An inside look at police psychology

Dear Mr. Celente:

I understand your frustrations with rogue practices of modern policing. Suburban and rural police departments overuse SWAT teams for minor offenses. They also over issue traffic tickets for the purpose of revenue collection, as well as pursue civil forfeiture procedures. And what about the ubiquitous use of check points that further plagues our society.?

This is the result of our wars on DWI, Drugs, and terrorism. It is also the result of the overly eager suburban (non industrial) area police departments justifying their use of SWAT teams. Some of these activities have even entered the realm of the larger urban industrial cities.

Like you, I am the product of Roman Catholic Italian roots. I am also a retired NYPD Sergeant with 22 years of experience. I believed in an order-maintenance style of policing and one of my most favorite assignments was community policing beat officer. Police are often too involved in the daily activities of its citizens. Its primary purpose should be crime deterrence, and termination of violence against others. A neighborhood that is kept safe through deterrence is better than a neighborhood that is violent where numerous arrests are made.

Howeve,r as you know as a practitioner of close combat, sometimes you had to back it up with some force. I believe that everyone has the absolute right of self defense against an aggressive thug.

Yes there are sociopaths in policing and that is simply because a) police departments represent the same demographic cross section of society and b) unfortunately sociopaths are instinctively attracted to positions of power. There are also aggressive egocentrics in policing, but this by far does not represent the average cop on the beat.

But you must understand that the police hierarchy loves the aggressive egocentric cop and encourages him because he is the guy who aggressively brings in the most arrests. The cop who believes police work is a calling does too (without the hyper aggressive attitude) but he eventually gets burned out.

The aggressive egocentric cop has a huge ego that needs to be constantly satisfied (he begins every sentence with the word “I”) so he never burns out. The police hierarchy loves the results of this so they actively promote hyper aggressive cops actions because to them it produces results.

This is the standard which other officers are evaluated against. That is until it goes wrong when the act of reckless behavior produces a very bad result, at which point they sacrifice the cop whose reckless behavior they encouraged.

Skip to content