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  • Is the public more hostile?

    I was curious to know if LEOs find the public becoming more hostile or less respectful of them?

  • #2
    Is The Public More Hostile?

    Compared to when? There are so many different factors involved. I could say that people are more hostile towards law enforcement today compared to when I started over 30 years ago, but I don't really have anything to back that up. As law enforcement practitioners, it can depend so much on what shift, what assignment, etc. Other factors like small town/large county/rural state. Some could even suggest that there was a time after 9-11 that some people were more understanding of law enforcement. Then again, still others could say that is total B.S. Maybe the best anecdotal evidence would be someone that has worked in the same area, same shift, same assignment for years in a row and maybe they could comment.

    I suppose if I were some sort of researcher, I would try to quantify this. But how would you? Would reports of assaults on officers be a good measure? Would police use of force in response to hostility be a good measure? (This is probably way more

    But it really is so subjective. I have a tendency to have a thick skin and probably more cynical than some people. I know that I am not going to save the world and I never thought that I would. I guess what I am trying to say is in a given situation, one cop might consider a person hostile and another might consider that person "normal" for that place and time.

    I suppose if I were some sort of researcher, I would try to quantify this. But how would you? Would reports of assaults on officers be a good measure? Would police use of force in response to hostility be a good measure? (This is probably way more than you were looking for in a response, but it is a difficult question to answer.
    Last edited by Jim1648; 01-13-2012, 04:47 AM. Reason: Details

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    • #3
      Good morning,

      the FBI statistics disagree with the idea that it seems that society as a whole is getting more violent. The following is from the FBI statistics suit minted by the uniform crime reports of all the police departments in the United States.

      Murders, rapes and other violent crimes dropped sharply in the United States in the first six months of 2011, continuing a downward trend that has lasted 4 1/2 years.
      The federal law enforcement agency said preliminary January-through-June figures showed the number of violent crimes declined 6.4 percent from the previous year, led by a 5.7 percent drop in murders and a 5.1 percent decrease in rapes.

      In other violent crime categories, robberies declined 7.7 percent while aggravated assaults fell 5.9 percent.

      So factually violent crime is down, but as the person above states I have been in law enforcement for 30+ years and still am and what I see is not necessarily the people are more violent, but what I see is a generation or two people who seem to be unable to communicate on a personal level with each other and with others. People seem to lost the skill of being able to communicate by talking to each other. Social skills are way down from what they were just 10 or 15 years ago. I don't know what contributes to this and this is a nonscientific observation but I believe that the last couple generations have spent much more time inside their homes doing things that isolate them from other humans much more than they were isolated before.



      I used to go out and ride my bike to my friends houses and spend time playing with them in their yards and ride my bike around the neighborhood and never think twice about danger being abducted or child predators. These days parents don't allow their children to stray farther than when they can see them and some parents only with allowing children to stray outside of their yard. I find it also that people are communicating via electronic devices more than they are simply calling and talking to each other. The time that it takes to send a text message over a smart phone could then use to call and use your voice to convey the same ideas and concepts. There is no voice inflection or ability to listen for change in voice that would indicate a motion when you send a text message.


      It also seems the people have begun to think that everyone else in the world wants to know some extremely trivial things that they are doing in their lives, and that there are important. Facebook is a prime example. I am not overly concerned that someone just went to Walmart and got a good deal on a pair of underwear. I'm also not concerned that someone went to a movie and the person in front of them was routing using their techs messaging although he was on.

      We need to reassess our interpersonal communication skills and go back to talking to each other rather than communicating the electronic devices when the opportunity presents itself. Things like this forum are not conducive to voice communication or personal contact, but to tax your best friend that you're on the way to dinner are then simply call him or her and say the same thing shows a lack of skill in communications.


      I also found that the younger generations I am encountering in teaching at the college level seem to think that they are entitled to much more than the last two or three generations before them. They seem to feel that they are not required to work as hard or to study as hard to get good grades by submitting well thought out and well written work in a college course. Whereas before people would work their butts off and write twice or three times as much information in a written communication is due now.

      I guess you could call them the text messaging generation, or the LMAO generation.


      Just my two cents worth.
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      • #4
        Like Jim1648, I've got 30+ years on. I've spent all of them in the same small (15,000) community. Unlike Jim, I do not see an increase in hostility. There will always be a certain percentage of the population with an irrational fear and hatred of authority, be it mom and dad, teacher, the police, or a "Do Not Enter" sign. 30 years ago they could only share their rants with the dog or a fellow true believers, today they have the internet.

