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  #1  
Old 04-22-2007, 09:56 PM
Sophistry and Illusion Sophistry and Illusion is offline
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Do cops really hate Internal Affairs?

In every crime novel I read, when internal affairs shows up, they are the badguys, they act like assholes, and they are hated by the rank and file police officers. Is this merely a dramatic device common to crime fiction, or do police officers really hate IA?
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2007, 09:18 AM
Sophistry and Illusion Sophistry and Illusion is offline
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I'm exercising my God-given bump. I know there are some police officers here on the boards. Hello? Loach? Anyone? Bueller?
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2007, 10:07 AM
BarnOwl BarnOwl is offline
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By the same token, in cop crime dramas FBI guys are almost always portrayed as total gloms (On the other hand, Fritz, and other FBI agents on The Closer are treated more respectfully.)

I think I asked a cop here if he and his fellow cops regarded FBI agent as clods and he gave the standard, totally non-committal, "They're dedicated blah blah blah" but I had the distinct sense he was smiling behind his keyboard.

If I were a cop, I'd be a ambivalent toawrds IA. After all, they advance by nailing cops, and some will do so no matter what. Happens everywhere in law enforcement - even DA's.

Ask the Duke La Crosse players.

Last edited by BarnOwl; 04-23-2007 at 10:09 AM..
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  #4  
Old 04-23-2007, 10:09 AM
butler1850 butler1850 is offline
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<snarky comment>
IA treats cops the same way cops treat civilians.



</snarky comment>

Actually, probably not that snarky, as I can see the same sort of power structure present in their interactions. IA is the folks that can/often-do get line policemen into official trouble. They would see them as always "being on the lookout for someone to screw." I certainly know plenty of folks that feel that way about line policemen.

I also know that I look at my Uncle (a state trooper in New England) a bit different, and don't give him quite the same stories that I'd give the other uncles, as he is a cop, and one always has the fear that he's "out to bust someone."

Hopefully a real cop will come along and educate us.
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  #5  
Old 04-23-2007, 10:12 AM
Gfactor Gfactor is offline
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Quote:
Many officers view the bureau as part enemy, part friend. The office investigates the mundane administrative quibbles as well as major criminal allegations.
http://www.nola.com/frontpage/t-p/in...4379487180.xml
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  #6  
Old 04-23-2007, 02:09 PM
79Eric 79Eric is offline
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I have done work for one company as an independent auditor and EVERYONE hates anyone that has the power to investigate them. It usually comes from the fact people feel only THEY can do their job correctly and only THEY know the reasons why they couldn't do it.

Most people feel, somewhat rightfully so, that their job ties them down and prevents them from performing it correctly because the managers don't see what's going on.

Internal auditors expose the problems to upper management, who typically blame the lower workers, for not doing, what they are not given authority to do. Then everyone ignores what the auditors say until the next time.
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  #7  
Old 04-23-2007, 02:29 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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I wandered in here to ask the OP a question similar to 79Eric's post: don't you hate auditors at your place of employment?

There are good auditors and I am sure that there are good IA cops, but their function in life is to expose BAD THINGS and, guess what?, they get evaluated (too often) on the number of BAD THINGS they find. After a while, they are liable to portray even the smallest infractions as BAD THINGS just so that they do not lose points on their next review. butler1850's snart-assed opening line probably has a lot of truth to it, as well.

Then you need to consider that any police department large enough to have a full-time IA bureau is probably large enough to need one, so the IA guys are going to have had to investigate a lot of cops who have done wrong, meaning they are going to get a bit cynical about the whole process, tending to believe that most people questioned are shading the truth (if not lying, outright).

Now, does this mean that every IA cop in North America is a surly SOB who is more interested in busting good cops than seeing crime stopped? No. Does this mean that every other cop looks on IA as parasitic scum looking to disrupt their lives? No.
But there is an inherent tension in the system that is probably going to be reflected in day-to-day interaction. And it is certainly an easy way to add (artifical) tension to any mediocre cop show to drop IA on the hero's head just when he needs a break.
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  #8  
Old 04-23-2007, 02:47 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Yep. I worked in "Internal Review" for a while and everyone hated me, as I did my job too well.
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  #9  
Old 04-23-2007, 03:45 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomndebb
There are good auditors and I am sure that there are good IA cops, but their function in life is to expose BAD THINGS and, guess what?, they get evaluated (too often) on the number of BAD THINGS they find.
That's a shame . . . After all, the most effective police force is one that prevents crime, and makes itself appear unnecessary in the process. Just as the most effective fire department is one that is so vigorous at code enforcement and fire-safety education that it never has to put out a blaze.

