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Old 10-09-2007, 12:21 AM #1
apunkjunkie
 
 
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Ask away! (Law Enforcement Questions)

Okay since some guys asked for a thread for law enforcement questions, here it is.



Rules

I'll answer the questions the best I can. However, just as a warning, I only deal with GA law and the laws of your individual states are probably much different.

Do not take what I say as the absolute truth, because I will only give my opinions and some of what I say may be wrong for your state.

I will not give legal advice.

I will not help you get out of charges.

I don't like dealing in hypothetical questions, but I will as long as its not too crazy.

If you admit to committing a crime or traffic violation, most of my answers will be "Honesty is the best policy."

I will call you stupid, if you did something stupid and leave it at that.

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Old 10-09-2007, 12:21 AM #2
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My Background (so you know where I'm coming from):

I'm 25 years old and married with a kid on the way. I've been in law enforcement for about 4 years and I work for what's considered a large department (700+ officers) in metro-Atlanta, Georgia. I spent about 3 years in the "rich" part of my county but I've been currently assigned to the Crime Suppression and Gang Enforcement unit for the past 6 months (mostly gang enforcement) and have worked in the low income areas for the entire 6 months. I also did the crime analysis for my precinct for 8 months and still dabble in it while I can. I'm considered the computer geek for my unit and I've identified more local gang members in the past 6 months than anyone else in the unit all year.

My academy was 21 weeks long (which is 8 weeks longer than the state requires) and I currently have extra training classes in gang investigations, interviews and interrogations, drunk driving, drugged driving, advanced traffic law, advanced criminal procedure, crime analysis, health and wellness, criminal apprehension, and so on.

I've always struggled with school, mostly because I get bored . I was in all honors classes in high school, but didn't graduate with a great GPA. I found college boring, and struggled for the first few years. However, I got my act together and completed my 2 year degree and I'm currently working on my BA in criminal justice and I plan on continuing to get my PhD in Criminology.

I consider myself a moderate conservative with heavy Libertarian ideals. I'm an avid listener to Neil Boortz and other talk radio, but I can't stand Hannity, Rush, or Savage (most of the time). I've been able to vote in the past two presidential elections and I've voted Republican both times, but I've voted Libertarian for every Congressional seat.

I'm very opinionated, but if someone presents a good argument, I could change my mind.
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:25 AM #3
careyman_462
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Sweet, I'm glad to see a thread like this, and I'll help out when I can. I'm still in school so some of the obscure stuff is still in my mind, or I'm still covering it in class. I also know some of the stuff that's different about TN law.

EDIT - How old are you, and how long have you been on the force/out of the academy? Did you go to college? Feel free to just shoot me a PM if you don't wanna crowd the thread, thanks.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:14 AM #4
EY3
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self safety laws
age limits/curfew
drug control to an extent
alcohol control
gun control
jaywalking
littering
liotering
fighting with consent of both parties
disorderly conduct

do you agree with these laws? why do you enforce them?

the list will go on, but i cant think right now.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:20 AM #5
careyman_462
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Originally Posted by EY3 View Post
self safety laws
age limits/curfew
drug control to an extent
alcohol control
gun control
jaywalking
littering
liotering
fighting with consent of both parties
disorderly conduct

do you agree with these laws? why do you enforce them?

the list will go on, but i cant think right now.
The legislatures created those types of laws for societal control and social order. It's like speed limits and other traffic laws, meant to provide a safer and more orderly environment for the general public. They have to be enforced to an extent to mean anything. Most officers are reasonable people, and will give you breaks, like when a bunch of young teens are loitering, they'll simply roll up and tell them to go home.

EDIT - Someone ninja deleted...
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:23 AM #6
EY3
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The legislatures created those types of laws for societal control and social order. It's like speed limits and other traffic laws, meant to provide a safer and more orderly environment for the general public. They have to be enforced to an extent to mean anything. Most officers are reasonable people, and will give you breaks, like when a bunch of young teens are loitering, they'll simply roll up and tell them to go home.

EDIT - Someone ninja deleted...
i agree with them to an extent, except curfew.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:30 AM #7
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i agree with them to an extent, except curfew.
I guess that is made under the assumption that the kids are still in school, and should be at home and probably in bed. Once again, it won't usually be strictly enforced. I was "busted" for curfew once, the officer just told us to head on back to the house, and then left to check out a parked car nearby (in a closed park).

