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  • Are we civilians?

    Maybe some of you fellow cops out there can help me solve a friendly ongoing argument in my department. Are police(town, city, county, state) civilians? One half says yes, only military are non-civilian. The other half says we are sworn personnel so we must act when a "civilian" can run away therefore we are not civilians. What are you basing your information on a resource, opinion, feeling, etc. Thanks for your input, STAY SAFE!
    Last edited by jellwood; 08-22-2008, 12:16 PM.

  • #2
    A matter of perspective.....To a member of the military, anyone who is not is a "civilian". The same holds for cops. Anyone not in Law Enforcement, including members of the military, is a civilian when dealing with a LEO. I wouldn't get all in a dither over this discussion.

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    • #3
      It is about perspective I guess. I think the difference between the two are an "obligation" or those who swear a duty versus everyone else. Wheter it's the armed forces or any form of government service. Ive been "serving" in one way or another since 1987 and I probably will not consider myself a regular "civilian" til I retire. After my time in the Marine Corps and Career in L.E. I will put it all away and serve just myself and my family. I think if your job falls under my avatar in that you put your life on the line for a "service" you are in no way a regular civilian.
      "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

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      • #4
        this came up on another forum and i had always believed that EVERYONE other than active duty military was a civilian. after several links to online dictionaries were posted, i realized that is NOT the case.

        the definition of "civilian" doesn't only exclude military and police, but vagrants as well.

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        • #5
          As a civi. myself I say yes non military are civis. If you can walk into an office and tell a boss, I quit I am going home now,without going to jail, you are a civillian.

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          • #6
            Multiple definitions

            Like many other words, "civilian" has several meanings, depending on the context. You are arguing over definition 3a vs 3b.

            ci·vil·ian
            1 a : one who practices or has made a special study of the Roman or modern civil law especially as distinguished from the canon law and the English common law b : one especially skilled in or devoted to the law affecting civil rights and remedies
            2 : an employee in the former imperial civil service of India
            3 a : a resident of a country who is not on active duty in one of the armed services b : a resident not an active member of a police or fire-fighting force organized with ranks like military ranks
            Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
            Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

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            • #7
              I would consider anyone who's job it is to enforce the will of the government upon the citizenry and who has the authority to usurp the rights of the people to do so definitely NOT a civilian.

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              • #8
                ^^I hope that doesn't get taken the wrong way, I mean to say that the police have a lot of authority, like power to detain and/or arrest, which comes from the law, i.e government.

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                • #9
                  Law Enforcement/Military, anyone else is a civi to me.

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                  • #10
                    to alot of cops military is a civilian.

                    A marine cant serve a warrant, arrest a criminal (other than CIVILIAN arrest) or write a summons. If a person says FU to a marine (F'ed up by the way) that marine cant lock them up for dis con or whatever.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Dude View Post
                      I would consider anyone who's job it is to enforce the will of the government upon the citizenry and who has the authority to usurp the rights of the people to do so definitely NOT a civilian.
                      Except that an officer/agent/deputy, can refuse to do a lawful order given by his superior and he does not goto jail for not obeying a lawful command. That makes them a civilian.

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                      • #12
                        can a marine tell a police officer what to do?
                        can a police officer tell a marine what to do?
                        Thats what makes them a civilian.
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gbotj View Post
                          can a marine tell a police officer what to do?
                          can a police officer tell a marine what to do?
                          Thats what makes them a civilian.
                          Are you kidding me? That's what you think the definition of a civilian is? Someone who can be told what to do?

                          A civilian under international humanitarian law is a person who is not a member of his or her country's armed forces. The term is also often used colloquially to refer to people who are not members of a particular profession or occupation, especially by law enforcement agencies, which often use rank structures similar to those of military units. - Wikipedia

                          I think that should explain it all.

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                          • #14
                            its my opinion. Just like all the other examples on here its all an opinion.
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              In my agency we take a sworn oath to protect and enforce not only state laws but the Consitution of the United States of America, the same oath those in the military take so based on that I say L.E. is not civilian.

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