Would there were some better way to evaluate their performance.
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  #10  
Old 04-23-2007, 03:54 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
Would there were some better way to evaluate their performance.
That's true of all auditors (and traffic cops). An excellent auditor will work with a department to help the department develop procedures that will make the department more effective while reducing (preventing) slipshod or fraudulent behavior--then smack them if they do not follow their own procedures. The mediocre or crappy auditor will wander in with a list of rules (created by who knows whom) and simply check off points of non-compliance. The mediocre or crappy auditor has an excellent chance of being rewarded more for his "efforts" because he has more "gotchas" on his tally sheet.
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  #11  
Old 04-23-2007, 05:43 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophistry and Illusion
Do cops really hate Internal Affairs?
'Fraid so. They're all celibate.
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2007, 08:47 PM
Sophistry and Illusion Sophistry and Illusion is offline
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I see what everyone is saying about internal auditors. But as far as I know, Internal Affairs doesn't really serve as an internal auditor: they don't go around checking up on everyone's work; they investigate cases of possible wrongdoing. Now I work at a university, and there is a committee of professors who investigate complaints against professors (e.g., sexual harassment, plagiarism, etc.). I don't resent such a body, but feel it performs a valuable service. Now if there were a group of professors whose job it was to read over and approve my syllabi and lecture notes, look at my comments on student papers, etc., then I would feel like they needed to fuck off and let me do the job I am trained for. But as far as I know, this isn't what IA does. Nevertheless, they are generally portrayed in fiction is somehow being engaged in a betrayal of their fellow officers. What gives?
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  #13  
Old 04-23-2007, 09:15 PM
BarnOwl BarnOwl is offline
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When I was in the navy, we had a sinecure in GTMO. I was a corpsman in the naval hospital and life was damned good. We worked diligently and whored on weekends. Morale was high.

Then along comes a 1st Class Petty Officer who LOOKED for trouble. We'd be grabassing in the game room and all of a sudden we see that prick spying on us, waiting for us to do something reportable.. Every week he'd bring someone up on Captain's Mast, for some chicken shit violation. I'll never forget the time one of his fucking minions told him how one of our guys screwed up and was in moderate doo doo. That bastard smiled gleefully while running his hands one over the other.

Morale went into the toilet, but happily that guy was soon transferred to a tin can.

To me that's a stereotypical IA candidate.

My guess is that cops go into IA when they realize they're not man enough to be real cops.
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  #14  
Old 04-23-2007, 09:34 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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Most departments don't have an "internal affairs division", per say. The department I work on doesn't. Investigations on officers are handled by the Detective Bureau or by superior officers, such as a Lieutenant or higher rank. But there aren't specific officers nor a specific division that does nothing but internal affairs investigations.

If something was really FUBAR another agency would be brought in to conduct the investigation.

I've been put under the microscope a time or two in the last 25 years, but it was for rather minor things that turned out to be nothing. I didn't hate the investigator for doing his job, but that doesn't mean I was happy being under the lamp, so to speak.
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  #15  
Old 04-23-2007, 10:00 PM
jnglmassiv jnglmassiv is offline
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I have some insight into the Chicago Police Department and can say that IAD and OPS (Office of Professional Standards) are pretty much universally despised. At the same time, there's an unspoken understanding that these units are necessary. There's been some high profile incidents at the CPD lately and the regular street cops know these things need looking into.

In Chicago, in particular, there's a serious problem with partonage and certain clouted individuals. The perception is that those that are 'blessed' cause a lot of the trouble and that they are never investigated. This leaves IAD to bother unclouted coppers for much, much lesser and often fairly harmless infractions. This doesn't do much for their image.
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  #16  
Old 04-23-2007, 11:02 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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In our department, it's IG (the Inspector General's office) not IA, but it works out the same. Some people despise them but most people just sort of vaguely dislike, distrust and/or avoid them while conceding they have to exist.
Quote:
My guess is that cops go into IA when they realize they're not man enough to be real cops.
There may be a few people drawn to the job. They might be so dedicated to the ideal of law enforcement that they are on a crusade to drive out corruption. Or they may love the game of hunting crooks and decide that other officers make the best prey.

But for most people it's a career decision. IG/IA jobs are usually a quick path to advancement. Because of the general undesirability of the job, there's usually open positions available. And the people taking these jobs usually get perks like more prestiguous job titles, better working conditions, opportunities for overtime pay and travel expenses, etc. And you're usually reporting to higher ranks, which means you're making connections with more powerful people in your department.
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  #17  
Old 04-23-2007, 11:02 PM
Monty Monty is offline
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One episode in the first season of Adam 12 has the IA folks and their job portrayed fairly well. It's the episode where Reed killed a teenage boy.
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  #18  
Old 04-23-2007, 11:17 PM
1010011010 1010011010 is offline
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IANACop, but I have had experience with organizational oversight functionaries.

There are two basic types of auditors, IMO.
The first type view their job as an effort to maintain and improve process quality and, when mishaps occur, to discover why so that similar problems may be prevented in the future.
The second type view their job as a watchdog post to find people to blame for anything that's not in strict adherence to directed specification.

The second type is more common.
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  #19  
Old 04-24-2007, 09:08 AM
Nava Nava is online now
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Eh, I've had great auditors. I've done audits and when I finished left people smiling - the smiles that come from "we found some problems and fixed them," not from "hah, we put one up on her!" Sadly, a lot of auditors see auditing as a leverage point to act like the dicks they are or to give you the card of their cousin who sells some expensive machinery or other.

So, what my binary foreposter said.
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