Friday, November 19, 2010

The Problem.

So yesterday I was in Wal-Mart (shut up) on my lunch break in full uniform. I probably looked a little odd with my gun, corresponding Batman utility belt, and badge, considering my arms were full of shampoo, conditioner, and eyeliner. It's not every day you see a firearm in the makeup aisle.

I'm kind of amazed Wal-Mart doesn't sell these.

Speaking of which, why doesn't Wal-Mart have handbaskets? Do customers really lack the self-control to run in, grab a few things, and cash out like a normal person without getting so distracted by shiny things that a cart becomes necessary? I... think I just answered my own question.

But as I was doing the self-checkout thing, the cashier noticed me and asked if I was a cop. I clarified I was a parole officer.

"But," she said, confused, "You seem so nice."

This? Is a problem. I've talked about my status as the Nice One in my office (nobody who knows me believes me), and this is why I make such an effort. The girl proceeded to tell me a story about trying to visit her brother in one of the local jails and how all of the staff treated her like shit. I've gotten this when talking to the family members of parolees too. It actually eats up a lot of my time because they always call me back with questions about the legal system, prisons, the district attorney, and a hundred other topics in the criminal justice system about which I'm not really qualified to answer -- all because I'm the only person in the whole hellish process who ever bothered to be nice to them.

Not this guy.
I'll never understand this attitude, particularly to the families of the offenders, but towards anyone, felon or not. I'm nice to my parolees. Not just because it means they'll be less likely to shoot me when I visit them at home, but because it's the right thing to do. You don't have to go out of your way to be kind; this isn't waiting tables and your safety is constantly in jeopardy.

I'm curious just how much the Asshole Cop attitude gets them in trouble later down the line. I've had parolees get pulled over for a taillight violation and end up running away even when there was no contraband in the car and they weren't doing anything illegal. I wonder why that is?

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