, the police academies have been instilling a paramilitary mindset in their cadets.  The public are people to be controlled. 

    Just a quick fer instance.  Ever notice how many cops wear their hair?  20 years ago, it was a normal haircut.  These days, most officers wear their hair in a screamingly short “high and tight” military style haircut.  Some departments, with older, more traditional brass, make such haircuts against policy, because it tends to instill in the cop a civilian, hooah, super trooper, “us-vs-them” mentality… with them being the public.

    As to so-called “professional courtesy,” a cop should never give a break to anyone, that he isn’t prepared to give to the guy speeding with out-of-state plates on his car.  To do so is preferential, and is not only immoral, but contrary to the oath they swear their first day on the job.

    As you may have gathered, my views are not exactly popular with the officers with whom I work.

  • Here’s an odd story: cop arrests a fellow cop—his own wife—for DUI. 

    Is it a case of cop integrity, or abuse of power?  Hard to tell: the wife appeared to qualify as legally drunk, but it’s not clear that the husband had probable cause to stop her in the first place.  The case was dropped this month.

  • The whole “cops vs humanity” topic is a great one to keep any part rolling for hours with great stories. Everyone’s got 15 different stories … even my 17-year-old son!  (hey fellow parents, most of our kids don’t even tell us—until several years later—about their run-ins with the local constabulary!)

    I’ve got way too much personal experience w/ this topic, as I think about it. I was a secular newspaper editor of 10 years and saw cops up close.  The main lesson I learned about cops is that regardless of their demeanor, hair cut and even gender, their spouses know that when they go to work in the morning, they may very well not come home alive. One of the big stories we covered was a cop who was shot twice in the abdomen when he pulled a guy over for speeding. Cops and their families go through a LOT of stress most of us can’t even imagine.

    Small-town cops, big-town cops are all about the same in the favoritism category. Some years ago I was pulled over and the cop asked if I was that guy at the same parish school where his kids attend and play soccer. Of course that was me!  He let me off … both times for the same offense of taking a short-cut through a parking lot at a busy intersection! (I’m incorrigible.)

    Years before that I was pulled over and given at least two tickets (wrong turn, no insurance certificate in possession, this and that)by a young female cop. When the whole ordeal was nearly over the cop realized I was the editor of the local newspaper. She said “It’s too late now, but if you told me before I started the paperwork, I’d have let you go.”  I was so angry I couldn’t speak.

    And now, I have a relative who is a cop, so I hear lots of interesting stories. The first: No cop gives another cop a ticket, ever, end of story: Professional courtesy.

    It’s probably human nature to want to protect those who are most like us. I know journalists do the same with people they know in the profession. Friendly politicians and PR guys tend to get favored treatment. That’s why nice guys who get along w/ everybody tend to get those jobs.

    If I were a cop I know I’d probably be way too lenient w/ just about everyone … except liberals with pro-abort bumbper stickers.  They’d go to jail overnight!

  • Cops should NEVER consider themselves to be above the law; that only leads to corruption.
    Instead, they should be an EXAMPLE to the rest of the public in their adherence to the law.
    Anything else is hypocrisy, and I, as I’m sure, many others, have absolutely no respect for that mind set.
    Maybe that’s the reason for the general suspicion and lack of respect toward cops that many citizens have?
    In looking at the cases related, I see that most were for speeding in excess of 20 MPH over.
    ANYONE doing more than 10 over DESERVES a ticket, I don’t care who, or how “late”, you are!