Pew Poll: Urban Officers Favor People’s Right to Arms

Officers Practicing Adverse Weather Shooting. Photo Courtesy of the Massachusetts State Police.

Pew Research has released a poll taken in the middle of 2016. Note that the Orlando night club massacre and the massive media hype calling for a ban on “assault weapons” occurred one-third of the way through the survey period for police. The shooting of five police officers in Dallas, with a rifle, occurred half-way through the survey period. By Dean Weingarten The public survey was conducted two months after the Orlando Pulse shooting, at the height of the establishment media demonization of “assault weapons,” and one month after the shooting of five officers in Dallas.

Officers Practicing Adverse Weather Shooting. Photo Courtesy of the Massachusetts State Police.
Officers Practicing Adverse Weather Shooting. Photo Courtesy of the Massachusetts State Police.

The poll is more correctly a poll of urban police officers than of all police officers. Rural and small town police officers were excluded from the poll. Those officers make up 37% of the officers in police and sheriff’s departments in the country. Even the urban officers strongly favored the right to arms. From Police officers are considerably more likely than the general public to say it is more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns than it is to control gun ownership (74% of officers vs. 53% of the public).

Both urban police and the public expressed support of a national database to track gun sales. Precisely what is meant by that is left to the reader’s imagination. The public portion of this poll was taken at the height of establishment media propaganda for more restrictions on guns after the Orlando Pulse shooting.

A majority of police and a larger share of the public also support the creation of a federal database to track gun sales (61% and 71%, respectively).

There is an enormous split between urban police attitudes about banning assault-style (whatever that means) weapons and the public attitude. Again, these surveys were taken, for the most part, shortly after the Orlando Pulse shooting.

However, the consensus on guns vanishes when the focus turns to assault-style weapons. About two-thirds of Americans (64%) but only about one-third of police (32%) favor outlawing assault weapons.

This is not surprising. Urban police almost never encounter semi-automatic rifles in the course of their duties. They know that overall, rifles, such as the many AR-15 and various AK-type variants, are extremely rare in crime. Many officers, even urban officers, are familiar with these type of rifles and have qualified with them.

That cannot be said for the general public. The public survey was taken exclusively after the Orlando Pulse massacre and the media driven propaganda aimed at banning assault weapons.

After the Orlando shooting, the term “assault weapon” was conflated with AR and AK variants. This is why Pew asked about “assault-style” weapons rather than assault weapons or assault rifles. Assault weapon is a specific legal term that includes many handguns and shotguns, including most magazines used by police in their handguns. Assault rifle is a specific technical term that excludes nearly all AR and AK variants in the United States. “Assault style” is vague enough to include the rifle used in the Orlando shooting.

If we have discovered anything about attitudes toward the Second Amendment and public ownership of firearms, it is that there is an enormous gulf between rural and small town America and urban America. Yet, the sample was deliberately and heavily weighted toward large, urban police and sheriff’s departments, ignoring officers in small town and rural departments. From The main survey is an online poll of a nationally representative sample of 7,917 officers working in 54 police and sheriff’s departments with 100 or more sworn officers. (Some 63% of all sworn officers work in departments of this size.) The first sentence in the quote above is not true. The survey is *not* a nationally representative sample. The survey ignored rural and small town America, where about 37% of American police officers (pdf) live and work. It heavily weighted the poll toward large urban departments where about 25% of American police officers live. Included in the poll, but given less representation, were urban police officers in cities of 100,000 to 500,000.

The sample was taken from the largest 5% of police and sheriff’s departments. Of approximately 15,400 departments, half have less than 10 officers.

The departments sampled averaged over 1,000 officers per department.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (pdf 2013 data), there are only 49 departments in the entire United States that have more than 1,000 sworn officers.

It is easy to understand why small departments were not sampled. It is simply harder to do. Instead of obtaining cooperation with one police chief, cooperation with 20 is required. This selection bias skews the sample significantly.

It is almost certain the percentage of police with positive attitudes toward the Second Amendment would have been higher if rural and small town America officers had been included in the sample.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Link to Gun Watch.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (36)

  1. Then clearly you have never taken the time to actually converse with any… or you have been on the wrong side of the law.

    Many of my fellow officers have been from minority groups, and they have stood up for all AMERICAN CITIZENS having a constitutional right. They do exclude criminals.

