Thursday, July 31, 2014
Hi, my name is- How to grow a cop
A little perspective on where I came from. I grew up in a family of cops. I would end up being fourth generation law enforcement. I idolized the cops I grew up around, they were the epitome of old school southern cops. They took absolutely no shit, but also had the understanding that there was the letter of the law, then there was the spirit of the law. Meaning an officers greatest asset was his discretion. I had a lot of respect for them. We can already see why this didn't end well for me. Modern police aren't trained that way anymore, its all about the "stats". No modern department in their right mind has "quotas" anymore, at least not officially. They get around that now cancerous term by keeping "stats" which is nothing more than keeping tabs on how many stops you made, how many citations were written, how many warnings were given, how many cars you impounded, warrants cleared, etc, etc. They'll tell you that there isn't a "quota" but I guarantee if your numbers are on the low side you're going to be having a one on one with your supervisor in the near future. What determines the low side you ask? Guess that depends on how many road nazi assholes you work with. Policing is now graded on a curve. If they're writing 50 citations a shift and you come in with 5 verbal warnings, someones ass is about to be gnawed upon. It doesn't matter that you were out actually trying to stop a crime with an actual victim, there's no paper trail or revenue in that.
Back to my point, growing up around a majority of cops was an interesting ordeal. Now most of these guys weren't your everyday tail light chaser, these were all tactical guys. These guys were the ones that started the first SWAT teams in the area. Most were prior military with special forces experience. Vietnam, Panama and the first Iraq war were where most of them cut their teeth. I'd go to their training days and be a role player in the scenarios they'd run. My job was to come up with ways to screw them up without getting my ass beat too bad. I toted a lot of ass beatings, but I was good at fucking them up too.
By the time I turned 18, I could clear a house like a seasoned SWAT operator. I had been taught throughout my teens about policing. I knew a lot about tactics, law, law theory, and most importantly I knew, or at least had a small understanding of the cutthroat politics that can come into play at times. I was taught to be tough but fair. Don't start none, wont be none kind of mentality. Never initiate, but if someone puts his hands on you, you put them in the fucking hospital. This was my upbringing. This was my childhood.
But there's gotta be a twist right? Of course there is. When I wasn't running around playing kindergarten cop or jerking off to Die Hard for the thousandth time, I was smoking weed and studying history, politics, and counter culture. When I say studying counter culture, I don't mean I listened to some Grateful Dead and made hemp jewelry. I was reading Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Albert Hoffman, Ken Kesey and Terence McKenna. Learning everything I could about everything I shouldn't was an addiction. Especially when it came to studying psychedelics. I was beyond intrigued about the promising medical studies of the 50's and 60's showing unbelievable accounts of psychedelics curing age old disease like depression, anxiety and alcoholism. My senior thesis was on how psychedelics had molded our society and art. Aced that bitch. My "why are we not funding this" question was answered when I started reading more into the politics at play and about the CIA's human experiments with hallucinogens. Unfortunately for me, I grew up pre internet so I was under the impression that the news and the history books at school were telling me the truth.
So there I am, an 18 year old walking contradiction. I could write an operation order for taking down a drug house. I new the foundations of constitutional law. I could also speak at length on the origins of LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, DMT and ayauasca. I knew how to safely conduct a traffic stop while quoting Hunter S. Thompson.
So I did what any sane, logical person would do in my situation. I joined the Marines.