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Author Topic: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?  (Read 21838 times)

Shane Maxfield

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #60 on: May 04, 2008, 02:18 AM NHFT »

Quote
do you really like messing with your siren while going under bridges?  Ummmm, no. 

The good Lieutenant seems like a great guy....  but I must disagree with him on this.  The siren sounds way cool under a bridge!

Who knows, if you ride with him he may just even let you play with the airhorn!   :o   8)

Crap...I'm gonna have to try it, now.  We don't have too many good bridges...hmmmm, and I am on until 0700 Sunday morning.
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Shane Maxfield

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #61 on: May 04, 2008, 02:22 AM NHFT »

Very interesting. It's good to see that at least some cops here are still amiable folks.

And your photography kicks a$$.  "Much talent, he has," Yoda would say.

And, thanks for your service.
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Shane Maxfield

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #62 on: May 04, 2008, 02:24 AM NHFT »

I'm honestly not really interested. I'm socially awkward enough as it is, and any conversation I have might just end up being a debate. I would feel "trapped" in conversation, being it unreasonable for me to ask to leave the situation in the middle of a ride-along. Perhaps someone can change my mind, but I don't feel like it would be a valuable or comfortable experience.

Hmmm...last time I had a conversation with you I thought it was pleasant.  Over the phone, though.
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Shane Maxfield

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #63 on: May 04, 2008, 02:47 AM NHFT »

If no one was hurt and no property damaged, did a crime actually occur?

My opinion on this:

This is a fantastic question, one that I've read here over and over.  There many laws, many of which I think make sense, many of which I think are stupid.  While that would seem to be a valid argument for some situations (and we could debate this question for days), it doesn't hold for all.  For example:

Let's say a young man on a rocket-bike routinely does wheelies down your street at a high rate of speed.  You've tried to talk to him, he just flips you off.   You've declined to do something offensive to him, like putting cord-wood in the road like speedbumps, so he keeps doing it.  One day, he loses control and kills your neighbors five-year-old twins.  Perhaps (I say probably) many people will end up saying why wasn't anything done before he killed someone?  By this "tree falling in the woods" argument, there was nothing to do until you have actual victims.  Now you've got two dead five-year-olds because there was nothing to deter the driver until an actual crash.  That's a shitty consolation prize for the grieving parents.  Someone should have called the cops on him soon after reason failed.

Same argument for drunk drivers.  Hey, most of the time they actually make it home, perhaps with some new scrapes and dents in their cars.  Y'all are hanging out at Vendetta's one night, you see a clearly drunk guy stagger to his car and start it up.  His control and operation are horrible as he backs out into the rotary, then goes against traffic and up Court Street.  Well, he hasn't hit anyone yet, so no victims, no crime.  Let's get back to our pitchers!  This also is no consolation when, in front of the American Legion, he plows into my minivan and kills my wife and kids.  No reason to do anything, for any reason, unless there's a victim?  Well, think about it...there's never a victim, until BAM there's a victim.  I would opine that there's a moral responsibility to do something BEFORE you get victims.

Now of course come the what-abouts (what about registrations, or plate lights out, or dumpsters without fences around them etc.)  The reasonings behind all the other stuff is varied...some seems sound to me, others stupid, some seem to be revenue-generators, others just leave me scratching my head.
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Caleb

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #64 on: May 04, 2008, 03:21 AM NHFT »

I think there are over a thousand members of this forum. Most of them do not live in Keene and have negative views of the government in general, so officers are sometimes painted with the same broad brush as all of government, without consideration of the fact that each officer is an individual.  Those on this forum who live in Keene, from my experience, do not believe that the Keene Police Department is corrupt by police standards.

I can only speak for myself, but I imagine most on here would agree with me:  My own personal dealings with the Keene Police were, with one exception only, very cordial, and I respect you and your colleagues very much ... as people.

But just like me, you do a job. And sometimes your job involves enforcing laws that I feel ought not be enforced. The innocent are punished, where the law stands guilty.  I believe that you want to do the right thing, and that you are trying to fight the bad guys.  But your law makes too many bad guys.