  2. ok.. So 1st ” “He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches.” Does this mean he who can not police teach police officers? I don’t know how that statement effects your argument. I expressed my source because I’m honest. When you express things that are not of your own as if they are that’s plagiarism- of sorts. You say 50% of law enforcement have a college degree. Even if that were true i most certainly i can that out of that 50% most of those cops rarely see the street. They are in positions of power, intelligence gathering, or others that require them away from high volume field work. And the a lot of others have degrees that are fairly irrelevant to police work (i know a ton a cops like this). They went to college, graduated, started working, then became cops for various reasons. And your statement about skills is neither here nor there because ALL peoples’ skills fade with age eventually. That’s a fact of growing old especially working in a impacting, vigorous environment. The rookies are the least skilled and put to work in the harshest environments and you made it clear that they are the least skilled by far… “”The “knews” *pun intended* is flooded with stories of people getting shot by the police because THEY called the police for help, accidentally/purpose. Its like they don’t assess the situation before the trigger is pulled.”” <——— THANK YOU FOR SOLIDIFYING MY SENTIMENT. And this quote of yours here """This destroys your idea that fresh-from-the-academy recruits are more skilled, or that “most of them aren’t that smart” because they only have a high school equivalency"""" – reread the line about my college professor or the 1st line of this comment. Good day to you

    1. @ Primo,

      Well “1st” before you go asking such an absurd question in a failed attempt to be witty, you should learn that police officers do not have “teachers”; they have academy instructors and on-the-job trainers that are also sworn active police officers – so they are the “doers”.

      Now that I’ve educated you on that topic, you no longer need to ponder your own comments like, “I don’t know how that statement effects [sic] your argument.” – because it has no affect upon my argument in the least.

      Now then, if you were truly striving for honesty as you’ve claimed, then you’d have instead opened your comment by saying, “In all honesty I haven’t a clue about anything I’m commenting on here, so take it all with a grain of salt…”

      But now blaming this all on your professor as your “source” shows it wasn’t so much your desire to be honest, as it was more likely your misguided belief that citing a professor would somehow lend more credibility to your personal opinion. But after I made the point that citing a liberal professor these days will actually diminish your credibility, you then decided to make excuses after getting your feelings hurt.

      So now you ridiculously attempt to explain away bringing your professor into this by writing, “When you express things that are not of your own as if they are that’s plagiarism- of sorts.” Such a statement is preposterous to think people are committing plagiarism if they fail to cite every single source from their kindergarten teacher through college professors before speaking their opinion.

      Everything a person has learned that leads to the formation of an opinion was at some point shaped from another source. So based on your preposterous theory, our entire lives have been plagiarized then because most people rarely cite every single person they’ve garnered information from before speaking.

      The reality is that once you get past your ridiculousness, you’ll simply have to admit it wasn’t your fear and worry over being a plagiarist, and instead just admit you chose to cite the professor because you felt it supported your personal opinion. Especially given your original comment was so commingled that no one could figure out where your professor’s opinion ended or yours began.

      Interestingly you’ve seriously contradicted yourself by shifting your opinion to now saying that you know “a ton” of cops that joined the force with college educations. Yet one of your biggest original points was to claim that cops “…aren’t that smart (a job that requires only a HS equivalency…)”.

      The balance of your last comment was so poorly written that I don’t dare pretend to act like I know what you were trying to say. However, if I were to hazard a guess, it appears you somehow think something I wrote helped “SOLIDFY YOUR SENTIMENT”, when in-fact it does nothing of the sort (except in your mind, I suppose). So let me once again point out the error in your ways…

      One thing I was able to decipher from your deficient commentary was that you’ve confused “skills” with “abilities”. They are not interchangeable and most jobs, especially police officers, require both. Skills can be honed no matter what your age; however abilities can diminish as one gets older.

      Since you improperly only focused your comments on “skills” I made the mistake of presuming you knew the difference – and thereafter appropriately redressed your comments accordingly.

      So you are absolutely incorrect to say, “peoples’ skills fade with age eventually”. With this and so many other flaws and contradictions throughout your train-wreck of comments, it is abundantly clear you are simply not adequately proficient enough to have engaged in this particular type of topic to begin with.

      So coming from this 34-year active federal agent, I’d hope you would agree – you just simply need to be done.

  3. Wow, the Pew Foundation actually reported something slightly favorable about guns? I have to run out and buy a lotto ticket. Miracles do happen. I can die at peace now. The Pew Foundation has reported something favorable about guns. The next thing that will happen is PETA will stage a bear hunt in New Jersey. The Sierra Club will once again take a stand in favor of limiting immigration, especially to California where the population is threatening to grossly exceed the water supply, despite the rain storms we had this winter. The ACLU will file an amicus brief with SCOTUS in favor of universal concealed and open carry and the lifting of restrictions on any type of weapon that presently utilized by our armed forces so that citizens once again have parity with government forces as intended by our founding fathers.

