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  • Personal rating of offenses

    With all the questions regarding disqualifiers for employment and professional courtesy I was wondering how you guys rate different crimes and if that changes when you have stopped another LEO as opposed to stopping civillians.

    Assuming there were no extenuating circumstances or excuses offered were substantial enough to affect your decision, how would you rate the severity of the following offenses and how likely would you be to let the offender slide for: DWI, possession of a small amount of cocaine, possession of an ounce of marijuana, 100 in a 45 in a moderately busy commercial/residential area at night. I'm asking about each of these individually, not all at once. =)

    I would assume that a normal citizen would not get off for any of these in most cases, how about other LEOs? If the offender is a LEO, how do you deal with a situation where passersby call in on something like the 100 in a 45 and eventually see that you have pulled over the offender and want to know why you let the the driver leave?

    I've always assumed that offenses that directly place others at risk of serious injury or death should be punished more harshly than those crimes that some would classify as "victimless" crimes.

  • #2
    DWI
    possession of a small amount of cocaine
    possession of an ounce of marijuana
    100 in a 45 in a moderately busy commercial/residential area at night.
    Eeer, there are always other circumstance... the only one I could really see giving any leeway would be the speeding.
    What is it about, "Thou shalt not.....", do some people not understand?
    Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

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    • #3
      Drug offense- I don't know any LEO that is stupid enough to use drugs and if I meet one, in my opinion, they don't deserve to wear a badge. With that being said I would notify my supervisor and have him/her respond to the scene. The supervisor would have the choice to make. If it were up to me it would be an arrest, but supervisors look at things differently. For example, how would the dept look after the media gets their hands on this etc. I would think that a supervisor would agree with me though on the arrest.

      DWI- If I stopped another LEO for DWI (no vehicle accident etc) I would have them park and walk. This is only if myself and the other officer are on the scene. Anyone else there, they have ammunition against you. CYA in that case.

      Speeding with citizen complaint- I would stop the car, upon learning they were a LEO I would be pretty upset they were going that fast, but I would record the stop and write a warning (hopefully if the citizen is watching they see that paper and everything is cozy). I would not note the speed on the warning in case a supervisor would see it and question it. If the citizen is not happy with my actions they can complain, but enforcement options are my call not theirs.

      Being a LEO doesn't mean you are immune to the laws (including traffic) as everyone knows responses will vary from officer to officer. Other officers views may be different than mine. Some may write traffic citations to other officers some may not (myself). If it is a major problem, I would contatct the other officers supervisor explain what happened and let them handle it (much worse that a ticket). The one thing we all agree on is CYA. In certain situations your hands are tied, although it sucks, you may have to arrest another brother. Just my .02 cents.

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      • #4
        What is CYA?
        thanks

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BLUBLR
          What is CYA?
          thanks
          Cover Your ***

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          • #6
            Originally posted by backinblue
            Drug offense- I don't know any LEO that is stupid enough to use drugs and if I meet one, in my opinion, they don't deserve to wear a badge. With that being said I would notify my supervisor and have him/her respond to the scene. The supervisor would have the choice to make. If it were up to me it would be an arrest, but supervisors look at things differently. For example, how would the dept look after the media gets their hands on this etc. I would think that a supervisor would agree with me though on the arrest.
            I agree with you in part. I think I need to know what is considered 'a small amount' first before making an arrest. I wouldn't arrest another cop for a small amount dope that I would 'no case' if found on a member of the public. I would still call a supervisor is he was an RCMP member. If he was a member with a different outfit, then I'd have my boss call his boss. Definately conduct unbecoming and the guy would be in for a world of hurt.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cst.sb
              I agree with you in part. I think I need to know what is considered 'a small amount' first before making an arrest. I wouldn't arrest another cop for a small amount dope that I would 'no case' if found on a member of the public. I would still call a supervisor is he was an RCMP member. If he was a member with a different outfit, then I'd have my boss call his boss. Definately conduct unbecoming and the guy would be in for a world of hurt.
              I have no perspective as to what would be considered a small amount, I was thinking enough for one person to use one time.

              The feeling I'm getting is that possession of a small amount of drugs (not sure if an ounce of marijuana is "small" or not) is going to get a harsher response than a person driving drunk or driving at dangerously high speeds. Who has made the determination that someone possessing a substance that is illegal and will be used to screw only themselves (yes I know it can impair their driving ability and that some drugs have effects that make them more of a threat to society than others) higher on the priority list than acts that people consciously know is putting the lives of other innocent people at risk?

              If a man was swinging an axe around on a sidewalk with no regard for the people he may injure, I would imagine this would receive a stronger response than possession of marijuana. Why isn't the same true for someone that uses a 2000 pound hunk of metal, especially when vehicles are involved in 40,000 deaths per year?