I for one don't like slander, and when people call the police names and attack your character, I don't like that, unless it's true of course. I have seen cops who like hurting people, who are almost drunk with their own power. I don't think that's fair to say of most on your department.

That having been said, I think there's a little perspective to be had. How many murders happened in Keene last year? How many rapes? There's just not that many bad guys in Keene. But the other day I linked to an Congressional report that found that the CIA commits over 100,000 serious crimes each year. Please try to understand that those of us on this forum, for the most part, are trying to do exactly what you are trying to do:  stand up to bad guys.
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Shane Maxfield

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #65 on: May 04, 2008, 04:59 AM NHFT »

Regarding Kevin Dean's questions, and again these are my opinions:


Sometimes gubbermint people play PR games and sometimes people actually do care. More realistically, I'm sure the level of activism in Keene is making some cops weary at the VERY least. Not understanding the philosophy of liberty, the buzz in the KPD could be that there's going to be riots any day now.

1.) What does he hope to gain/achieve with this ride-along?
  -   See my earlier post that talks about detente for my reasonings.  That's it, I have no secret agenda.  I'm not aware of any weariness over the whole thing, at least on our local level, except the weariness of some of my peers at my interest in it!  No buzz of riots, because while there is certainly a core of a dozen or less local FS'rs who show up at functions (I admire their dedication), those numbers a riot doesn't make...and I get the feeling the local populace isn't too concerned with the 5-oh because they're glad we're here, so there won't be any angry, seething masses any time soon, at least concerning the police.  No intention to belittle anyone or your intent, which I agree is basically good.  The huddled masses just aren't bothered that I stop them to let them know their right headlight is out.

Often times the excuse for enforcing non-violent laws is "I was just following orders" or sometiems the slippery slope arguement of "If we don't stop this guy, the next might take it one step further". There should come a time for EVERYONE where the order makes you question though.

2.) Are there any laws that he's aware of (I doubt he even knows about the puppet shows) that he wouldn't enforce? If not, why?
  -  Ummm, I have never written a ticket for "plate light out" , though I have stopped folks for it.  I've been stopped for that.  But seriously, you have to think about the definition of "enforce."  For me, "traffic enforcement" means modifying driver behavior in a positive fashion, be it causing someone to stop driving like an a-hole, or encouraging someone to repair their car, which is falling apart.  Sometimes in my judgment it takes a ticket.  Sometimes it just takes a "Hey, you rolled through that stop sign back there and the kids just got let out of school.  Be careful, would ya?"  Perhaps if I ask a kid I'm dealing with who stinks of pot, if he's carrying any today, he'll be honest and fork over a half-smoked joint.  Maybe he won't get charged and he'll walk away with the advice "How 'bout using your head and not smoke it in your dorm room, on campus, right next to your RA's room??"  But the guy who hits my cruiser with a long-neck beer bottle and forces me to run after him through a couple back yards, when I find the baggy on him one would surmise a "stern talking-to" won't do much to modify his behavior from being an a-hole, he'll probably get charged because that legal smack is about all he'll understand.

Without being all-knowing of every RSA, I'm sure there are some I'd decline pursue unless pressed to.

The general attidude of people is that they are uncomfortable near or actually fearful of law enforcement officials. Even people who will strongly defend government's existance will admit to both speeding AND being fearful of being pulled over (indicating they see no harm in speeding but still fear police force). Sometimes law enforcement actually justifies this fear off as "Anyone uncomfortable has somehting to hide" hinging on the presupposition that all laws are in fact just.