  4. All these so called assault weapons bans are illegal according to the Constitution these police departments swore to uphold when they were sworn in. The second amendment shall not be infringed means just that and yet everyone seems to look over the obvious. I find it pretty funny the politicians that pass these illegal gun bans have a armed security detail. And the police force have an array of Tools and weapons and man power at will to obliterate anything they put there sites on at will. And yet the common law abiding citizen that really pays all there salary’s threw taxes and revenue drawn from the public at large threw the money generating legal system cannot be armed to protect themselves or there loved ones. Sorry but personally I don’t go along with that program your lives are not more important than than the law abiding citizens. Police officers choose there profession just like the military serviceman its a dangerous job that will not change, police do not like to be outgunned and I understand that. So instead of retooling the force to handle the firepower issue they would rather make the honest law abiding citizen defenseless of there right to protect themselves and there families. So sorry if you are a LEO and you get upset if the law abiding citizen does not go along with the program. The CCW holder is and always will be the 4 ring of security and Im sure some officers who’s lives were saved by a citizen who shot his attacker will attest to that. Assault weapons have there place too for the task at hand I think Catrina has taught us that and the miss justice carried out by the New Orleans police departments in a natural disaster scenario leaving people defenseless in a natural disaster, some states passed laws to not let this illegal action repeat itself. The more politicians and police forces try and push for more gun control the less safer we all become. If you cant see this I feel sorry for you but I will never give up my right no matter who passes the law and who try’s to in forces that un Constitutional mandate.

  5. Idealism is easy. Idealistically we shouldn’t need police. However in the real world, where political/administrative agendas take precedence the constitution is only good in court. That’s if you make it there. Otherwise this article is pointless.
    If LEO’s followed the constitution, how could city/local govts. even consider a ban on guns or certain types of guns.
    The ‘laws’ are at the whim of and dictate of govt..
    Didn’t the last poles claim that the majority of police and civilians agree that guns should be restricted to police and military?
    However to say that the primary purpose of most, if not all leo’s is not “to make it home alive”, is patently false.

    1. “The ‘laws’ are at the whim of and dictate of govt..”

      There in is the fundamental problem, as it can become pretty clear that the US Founding Fathers didn’t think that should be the case — and that the citizenry should be involved in the process.

      Unfortunately it’s starting to seem like there are a great many people in this nation that would rather be “ruled” rather than “led” because being led might actually require the citizenry to “work” and be aware of what is being done (or attempted) in their name.

  6. Well stated.

    I find it deplorable that the people who espouse the “revenue agent” ideology forget which side they are supposed to be on. The side of those who have a sworn duty to the society which hires them to take the risks the majority of people are unable, for whatever reason, to take, or the side which seeks to maintain a safe environment within the communities in which they reside.

  7. Ok Jim fair enough, so were do you stand on the so called assault gun business ? I believe a armed society is a polite society. CCW holders are the fourth ring of security. The off duty police officer is the third. LEO on duty officers are the second. And the US military is the first. Each ring can not be everywhere at once so we all have a duty to do are part if and when necessary. Assault weapons is a crock of crap a gun is a tool period. Some are made for extreme duty purposes period. I want to be prepared for any task at hand. Hopefully that never happens but if it does I want the right tool for the right job, period.

    1. People should think back to those situations when Law Enforcement was fully unprepared for the evil they had to face on behalf of the public. Situations like bank robbers in North Hollywood with home made body armor and AKs with 30 round mags. Where police had to get equalizing firepower from a local gunshop. Meanwhile, law enforcement officers were being shot down without a second’s thought. In Florida, FBI agents walked into a situation where several were killed.

      It is such incidents as these where Law Enforcement sees a need to up their game with improved tactics and training, and better tools. This is no different than how the military advances tactics, training, and tools.

    2. “Situations like bank robbers in North Hollywood with home made body armor and AKs with 30 round mags. Where police had to get equalizing firepower from a local gunshot.”
      I remember the California Shoot-out very well. The first thing that went through my mind when the cops went and “borrowed” weapons from the gun store on the corner was:
      I WONDER IF OFFICER FRIENDLY FILLED OUT THE APPROPRIATE 4473 FORMS, HAD THE APPROPRIATE BACK GROUND CHECK RUN, WAITED THE ALLOTTED PERIOD (whatever that may be in the land of fruits and nuts) AND THEN TOOK DELIVERY OF HIS “ASSAULT WEAPON” (which are now “outlawed” in COMMIFORNIA). Hmmm, Somehow I think all of those “LAWS” were ignored. IMAGINE!!! Ignoring the laws that “LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ARE SWORN TO UPHOLD AND ENFORCE UNTIL RESCINDED” as Mr. G-man would so eloquently state. But then again, cops are a SPECIAL CLASS of people. No longer PUBLIC SERVANTS, but higher beings bestowed with qualified immunity, the thin blue line and the good old boy club attitude that they are above the law. Just another prime example of DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO, eh? What it all really boils down to is this; I personally don’t care if Urban Police Officers Favor People’s Rights to Arms any more than I care if Mickey Mouse or Goofy Favor People’s Rights to Arms. I live knowing what my GOD-GIVEN, UNALIENABLE rights are, and I’ll exercise those rights whenever I see fit, which at all times. Just like breathing air or looking at the sky.

