A former sergeant once called me into his office to order me to write more traffic tickets. While he was telling me about my numeric deficiencies, he made this statement:
“I need you to write more tickets. It will make both of us look better. Besides that, it gives you the chance to fuck with people. All cops like to fuck with people.”
The sergeant certainly liked to fuck with people, but I don’t. I have better things to do. Thinking back on that moment caused me to realize that I might have found the ultimate litmus test between “peace officer” and “law enforcement officer.”
Is the majority of your day spent fucking with people and generating inconsequential “stats?” If so, you aren’t a peace officer. You are a revenue generating cog in a political machine. Your conduct will further undermine the public trust in our profession. Stop it.