3.) As a law enforcement officer, why does he beleive police in general are despised? Does he beleive there's some reasonable truth behind the reasons given?
  -  I'll agree that most people tend to be uncomfortable around cops...I was in a convenience store on the way to work yesterday and there was a Swanzey cop grabbing a bite, and I'll admit I didn't even know him and I was a bit uncomfortable, I don't know why because I KNOW we're not all ready to club random citizens.  But to leap from that to the phrase "police in general are despised" is off that deep end I spoke of earlier.  Maybe we're despised in certain areas, or by certain groups or whatever, but it just isn't universal.  Take an honest poll in Keene and you'll find not a lot check the "despise them" box.  Now, for those who really do, I think most of them have some truth behind their reasoning.  Apparently Kola's experiences are almost exclusively negative.  That's unfortunate, and I'd be curious as to the circumstances.   Possibly some of the despisers got a ticket they disagreed with and hate because of that, maybe some jackass ran a red light and almost killed them and, of course, there wasn't a cop around because "they're all at the donut shop."  Everyone has a reason, there's usually some basis of truth behind it.  Sometimes, however, they're just angry, disagreeable SOB's and the police make easy targets.  Maybe some of them had bossy mothers, I don't know.  I've seen the whole spectrum.

With the drug war "strong" and the number of non-violent offenders being arrested so high, how does the addition of firearms factor into this situation. If he suspected someone was selling some pot and noticed the person was open carrying, it's my opinion that he would approach this person as potentially "armed and dangerous" and with more hostility and force. We've all seen in the movies a scene where a drug dealer opens fire on a police officer to avoid or hinder being arrested.

4.) How does he feel about armed citizens? Given that police enforce victimless crimes AND the populace is entitled to be armed, what does he think PERSONALLY is the best way to keep law enforcement safe - ending the drug war or disarming the citizenry?
  -  Personally, I'm all for armed citizens, I'm aware of a couple incidents where they've been armed and held their own until we got there.  All I want is for them to use their heads when we DO get there (because we ARE coming) and instead of waving the pistol around shouting about their 2nd Amendment rights, just do what we tell you until we sort it all out.  In both cases I'm thinking of, the citizens were in the right, did basically what we told them to do when we got there, and walked away with happy endings, bad guys arrested and them free to fieldstrip and clean their pistols to their hearts content (and the one guy free to reload the two rounds he had fired).  I'm all for the 2nd Amendment.  Open carry trash pickup?  Good for you.  Now, as a courtesy perhaps you'd let us know because there will be citizens (there are those who fear the gun, even when it's sitting on the coffee table) who call us all in a tizzy and I'd like to be able to tell them "Don't worry about it...it's all good, and their cleaning your street up."  Last year (or the year before) there was a fellow mowing his lawn in a heavily residential area packing a nice 1911.  That was cool.

In the US, convicted felons are currently prohibited from exercising their full rights in terms of arming themselves. Considering that many drug offenses, certain tax crimes and certain other crimes are felonies and have NO victim...

5.) Does he support felons having the ability to carry firearms? Are there any circumstances where he beleives a felon should be able to reclaim this right? If NOT, what difference does he see between arming a non-violent person convicted of a felony and arming a non-violent person not convicted of a felony?
  -  I think there should be a process to reclaim the right to carry.  Factors I think that should be considered would include the type of crime (violent or non-violent), how long ago, your history since then etc.  If you just got out of prison for a string of shotgun liquor store robberies where you blasted a clerk or two?  Ummmm, no, that person rates a lifetime ban, in my opinion.  I even think Mark_FTL should at least be allowed to be heard, given the specific circumstances and the time involved.

Finally, please extend my thanks to the officer. Thie invitation goes a LONG way to humanize the Keene Police. Even offering the conversation as a sign of equality is a far cry from what many police agencies around the world would tolerate, let alone invite.  -  You're welcome.  I'm off Monday thru Wednesday...I'm sure I'll know what my agency thinks of all this by then.  My bosses actually are pretty reasonable, regular folks.
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Shane Maxfield

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #66 on: May 04, 2008, 05:33 AM NHFT »

These from Lauren, again the replies are my own opinions:

This sounds like fun.  Jury's still out on that.

I wonder how they deal with the volume of laws that exist.   - There are too many, and many of those are silly, in my opinion.

Do they read and remember them all?   Lemme think on that one...helllllll noooooo.