  8. Kind of disappointing to see some of the hostility towards LEO’s here. With over 27 years in LE, it’s been my experience that (with the exception of Chief’s appointed in liberal cities by liberal city councils who have to kowtow to the mayor and alderman’s positions) LEO’s almost uniformly support citizen’s 2nd amendment rights. Sure, we might be a PITA sometimes, but we know that the responsible armed citizenry is the most important part of our community, and are usually our biggest supporters. And we are theirs.

  9. I agree with Dustin. Police are “supposed” to be PUBLIC SERVANTS. In other words, they are supposed to work for you and I as peace officers, to maintain the peace. But we all know what they really are, REVENUE AGENTS, for their respective jurisdictions.
    As for G-Man who says “Quite thoughtless of you to not see the importance of evaluating the attitudes of those in positions of authority implicitly tasked with enforcing gun laws that may or may not deprive you of your Second Amendment Rights. I’d say that makes them quite special, and you quite ignorant for not realizing that.”, I would suggest a thorough review of simple, yet brilliant documents such as THE BILL OF RIGHTS and THE CONSTITUTION, along with important Supreme Court decisions such as MARBURY vs. MADISON as they pertain to the same. YOU SIR, are sadly mistaken when you say “may or may not deprive you of your 2nd Amendment Rights”. First, NOBODY and I mean NOBODY has the right to deprive anyone of their rights as outlined in the Constitution or more specifically Bill of Rights. These were placed in print as EMPHASIS on what gov. could not tread upon. Also, the Bill of Rights does not “GIVE” you rights. These are mere reiterations of what you inherently already have, GOD-GIVEN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS.
    As to MARBURY vs. MADISON you’ll find that any of your idiotic ordinances, codes, statutes, etc….that are in diametric opposition to the Constitution are NULL & VOID at the outset. So, in other words, let’s say your a municipal cop and you have a municipal or city code that says it shall be “illegal” for an individual to walk around town with a pistol strapped to their person. You, as a REVENUE AGENT can attempt to enforce that code, in hopes to gain your monthly quota and fill the city coffers with “fine” money. One of several things can happen. 1. You make a successful arrest, trampling over the rights of the individual you are there to serve. 2. You get sued in court for violation of Rights, lose your job, your badge and more importantly your so-called implied immunity to prosecution which opens up the ability for you to be sued for everything you have. 3. You are shot dead for you attempt to deny an individual inherent rights (this is going to become more common and pronounced as people are beginning to wake up and become more educated as to how the system really works and to what the true intentions of the system truly are).
    I find nothing more repulsive that a PUBLIC SERVANT, whether they be a cop, a clerk, a politician, a judge, or whatever, that swears an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, and then turns around and violates the very same. DISGRACEFUL!

    1. @ Thomas Jefferson,

      … Anyway, getting back to reality – my message would only be comprehensible and relevant to those with a bearing on realism, rather than the delusional musings rolling about in your head. So let’s get down to reality.

      Should you ever choose to step down from your high and mighty pedestal to join the rest of us down here who actually deal in the World’s gritty harsh realities, you just may eventually see that your unhealthy 1-2-3 fantasy arrest-lawsuit-death scenarios are not only immature, but come nowhere close to the functional actualities of the real World.

      As a federal agent in my 34th year of service as well as a military reservist I understand the Constitution quite well as I defend and uphold it on a daily basis. So it goes without saying that my experiences in reality overrides your Paul Revere fantasies as a keyboard cowboy that falsely emboldens you to bash the fine men and women in law enforcement who risk their lives every day to ensure you can type your ignorant rhetoric.

      The reality I live in allows me to understand (better than you) that as humans we are not infallible creatures. Our founding fathers knew this as well and were intelligent enough to devise a Constitution that anticipated these flaws and instituted a process of checks and balances. The process to correct unjust laws may be slow at times, but it is steady and just.

      It is unfortunate that you can’t grasp that somewhere in between all this governance that law and order must still be maintained. More ridiculous is your obvious inability to understand that it is not up to law enforcement to individually and selectively choose which laws they will or won’t enforce. If a law is on the books, we have a sworn duty to enforce it until it is rescinded. The alternative is nothing short of total anarchy, which apparently you’d prefer.

      So I challenge you to look into the face of a single one of these children, whose parent sacrificed their life to defend your repugnant desire to spew such idiocy, and I dare you to tell them their mother or father was nothing more than a “REVENUE AGENT”. You truly disgust me and you should be ashamed.

      I have said many times in this forum that in an idealistic world there should not be a single law on the books anywhere that restricts the right to bear arms. But reality is all we have to deal with, and in so doing, my comment still stands which was that, “It is importance to evaluate the attitudes of those in positions of authority implicitly tasked with enforcing gun laws that may or may not deprive you of your Second Amendment Rights”.

      Simply stated, there is nothing wrong with keeping your finger on the pulse of those in power. So rather than talk your worthless crap, instead try doing your citizenly duty to be part of lawful change.

