Monday, July 23, 2012

Culture of Control

What's interesting about talking to other Cop's Wives is that you begin to realize that no matter where your significant other is a police officer, there's a culture of control that is invading the very core of Police Departments everywhere; from supervisors who are micromanaging the every move of staff, to police officers being second-guessed in the field, to department policies becoming punitive, i.e. you must win in traffic court today or you will get docked vacation days. (In NYC we call it getting "ripped.")
And it's ridiculous. Women leave controlling husbands every day, in every culture, all over the world. If a boss or a friend becomes overbearing or controlling in our lives, we are quick to want out, and either way, we move farther away from giving our all, to giving what we need to give...just to alleviate the pain.
We feel undervalued.
We get resentful.
It's human nature.
The other night, we went to a minor-league baseball game and there were people yelling directions from the stands: "RUN, run, run, run...RUN!!" Or..."WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" Or just general advice.
About halfway through the game, I realized how easy it is to be a spectator. When you're not out in the field, it's sometimes easy to say how you should have, or would have played it. But being out there is a totally different ball game. (Pun intended.) Because if you could throw a ball like that, then you'd be the one out there, right? And if you could do their job, then why aren't you out there doing it?


  1. WTF? "you must win in traffic court today or you will get docked vacation days"

    Don't you guys have an Association or Union? This is incomprehensible, especially if you have strong collective bargaining.

    Time to quit and head out this way where the pay is good, the hours fair, and the department squared-away.

  2. Ah, Meadow! So here's the deal according to the husband: they technically can't dock you for not winning in court, but they can dock you for being unprepared, having a memo book that does not help you be prepared, or...saying you don't know or can't remember, etc. In fact, they currently have a friendly Internal Affairs Officer posted directly outside of traffic court that you must report to---if you lose---before leaving said court to go to your command. It's this person's job to look at your memo book and a copy of the summons...and if you don't have the proper're getting a hit. If perhaps you lost just because it was not your day...then you can skip the IAB portion of this nerve-wracking practice. Apparently, they aren't ripping cops because the other guy had a better lawyer. Our PBA has not said anything official (yet)about this practice, much to many officer's chagrin.
    As for your offer...any openings?
    SCW Stella


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