I wonder how they feel about people they arrest.   I feel fine about most people I arrest (which aren't that many recently, with me being the Shift Commander usually), because most of them knew they screwed up, and knew it was their fault they screwed up, I treat them with courtesy and respect and it's reciprocated.  There are those who refuse to acknowledge they screwed up, blaming their "slut" girlfriend, their lawyer, the clerk at WalMart, their prescription meds or me for their troubles.  I fell less good about them.  And of course there's the guy who I arrested (for the third time) for beating the crappola out of his girlfriend.  He worked up some quality phlegm for a few minutes and spit it right into my mouth...I feel a lot less good about him.  Eventually (after arrest six I think for beating her) he went to Westmoreland for six (whole!) months.  I was gonna send him a birthday card...

Have their friends or relatives ever disobeyed a law?   Sure, my older brothers smoked weed, one or two may still do so.  A couple of them have lead feet (they speed). 

Would they arrest their mother?   Depends upon what for...if SHE was doing the shotgun liquor store robberies, absolutely I'd do it.  C'mon, MA!!!!  If it were anything less than something like that I'd call another agency to handle it.  Contrary to popular belief about our "wickedness" here in Keene, if Mom robbed the Hallmark store, it'd be hard to sweep that under the carpet, especially that there's three or four different agencies around here that would have the radio and / or phones recorded about it.  Mother's Day is coming up...on her card I'm going to write "PS: Thanks for not robbing liqour stores down here...I'd hate to have to get in a gunfight with you."

Would they ever break a law? Honestly, I suppose I would.  Not sure what exactly, but there'd be a list I'm sure.  I routinely drive between 0 and 5 over the speed limit.  I actively think about not driving as fast as I'd stop a citizen for, I try not to be a hypocrite, but I guess we're all that sometimes.  Now the puppet show thing is intriguing...would one have to charge money to be a law breaker with that?

Have they ever broken a law?   Of course.  Probably everyone does, some people professionally!

Did they ever arrest themselves?   Arrest as in "stop" , sure...I'll find myself driving too fast and slow down, for example.  Arrest as in put the silver bracelets on myself?  Tried it once, couldn't reach my radio mic to call it in.  Had to get a drunk frat brother to let me loose.

Do they have to be the witness and the prosecution like the state police do?  I haven't, but I think when court is very busy we sometimes have our guys do their own speeding tickets, little stuff like that.  Legally that doesn't sound like a big deal, since the Defendant in cases like those gets to be...anyone???  The Defense.  So, they're two-hatting as well.  If you think there is a legal hitch to that, let me know and I'll throw that at the Prosecutor and get back to you.

Good questions, though I suspect the "arrest myself" one was one of those unwinnable ones?????
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ReverendRyan

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #67 on: May 04, 2008, 06:55 AM NHFT »

Now the puppet show thing is intriguing...would one have to charge money to be a law breaker with that?

State law - yes, it must be for profit to require a license.
RSA 286:1

Many city ordinances - no, they are licensed, whether for profit or not.
Keene Code of Ordinances §46-641
Concord Code of Ordinances §15-3-1
Manchester Code of Ordinances §111.80
and others....

Damn, I'm getting good at this research stuff.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2008, 06:58 AM NHFT by The Right Reverend Doctor Pope Sir Ryan »
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mackler

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #68 on: May 04, 2008, 07:02 AM NHFT »

Damn, I'm getting good at this research stuff.

You are.  And once you've bored with the statutes and ordinances, remember there's a whole world of case law just waiting to be exposed to the daylight!
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Coconut

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #69 on: May 04, 2008, 07:24 AM NHFT »

I'm all for oversight, and except for when it seems they're trying to be overly intrusive and obnoxious (my opinion, folks!) your CW folks don't really bother my officers or me (at least after the first shock of "what the hell?" the first night!).  Come on out and say hi, not just "Hi, we're with CopWatch and we're filming you, you goon, because we know you want to break that citizen's legs for having a tail light out."  I paraphrase, of course.