    2. Hmmm, Mr. G-man,… I find your thought process very “typical” of a government drone. I too was a government drone (U.S. Army Officer) until I WISED UP and educated myself about the entire corrupt system.
      Let me give you a little advice. You state, “More ridiculous is your obvious inability to understand that it is not up to law enforcement to individually and selectively choose which laws they will or won’t enforce. If a law is on the books, we have a sworn duty to enforce it until it is rescinded. The
      alternative is nothing short of total anarchy, which apparently you’d prefer.”
      This sounds rather familiar…hmmm, something like “I was just following orders”. IT DIDN’T WORK AT NUREMBERG, so I don’t know what makes you think it will work here! The fact that you ADMIT to being nothing but a tool for the man is nothing short of admission that you cannot think for yourself, (…”we have a sworn duty to enforce it until it is rescinded.”)
      So, with that line of thought, if/when the government says, round up all blond hair blue eyed females so they can be shot at high noon, YOU would follow “the law” and do so, until rescinded, CORRECT??? Where do you draw the line drone? Where do your “values” come into play and override your “sworn duty to enforce”?
      I figured out the BS early on, thus I resigned and went on to obtain a real job. Something that actually benefited people. Maybe you should reflect on your thought process, “duties” and the Constitution and see if changes shouldn’t be made! I for one will allow NO man, NO government, NO agency to dictate to me what my GOD-GIVEN, UNALIENABLE RIGHTS are. I know what they are, and nobody is at liberty to deny me of them.

    3. @ Thomas Jefferson,

      You are barking up the wrong tree there. If you’ve been a member of this forum for any amount of time you’d know I am a regular here and have echoed a similar sentiment for years.

      So fundamentally you sound just like me. The only difference is I had the balls to stay in the system so I could retain the power to promote change from within. You gave up, turned in your card, and now are obviously lashing out of frustration at those of us that are still in charge and in positions to make authoritative decisions you can’t.

      Claiming you quit as if it were taking the high road is just a lame excuse for failure and giving up. If you really were ever on the inside, you’d know there is no better place to exact real change. That’s fine you chose to give up… “To each his own”, I always say. But for you take your disgrace out on the rest of us that have the courage to stand our posts – to do what you couldn’t – is completely unacceptable.

      With such divisive opinions across this Country you are outright dangerous to propose anyone holding a government position should just disregard enforcing whichever laws they whimsically feel are wrong. Your parochial mentality prevents you from grasping that not everyone will decide what is right or wrong with you in mind.

      Moreover you lack the cognitive intellect to realize we just went through 8 years of Obama’s liberal government employees who did exactly what you propose. Their selective lack of enforcement over laws they felt were wrong is precisely what put this Country in the dumpster and opened it up to terrorism.

      So I thank the Lord you couldn’t hack it in the military and opted out. With all the damage Obama caused, we definitely didn’t need your rogue undisciplined antics adding to the problem like an enemy from within.

      And one parting shot at your “NUREMBERG“ comment… If you served even a day in the military you’d know the UCMJ provides penalties for following orders you know to be unlawful. Law enforcement agencies have similar penalties. So if you’ve lost faith in that, then there is one more card you should turn in, denounce your citizenship, and move to a country you feel will offer you better odds.

  10. Well I’m certainly glad that the tax collectors who have approximately one whole week of firearms training think that I can keep my guns. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I think they can keep their guns too. Pending they learn how to use them. It would be great to know that the person coming to save me is not going to shoot me by accident due to poor gun handling.

    1. The “knews” *pun intended* is flooded with stories of people getting shot by the police because THEY called the police for help, accidentally/purpose. Its like they don’t assess the situation before the trigger is pulled. My college professor told me somethings to be weary about with cops; They have to wear a gun to work- that’s not a good thing, they have a hard job dealing with sh*t we don’t wanna deal with, they are not always in the best condition to get the job done (being burned out), and most of them aren’t that smart (a job that requires only a HS equivalency and 6months or less of training that’s mostly physical or situational at best). This is all good coming straight out the academy, but after that skills fade. Basically don’t expect a lot from cops because even before the job their potential is not impressive. Just thank them for doing they best they can and hope no one gets hurt.

    2. @ Primo,

      Your first mistake was listening to your college professor. You know what they say – “He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches.”

      Another mistake is that given the mass communistic progressive liberal infestation of teachers that are increasingly being exposed throughout colleges and universities, I am surprised you actually admitted your professor was the source you chose to base your posted opinion upon. Assuming you actually expected your post to have even a modicum of credibility, next time maybe leave that part out.

      Now for some unbiased facts to correct you and your professor’s severely misguided offerings…

      On average 50% of the Nation’s law enforcement officers have a college degree and the total percentage is even higher when counting those currently in the midst of acquiring their degrees.