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              • #8
                CTT, are you still trying to make the point that police are corrupt and cover for each other? C'mon now. We've been through all this before, professional courtesy is what it is. Believe it or not, this is 2005, not the 1930's where cops were the corrupt bagmen of Tamminy Square. Cops possessing dope are gonna get busted.
                Jerry
                "If all else fails, stop using all else!"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jerrymaccauley
                  CTT, are you still trying to make the point that police are corrupt and cover for each other? C'mon now. We've been through all this before, professional courtesy is what it is. Believe it or not, this is 2005, not the 1930's where cops were the corrupt bagmen of Tamminy Square. Cops possessing dope are gonna get busted.
                  Heh, no, that's not the case at all. What do you mean still trying to make the point? I don't feel that way nor have I intended my remarks to illustrate that. Have I offended you in another thread perhaps?

                  The original question was not centered around professional courtesy. The discussions relating to that included discretion, which as a non-LEO I never really understood until coming here. This was the main focus of my question, discretion, whether LEO or non-LEO and not comparing one to the other to prove any sort of point.

                  The main question I'm tossing around in my head is why are actions that can directly cause the death of other innocent civillians (DUI, Dangerously high speeds) and are consciously performed knowing that the actions place the public at high risk pursued less aggressively than things like possession of drugs that may have a lesser risk to the public and are usually consumed without a reasonably conscious thought of the danger to society.

                  "If I drive like an idiot to show off, I know there is a chance that I might kill someone or myself" or "If I go out tonight and drink and don't make plans ahead of time to have a safe way home, my driving home may kill someone or myself" as opposed to "if I smoke this joint at home and go to sleep, I'm not going to end up killing someone."

                  I understand there are side effects to the drug trade that place others in harm's way, but it doesn't seem to me that more innocent people are killed as bystanders by the drug trade than people are killed by drunk drivers and people that drive like idiots. Maybe this is the main point that I am mistaking...

                  I wouldn't be posting here if my intent was to discredit or disparage the LE community, I'm just curious as to how these situations are perceived by you guys.

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                  • #10
                    DUI and reckless driving are enforced as diligently as drug offenses by most police officers. Comparing an axe wielding subject and someone possessing a small amount of pot is silly. The reason I feel you are baiting, or criticizing police, is because you started a thread by asking how we would treat a fellow officer if stopped for DUI, or driving 100 in a 45 mph zone. Then wondered if we would let another cop slide on a drug possession charge. Am I missing something? You were a part of the professional courtesy discussions and were told that we use discretion when we legally have the option of giving a warning as opposed to arrest.

                    Do I think alcohol is safer than drugs? Of course not. However, if you backtrack that "small" amount of marijuana to it's origins, you will find many crimes have been committed in order for you to consume it. Large scale drug smuggling, which causes some of the most dangerous situations for law enforcement, is where it begins. Robbery and burglary to physical impairment are the bottom end results. So, driving impaired is always dangerous, regardless of how you got toasted.
                    Jerry
                    "If all else fails, stop using all else!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jerrymaccauley
                      DUI and reckless driving are enforced as diligently as drug offenses by most police officers. Comparing an axe wielding subject and someone possessing a small amount of pot is silly.
                      I was attempting to compare an axe wielding suspect with someone that drives a car in an unsafe manner.

                      The reason I feel you are baiting, or criticizing police, is because you started a thread by asking how we would treat a fellow officer if stopped for DUI, or driving 100 in a 45 mph zone. Then wondered if we would let another cop slide on a drug possession charge. Am I missing something?
                      That wasn't my intent. As I attempted to rectify in my last post, I was curious if the rating of each offense was changed if it was a fellow LEO. It wasn't meant to be a "what would you let a cop go for that you wouldn't let a normal citizen" kind of question, but more of a "Is x more serious when you pull a cop over than a normal citizen and how does that compare to y." I figured there would be a little give and take on both sides. Initially, I had the impression that most officers on this board felt that DUI/Dangerous driving is not as serious as the drug infractions in all cases. From the responses I have received and what I have read in other threads it seems that the severity of the infraction would change.

                      An officer that is found to have a small amount of drugs would probably be held to the same, or higher standard (with more options to discipline, write letters, etc), than a normal citizen would (where an officer may let a kid go if he has a joint on him). If the same officer was pulled over for DUI or speeding, it appears that more of the officers who have posted would try to cut the guy a break, where they probably would not with a citizen.

                      I don't think this shines negatively on law enforcement and those are just my conclusions based on a handful of posts on this forum...

                      You were a part of the professional courtesy discussions and were told that we use discretion when we legally have the option of giving a warning as opposed to arrest.
                      Right, and up until having it spelled out as being a matter of fact, I never considered discretion as being part of the role of an officer. I figured the "slow down and stay safe" kind of situations were allowed by an unwritten rule, not something explicitly stated.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cst.sb
                        I agree with you in part. I think I need to know what is considered 'a small amount' first before making an arrest. I wouldn't arrest another cop for a small amount dope that I would 'no case' if found on a member of the public. I would still call a supervisor is he was an RCMP member. If he was a member with a different outfit, then I'd have my boss call his boss. Definately conduct unbecoming and the guy would be in for a world of hurt.
                        Good point, This is why I would call the supervisor in the first place if he/she told me they would take care of it (notify other agency or notify intradepartmentally) and don't think I should make the arrest then fine. They don't care what your personal opinion is at this point.

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