That brings another question, what are your officers comfortable with us doing during a pullover? Is it acceptable to talk to the driver while you're processing whatever you need?
You also haven't addressed why the guys are allowed to pull over and switch on their lights just to get me to ride over. However, thinking they "punked" me is completely wrong. I wouldn't be out if I wasn't enjoying the night, and I don't mind pedaling a few feet whether it's a legitimate stop or not.

I'm honestly not really interested. I'm socially awkward enough as it is, and any conversation I have might just end up being a debate. I would feel "trapped" in conversation, being it unreasonable for me to ask to leave the situation in the middle of a ride-along. Perhaps someone can change my mind, but I don't feel like it would be a valuable or comfortable experience.

Hmmm...last time I had a conversation with you I thought it was pleasant.  Over the phone, though.

I'm surprised you remember that, and I'm thankful I got my bag back. Is there a procedure for opening a case to try and catch people that perpetrate small theft? because I never heard anything after that day, so I assume they got away with it.
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Mike Barskey

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #70 on: May 04, 2008, 11:13 AM NHFT »

...apparently everyone thinks it's my natural lust to immediately take them behind Wal Mart and beat the crap out of them with my stick (OK, not everyone, to be fair).  That's no more realistic than CW being able to provide the riders for each cop, 24 / 7 / 365.  

...I think it would be nearly impossible for us to get away with the ole' "take him behind Sears and wail the tar out of 'im" thing.  No one around here thinks it is worth their careers to try that.

...Come on out and say hi, not just "Hi, we're with CopWatch and we're filming you, you goon, because we know you want to break that citizen's legs for having a tail light out."  I paraphrase, of course.

The thing that IS truly irritating is the constant drumbeat that if you guys aren't always right there, scrutinizing us on camera, that we're immediately going to do something horrible to a random citizen behind Wal Mart.  Or, if there's only one of you you'd better watch out because you're gonna get beat / sprayed / shot.  Give me a break.
I'm not satisfied with some of your answers. The one quoted above, for example, misrepresents what I think and what a number of people think. So you've essentially answered a question that wasn't asked, making it look like the people asking are the bad guys.

For example, Kat explicitly explained:
Quote from: Kat Kanning
I don't know of anything in particular the Keene police do that is corrupt or out of the norm.  From all I've seen they ARE better than the other police around the state.  When I say that they're not the good guys, it is the nature of their job, not the particular individuals I'm talking about.  Every day they put people behind bars for victimless "crimes".  Saying that they're just "doing their jobs" does not absolve them of the responsibility that they've used those guns to lock innocent people up.  The Keene police are particularly bad about throwing people in jail for things like expired tags, driving with suspended license.  I know a pregnant lady they tossed in jail for driving with a suspended license.  She wasn't hurting anyone, yet there she was behind bars.

And David said:
Quote from: David
I will volunteer to go, if no one else is interested. 
I agree with Kat.  It isn't corruption I really expect to see, even on the copwatch struff.  It is the victims of arrest who have done nothing more serious than live their lives in an enjoyable manner, and are arrested for victimless crimes.  I care about people and it saddens me to see them harmed for a 'cure' that is worse than the 'crime'.
Regardles whether cops "beating up innocents behind the Walmart" goes on, cops do arrest people for victimless crimes. Cops do pull people over for their plate lights being out, as you have admitted. Cops do demand that people stop video recording cops, even when it is their right to do so and there is not only no victimless crime, but there is also no legal crime! By the way, I'm referring to cops here because I'm talking to you, a cop, and this thread is about a ride-along with a cop, and because cops enforce these horrible laws; it should be obvious that I also think that the legislators who enact these laws are to blame, as well as the judges to support them, etc.

However, you said "I think there are over a thousand members of this forum. Most of them do not live in Keene" and I do agree with this, as it relates to me. I do not live in Keene (yet), and so despite my interest in your replies I will stop participating in this thread. I wrote this post only so it didn't look like your straw-man response to my question answered anything.