Also, generally speaking, kids that are out late have a higher rate of being up to no good. It's not true in every situation of course, but there is a higher percentage of crime per people awake at night.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:39 AM #8
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Nice to see a fellow officer on the boards. Theres one more (think his user name is bluelights). I'm not around much but I'll make a note to check back to help out and answer some questions for those on the West Coast.

Brief background: Graduated with a degree in Criminology and Business Management from Arizona State after transferring from UC Santa Cruz. Started my career of in the LAPD (Pacific division) and became a PII after the probation period. I transferred about 6 months ago to the Santa Monica Police Department and am now a PIII/SLO. Currently assigned to patrol command and am a second chair for the K-9 unit (dog's name is Roy).

If you guys want any more specifics feel free to ask.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:48 AM #9
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:49 AM #10
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Originally Posted by EY3 View Post
self safety laws
age limits/curfew
drug control to an extent
alcohol control
gun control
jaywalking
littering
liotering
fighting with consent of both parties
disorderly conduct

do you agree with these laws? why do you enforce them?

the list will go on, but i cant think right now.
All of these are IMO.

age limits/curfew - I support curfews until you're 18yo. 90% of the teens I run into after midnight are up to no good. The other 10% are coming home from work or a church function.

drug control to an extent - Total legal enforcement for all drugs except marijuana. I don't care if you smoke weed inside your house, as long as you keep it indoors and don't commit any other crimes along with it. The only reason I think marijuana should be enforced differently is that I don't run into too many people stealing to get their next "joint." Drug dealers should be dealt with harshly, no matter what they deal, because there is other crime that goes along with drug dealing.

alcohol control - The age should be lowered to 18. If you're allowed to go fight for this country, you should be allowed to have a beer. Though DUI laws should be tougher all together. I enforce them the way the department wants them enforced at the time. Every other year they tell us to hammer down on under age drinking (mostly high school parties) until some kid who's daddy is connected gets a ticket.

gun control - 2nd amendment all the way...as long as you own it legally.

jaywalking - I've never written a jaywalking ticket, yet its great PC to stop a suspicious person. I only care if someone is crossing the middle of a busy roadway during rush hour with little kids.

littering - I can't stand people that litter. It makes the area look trashy and I'll enforce it every chance I get (though I usually make them pick up their trash and throw it away).

loitering - It all depends. If you're in a lower crime area and seem to be good kids, I'll tell you guys to move along so I don't get called out there again. If I'm in a high crime area, I'll stop and investigate what you're doing little more. I've rarely made arrests strictly for loitering, though it has been included when I make a drug case as a reason for the stop.

fighting with consent of both parties - not illegal in GA (as long as its out of view from the public). Even then, if no one wants to prosecute, I'll usually let them go as long as they didn't cause a huge scene.

disorderly conduct - that's very broad in GA. I can charge someone with DC for as little as cussing in public to disobeying a police officer (usually when told to calm down and the person is still yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs).
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:50 AM #11
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Originally Posted by Tremor HSP View Post
Nice to see a fellow officer on the boards. Theres one more (think his user name is bluelights). I'm not around much but I'll make a note to check back to help out and answer some questions for those on the West Coast.

Brief background: Graduated with a degree in Criminology and Business Management from Arizona State after transferring from UC Santa Cruz. Started my career of in the LAPD (Pacific division) and became a PII after the probation period. I transferred about 6 months ago to the Santa Monica Police Department and am now a PIII/SLO. Currently assigned to patrol command and am a second chair for the K-9 unit (dog's name is Roy).

If you guys want any more specifics feel free to ask.
Now this is a good resource. K9 officers go through a whole lot of training, especially drug training (I'm just assuming Roy is a drug dog).
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:53 AM #12
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Nice to see a fellow officer on the boards. Theres one more (think his user name is bluelights).
His SN is bluelite
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:56 AM #13
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Whats your opinion on marijuana?
Keep it inside so I don't have to see it or enforce it. If you commit another crime and have weed, you'll probably be charged with the weed. However, you may not be charged if you just have weed.

