Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's The Most ______ Of The Year

And another semi-local LEO has been nicked for DUI in a squad car. On duty.

When it comes to stressful, when it comes to "long stretches of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror" or, worse yet, hours of nail-biting tension, police work rates right up there with the toughest jobs. This is a well-nigh inevitable predictor of a few members of the group having seriously major substance-abuse problems; but I still wonder, do their peers hate these guys? If any group is in a position to know the signs, if any bunch is in a position to see the detrimental effects of habitual drunkenness, it's police.

So they're either "protecting" their over-indulging peers -- "protecting" them right out of a career -- or they really don't care. I'd actually accept the latter, even though I'd rate it cold-hearted, but the problem is that a problem drinker with a gun, a badge and an official vehicle he racks up a lot of mileage in on the same roads as you and me is a much bigger problem for those around them than the drunk who toddles off the neighborhood bar or liquor store and not-quite-staggers back home.

Seriously, officers, if you have peers who drink to excess, don't just look away; don't make excuses. Either get them some help or rat them out to the brass. They're a danger to those they are sworn to protect and they are a danger to you.


Divemedic said...

A little insight. I am not a cop, but the climate under which firefighters work is remarkably similar.

We had a firefighter who would show up to work drunk. The problem was that he was friends with the shift supervisor. There were quite a few of us that had a problem with this, and had even made some offhand comments. The supervisor excused his behavior, saying that the drunkard was having family problems.

Anyone who said anything officially would probably lose his job, as there would surely be some blackballing there.

That is the problem with being in those situations: the "good ol boy network" is very much in control here, and making a fuss will likely get you blackballed, not just in your own department, but everywhere in the area.

That goes for related industries as well: selling fire/police equipment, consulting, all of it.

You will effectively be shunned, as the public safety community is relatively small and everyone knows everyone else, so pissing off a person who has a powerful "rabbi" can be dangerous to your career.

It is easy to blame people for not speaking out, but in a similar situation, would you be willing to speak out against a coworker if you knew that doing so would not only cost you your job, but make it impossible to get a new one? How do you reconcile that with the knowledge that your speaking out changed nothing, as the employee you got in trouble was just one of many who deserve to be fired, meaning that your sacrifice and your family's ruin was for nothing?

The system is rotten to the core, and the only way to fix it is to take away its power and dismantle the entire system.

Shermlock Shomes said...

We had a discussion about this at work where one of my co-workers noted that the cop was charged with OWI vs. DWI. Look up the circumstances under which one can be charged for each as well as the penalties. Interesting that an "Only One" received the lesser OWI. Hmmm?

And I DO think the system needs to be torn down.

Roberta X said...

At the very least, Divemedic, they could be sendin' anonymous letters to the editor. To the Mayor. To opposition candidates. Or they could start an anonymous blog. Something, instead of wringing their hands and muttering, "oh dear, oh dear" while the drunks go kill another innocent motorist.

Any more, there are enough bad ones that no amount of good ones are worth it. The old cops would at least stay bought and managed their inebriation and fornication with more discretion. If po-leece can't manage to keep the 11th Commandment, those they serve are in deep do-do.

Anonymous said...

This guy need a break. Put him in a orange jumpsuit, courtesy of the grey bar hotel. If that would have been me, DWI and a jail stay. And yes. The wagons have been circled.

As far as this Quote : "police work rates right up there with the toughest jobs"

Nope, sorry not even close to the top ten. Pardon the pun, but when I hear police work is one of the "toughest jobs", that is a "cop out". Plain and simple bull shit.

Prayers sent for you Mother.