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  • Interaction with public

    I know your job is to deal with the public, but how much time out of your shift do actually spend talking/interacting with them. I was also wondering if dealing with the public is annoying to you or do you actually enjoy it? I ask this question because my goal is to become a cop, but I don't particularly like dealing with people on a constant basis. I'm talking about dealing with the public 24/7 and not having the time to "recharge." Well, I was wondering if you police officers need that "recharge" time in between calls, or if you can go from call to call and not get drained of energy.

  • #2
    Everyone has a bad day now and then. I have the occasional day when I don't want to be around people. I don't mind interacting with people. A nod and waive can go a long way when towards public relations.

    If you become an officer, your interactions with the public will be evaluated daily-during FTO

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    • #3
      Some people suck. The rest deserve to be shot, mutilated, and left to rot.

      Semi seriously since I was only half joking above. 95% of the people you deal with on the job don't want to talk to you. Clearly the suspects don't want to. And the victims just got victimized so they aren't happy to see you. So most of what your going to catch is people at their worst taking it out on you. If postive people interaction is your thing then boy are you in for a shock.

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      • #4
        Your level and type of interaction with the public is going to depend on where you work (jurisdiction and neighborhood), your staffing/manpower, and how you approach your job. The 1980's style of policing is pretty much responsive and is about all you can do in some circumstances.

        I used to work a county with about 120k people, mostly a bedroom community of government and military. My approach there was to run my *** off from call to call, make sure no one was breaking into houses and businesses, and if there was a little time left go for some interdiction and write some movers.

        I now work in a city with about 40-50k people and the same number of officers. The demographics of the city are vastly different from the county I used to work in. I also work in a primarily minority, notoriously high crime neighborhood. As a skinny white guy I had to overcome a great deal of mistrut from the people I was serving. My methods had to change. I realized that I had to get to know the people, I had to develop a trust and relationship with my neighborhood if I was going to be effective. In order to do that I have to spend a great deal of my time interacting with them. I spend a great deal of time walking around and just talking to people, I have to help them with problems that are not traditionally LE related. I have to find creative ways to shut down crack houses and find people who are willing to give me information. I find that you get pretty good info from people who truly care about cleaning up their neighborhood than you do from crackheads, but the only way you get good reloable info is if the realize that you actually care about them and their neighborhood.

        So I guess what I'm saying is it all depends. I don't always like the fact that the people rely on me so much, but it is nice to know that I make a difference. Besides it never hurts to know that even some of the thugs have your back if it comes down to it. This job is about dealing with people, everyone has their own ways.

        -web
        "there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

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        • #5
          Thanks guys. You have really helped me out.

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          • #6
            I enjoy speaking with people, but I really get irritated at people who walk up to you while you are on a traffic stop, arrest, or eating your meal. People have no problem interrupting you, but heaven forbid you interrupt them.

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            • #7
              My Definition of INTERACTION ...... The Customer Is Always WRONG

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              • #8
                I am pretty much the same as ARKlaw's response, I like to talk to people but they will try and talk with you at some of the most stupid situations. One of my huge annoyances is when someone pulls up behind you on a traffic stop to ask for directions. On graves you see them coming, on days it would startle the hell out of me and I would usually let em have it.

                The facts are, you are in a blue suit with a badge and gun and driving a car with a bunch of lights attached to it, you look important. People will want to talk to you so you better scrub up your social skills, like it or not. If you really hate talking to the average joe, go on graves where all you will contact are freaks and tweakers. On day shift you will pretty much have to talk to the soccer moms and dads. On swings, you get a little of both.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rex
                  I am pretty much the same as ARKlaw's response, I like to talk to people but they will try and talk with you at some of the most stupid situations. One of my huge annoyances is when someone pulls up behind you on a traffic stop to ask for directions. On graves you see them coming, on days it would startle the hell out of me and I would usually let em have it.

                  The facts are, you are in a blue suit with a badge and gun and driving a car with a bunch of lights attached to it, you look important. People will want to talk to you so you better scrub up your social skills, like it or not. If you really hate talking to the average joe, go on graves where all you will contact are freaks and tweakers. On day shift you will pretty much have to talk to the soccer moms and dads. On swings, you get a little of both.
                  Advice taken.

