Dilemma of Law Enforcement (was Re: PDAs are searchable by cops, I )

From: zeb haradon (zebharadon@hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Feb 06 2001 - 21:22:47 MST

>From: Harvey Newstrom <mail@HarveyNewstrom.com>

>I have even
>had guns drawn on me once when I said that I would not consent to a
>search. Being law abiding offers no protection from the police.
>Harvey Newstrom <http://HarveyNewstrom.com>

I think there's an inescapable dilemma any society is going to face and
always has faced regarding law enforcement officials:
Even when the laws are completely just, even when the only crimes are those
that actually have a victim, who is going to want to be a cop? The answer
is, with rare exception I think, that the only people who will desire police
powers are those who are prone to abuse them. Bullies, people who want to
have power over others, who enjoy pulling a gun on someone and seeing
someone squirm under the gun. I can't figure out any other type of
psychology that would make someone want to chase after and catch people,
even people who deserve it. If someone hurt someone I loved, I'd put in a
lot of time to see that person caught, but without that emotivator, I see
only sadism as an explanation for putting so much of my effort into
"catching" people. I think speed limits are good laws, but I can't imagine
getting pleasure out of waiting in speed trap to ruin people's days, unless
I had a predatory type of personality.
The only exceptions to this I can think of are tradition ("my father was a
cop"), which probably makes up a sizable minority of motivations for people
going into law enforcement.
Another possibility is as a desire to right a wrong done to them earlier in
life (like Batman - who isn't technically a cop I guess). I suspect this
doesn't make up a strong portion of motivations.
This doesn't exist in our society I think, but people may also want to
become cops as a last resort when they can't find a job. I think a lot of
people who join the Army do so because of this.

A possible solution to this dilemma is to shift police responsibilities into
other occupations. For example, have speed limit enforcement be moved to the
area of road consturction/maintenance (this may be a bad example but I can't
think of a better one at the moment). The people drawn to do it, then, will
be drawn for other aspects of the occupation, and not the domination aspect.

Zeb Haradon (zebharadon@hotmail.com)
My personal webpage:
A movie I'm directing:

"Fish fuck in it." - W. C. Fields answer to why he never drank water.

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