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  • Asking an Officer "What Happened?"

    I've always wondered what you guys think of this. When there is an incident (police cars in residential area, safety crews blocking roadway) how do you feel about people walking up to you and asking what happened? Do you find it bold or nibby nose-ish?

    Obviously, it would be wrong to ask on officer if the situation was still active or the officer appeared busy, but afterwards, what are your thoughts?

    I've asked officers what happened before, and they were all very nice about it. Some even said they're glad people ask them what's going because it shows the residents/neighbors are being vigilant. I just feel akward asking an officer this question (but I do it anyways lol). Even though they're nice about it, I just feel bold and a tad bit nosey.
    Last edited by Jacob2899; 10-26-2011, 06:40 PM.
    "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." - Martin Luther King, Jr

  • #2
    Doesn't really both me just don't be surprised if you don't get too much info though lol.

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    • #3
      Do you find it bold or nibby nose-ish?
      Yes. But I don't really care. I usually just tell them "I'm not free to discuses the matter." Really loved the dude who told me was a city council member from some town in a different state and I "had" to tell him what happened.

      What I do care is when people walk-up to ask some question as I'm in the middle of writing a ticket.
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      • #4
        Depends. It's surprising the number of people that will approach and start asking questions when the scene isn't safe. I remember a woman yelling out of her window "what's going on?" I was with 2 other officers, weapons drawn, trying to blend into the shadows, looking for a shooter....idiot.
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        • #5
          It's always annoying to me. I'd rather people just mind their own business. My advice, just leave the officers alone. There is a greater chance that you are bothering them, even if they come off polite (which they are probably doing to avoid a complaint against them), then not.

          Edited to add: If you are in the area of officers and they do want you to know anything about what they are doing, they will approach you and asked you questions such as the ones below:

          -"Did you see anyone run by here? We just had a guy take off on us."

          or

          "Hey, if you see anyone fitting such and such description, please call 911 or let one of us know."
          Last edited by Curly Bill; 10-26-2011, 08:25 PM.

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          • #6
            HATE it !!!

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            • #7
              It all depends. Maybe there is an accident up the road and the cop is simply blocking traffic until FD cleans up the mess. Then again, maybe some dude just bailed out of a car on a traffic stop and the cop is trying to help set up a perimeter. You don't have to have any law enforcement experience to read someone's attitude, so use common sense, and if you don't really need to know just carry on with your day.

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              • #8
                Pretty natural, I guess. However, I had several situations which were as my colleague described, weapons drawn, and we were in a serious tactical situation. John Q Public can be one stupid individual at times.

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                • #9
                  My response to that is "Some stuff happened that I'm (or if there's more than just me) or we're working on.

                  Once had a possible barricade/suicidal subject seen pointing a gun at his head alongside a highway. We get traffic blocked off and as I get out of my unit, I grab the shotgun. A tourist is driving down the road and I tell him to turn around which he replied with the standard "I'm just going over there". Well, his path would have taken him right across three other officers field of fire and right next to where our suicidal dude was. I told him to turn around again, he started arguing and demanded "What's happening".

                  He was answered by me racking a round into the chamber of my 870 while saying "We're working." He couldn't turn that car around fast enough lol. Suicidal guy went to the hospital without any extra holes, self inflicted or otherwise.

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                  • #10
                    Unless you just had someone run through your back yard, you see someone hiding, or you have important information, etc....Leave the cops alone! even if they don't look extremely busy at the momment. The other comment I hate (I usually hear it while walking through an apartment complex, trailer park, ect.), "Is everything alright?" I so want to to say, "no, and if you see a man wearing a hockey mask and carrying a bloody ax, can you give us a call."

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                    • #11
                      What I can't stand is when you're on a routine call (noise complaint / barking dog etc) and someone goes out of their way to demand to know what's going on just because there's a police car in their neighborhood. That kind of question is always answered with as little information as possible, usually "nothing at all, sir, have a good night."

                      If it's a more high priority call, I don't mind helping to put people at ease in a more friendly way, but you're still not going to get a lot of information out of me.
                      Last edited by dashdriver; 10-26-2011, 10:01 PM. Reason: spelling

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                      • #12
                        Annoys the crap out of me. Because 95% of the time, people do it when I'm busy with something. I mumble something like "terrorists". Surprised I've never gotten into trouble.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by curly bill View Post
                          there is a greater chance that you are bothering them, even if they come off polite (which they are probably doing to avoid a complaint against them), then not.
                          ^^^^this^^^^
                          MAC

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                          • #14
                            What if find more funny than anything is I am directing traffic for a wreck dozens of yards up the road. I am trying to make sure there is not another wreck and that I don't get ran over. And then someone pulls ups and ask if anyone was hurt. I have no idea!!! I won't know until it's over with and I ask the officer working the wreck. Makes me laugh each time. Do you know what is happening two doors down at your job when you are doing something different than Joe. I think not.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dingo990 View Post
                              Annoys the crap out of me. Because 95% of the time, people do it when I'm busy with something. I mumble something like "terrorists". Surprised I've never gotten into trouble.
                              Agree, however I usually tell them "Sasquatch sighting" and end with "He's not going to get away this time." Surprisingly I've yet to get a complaint.

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