Topics in law enforcement bring razor sharp debates from the civilian side to the cop side. In fact, both sides have varying difference of opinions. Sizzle, sizzle. I can picture your discussions now. So here we go. Fargo's HAWT topics for a Monday...
- Liability Trends and Issues
- New Case Law
- High Risk Personnel and Administration
- Fit for Duty, Fitness Programs, Wellness
- Character/Integrity Issues Of Police Officers From The Bottom Up
1) Liability Trends and Issues-
This is a deep topic...as in the abyss. Some have clear cut visions of what is and what isn't acceptable or what is to be the department and officer's liability, and including vicarious. For example, many of you felt the handcuffed prisoners getting a gun or shot (Yuri's Points of Discussion) brought up a whole gamut of liability concerns. Some of your comments were downright fiery. It is easier to speak of liability with specific examples rather than as a concept or in general terms. Overall, the liability of an officer on duty all the way up the chain to the department as a whole, has increased significantly. Why? Give me your concerns here.
2) New Case Law
Case law always sets the tone for officer conduct, new rules, new laws, and standards. Some view it as a noose on law enforcement and others view it as "growing pains", "learning tools", or necessity because of some trend or procedure impacting the entire US law enforcement. Many times, case law comes about because of a trial, appeal, and lobbying. It's all political in the long run. Not all case law is bad. Some really puts the foot down on procedures. Some opens the door. What do you think?
3)High Risk Personnel and Administration
The old system "the good 'ol boys" versus the "new wave" law enforcement. Under the first system, things were dealt with internally, swept under the rug, or ignored based upon "who you were to the administration." There is still a lot of this unspoken atmosphere at many departments. Here's my take...NO DEPARTMENT ANYWHERE CAN AFFORD ANYONE HIGH RISK-FROM THE TOP DOWN OR THE BOTTOM UP. GET RID OF THEM. As a citizen, I don't want them. As a cop, I don't want to work with them. Then comes the employment laws, fairness in labor standards. Documentation is the key. What if the behavior is not illegal or immoral, but is on the fence? You have an employee that is on the verge of going over the edge of what is right, but you want to get rid of them before something bad happens. No department is immune to this in their lifetime of doing the law biz. What do administrators do to avoid a law suit? What do departments need to do to keep citizens safe from risky personnel? What do you think of right to work states? Unions? Your opinions? What do you think?
4)Fit for Duty, Fitness Programs, Wellness
This might be the most talked about topic in all history internal and external to each department and raises holy hell. And it's not even about dirty cops, laws, or community problems. It's about policies. It's about image. It's about physical ability. Cops need to be fit. How fit? What's the standard? What's the best and most fair standard? Should they be allowed to workout on duty (getting paid)? Should they have a regimented program similar to the military or personal trainers? How many people are going to get upset when they see law enforcement getting special gyms, programs, expenses associated with being fit for duty? How much do you want to spend on your taxes to be safe? Do you get upset when they eat out on break? Eat a donut? A candy bar?
Citizens get upset when police officers chat with another officer in their car in a public parking lot or park to write reports. What are you going to think about having a fitness program instilled into breaks, after hours, as a paid job requirement? What are you going to think when you see them at Planet Fitness, Lifetime, the YMCA, or other gyms working out on duty? Why do citizens think cops don't need breaks which are standard to anyone in the work force, but not to first responders? Why do we put police in the same fitness category as superheros (non-firemen type, but action figures-[grin]) and get angry when we see one that is unfit? Are we raising the bar? If so, why?
5)Character/Integrity Issues of Police Officers From the Bottom Up
This is wide open. I have my standard. What is yours? We will compare at the end of the day to see how close we are or how disparate our thoughts might be. What do we do with the substandard ones?
The Boogie Man is open for discussion...