Cop Talk Live!

November 8, 2006 | Karin's Blog | 6 comments

I have another question, Officer Friendly. On TV, the cops usually hate it when the FBI poke their noses into their cases. Is this true in real life?

And how do you feel when a cop is dirty? I know how you feel about IA, but it does happen that sometimes power corrupts. We’ve had a couple cases in Milwaukee lately — one forcing women into having sex. The other brutality. How do you feel as a cop when that happens?

No cop wants another cop poking around in his case. No agency wants another agency poking around in their cases. The Fumbling Bums of Ineptitude tend to come into a case and want to take over and almost always take the credit. That just kind of chafes me.

If a cop is dirty he should be punished under the law. A dirty or bad cop always gives the rest of us a black eye in the eye of the public. I remember after the Rodney King incident suspects asking a million times if I was going to “Rodney King them.” The public tends to want to lump us all in the same basket. If one does it then they must all do it. If one Mexican-American is in a gang should I assume they all are? If one African-American commits a theft should I assume they are all thieves? If one redneck gets arrested for drunk driving should I assume they all drive drunk? The majority of cops are hard working, honest people who have answered a call to serve and protect the public with their lives if that must be. Don’t dirty us by the actions of a few.


Dear Officer Friendly,

Considering all that cops see and hear over the course of a law enforcement
career, I often wonder if a cop can keep from being too desensitized to
the worse society can pitch at a person. For self-preservation, I’d
think anyone in the trenches would develop a thick skin to cope. But
at what cost? Are cops offered/ordered to have regular training/classes
so they don’t slip over that edge of compassion? When an officer does
becomes insensitive to the point of being a danger, how is that handled
within? Is there a point where a cop is asked to retire?

I can only speak for myself regarding this question. When at work, you go into cop mode. When off duty, you should go back into personal mode. Somewhere along the line the two blend into one. However, the one is more on at work and more off at home. Each person has to find their own way of dealing with what they are exposed to. Some are better equipped than others. Mandatory shrink visits only come when there appears to be a problem and are always offered when a shooting has occurred or the officers have been involved in a horrific incident. There was no such training when I worked. Yes, cops are asked to retire under certain circumstances.

The cost is high divorce rates, alcoholism, high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers and many things I haven’t even thought of. The memories, the mental pictures, the smells, they always stay with you. You learn to compartmentalize and ignore a lot. Then, when you least expect it, something jerks your memory and in many ways, even if only momentarily, you are right back there again. In the beginning, I couldn’t wait to share everything with my wife. In the end, I talked very little about what happened at work. I’ve said it before, law enforcement is not a job for everyone. “Many hear the call but few are called to answer.”

Thank you Offcier Friendly. Remember if you have a question email it to Karin@KarinTabke.com

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6 Comments

  1. Edie Ramer

    Officer Friendly, thanks for your honest answers. I like the Fumbling Bums of Ineptitude, lol. As for the few bad cops, it doesn’t matter where you work — an office, Wal-Mart, a high school, the U.S. Senate — there is always at least one person who’s a jerk or worse. It’s impossible to weed them out. Too bad someone can’t invent a jerk-o’meter.

  2. Karin

    jerk-o’meter

    good one, Edie.

    hee hee fumbling bums of ineptitude

  3. Jan

    Thanks, Officer Friendly. Clearly a cop working in a small quiet town isn’t exposed to the pressure a big city cop is. You’ve given me insight into what it must have been like years ago, when the sheriff was the only game in town up against outlaws, etc. I imagine an officer of the law back then had to be “on” 24/7 just for the sake of survival. It also helps me see why so many old west sheriffs were typically “wanted” in some state.

  4. Officer Friendly

    Jan – Even today, many large rural counties have “resident deputies”. These deputies are responsible for an area by themselves and help is very often many miles away. Like the town Marshall’s of old, these guys have to be good with their mouths as well as their fists and be able, like most cops, to make a snap decision and to see that decision through.

    Edie – like the jerk-o-meter idea!

  5. Edie Ramer

    The thing is everyone knows who the jerks are — except the jerks themselves and the bosses who keep them on.:roll:

  6. Jan

    Yep, we have satelitte offices for our sheriffs in the county, and some places are mighty wild considering most all residents in the county are armed and think nothing of shooting off their mouths and their guns. My cousin was a highway patrolman who nearly lost his life a few years back when he got out in the boonies facing a fairly high-tech meth organization. Calling for backup was a joke, since it’d take them over an hour to get there. Thanks again!

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