Friday, December 26, 2008

Criminal vs Civil

After enjoying a day with my family to celebrate a little holiday cheer, I return to work and deal with a very angry member of the community I work for, one of my first phone calls for the day. And spend a great amount of time trying to explain the difference between a criminal call for service (which we would handle) and a civil incident/case (in which we would not respond). And listened to her mouthing off and start "kitchen sinking" list of complaints about the agency I work for.

On television and in movies, you never see an Officer or Dispatcher refuse to answer a citizens request for police presence. An officer responds and settles the issue and writes up the report. Yeah, right.

Hello to all those script writers out there! Learn the facts and write accordingly! Take the opportunity to educate the general public who believe everything they see on television and in the movies as fact.

Law enforcement agencies, like the local police departments and sheriff departments, as a rule, respond to requests of the criminal nature. Granted, many sheriff departments have a civil division to help with service of warrants and restraining orders, but the rule of thumb is, if you have a complaint of the civil nature, don't call the police. They're crime fighters. Civil servants that don't handle civil complaints. (Now that's an oxymoron-ish).

2 comments:

The Dispatcher and Her Officer said...

Oh I love it when they call and insist that we come pick up the Cigarette but that was found near there car window that was smashed. So we could get DNA off of it! I know it can be done!! I saw it on CSI last night!!!

We don't have that kind of money at this agency!!

copswife said...

How about calling and complaining that the city crew plowed snow and pushed snow on my sidewalk, damn it! Didn't happen to my husband but it's one I've heard of. The officer actually shoveled her walk just to shut her up and his chief said, I see where you are coming from, but don't do that again.

As I've said, we live in a rural community so, unfortunately, sometimes the cops do have to respond to some of those BS calls. Those in power and the citizens doen't "get" that civial thing.