Thanks for participating in this thread, by the way.
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Puke

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #71 on: May 04, 2008, 11:23 AM NHFT »

And your photography kicks a$$.  "Much talent, he has," Yoda would say.

And, thanks for your service.

Thanks for the compliments.
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kola

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #72 on: May 04, 2008, 11:23 AM NHFT »

I admit many of the answers were "predictable."..and "classic"..and often the examples are exaggerated.

Kola

 
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K. Darien Freeheart

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #73 on: May 04, 2008, 11:35 AM NHFT »

Firstly, thank you for answering the questions. I don't like all of your answers (and I'll get to those in a moment) but I want to thank you first for giving answers. Let me also disclaim this - I was in Keene for all of a day so anything I say about "the police" is in my experience in Detroit, other parts of Michigan, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, DC and the areas in between there.

Quote from: 'Shane Maxwell'
For me, "traffic enforcement" means modifying driver behavior in a positive fashion, be it causing someone to stop driving like an a-hole, or encouraging someone to repair their car, which is falling apart.  Sometimes in my judgment it takes a ticket.

Fair enough. You mentioned elsewhere that some behaviors you feel a need to act on BEFORE it leads to victims and while I understand (and even once agreed with) that logic, I consider it faulty now. I can wrap this next statement in bubble-wrap to make it softer and gentler in many ways but the short answer is that I'd rather be a victim of dangerous behavior than a victim of "for your own protection." I don't fear drunk drivers, wheelieing motorbikers or beer-bottle throwing men any more than I fear being struck by lightning. Can it happen, sure. Should I change to mitigate it? No. However, I can feel my blood pressure rise when I see a police cruiser or hear sirens.

I guess at it's core, I don't think ANYONE has a right to do "behavior modification" to anyone but themselves (and perhaps... PERHAPS a parent to a child - jury is still out on that). If nobody is hurt by it, there is no reason in my mind why the behavior should warrant "modification".

Quote from: 'Shane Maxwell'
But the guy who hits my cruiser with a long-neck beer bottle and forces me to run after him through a couple back yards, when I find the baggy on him one would surmise a "stern talking-to" won't do much to modify his behavior from being an a-hole, he'll probably get charged because that legal smack is about all he'll understand.

I think you've epitomized it with this statement. Throwing a beer bottle at your cruiser was a destructive act. It's within your right (as a sovereign individual) to apprehend the perpetrator (or hire someone) to recover costs of the damage (perhaps it's as small as the need to wash your car, or have scratches fixed) done. The fact that he has marijuana on him is TOTALLY irrelevant to the damaging act and, in my mind, is NOTHING more than your excuse for enforcing someone elses (perhaps yours, perhaps "the people's") way of life on him. Being an asshole, as you put it, isn't a crime and shouldn't be treated like one.

Please don't take that as a "you suck". I'm quite convinced that you fully beleive you're doing good and preventing him from escalating and perhaps harming people next time (what if  he's missed your car and hit the pedestrian behind it?). My concern is that you may be taking for granted what is "good" in the first place.

Quote from: 'Shane Maxwell'
Without being all-knowing of every RSA, I'm sure there are some I'd decline pursue unless pressed to.

Not trying to nit-pick but I'm actually confused. You said in one of your other responses that "if told to confiscate guns" you'd not carry out that order. Yet here, you're clear that there are some laws you'd not carry out "unless pressed to". Let us assume for a moment that some seldom-used (but on the books) law "granted authority" to confiscate guns and your superior officer (or perhaps a direct executive order) ordered you to. As unreasonable as this sounds, it's actually happened twice in the last 5 years, during the Tornado "crisis" in Kansas and Katrina. It's not a far cry that a flood hitting Keene might have that order given by outsiders.

If you disagree with something, like confiscating guns, how does "being pressed" change the fact that you disagree with it? I suppose I should clarify here that when I say "disagree" I mean ETHICALLY. I couldn't bring myself to do something I ethically disagree with even "if pressed". Perhaps you actually DON'T ethically disagree with enforcement but you object on practical reasons alone? Frankly, disagreement for ethical OR practical reasons is fine in my book but perhaps establishing that for us these things ARE a matter of ethics and NOT "bad policy" might go a long way to finding mutual understanding.

