Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Rule #212: Young cops

One of my favorite lines from any movie goes like this:
"When you're young, you think you're going to grow up to be some kind of super hero. But then you just grow up to be an Asshole like everybody else."
             -Dustin Hoffman "Hero" (giving advice to his son)

As a young adult just starting out, everyone dreams of making
their mark. Like the young undergrad who wants to be the #1 trader on Wall st. before he's 22. The young car salesman who wants to show the old boys how to sell Cadillacs. Or, like our subject of discussion here, the eager new recruit who wants to be robocop. So what does he do? He gets himself a red & white Gran Torino and gets to work pissing off as many people as possible.

 Let me illustrate with some personal experience. It's July 2001. I'm sitting on the beach in north Ontario. It's a beautiful night and I'm having a few beers with some new friends. Alcohol is illegal on the beach there and a cop rolls up. We hide the beers and the experienced cops look us over and see wer're not young kids and
we're not up to anything other than the obvious. He makes small talk and goes on his way. His job is done. The beach is safe and he's made his presence known. 24 hours later, the exact same scene unfolds. Except this time a young Starsky (or maybe Hutch, I can't remember what color his hair was) is on the beat. He comes flying up out of nowhere, opens the door
before he even stops, draws his weapon across the hood of the car, and as we're tucking beers away with his red laser sight trained on my forehead, he yells "GOTCHA, I SEE THEM BEERS!" So as I'm raising my hands to signify surrender, he shoots a beer right out of my hand and proceeds to write us up a nice ticket for drinking in public. (I only made up the weapon related parts. Everything else is true).

Maybe Dustin Hoffmans quote was a little off. Maybe what he meant to say was "you're an asshole when you're young, you just don't realize it until you grow up"...?

If you want to make you're mark at whatever you do, go for it. But not at the expense of others. If you have to sell people things they can't afford to be the #1 salesman, rethink your strategy. Likewise if you have to give tickets to (generally) law abiding people to gain super cop status.

In the new world, all new recruits will be required to watch Super Troopers in order to understand how real police work is done.

There will, however be very little (if any) crime in the new world thanks to rule #1.


  1. I completely see your point on this and how young cops can be a little over eager with their power, however, the older cop was not doing his job by walking away. What you were doing was illegal and you really should have been ticketed for it. Doesn't mean the young cop that gave you a ticket needed to be an asshole about it, but he was doing his job.

    1. Touche'. But please don't cloud the issue with facts. I wouldn't say the older cop wasn't doing his job. I think he did an excellent job of making sure the area was safe.


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