Cops

Shit, there’s a niche market for all that footage. Think of how much Stan would pay to point and laugh at hours of the cops finding nothing.

Well, they should do it all at once, shouldn’t they?

True, and who knows— if they can convince the sleeping vagrant to wear a wire, they might get enough evidence to bring down the homeless junkie kingpin holed up in his cardboard-box compound.

Just curious. Are you saying the homeless should get a free pass when it comes to violating drug laws?

No. If I had meant to say that, I would have.

This. I’m not going to defend the war on drugs in general, but I think there’s a world of difference between pot smoking and harder drugs, including prescription drug abuse. I don’t care if I see people smoking or even selling pot, and I’ve happily lived in areas where that happened pretty openly. But if I saw someone shooting up heroin or dealing prescription drugs in my neighbourhood, I would not be happy about that, and I would expect the police to address it. Those things are pretty well associated with crimes including home invasion and theft, and I’m not down with that.

Also, apart from any feelings you have about the legality of drugs in general, I don’t know why you would object to the cops pulling over drivers under the influence. You’re not allowed to drive after drinking alcohol, which is a legal substance, why on earth should you be allowed to drive when you’re stoned out of your mind? Unless you think drunk driving is just something the cops should ignore too?

Just because it’s your job doesn’t mean it’s right. There are countless examples throughout history that demonstrate this.

True, but wouldn’t the pitting be more appropriately aimed at those who created the laws that the officers must enforce?

Time and money - gee what a concept… :confused:

I’m pretty sure you don’t even begin to understand the concept of law enforcement.

What exactly are they supposed to be doing in the first place? Sitting around waiting for major crimes to be committed?

Extra? City councils and state governments decide how many cops they need based some very carefully considered formulas including population, crime statistics and budget along with numerous related factors. There are no extra cops, except when budget cuts target them for reductions in force. The population ain’t going down and crime is fairly steady constant that ebbs and flows.

Their jobs are justified. Thinking they are busting petty criminals to justify their jobs is extremely disingenuous. If you seriously doubt that, then I refer you to one of my favorite cliche’s: When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.

No matter how many of them there are. :wink:

Considering that Stan is no fan of cops in general, one wonders why he would voluntarily tune into their show…

In the case I mentioned, it wasn’t that the cops were exceeding their authority, or that the homeless guys weren’t (in all likelihood) violating some laws against vagrancy and possession of drug paraphernalia. My objection is to the perversity of them going after the absolute lowest of the low-hanging fruit, solely for the purposes of exploitainment, in a “bust” that was obviously preplanned for the cameras. Rousing a couple of predictable wretches from their sleep and then smugly patting themselves on the back about it.

Similarly when they pat some kid down and find a gram of weed, and (with a straight face) bluster about how at least they “got some drugs off the street.” I know I feel safer knowing someone’s bong will remain unloaded tonight…

It might be, but it doesn’t absolve the cops of enforcing a perceived injustice.

Laws are powerless without their enforcers.

To have something to be outraged about.

uh-oh, guess we’re going to get a lesson from the Master…

No extra cops? Not anywhere? There isn’t a single police force that is overstaffed? Amazing.

Ok, here’s how it works. If your police force spends a bunch of its time busting jaywalkers (or homeless drug users), then you can most likely lay off part of the force without affecting your ability to investigate “real” crimes. That’s not to say that today’s force should be sitting around doing nothing until a major crime is committed. It’s that the officers who would be sitting around doing nothing, should be doing something else entirely.

In other words, end some parts of the War on Drugs, and your carefully considered formulas will change.

Like doing what else entirely? Any suggestions? Just exactly what besides law enforcement do you believe cops should be doing, Cheesesteak?

