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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 2/28/2006 9:44:07 PM EDT
Long read ahead, but I could use some advice here. Thanks.

I’ve been considering LE work for a few years now (I’m in college currently). I’ve done 3 ride-alongs now, and I’ve had fun, and had my eyes opened. The first two were a big testosterone trip. I thought it was cool and badass, I learned a few things this last time out though.

first up, we got called by a detective to go transport a burglary suspect. The detective beat us there and already had the man cuffed and was asking for consent to search, which he got. The suspect is an old, craggly guy that needs a cane to walk. He has a generally pleasant demeanor and asks some easy going questions as to the nature of the detective’s search. They go in the house, look around, the detective comes back out with the suspect, the officer I was riding with, and a few belongings (a tape recorder, and something else I don’t know what). We transported him back and took him up for questioning.

The detective starts really grilling this guy. I actually was getting a tad miffed and how the detective was going about this. Kept talking down to him, and just really giving it to him. The guy did have a lengthy record- so that should have been a giveaway for me that he might be other than honest when talking to a detective. Anyway as it turns out this detective has found the rightful owner’s name carved in everything- so it was pretty easy to get the guy to confess. About then another detective walks by the office and says is that “thomas xxxxxxx?” then he say he needs to talk to him and gets a confession of another theft of a 52” TV- I thought that was pretty wild, especially since I didn’t think this guy waseven physically capable of any of that.

So we headed back out- I kept thinking about how wrong I was about that guy. We rode around in the housing projects, got scowled at, people looked suspicious as we drove by. Then this little kid (probably about 5) stops his bike and smiles and waves and yells “hi policeman”- like we had made his day just by driving by. I know what kind of life that kid faces, and I know it’s not too long before the smiles stop.

So I’m left questioning whether or not I have the fortitude to be able to get in there and do what needs to be done. And if there’s anything I can do to help these people (like that kid ) out.

Thanks for reading all this and for any insights- I’m trying to get the most realistic picture of the job possible. Thanks- got tons of respect for you all.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:27:46 AM EDT
Doesn't sound to me that you have any reason not to. The fact that you were wrong about this guy shouldnt bother you the slightest bit. The detective and other officer knew the background and if they were bringing him in for questioning had other evidence pointing them in his direction.
It also means your HUMAN! Something I think alot of cops forget. Just remember to treat everyone like you'd want to to be treated and you will be just fine. Lose the human side and get out of LE!
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:55:14 AM EDT
You just learned a good lesson. The old guy has chosen his path at the proverbial fork in the road. Not a path of honesty. If you've got the goods on someone and they BS you. You can throw it right back. Don't judge a book by it's cover.

The kid on the bike doesn't have to end up like the old man just because of his neighborhood. If you have a minute to stop. You talk to the kid. Make a point to check up on them. Yes you can still have Mayberry, even in the largest city.

It's a good calling if you choose to answer.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 7:27:07 AM EDT
The fact that you have made the observations that you have and understand to some degree just how complex the "real world" can be when you work the streets for a living, tells me your off to a good start.

You CAN make a difference one person at a time .
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