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Comments

anonymuz

i fail to see the connection to details. if an officer is off duty, and is not doing a detail, how does that reduce crime? if an officer is off duty and wants to work extra hours, he is required to fill overtime needs before a detail. there is a perception out there that police officers are assigned to do detail work while they are on duty (parades and public safety events being the exception). details and overtime are done after or before their regularly assigned shift. what also is not mentioned is that detail officers regularly make great arrests, and are often the reason a crime may not be commited (though that obviously can't be quantified).

carpundit

Anonymuz-

Detail officers occasionally make a great arrest, as do off-duty officers. Without researching, I think it's safe to assume the rate of "great arrest" making is about equal in those two groups.

Details and OT happen when the cop's regular shift is over. but if you know anything about policing, you know that the guys who work a lot of details are tired all the time, and they often slide their work schedule around their detail schedule, with the help of shift-swaps and the like.

Also, details simply aren't worth the money, just from an economic efficiency standpoint. Traffic cones are much cheaper.

anonymuz

your reasoning is flawed. a off duty officer is not likely to put himself in a position to make an arrest because if he is off duty he may not be armed or have his radio and he may have his family with him/her. a detail officer is in full uniform right in the middle of the city. detail officers make arrests literally on a daily basis. off duty officers very rarely make arrests. if cops were not doing details, they would be doing more laborious work the same amount of hours, probably ending up more tired in the end.

carpundit

If we need more cops in uniform standing around the city, let's hire some.
Detail cops are hired because of the fiction that they are needed to provide public safety at a construction site. This is merely a traffic function. They are not hired to stand around and fight crime.

The fact that you -and the police unions- resort to the crime-fighting justification for paid details is that you cannot possibly justify them by their original and stated purpose: traffic safety.

Current detail policy is indefensible, no matter how its defenders cast about.

anonymuz

detail work does have a major positive impact on traffic safety. if construction is being done in codman square, and there is no police officer to regulate traffic, that is not only a traffic safety problem, but a public safety one. if traffic is not regulated, it would cause major backups on five major arteries and would not allow fire, police and ambulance to access those streets. a police officer also notifies the local public safety dispatchers of a potential problem area. this allows them to seek alternate routes when a call comes in. once again, a major benefit to having that officer in codman square is that if there is a robbery, gun call, etc in the area, he/she is often the first to respond and take action. details also greatly increase the interaction with the public. people, especially in high crime areas, like to see an officer in front of their home or business.

carpundit

Sometimes a detail officer is necessary, at some road jobs. Usually not. Overwhelmingly not. Currently, the utilities and road crews are mandated to hire a detail officer, whether it's on Back Street at 1 p.m., or Codman Square at rush hour, which is a policy that makes no sense.

Officers should be in high-crime areas, yes. But they should be on duty, on patrol, or answering radio calls. They should not be standing around chatting with the backhoe operator during his coffee break.

Everyone wants a cop outside his door. That has nothing to do with whether the detail system works.

It doesn't.

Jgriffinf

What do you have against police officers? These men and women work long hours, weekends and holidays and on occasion will do a detail to supplement their pay (like anyone hard working person - they take a second job). That is what a detail is, it is a second job, the only difference is that their second job happens to be very much in line with thier fulltime job.

Do you go after accountants who may do taxes on the side, or plumbers who work a full day, then may do some side work on the weekends, what about the state representatives and city councilors that are attorneys and practice on the side. Why don't you go after them with the same vigor? Should they spend every waking minute doing thier job too?

The difference between these examples and a detail is that a police officer at a detail is doing more good than bad. The fact that a citizen can go to any construction site or road in the city and pretty much find a police officer if they need one is pretty damn convenient and an added benefit that you fail to address. Not only does a police office risk his or her life everyday they put on the uniform when they go to role call, they run the same risk when they put that uniform on and direct traffic at a detail. You think crime is bad now? What do you think it will be like if the police were replaced by traffic cones?

carpundit

It's almost as if you don't read a damn thing I write, either on the blog or in the emails we exchanged. I have nothing against cops. I used to be one. Some of my best friends still are. If you read this site and pay attention, you'll see a thread of strong support for the individual officers even in the face of string criticism of parts of the system.

I have a lot against police unions -which do nothing but debase policing- and paid police details, which are a travesty as currently implemented in Massachusetts.

What would it be like with traffic cones instead of cops? Cheaper, for one thing.

Plumbers and accountants aren't public employees. I don't give a damn what they do. I don't have to hire them.

Elected officials with side jobs are great. If only there were more of them and the side job was the council job or the representative one. That's how America was founded.

And when you say details are side jobs, I agree. Side jobs we're forced to hire the cops for, whether they are needed or not. Side jobs that pay so much more than the regular job that they become the focus of many a cop's energy, to the point that he views his policing as an inconvenience, as something he has to get out of the way so he can work more details. Sure, that's not all cops, but it's enough of a percentage of them that it's a huge problem.

If you are a cop, or closely related to one, you know I'm right. I understand why you can't say it, or won't, but don't make me out to be the enemy. I'm not.

Jgriffinf

You are funny! I enjoy reading your form of justification. I love the part about you were a cop and some of your best friends are cops. That one is good!!! "Some of my best friends are cops....."....oh stop you are killing me. This is great! Keep up the fight!

carpundit

JGriffinf,

That's one way to end an argument. Very well, have it your way: I'm lying about my background just to make a point. Guess that makes me pretty stupid. You win.

CP

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