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  • Question about use of profanity on the job

    Here is my question. What is your department's policy and your opinion on the use of profanity in the execution of your duties? I'm not talking about having a potty mouth 24/7. I'm talking about say for instance in a high stress, high risk stop where you are "barking instructions to an offender".

    I have a friend who was on a SWAT team in Colorado and he told me that on a lot of the house raids they trained for that one of the tools used (besides a flash bang) was violence and profanity. He said that the goal was to hit fast and hit hard so as to catch the people off guard and kind of shock them.

    So I was wondering does it have a place in high risk, felony stops or if you have to pull your service weapon, while cuffing someone...things like.

    Sorry if it has already been asked but I did a search and came back with nothing.

    Thanks,

    TRPR2B
    Be a leader, not a follower

  • #2
    We never want to use profanity in day to day situations. It shows lack of respect to the people we are dealing with.



    Now, on the flip side, some people don't understand something until you cuss at them. You can tell them to have a seat 3 or 4 times and they won't do it until you say, "SIT THE F**K DOWN!" Some people just don't understand normal language.

    I try never to use profanity, but sometimes its necessary.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Luke
      We never want to use profanity in day to day situations. It shows lack of respect to the people we are dealing with.



      Now, on the flip side, some people don't understand something until you cuss at them. You can tell them to have a seat 3 or 4 times and they won't do it until you say, "SIT THE F**K DOWN!" Some people just don't understand normal language.

      I try never to use profanity, but sometimes its necessary.
      I'm with you. My first department had policy in writing that profanity WILL NOT be used under ANY circumstances. Sad thing is, I have actually seen officers written up for it.
      In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

      In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

      Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.

      I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.


      The opinions given in my posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only.

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      • #4
        In general I try not to use any profanity when I
        Cogito ergo summopere periculosus.

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        • #5
          Somewhere in my files I have a copy of a court decision supporting the use of profanity under certain circumstances. In this instance, one of my guys was checking out a possible auto burglary in progress behind a closed government building late at night, when a male subject unexpectedly popped his head out the back door of the office. My officer knew the people on his beat pretty well and knew that this wasn't the after hours janitor, so he ordered him to show his hands and step out from behind the door. The subject failed to comply. Several more similar commands were given, which were also ignored. At this point, my officer injected some "colorful" language into the command and the subject complied.

          Turns out the subject was the janitor's foreman who was making a spot check. The subject also was a preacher who was highly offended by my officer's language and made a complaint about it. Much to my protests, the department upheld the allegation and suspended the officer.

          At the appeal hearing the judge reversed, stating that in a potentially tense situation where someone might get hurt, colorful language was necessary to "shock" the suspect, get his attention and gain compliance. I liked that judge.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            As a general rule, profanity is not a good practice for uniformed personnel. As L-1 descibes, there my be rare exceptions. On the other hand if you are working an undercover assignment it may very well be part of your role & very much accepted.

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            • #7
              You don't get called a dumbass until you actually start acting like a dumbass. Or until you start swearing at me.

              I agree it sounds better not to use it, but sometime's you just have to call someone a ******** because......well.......they're acting like a dick head.
              Last edited by davidh304; 08-05-2005, 01:57 PM.
              I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.

              "Why didn't you put that out on the radio?"
              "I don't know Sarge, I guess I got caught up in the moment"
              "The MOMENT is when we F--king need you!" - K-9 Sgt Myhre to unidentified Officer


              In Valor there is Hope

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              • #8
                Had a rookie one night try to get a drunk to stop fighting. He said "Sir stop resisting us" LT slapped the rookie on the back and said quit calling that piece of **** "SIR" and quickly cuffed the guy.

                Stopped in front of a car one night and with it lite up with beacons and spotlight told both subjects "GET OUT OF THE CAR" Their reply was "HUH".
                Second commnad was GET OUT OF F"IN CAR NOW as I arcked one into the 870. Next reply was OKAY OKAY OFFICER>

                They only understand the language they talk and live.