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        • #5
          2011 had more officers killed by intentional assaults than vehicle accidents. It's the first year that's been true for many, many years. On a large scale, I'd say yes. Day to day "routine" interaction, I don't think there is any noticeable difference. I've got just over 5 years on, so I don't have the longer experience of the above posters, but that's my observation.
          I miss you, Dave.
          http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

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          • #6
            I don't know if the general public at large is more hostile. I think those who would tend to be hostile are perhaps getting hostile more quickly and are not afraid to escalate the violence into a physical attack or a deadly force issue.

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            • #7
              I only skimmed the replies, but I didn't notice the second part of your question answered. YES!!!! People in general seem to be more disrespectful towards police than they used to be. I started in the early 90s, and it wasn't normal for people outside of the "down & out" part of town to act disrespectfully, but today it seems to be everywhere. Especially teenagers and young adults. Seems to be nothing for them to swear at LE, flip the bird (usually after you drive by) and for them to just have smart *** answers.
              Calling an illegal alien an "undocumented immigrant" is like calling a drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist"

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              • #8
                ShadowWarrior, do you think that since the LMAO generation is starting to enter law enforcement that the same lack of communication is affecting the way that they "deal with, and respond to" the general public? Basically, is the younger generation to the cops adding to the decline of communication on the street thus resulting in more hostility? I really liked your post by the way, I found myself nodding along the entire time.

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                • #9
                  With more probation instead of lengthy jail terms, a society increasingly becoming less religious, and the knowledge officers using too much force or even any force may bring a law suit, are some of the reasons for this.

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                  • #10
                    Various studies show different crime rates are going down, but assaults against police officers are going UP. I'd say that although people are generally less violent, the ones who are violent are much more willing to attack a cop.
                    MAC

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mac266 View Post
                      Various studies show different crime rates are going down, but assaults against police officers are going UP.
                      What are your sources? Table 67 in the 2010 LEOKA report seems to show a downward trend in the last couple years.

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                      • #12
                        I don't know about more hostile, but the public absolutely, positively is much less respectful and much more willing to challenge the police, compared to when I got on 23 years ago.

                        When the media ridicules and relentlessly criticizes the police at every single opportunity, then provides the public with an anonymous forum to do the same via "online comments" on newspaper websites, should we expect any different?

                        A society that makes enemies with its police had better make friends with its criminals.
                        Talk sense to a fool, and he will call you foolish - Euripides

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                        • #13
                          I want to thank all that participated in answering my question.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ShadowWarrior View Post

                            I also found that the younger generations I am encountering in teaching at the college level seem to think that they are entitled to much more than the last two or three generations before them. They seem to feel that they are not required to work as hard or to study as hard to get good grades by submitting well thought out and well written work in a college course. Whereas before people would work their butts off and write twice or three times as much information in a written communication is due now.

                            I guess you could call them the text messaging generation, or the LMAO generation..
                            I , too, noticed this trend over the last 15 yrs of my career.................and the "entitlement generation" is showing itself in the ranks of police officers ...................

                            Originally posted by mikeymedic View Post
                            ShadowWarrior, do you think that since the LMAO generation is starting to enter law enforcement that the same lack of communication is affecting the way that they "deal with, and respond to" the general public? Basically, is the younger generation to the cops adding to the decline of communication on the street thus resulting in more hostility? I really liked your post by the way, I found myself nodding along the entire time.
                            Yes Mikey..................I noticed the officers coming into the profession are different than they were when I (and shadow warrior) started in the business.
                            Is that change a part of the reason why there is more hostility--? I don't think so. I think it is just the way people want someone else to "solve" all the problems for them.....and they don't think THEY are the problem so they aren't going to change.

                            The "entitlement" spoken of above is --------------well its " I can do anything I want because I want it bad enough." "I don't have to follow those "old" rules becasue I really really want to do..xxxxxxx" It not only is reflected in some of our police applicants...............but in the general public...........which we deal with daily

                            You know what I am talking about.

                            Originally posted by Delta784 View Post
                            I don't know about more hostile, but the public absolutely, positively is much less respectful and much more willing to challenge the police, compared to when I got on 23 years ago.
                            +1000000

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