      On the contrary, officers with degrees can be more problematic as they have a tendency to not be as satisfied with their jobs as those without a degree. Degreed officers tend to get in more disputes with their superiors and constantly feel they deserve higher command positions. In other words – “too many chiefs, but not enough Indians”.

      You overwhelmingly shows you (or your professor) knows absolutely nothing about policing to say officer’s skills fade the longer they are out of the academy. The academy is only the start of their training and it is in the field on the job where the real skills and experience is acquired and monitored by FTOs (Field Training Officers). Add to this – the constant briefings and mandatory on-training, upgrade-training, and re-qualification courses every officer must attend throughout their entire career.

      The newest recruits are actually the least skilled and thus called rookies for that very reason. So your thinking they are somehow better skilled when fresh out of the academy is irrefutably incorrect. So despite your absurdly ridiculous assumptions, every day spent on the job makes an officer increasingly skilled, not less.

      There are studies looking into the core of the problem which indicates with or without college degrees, new recruits are at the bottom of the echelon rung and thus assigned the most undesirable duties in the nastiest areas. These areas are where the news breaking mistakes are usually made, so if new recruits’ skills were better, as you’ve claimed, then these areas would not be where the news is made.

      Instead, these studies show the most capable and skilled officers have been promoted to higher ranks which enjoys nicer field areas, detective duties, or safer office work assignments and so when this highly skilled (older) portion of the force is not in the field to guide these younger (less skilled) recruits, then more mistakes are made.

      This destroys your idea that fresh-from-the-academy recruits are more skilled, or that “most of them aren’t that smart” because they only have a high school equivalency. But given how misleading your “professor” was goes to show maybe higher education isn’t really the best indicator of how smart a cop can be.

    3. So I’m going to jump in here and agree all have valid points, just based on what I’ve seen from various law enforcement agencies around the country (partially from within the field of work), but mostly from the outside.

      From that basis I’m not going to dispute that there are a great many well-educated LEOs in this nation who genuinely care about the nation, it’s people and doing a good job. On the other hand, I’ve also run across a few places were it’s become apparent the law enforcement agencies are attracting the sort of individuals that meet the local minimal qualifications (i.e. high school degree and no felony convictions) and those individuals want to do the “cop-thing” as portrayed by Hollywood – or just be “the Man”.

      Of course once any of those individuals are hired reality sets in and pressures start greatly influence how (and if) they get to do their job as properly as it should be done.

      Some of those pressures come directly from the populace, and others come as a result of the politicians the populace has elected.

      Though whatever the source it all comes back to the population eventually gets what they paid for ….which may just be what they asked for without realizing they it.

    4. @ JJPrize,

      You’ve made some very well rounded commentary. Rather than broadly paint “ALL COPS” in the same bad light, you are smart enough to show you realize there are problem areas that need to be identified and rooted out; rather than others whom ignorantly label and blame all cops.

      If it is any consolation, while I don’t know the extent of your recruitment knowledge I can say each State sets a standard for all departments throughout its entire State to ensure hiring and training consistency. So for example: Whatever a new county deputy knows, so does a new college police office even if they work on opposite ends of a State.

      Each State usually holds high standards that are generally coordinated and consistent between other States as well. I think any recruit will agree the process for just getting looked at to be hired is quite intense.

      Aside from the battery of tests (both written and physical), there are financial responsibility investigations, personal investigations, criminal background investigations, extensive physiological evaluations, and layers upon layers of brutal interviews and one or more final acceptance interview by a panel of street officers who know how to tear you up.

      Then there is the academy which is further designed to force anyone short of the absolute best, to drop out; followed by field training under constant supervisor for a year or more on-the-job. Many officers wind up getting their probation and FT extended.

      Nevertheless despite all these measures, as you’ve wisely pointed out, some bad apples still fall through the cracks. But just as in many other professions there are supervisors, field evaluation teams, and dedicated departments specifically trained and set up to look for these bad apples at all times and at any point in a career – to get rid of them.

      For anyone that questions the varsity of such internal affairs operations they need to know that they want to get rid of the problems early before they become a costly liability down the road. Cover-ups are rare, but can happen.

      One could say that isn’t good enough because other professions aren’t in the business of carrying guns that can kill citizens. I would then argue that one need only look at the medical profession where they will see thousands of more wrongful death claims than anything in law enforcement. They have their review boards all the same to get rid of bad doctors and staff as well.

      My point in writing all this is to hopefully build more confidence in the law enforcement system, while also admitting that you are absolutely right – it is not perfect. However, no matter how many great Rules a State puts into place, it will always come down to the quality of the politicians and personnel willing to enforce them.

      With that, I can only conclude by quoting your own most fitting words on the matter:

      “Some of those pressures come directly from the populace, and others come as a result of the politicians the populace has elected. Though whatever the source it all comes back to the population eventually gets what they paid for ….which may just be what they asked for without realizing it.”