Quote from: 'Shane Maxwell'
I'll agree that most people tend to be uncomfortable around cops...I was in a convenience store on the way to work yesterday and there was a Swanzey cop grabbing a bite, and I'll admit I didn't even know him and I was a bit uncomfortable, I don't know why because I KNOW we're not all ready to club random citizens.  But to leap from that to the phrase "police in general are despised" is off that deep end I spoke of earlier.

I can only speak of my personal experience. I was pulled over once for running a red light because I was distracted. It was about 11:30 pm in the sleepy town of Bardstown Kentucky (Less than half the population of Keene) with no other cars around. The officer that pulled me over was abrasive, pushy and scared the hell out of me. One of those "shine the light in your eyes so you can only see my shadow" kinda guys who needed to maintain this aura of mystery and awe. This guy literally flicked my license through my window so it hit me in the head (it's a little piece of plastic which isn't a big deal, but is infuriating). He then let me go without ticketing me. That was the best experience I've ever had with a law enforcement official and only because it didn't end up costing me money.

You admit yourself that you feel uncomfortable around police and you ARE one. Imagine how the rest of the world feels, without even that sense of professional reciprocity. Now, multiply that by the number of people who actually DO break the law regularly (i.e. smoke pot) but don't harm others. As a civilian, I've never ONCE heard someone say "Thank goodness for the police" (and I have been witness to the "good" things police do, like investigating after robberies.) but I've heard many people remark on how uncomfortable they feel when a police cruiser pulls behind them on the road, or at how angry they are that they have fines to pay to pay for having a broken headlight (despite the fact that they're driving in the day). In my experience to say that police in general are dispised is fully accurate. You have to understand that I've lived the entire range of lifestyles from upper-middle class to poor. I've lived in areas where police have been shot at for simply BEING police. That certainly isn't common, and the idea that someone deserves to be harmed disgusts me, but the fact that it happens is telling. Speaking personally, I fear the police more than anything else I encounter in a given day. I've spun out of control in a car doing 65 MPH, across three lanes of highway traffic before slamming into a concrete median and the most disturbing thing that night was dealing with the police - my wife was ticketed for "destruction of public property" because she hit and chipped the barrier. "Are you guys alright" was never asked.

Quote from: 'Shane Maxwell'
Open carry trash pickup?  Good for you.  Now, as a courtesy perhaps you'd let us know because there will be citizens (there are those who fear the gun, even when it's sitting on the coffee table) who call us all in a tizzy and I'd like to be able to tell them "Don't worry about it...it's all good, and their cleaning your street up."

I understand the sentiment there but do you understand how odd that sounds to me? Do you expect people to call you and inform them that they're exercising their freedom or speech, that might upset people too. The entire idea behind a right is that you DON'T need to ask or even inform someone. "Officers, there are guys walking down my street carrying guns!" should be met with "Ma'am, are they firing them? Has anyone been harmed? No, okay, then there's no problem there" should be the response with or without prior notice. The idea of demonstrations of all kind is that they question the status quo - if people understand there are guns on the streets, in the hands of regular people, these kinds of things won't be shocking at all. It's the shattering of a belief that is disturbing to people and it's that beleif itself which open carry works to dispell. By informing the police first so that they can give a "oh, we know, they're OK" will send the message "Guys with guns are okay as long as the police know why they'e carrying" and that's the opposite of the message that's trying to be pushed. The idea is that ALL people are equal, soverign and responsible. All people (not just the police) should be able to protect themselves when and where that need arises and shouldn't need clearance or permission to do it.