I suspect people who want less cops are probably the same ones who make effective targets for law enforcement - the low-hanging fruit (and I do mean *low *in the strictest sense of the word) for LE, no doubt. :rolleyes:

And I’m pretty sure you don’t even begin to understand the point I was trying to make. The most common response to any sort of outrage to cops spending a lot of time on minor crimes is some sort of fake aghast about how they’re missing a felony being commited elsewehre; that is generally not the concern, and yet you seem to be continuing that strawman here.

No, I want to see them patrolling. For instance, setting speed traps, while perhaps effective for raising funds, IMO is not a good use of a police officer’s time, because spending the day giving out tickets for that isn’t making anyone safer. A cop spending his day looking for speeders is definitely not pursuing any more serious criminals. Sure, he may happen to pull over someone who is speeding with 200 lbs of pot in his trunk, but that’s not law enforcement, that’s stupidity on the part of the smuggler.

Or seeing them consistently hiding in the same parking lot and likely not moving for hours on end (ie, I see them there when I leave, and the car is in the same spot when I get back), is not a good use of a police officer’s time.

I understand that you need enough to be able to respond to situations, and they absolutely should pursue crimes, even minor ones, as they come up. But I think putting so much effort into minor ones, or doing nothing at all, is just a waste.

Okay, so it seems you’re asserting that the number of cops is ideal? You think these formulae are perfect?

Okay, let’s consider some scenarios surround how cop numbers might relate to situations as they arise. If we have too few cops, they’ll be excessively slow to respond, they won’t be seen very often patrolling. If there’s too many, they won’t have enough work to do so they’ll have time to pursue relatively minor crimes or even do nothing. My observations are much more like the latter.

And if they’re based on crime statistics, how do we really ever know when we have too many cops? There’s ALWAYS more crime to be found; there’s always someone doing a rolling stop through a stop sign, or some 14yo kid over-paying a couple grams of weed using his allowance, but we can’t expect every crime to be caught, and catching more of them is going to cost more and more money for less and less return.

The real question is, where do you draw the line for how many cops you need. I don’t think it’s worth the public funds to be using cops to consistently enforce such relatively minor crimes. Yes, they’ll catch them from time to time, but that’s just how it goes. Unless the cops are woefully understaffed, or crime takes a sudden upturn, all the major crimes will always draw the resources they need first, and the lesser ones will take what’s left.

I think we are too concerned with covering too many of these relatively minor crimes, and the more of them we try to cover, the more it costs. Worse, because it necessarily requires more officers, it means we’re more likely to have incompetent, unmotivated, or power-tripping officers on patrol. And because the major crimes will always get the resources first, and because of the risk of these incompentent asshole cops, I’m willing to let a few more relatively minor crimes go unenforced to save the budget some money, and let the police force have stricter hiring requirements.

This seems to completely undermine your point. Cops are seldom able to react to felony crime as it happens that puts you in danger, and I absolutely agree with that statement, which is exactly why I don’t expect cops to sit around and wait for big crimes to happen. I don’t expect, or even want, a cop to show up and help me with a home invasion; I just want them to arrest the guy and take a report after I’m done. Hell, the only way a cop could prevent that is if there’s enough of them that there can pretty much be one right around the corner all the time.

This is also another reason why I think we have too many. It would take a whole lot more cops than we have now to be able to prevent that sort of crime and make it so I don’t have to defend myself and my property at all. That sort of funding just isn’t worth the return. And yet, it takes far fewer cops than we have to come and take police reports on people who effectively defended themselves.

Oh, you’re operating under the “perfect world” assumption. Sorry, my bad.

Submitting resumes.

I’m not a cop hater, nor am I low hanging fruit. However, I believe the war on drugs is, in large part, an enormous waste of resources. People spending a lot of time and money protecting us from people who wouldn’t be a threat of any kind if their drug of choice wasn’t illegal. If we didn’t have to put so much time and effort into busting pot growers, those officers could do something productive, for a different employer.

You don’t a problem cops, their number or quality of the force. You have a problem with laws. And changing those laws will not affect the personnel requirements. It would only shift the priorities within a perpetually “too small” force.

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