                God will forgive you if you swear a little as long as you don't take his name in vein etc. On the streets there are no language rules.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Luke
                  We never want to use profanity in day to day situations. It shows lack of respect to the people we are dealing with.



                  Now, on the flip side, some people don't understand something until you cuss at them. You can tell them to have a seat 3 or 4 times and they won't do it until you say, "SIT THE F**K DOWN!" Some people just don't understand normal language.

                  I try never to use profanity, but sometimes its necessary.
                  i was going to say the same thing on both points,,,,i was on fto and at the end of a pursuit (domestic & possession of a rifle) i yelled a couple of times to get on the ground, while he was standing by his truck, and i yelled get on the f***kin ground, my fto, during the felony stop, yells at me for cursing. so no, its not an accepted practice, it also looks unprofessional in court.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Different rules for different situations, that's what I think. We work and dynamic enviroment, no two calls, and no two people are ever the same. One toad will respond to be politely being asked in the car, or wagon, and next will have be dragged kicking and screaming!

                    Common sense should tell someone when it's appropriate to swear or not. I know that if I was a toad, I'd rather someone swear at me to get my attention, than "riding light" of a taser.

                    Swearing, like tasers, batons, OC and firearms is a tool. And we all know what happens when the tools to our job are removed! We jump to the next tool up the ladder!!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gotthblues
                      i was going to say the same thing on both points,,,,i was on fto and at the end of a pursuit (domestic & possession of a rifle) i yelled a couple of times to get on the ground, while he was standing by his truck, and i yelled get on the f***kin ground, my fto, during the felony stop, yells at me for cursing. so no, its not an accepted practice, it also looks unprofessional in court.
                      No offense, but your FTO was an idiot for yelling at you during the stop. He could have gotten you both seriously hurt by doing so.

                      As for where I am at......we do it all the time.....just part of the rural life of the turds I deal with.
                      But once again, it depends on who your dealing with. If I am taking a Burglary report from some guy that lives in a 1/2 Million Dollar house on the lake, then I am nice and would never use profane words in front or around him.
                      But If I am on a traffic stop and some turd doesn't do as I tell him/her to do, then it's game on....and he/she will get cursed at because it's the only thing they know and most will respond accordingly.....or they face the pain of OC or a taser.

                      Ask them, tell them, make them.....works every time.

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                      • #12
                        at least im not the only one that thought that,,,i actually stopped and thought to myself, what????,,,but i agree with everyone,,some people only understand profainity and you have to talk the language that people understand.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sflcop
                          I'm with you. My first department had policy in writing that profanity WILL NOT be used under ANY circumstances. Sad thing is, I have actually seen officers written up for it.
                          I read in American Police beat a about a yr or 2 ago that Portland, OR has a PROFANITY use report Fuc#*n liberals.
                          SOme people only respoind to certain words and by using the proper polite stuff they see it as a sign of weakness not professionalism.
                          BTW SFL, this was not directed at u just using your statements for my lead in.. Thanks
                          I got nothing for now

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No offense, but your FTO was an idiot for yelling at you during the stop. He could have gotten you both seriously hurt by doing so.
                            I would have been very ****ed that he undermined your authority during such a situation. That is probably a good indication of what kind of Officer he is and how well he is liked in your dept.

                            We just discussed the profanity thing during our most recent departmental *** chewing. Word in our dept. is, from the Chief, yes many of these ****bags needs a mother-f######, just be careful who you do it in front of. I.E. when you tell the group of drug dealers fighting in the city park what they are, don't do it in front of a group in the park for a baby shower...

                            I'm the worst during foot pursuits, it just comes natural, I can't help it. Hopefully I'll never have any foot pursuits through a school yard
                            "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still"

                            -Lao Tzu

                            "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

                            -Reinhold Niebuhr

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                            • #15
                              nothing to see here
                              Last edited by olnacl; 05-18-2006, 02:38 PM.

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