As to the responce after a civilian discharges his weapon, I'll agree there. Cooperation with the police is probably the best idea but I have a caveat to that. There are cases here in Maryland (a restrictive state in terms of gun law) where the police arrested the man and confiscated the firearm. Here, the idea is that "any use of a gun is a crime, until proven otherwise or unless done by a cop". If you have video of a robber firing a gun first, your weapon will STILL be taken and run against open crime databases to prove it's not been used in other crimes as if firing a weapon is probable cause for such a seizure. Even if Keene police don't do this, the flow of people moving from areas that DO will make people reluctant to comply. Please don't take it personal when past histories of oppresive actions from law enforcement tarnish your reputation, counter it with examples of common sense rather than increasing hostility to those who are reluctant.

Quote from: 'Shane Maxwell'
I think there should be a process to reclaim the right to carry.  Factors I think that should be considered would include the type of crime (violent or non-violent), how long ago, your history since then etc.  If you just got out of prison for a string of shotgun liquor store robberies where you blasted a clerk or two?  Ummmm, no, that person rates a lifetime ban, in my opinion.  I even think Mark_FTL should at least be allowed to be heard, given the specific circumstances and the time involved.

I notice you didn't say that Mark SHOULD be allowed to carry, only that he should be allowed to apply. Realistically, how would this work though? You say that the guy who shot and killed the liquor store clerk should be permanently banned but suggest that Mark should have the chance? If you hold the idea that people CAN change, how do you create exemptions? Why couldn't the liquor store killer change after a decade too? Perhaps becoming a father has instilled in him a deep respect for life...

Once again, I lean to the side of "I'd rather deal with the consequences" than deprive one person a right. You're used to New Hampshire's gun climate and even in the least restrictive state in the nation you recognize that people get freaked out by guns, how would you expect a sampling of people to fairly re-enstate someone's right to carry when they get freaked out over non-felons carrying? The same thing that makes me despise the idea of juries makes me weary of any "process" to reinstate gun ownership. How can you expect a group of fallable humans to arrive at an infallible decisions?

Furthermore, if you're willing to accept that there are some cases where Constiutional rights don't apply (I'm going to assume you're a Constitutionalist... I notice you reference federal and state Constitutions and thanked Puke for his service, so I'll assume you hold "American Virtues" in high esteem) what is the line on the others? Some states don't allow felons to vote or hold public office. Would you feel okay that some felons were denied their right to religion or free speech? What makes right to own a gun and right to choose your own god so different?

I'm not trying to put you on the defensive side. :) I believe that given the same set of information, everyone would come to the same decisions. In asking my questions I'm trying to grok your logic. Unlike Kola, I don't really see "winning over the police" as an unplausible goal because I beleive that just as "the people" don't think a certan way, neither do "the police".

Quote from: 'Mike in CA'
However, you said "I think there are over a thousand members of this forum. Most of them do not live in Keene" and I do agree with this, as it relates to me. I do not live in Keene (yet), and so despite my interest in your replies I will stop participating in this thread.

Actually, Caleb said that, not Shane. This is a slightly relevant point because I think you took that as a subtle blow off. I for one, am working on moving to Keene so I think that this is totally relevant to me, even though I don't live there yet.
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Mike Barskey

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #74 on: May 04, 2008, 11:59 AM NHFT »

Quote from: 'Mike in CA'
However, you said "I think there are over a thousand members of this forum. Most of them do not live in Keene" and I do agree with this, as it relates to me. I do not live in Keene (yet), and so despite my interest in your replies I will stop participating in this thread.

Actually, Caleb said that, not Shane. This is a slightly relevant point because I think you took that as a subtle blow off. I for one, am working on moving to Keene so I think that this is totally relevant to me, even though I don't live there yet.
Oops, you're right. I still agree with the statement, though, as it applies to me. While I am attempting to move to NH, I do not know when it will happen and I do not know whether I'll live in Keene, so I will continue to read and learn how Shane of the Keene Police feels about freedom, but I don't think I want to participate.

But as long as I'm posting here to admit my quoting mistake, I'll take this opportunity to thank you for an awesome post, which I was about to do in a PM. You made great points and put the principles of freedom in clear view with real and realistic examples. Good work!
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