As I said earlier, I don't condone smoking it, but its better than anything else. People aren't stealing to get their next weed fix.
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:04 AM #14
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Ah, thank you for the correction. Roy is trained in drug detection and suspect identification. He is the "top dog" of our 4. I am not a full K9 officer, but am in training to take over the position (officer who trained and works with Roy is retiring). My training course is 12 weeks, which includes 4 weeks with the dog. However, since Roy is already trained, I just have to go through my training and am second-chair'ing to make the transition easier for Roy.

I completely agree with apunkjunkie on marijuana. If you guys do it inside your own house, I could care less. Once you guys start taking it out in public is when I bring down the hammer.
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:07 AM #15
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Ah, thank you for the correction. Roy is trained in drug detection and suspect identification. He is the "top dog" of our 4. I am not a full K9 officer, but am in training to take over the position (officer who trained and works with Roy is retiring). My training course is 12 weeks, which includes 4 weeks with the dog. However, since Roy is already trained, I just have to go through my training and am second-chair'ing to make the transition easier for Roy.

I completely agree with apunkjunkie on marijuana. If you guys do it inside your own house, I could care less. Once you guys start taking it out in public is when I bring down the hammer.
I think that's the attitude of most cops.
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:09 AM #16
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What about marijuana possesion while being outside but on your own property? Like in your driveway(trees and bushes between it and the street) or backyard, visible really only to my neighbors. Or would it mean that if somebody is complaining then you have to do something?
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:13 AM #17
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I'm fine with it if you are outside on your own property where people can not see you, including your neighbors. Any other situation I am against (you never know who is watching, kids and teens especially). If a neighbor calls you in and marijuana is detected we by law have to check it out and cite you (if marijuana/ paraphernalia is found).
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:15 AM #18
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What about marijuana possesion while being outside but on your own property? Like in your driveway(trees and bushes between it and the street) or backyard, visible really only to my neighbors. Or would it mean that if somebody is complaining then you have to do something?
If someone complains, we'll have to take action or risk getting in trouble with supervisors. Being a cop is a very political job because everything you do is dictated by the public (through the Chief or Sheriff).

If your neighbor complains about you smoking weed in your driveway, I show up and take the weed and throw it down the sewer, that same neighbor will most likely call one of three people: my supervisor, my chief, or the county commissioners...all of which would get me in trouble. Then God forbid that the media actually gets called, because the "talking to" I would receive would turn into a day or two suspension (without pay) so the chief can show the public he is tough on officers who don't enforce drug laws.

That's the last answer for the night. My wireless keyboard is acting up (probably needs a new battery).
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:21 AM #19
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Just this year my high school was assigned a police officer that is to stay on campus all day (the school calls him a resource officer), and many other schools in my district have been assigned resource officers. Apunkjunkie since you're in Georgia I doubt you would have much knowledge about whats going on in Southern California high schools, so this is mostly directed to Tremor HSP. My basic question is why? What has changed over the past few years that would motivate them to assign these officers? Did the Columbine/Virginia Tech shootings have a large influence?

Also just some random questions: How many weapons do you carry in your squad car/what kinds of weapons? Recently I was in a police car (I wasn't being arrested or anything) and the officer had a shotgun and a M4 Colt. How fast can your squad cars go? Have you ever been in a chase? Have you ever fired your weapon at someone/shot someone?

Thanks.
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:29 AM #20
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The Columbine and VT shootings had very little to do with the placement of these "resource" officers.

It's all about presence, persuasion, and prevention. The presence of a police officer believe it or not sways kids to not do things they would normally do. By showing our presence, we are putting into the back of your minds that if you were to do something illegal, there is a chance that you will be caught.

Due to the rise in gangs in southern California, these officers were placed to be eyes and ears of the Gangs and Illegal Activities division. Having an officer in the school makes it easier for kids to report things they are seeing or experiencing.

Oh, and just as a heads up, he's not the only police officer in your school (if your public).

Edit - I'll get to your other questions in 10.
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:33 AM #21
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my senior year of high school they added the resource officer as well. NY state thought it necessary to ad to school security and in fact he kept alot of fights from happening, after the first time he pepper sprayed a crowed no one got out of hand again. its a good idea in my opinion.

and what kinda cars do u guys have? crown vics? the police in my city have blacked out chargers there hot!!
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