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                  • #10
                    I am not a cop,But I will tell you this.I used to work with some great police and even as a volunteer, I seen what police are up against.They get ridiculed and told off, not to mention just torn to peices by people who where never in their shoes.Ya! Watching the guys on the television shows are cool,but when it comes down to it,it is just acting and it does not represent the real cop,Unless it is true police action shows,Then they are getting some true stuff!Police are trained to be up against the odds and most are on thier guard for every second for a call to come in and then they are off to duty.I also have to say that when it comes to the job it has to be first and formost the top priorety,for them and for thier crew and team.Your job must come first for you and how you deal with it! If I was a cop, I would love some attention and would give some back at the time when not so busy, but my first my item of the day, would be the job,home and familly.I will also say that with all of this, I have met some of the nicest police and the that I understand them..I am not perfect and they let me know..It is for our own lives, we need them for our saftey.Interaction is always welcomed, but when they do the job it has to be done right.Just being friendly,a wave and a hello is all thats needed.Unless your at a fair type thing or walking the street doing parking tickets and such,their just being freindly and a hello is good enough for me. I guess maybe in small towns people are more talkative and outgoing,But in the big cities, doing the on guard thing is probably what I would do.I guess it would be up to each to his prefference and also what your boss (The Chief of Police!)would expect from you.I hope this helps!

                    My Quote:
                    {I know you will do just fine, because as time goes on, everything will fit in it's own place.}

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by frank
                      I am not a cop,But I will tell you this.I used to work with some great police and even as a volunteer, I seen what police are up against.They get ridiculed and told off, not to mention just torn to peices by people who where never in their shoes.Ya! Watching the guys on the television shows are cool,but when it comes down to it,it is just acting and it does not represent the real cop,Unless it is true police action shows,Then they are getting some true stuff!Police are trained to be up against the odds and most are on thier guard for every second for a call to come in and then they are off to duty.I also have to say that when it comes to the job it has to be first and formost the top priorety,for them and for thier crew and team.Your job must come first for you and how you deal with it! If I was a cop, I would love some attention and would give some back at the time when not so busy, but my first my item of the day, would be the job,home and familly.I will also say that with all of this, I have met some of the nicest police and the that I understand them..I am not perfect and they let me know..It is for our own lives, we need them for our saftey.Interaction is always welcomed, but when they do the job it has to be done right.Just being friendly,a wave and a hello is all thats needed.Unless your at a fair type thing or walking the street doing parking tickets and such,their just being freindly and a hello is good enough for me. I guess maybe in small towns people are more talkative and outgoing,But in the big cities, doing the on guard thing is probably what I would do.I guess it would be up to each to his prefference and also what your boss (The Chief of Police!)would expect from you.I hope this helps!
                      I kinda had to stumble through that one! But I got the point. Thanks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thank you, I know I am not the greatest writer or speller,But I have written for some magazines and quite a few newspaper opinions (About 27) and have had good reponce.I will go down in history as a person of.... Different ways of thinking! By the way I write music too, I sing, Do art contests,Song contests,Photo contests, took auto Machanics,welding wood working and hunt meteorites!........So the way I see it.I aint perfect,but if I can put a smile on someones face and brighten a day or two, it is all worth the time and money!
                        I also want to produce a movie for the WAFMP....I am working on a idea and I would need the help of the police in the area for a few short camra segments.I would be doing this and all proceeds would go to the WAFMP.
                        Would be for a short movie type contest!
                        I love when I am hunting that huge 600 acre field with just my metal detector,
                        It is so like being in heaven!

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                        • #13
                          I have been doing this job for over 29.5 years now, and I have always enjoyed talking to the public, either when they come up to me at the office, as they wave me over while on patrol, at public meetings or school presentations. This CAN be annoying, especially when you are directing traffic around a collision scene, and someone feels that it is important enough for them to block traffic by stopping to ask me details of the collision when they are driving by.

                          If you hate interacting with people on a frequent basis, do NOT bother becoming an LEO/PO, because you will get so frustrated that you will just unload on some unsuspecting "client", and that is no good for them, you, your Agency nor the rest of us.

                          Of course, I have never worked in an area with a population of more than 17,000, nor a Province with a population of much more than 1 million. That, and the RCMP is VERY public-relations oriented, so we REALLY stress developing such skills to our members.
                          #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
                          Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
                          RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
                          Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
                          "Smile" - no!

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