Originally Posted by catweasel67
Question to the LEOs..
Did you ever think, or do you, that your inconsistent approach to ticketing contributes to the negative impressions that a lot of folks have about your vocation?
As for me, I've been stopped a few times in the UK and a few times in Europe but the last ticket I got was when I was following two South Dakota plated cars, in SD - matching their speed. I was aware that I was over the speed limit but it wasn't, imo, dangerously excessive - I was doing 78 in a 65.
The copper showed me an LED speed readout and said that it represented my speed. There was no photo or proof of any sort that it was my vehicle. He then explained that I could return in about 3 weeks to appeal or pay cash on the spot. I chose cash - at which point he escorted me to a local ATM so I could get $125. TBH it felt a bit like I was being taken hostage - pay the ransom or ruin my vacation.
This was back in 2010.
One thing the LEOs here have not mentioned is the short leash they are kept on. "Officer discretion" and "officer safety" are double edged swords. They have to justify everything they do, why they did it the way they did it, especially decisions made under stress and questioned by the Monday morning / arm chair crowd. They are subject to administrative action, criminal penalty, and civil lawsuits for pretty much everything they say or do, to a much greater extent than other professions. It's a difficult job and some officers have the maturity and interpersonal skills to do it better than others. Safety and liability factor in to the choices they make.
There's my ramble. I'm a military police guy so some of my job is the same as civilian Leo, some different. We can't get sued, but we have much less protection against administrative action. As in, if you call in a complaint on an MP, the soldier and his next 3 or 4 supervisors go stand on the carpet for it. As you can imagine, that kind of thing rolls down hill.
I think that the truly inconsistent thing is interpersonal communication skills. Some of the lesser appreciated LEO jobs like game warden (out gunned) or prison guard (out numbered) are pretty much sink or swim with IPC skills. If you don't have them, you won't last long. Traffic and patrol is a mixed bag. Some officers expect respect but don't give it in return.