      Well said!

    5. @G-Man

      Don’t disagree with any of what you’ve said. However, with what I’ve seen/heard in the last several years with regards to some of the local law enforcement agencies here in Northern Alabama it’s given me further appreciation of the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in establishing the framework of government hierarchy that currently exists, as well as an (unfortunate) understanding for some of the complaints expressed by anti-LEO groups.

      The single most significant incident was the entire situation surrounding the murder of Jason Klonowski. While that murder case may never be solved, the fact that an officer has since been sentenced to prison for his actions in the events this citizen was protesting (prior to his murder) should be enough for anyone to take a very hard look at entirety of the situation/system. That would include the attitudes/behaviors of local law enforcement, and the communities view of law enforcement (which I’ve found to very different from that in my native home of Minnesota, or what I saw/experienced while getting my degree in Missouri). Speaking just as someone living in the larger Northern Alabama region the entire situation surrounding that murder appears like a massive failure of the local system. While I could be wrong, to me it doesn’t look at all good when state and federal law enforcement agencies get involved in matters that probably could/should have been handled locally.

      While that was but one event, it further reinforced my belief that “bad” (corrupt, incompetent, routinely careless, etc) cops are a big reason why good cops get killed — and that the law enforcement community as a whole should have absolutely zero tolerance for those members that willfully disregard or abuse the trust the public has bestowed upon them. Especially since such behaviors can contribute to the hostility that has now been seen on a national level. That of course lead to a fairly significant difference between the medical community (which I agree has some serious issues) and law enforcement – the public can choose which doctor they go to – however, (with few exceptions) they pretty much have to trust the system when it comes to who becomes a law enforcement officer as they have very little direct control in the matter.

      Apologies if this sounded preachy, but as a current federal civil servant when members of government (employed at any level) start acting in ways contrary to the interest of this nation’s people it rankles me. It does so even more when it’s someone that directly interacts with the public as they (rightly or wrongly) become a face representing all government employees — and it does absolutely nothing positive for this nation as a whole. Whereas things like the poll results described in this article may not matter much in the grand scheme of things, it does help show that law enforcement officials can and do trust their fellow citizens.

      So on that note I say: thank you – both for your service in the law enforcement community — and perhaps even more so for having the courage & integrity to acknowledge that there are indeed flaws within the system (it’s something that’s becoming entirely too rare outside of vain attempts to score political points). For from what I’ve seen it’s only after flaws are recognized and acknowledged can they begin to be truly corrected.

    6. @ JJPrize,

      Very interesting analogy you’ve made saying that – people have a choice in who serves them medically, but are limited (or no choice) in their selection for law enforcement services. However, the reality is the average person rarely selects the surgeon their doctor refers them to; especially when it involves an emergency operation.

      On top of that, consider the millions on government assisted medical plans (or no plan at all), in the military, or confined to prison who generally have no say over their medical choices either. Regardless, between those that can choose and those that can’t, they still sustain more deaths per year by incompetent medical personnel than the public does by incompetent law enforcement personnel.

      It was not my intent to split hairs, but rather I was attempting to put things into perspective by comparing two noble professions that are both dedicated to saving lives throughout the public at large.

      Each of these professions attempts to hire, train and retain the best; and yet the medical profession sustains an exceptionally disproportionate amount of higher deaths and failures than does law enforcement. Despite this fact, law enforcement sustains a disproportionately higher amount of backlash.

      The impoverished underclass of citizens prone to complaining more so than anyone else about law enforcement, are usually the very same welfare recipients of public medical services. And yet no one ever sees protesting and rioting in the streets over the most heinous of medical malpractice crimes and deaths – which far outweighs those caused by law enforcement.

      In impoverished areas, this can be directly attributed to the absence of a proper factual perspective towards the realities involved. But what is the root cause which prevents such proper perspectives from prevailing into solutions – rather than the riots, death and destruction of their own communities?

      The primary cause is an inadequate education, which is critically destructive towards one’s ability to properly seek out the facts in order to construct them into a realistic perspective from which to reach an appropriate and lasting resolution. Most lack the fundamental education to even perceive a need to gain perspective before making a determination towards conflict resolution.

      Yet even for those with the ability to grasp perspective, most will reject it because of some strict cultural creed which dictates that anger and violence is the only answer – despite a perspective that could otherwise lead them to the truth and thus a peaceful and lasting solution.

      So education along with convincing them to give up their cultural ethnocentrism is THE key to fixing the majority of these problems. And while law enforcement does make earnest attempts to contribute to educating such masses, this is by no means their primary responsibility or duty. Yet they take the brunt of the blame for it anyway.

      Then outside these impoverished communities you have the general public feeding off the liberal media frenzy which is addicted to exploiting each of these cases into outrageous proportions. In-turn creating the false news narrative that the police are committing these offenses at epidemic proportions – despite solid statistics which clearly proves otherwise. The media is not concerned with the innocent lives lost, people hurt, or the burned out property caused by their incitement. All they care about are the ratings it might generate.

