Most U.S. police departments report sharp fall in applicants


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/05/most-u-s-police-departments-r.html


#2

Who would have thought that an institution that’s obviously been infiltrated by white nationalists and sociopaths on a national scale could be so unwelcoming to decent people who want to see good done in the world?

Edit, since I posted this on the wrong story


#3

Creating?


#4

It’d be wrong to discount the current controversy and the down right heinous environment in many departments.

But public sector jobs, including law enforcement, tend to see far fewer applicants when the labor market is strong. During the Ecconacalypse many PDs had lengthy wait lists for accademy dates as they were seeing record applications, at the same time as budgets were being cut. And it became extremely difficult to even make it that far in the process. You had to basically get a perfect score on any civil service test, and get bonus points for being a veteran or something to even have a chance at many jobs.

Which honestly probably ratchets up the culture problems. You get far fewer people who are looking for a reliable job, or interested in doing it well the last couple of years. And far more people who look at the news and say " Man I’d love to be opressing people from an unnecessary tank."


#5

Given that the last 2 years has proved that a good 30% of America is made up of white nationalists and sociopaths you’d think they’d still get the recruits they need.


#6

Perhaps the people who dislike how the police forces operate could become police officers and be the change they want to see in the world.

Infiltrate the police with descent, loving people…


#7

There are minimum physical standards, age limits, criminal background checks, psych evals that I’d be willing to bet would exclude a good portion of that 30%.

A pretty big proportion of them appear to be over 60.

Plus plenty of people want to root this shit on without risking their own asses. And the sort of ideas driving our law enforcement issues are pretty directly connected to scare mongering about Cops being under constant threat of prestige TV level death.

Even your alt right, proud boy level side of the Trump thing is chicken shit. They pretty constantly talk about openly attacking the opposition. How armed they are. But whenever they’re face by counter protestors (and vastly out numbered most of the time) Or some of their members do resort to violence and it bring negative attention. They scatter like roaches and back down.

These people talk big but they’re chicken shit. One of the major reasons that despite all the hand wringing it is actually a good idea to punch Nazis.


#8

And see them pushed out for not playing ball. I’ve known a few people who were decent folk and decided to join the police force. One became a psychopath and the other two quit after being intimidated at work because they refused to play along with planting evidence and other “bad apple” behavior.
Edit to add: The only real solution is to elect district attorneys who will vigorously prosecute cops for breaking the law.


#9

I agree that DAs need to start hanging cops who commit crimes out to dry. Build a special prison for former police officers if you need to, but they need to have real consequences for doing bad things. TBH, if you look at the current situation through a game theory lens, police behavior makes sense - why risk anything when you can shoot first and no one ever even asks any questions?

But we need to have police officers. And I know that the “good” police officers are going to have an uphill climb - but if we ever hope to have any kind of return to good policing, we need officers who are not bad people, so good people are going to have to take those jobs and stick with it.


#10

You need to pass the Troglodyte test to become a Po Po now. No pass, no Po Po.


#11

Should we blame/thank whoever posted all that “divisive” stuff on FB?


#12

The decline in applicants is new.

It’s not creating the established problem with fascist cops, but the recruitment problem ensures only fascists will want to be cops.


#13

this most certainly helps guarantee the next cop you have to interact with is going to be some of the worst of the worst human beings with the completely wrong motivations to (not) do their job

kind of like the trump administration running out of people who want to work there, there are endless vacancies apparently, not just in the higher spots


#14

Most animals are smart enough to not foul their own nests; some police aren’t.


#15

For at least 30 years, anyone choosing to become a cop has had to reconcile the fact that they will be the front line soldiers in America’s drug war.

The fascism is closer to the surface now, but america’s policing situation has been pretty fucked up for a long time.


#16

Yup. If you try to be a good cop, you get the Adrian Schoolcraft treatment by your “brothers and sisters” on the force.

Bad cops will imprison actually good cops, and “good cops” who don’t stick theor neck out aren’t really any better than the bad ones.


#17

I know many people in Law enforcement. And I’ve certainly seen a lot of good people forced out for refusing to participate in corruption of all sorts. Plenty of people who buy into it with Glee.

And unions screw everyone on pay for the sake of lining particular people’s pcokets.

But for the most part what you see is people keeping their heads down, attempting to avoid getting involved, and just doing the job (capably or not).

So it’s definitely less a “infiltrate them with good people” situation. Then one where you’ve got to convince the complacent and the reformers among them to actually do something. Keep your head down and follow the creer path isn’t exactly doing much to impact either the nasty culture of policing or the corruption aspects that are directly screwing over the police themselves. These two problems aren’t unrelated. And right now most of the people willing to involve themselves in leadership or chase political office are compromised in some way. Either the white supremacists and militarist ways, or more routine political corruption.

To be disempowered. DAs are among the most politically powerful politicians in any given municipality. And often enough they sit at the head of corrupt political machines. The former county DA in my area controlled much of the politics of the area not just in our county but in surrounding ones. And most of the political corruption here ran through his office. He wholly and directly controlled the PD by placing a completely unqualified Chief at the head of the PD and controlling him with serious dirt.

That police chief is currently in Federal prison. For having his “Boys” beat the hell out of a non-white suspect who had stolen a bag containing porn, drugs, and chief’s gun from his unlocked car.

Said DA is facing a federal indictment and ongoing federal and state investigations. Both relating to these events and much broader corruption. Our county executive, also controlled by the DA, is likely also under investigation though thus far not publicly. And he was reelected in the middle of all this. And it crosses parties. The executive and DA are DNC while the police chief was GOP as are many of the state and county politicians they controlled.

Even barring that. DA’s work day to day with police and often know officers personally. There’s a huge conflict of interest in expecting them to prosecute their coworkers. Needs to be taken out of regular DA’s hands. Probably best to hand it off to US Attorneys or a special state office. The way that these things aren’t investigated by regular cops, but separate internal affairs and corruption units that don’t routinely work with the people they investigate.


#18

Maybe those who otherwise would have applied did not want their just-for-fun beatings, etc, captured on body-cams.


#19

Not necessarily.

https://www.rpamag.org/2018/02/why-police-abolition

(TLDR: police abolitionists take the position that American policing cannot be meaningfully reformed. They recognise the need for peacekeeping services, but they do not accept that those services need to be police)

Edit: this is a better article as an introduction to the concept of police abolition…


#20

Right from the start.