Sometimes it is cheaper for Police to be nice

I was wondering. Saw on a few places stories about policeman who find drunk people wandering on the streets. Instead of jailing them or anything like that, they just give the person a lift home. I think this is a great solution. First of all, it is cheaper - no costs of taking that person to jail, book him/her, keep the drunkie for a whole night… Also, it avoids accidents and crimes (committed TO or by the drunk person). Do you guys think that police could save some money and time AND avoid more trouble with more actions like that? Of course, if they find someone stealing something or committing a more serious offence that person shall be incarcerated, but sometimes a tap on the nose or a ride home makes way more sense IMHO.

They do all the time. It just doesn’t make the news.

Agree…most LEO’s don’t let their authority go their heads. Most of them are good natured people truly interested in keeping the public safe. Seldom do those kinds of stories get reported in the media.

Somehow I suspect you’re not the real Omar…

Story from a guy I know, who I’ll call “Lee” -

Lee was driving home from work late one Christmas Eve, and saw two cops holding up a friend of his, “Bob”, who also happened to be the town drunk. The cops were slowly walking him towards a police car. Lee pulled over, walked up to the cop car, and asked the cop in the car (who he also knew), why they were arresting Bob. The cop told him they got a call that he was staggering down the street drunk, so they were just going to put him in the drunk tank overnight. Lee asked if he could take Bob back to his mother’s house instead - he wasn’t hurting anyone, it’s Christmas Eve, his mother would be heartbroken if he spent Christmas in jail, etc. The cop said, sure that would be fine as long as he drove Bob straight there. So the cop and Lee walked up to the two cops holding Bob. Bob looked up in a drunken haze, saw Lee with the cop, and yelled “Lee! They got you too?” and punched one of the cops holding him right in the face. The first cop said “Well, you can’t have him now,” cuffed Bob, and put him in the police car. The last Lee heard was that Bob was convicted of Assault & Battery of a police officer, and Lee never saw him again.

And, as muldoonthief’s story shows, sometimes people don’t make it easy to be nice.

I was walking the dog one night and came upon a cop and a guy standing next to what appeared to by the guy’s car. I could hear the cop’s part of the conversation (the guy was mumbling, apparently drunk), and it went something like: “Where do you live? That’s not real far from here. Just walk home and come back tomorrow and get your car then. If you get in the car and drive away now, I have to arrest you…”

Similar to Muldoonthief, a story from an acquaintance I’ll call ‘Dave’.

Dave the cop gets a call about a drunk man asleep in a car. Turns out the drunk man had an argument with his girlfriend and been thrown out of the house, he is very apologetic and while Dave would be perfectly in the right to arrest him as he is drunk and in possession of the cars keys he decides to be nice instead. Dave speaks to the mans girlfriend and her flatmate and they agree to take him back in and hide the keys.

Everyone’s a winner right?

Flash-forward an hour and Dave gets a call back to the same address, turns out shortly after he left another row broke out and turned physically violent this time (the mans girlfriend had destroyed his clothes by putting them in the bath with bleach), he assaulted the two female occupants, did substantial damage to the flat, took back his keys and was last heard heading at high speed for the border drunk as a skunk.

So much for being ‘nice’ huh? What do you think Dave did in the future when he had to make a decision like that?

With our old now deceased town drunk we we tried to not arrest him no matter how hard he tried to get arrested.
Also as another data point, there is no public intoxication law in this state.

“Dave’s not here, man”.

There have been a number of lawsuits coming from situations in which the police have found a drunk person and let them go (or arrested the drunk driver and told the passenger to leave and so on) and then the person has gotten hurt (or killed) and there’s a lawsuit claiming that the police should have taken him into protective custody.

Now, there’s obviously a difference between telling someone to take a hike and taking them home. But I can easily imagine a lawsuit after the drunk person leaves his house and gets hurt (or gets hurt in the house).

No Half Measures.