      I have dedicated my life to a career rooting out the bad cops. At one point I almost lost my career and had to sue in federal court to get my job back after going after an entirely corrupt Department. So I very much side with you when it comes to straightening out government employees that act in ways contrary to the interest of this Nation. But it must be fair and done with a factually balanced perspective.

  11. I only have one comment and that has to do with the %64 of Americans that want a ban on assault rifles. I note that this poll was primarily done in urban areas. Wasn’t it the urban areas of the country where Mrs. Clinton got most of her support? Thus it would follow that most of the people polled are Democrats and in case you have missed it, it is the Democrats that are pushing the anti-gun movement!

    1. Number one. Citizens do not own “Assault ” Rifles… We should have learned to ignore Polls by now. . Better yet ask, who’s Poll ? Who produced it ? Where did it come from? Always ask questions before assuming it’s validity.
      I have a Poll for the Liberals, & guarantee they won’rt like it.

    2. It specifically said urban municple area officers from the larger precincts that have around 1000 sworn active officers

  12. In the Department I worked at we had just over 175 Sworn Officers and I do not know of a single one that thought that firearms should be banned. We felt that there are more than enough laws on the books, it is just that in many cases these laws are not enforced. We enforced them. The only ‘new’ gun law that we wanted was outlawing what was called ‘Saturday Night Specials’ which was finally done. After a person passes a background check AND they can show proficiency they should be allowed to carry a concealed firearm. Crimes that are committed with a firearm should carry twice the length of jail time.

    1. I agree with you except for two points.
      1. How can multiple police depts each follow their own definition of “assult rifle”, and all of them be seen as valid?
      2. But we live in a time when the gun IS the crime. It is often stated by LEO’s that they allow us to carry a weapon, unloaded, locked in a case in the car trunk, even though it’s considered a “concealed weapon”…

  13. I would recommend a review of the poll taken of law enforcement officers nationwide by Police One, which clearly evidenced that rank and file police officers across the nation were against gun controls, were pro 2nd Amendment rights, rejected the idea that all ARs and AKs in the hands of civilians are actually “assault rifles”. As I recall, the poll was extensive in the breakdown by age, sex, experience, size of department, size of community, and so on. Last time I looked at it was a downloadable pdf file. The leadership of larger departments were most apt to be pro gun control, anti-“assault” weapon, and more supportive of limits on 2nd Amendment rights.

    Law Enforcement, just like the armed forces, take an oath to “…protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic…”. Of course there will be those who take the oath but do not hold to it. However, the percentage of such officers is far smaller than the numbers of politicians who take the same oath and forget the words faster than they can speak them. CA is a prime example of that. Law Enforcement stood against the institution of harsh gun controls, and politicians ignored them and pushed the new laws through.

    Rural communities are almost always ignored when it comes to things like gun control. The powers that be ignore the fact that the people who live in major metropolitan areas and reside in 4% of the state, lead a very different existence from those who reside in the rural 96% of the state, and have very different values and needs.

  14. @ Dustin Eward,

    Quite thoughtless of you to not see the importance of evaluating the attitudes of those in positions of authority implicitly tasked with enforcing gun laws that may or may not deprive you of your Second Amendment Rights. I’d say that makes them quite special, and you quite ignorant for not realizing that.

    1. @ Dustin Eward,

      Quite thoughtless of you to not see the importance of evaluating the attitudes of those in positions of authority implicitly tasked with enforcing gun laws that may or may not deprive you of your Second Amendment Rights. I’d say that makes them quite special, and you quite ignorant for not realizing that.

    2. “This is nice and all, but Police Opinions are still just Opinions… They’re not special.”

      Police Officers, like all humans, have opinions. As I see it, the difference is that our “opinions” are based on experiences in our communities. When the media plays up a major incident, it is spread across the nation and the inexperienced masses make their judgements based thereon. Meanwhile, the experiences of all those police officers in all those other communities realize that their community has never had such an incident.

      The governor of (I believe) PA, asked the state police to bring every “assault weapon” used in a crime to the state capitol steps for a display against such arms. He was shocked when the state police could not produce even one such firearm. He had fallen for the entire myth of how widespread the use of such arms was spread, yet the State Police already knew the facts and he had ignored their “opinion”.

      This is one of the attributes I like about Trump. He thinks that military people are the best ones to determine how to run the military. The same with other sectors. He is choosing the people who have been most successful in their spheres of influence to sit those positions. This as opposed to appointments based upon how much influence a person had with the candidate’s party.

    3. I disagree Dustin. We Officers get to see crime on a daily basis up close and personal whereas 90% of Americans don’t. They rely on their local and national news, most of which is biased. We ARE, unfortunately, experts on crime.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.