Have you ever written a ticket for or arrested another officer?
Contrary to popular belief, law enforcement officers are not above the law. It is unfortunate but officers do get arrested. I have never personally arrested another officer but I have been fortunate enough to not get put in that position. As for tickets, I have always been pretty big on warnings (who likes getting a ticket right?) so I have let lots of people go with a warning.
We’ve all seen officers driving over the limit without lights and sirens. What are some legitimate reasons for this?
Driving about the limit is dangerous enough when you do have emergency equipment activated so we are very sensitive to doing it without the equipment. The only time that practice is allowable is when responding to a serious call where the sound of the siren or the visible display of lights could alert an offender to our approach and further endanger public safety. As you can imagine, that is a rare situation.
Do most officers appreciate having to wear body cams?
Yes! We have never had a single officer complain about the use of body cameras. On several occasions they have helped validate our officers’ version of events.
Are there laws you don’t like but you find yourself saying “I really hate to do this to you, but…” ?
Of course there are things in the legal system that I might not agree with but as a professional, I have to recognize my role and enforce laws equally without interjecting my personal opinions. That being said, in my mind, enforcing the law doesn’t always equal arrest or a ticket. Police officers have many tools available to them to enforce the law that includes such things as education as well as arrests and citations. In the words of Judge Wapner from The People’s Court, you have to temper justice with mercy!
Is the Good Cop/Bad Cop a real thing?
Yes and no. I don’t know how much that really would work anymore. Would you want to talk to someone who was being horrible to you?? A suspect might connect better with one officer over another but intentionally being hostile to drive them in a particular way does not resonate well with juries. They like it in their movies but not in real life. It seems coercive.
Cory Tchida is Assistant Chief of the Georgetown Police Department. Send your questions for the Chief to firstname.lastname@example.org