Author: Dick

Illustration by Sean Hennefer

Dear Cop,

One time I saw two cops trying to arrest each other. They were both saying "you’re under arrest." "No you’re under arrest." "Nu uh, you’re under arrest." And so on. so I guess my question is, would it come down to whoever said it first, or maybe it’s whichever cop has more friends he can call for back up? Maybe they have to put the cuffs on each other and sit there on the curb and wait for another cop take them in? Who does the judge side with if they’re both cops?

Just wondering,
Love Tom Tucker. 
 
Tom, my love,


I’ve never heard of that, ever. There are millions of stories of cops getting arrested, obviously by other cops, but, in your scenario, somehow I’m sure alcohol was involved.


Cops can arrest anyone for a felony offense, even other cops, if they have probable cause that the person (or cop) committed the offense. Misdemeanors (lesser crimes) are a different matter. Cops can only arrest people, or other cops, for misdemeanors (such as petty theft, assault, DUI, trespassing, etc.) if the misdemeanor crime was committed in their presence.


Let’s use reckless driving as an example. You can’t call the cops and say your neighbor cop was driving recklessly—“ARREST HIM!” The cop would need to see the neighbor cop driving recklessly in order to arrest him. However, if you, Tom, were willing to arrest your neighbor cop, provide evidence and testify in court, the cop could facilitate by providing you the paperwork. Yes, for those of you in the know, that’s why sometimes you, as the citizen complainant, have to sign the ticket: You’re actually making the arrest. Go to a party and get your drunk, obnoxious ass kicked and want the cops to clean up for you? You will have to make a witness statement complaint and indicate that you will press charges, because it was a misdemeanor not committed in the cop’s presence. There are a few exceptions, but there’s not enough space to get into that here.


In terms of your scenario, neither cop could arrest the other. They might try, but it ain’t gonna happen. Any cops that showed up due to the disturbance might arrest the two for being idiots in their presence. Most likely, they’d just call the doofuses’ wives to come pick them up. A district attorney or city prosecutor wouldn’t even consider filing the case, let alone letting it go to a judge.


I can promise you that if your scenario were to play out as indicated, those two cops would most likely not be cops any longer.


 
Have a question for the cop? Email askacop@slugmag.com
Photos:

Illustration: Sean Hennefer

Dear Copper;

 
Simple question: what’s the official laws with drinking in public in SLC? I’ve seen people walk down State Street past an officer with a beer in-hand and not get hassled, yet watched a cop car roll up on a neighbors house to give him and his friends grief for drinking quietly on his stoop. It seems like local law enforcement doesn’t know when to do what at any given point. What are the guidelines?
 
Much Love;
Secretly Swillin’
 
Love accepted, my fine Rummy— I mean Wino—I mean Swiller … Friend:

You cannot drink alcohol in public in Salt Lake City. Unlike Las Vegas, you can’t walk down the street with drink in hand. Alcohol must be imbibed on private property, or, if it’s within a public area, then permission and permits are required. An example would be the Utah Arts Festival, which is held in the middle of the public street, the Main Library’s grounds and the City/County Building. Or, think of all the bars and restaurants—like Pie Hole and the Atlantic Cafe—that have alcohol served on patios located on the public sidewalk.  These places must have permission and permits from the Mormon church … I mean, the government.

There is no cause for cops to hassle your friend on his own private property for drinking beer. Most likely, they were there for a noise complaint, underage drinkers or something similar, but cops don’t respond to beer drinking complaints.

What most people don’t know is that Utah has no “public intoxication” law. Utah has an “intoxication” law (UCC 76.9.701), which says that it’s illegal to be intoxicated by any substance to such an extent, even inside your private residence, that you become a danger to yourself or others. You also can’t get so wasted on whatever substance, including inside your own home, that you “unreasonably disturb” other persons.  That’s why one dude, calmly walking down the street, drunk off his ass and sipping out of a cup, goes unmolested by the cops, while the other dude, sipping out of a similar cup, with a foul, loud mouth, offensively hip-thrusting at the girl walking the other way, gets the night stick up his ass.

As you indicate, cops have a ton of discretion with how alcohol laws are enforced. Generally, if you’re not dicks to them when they arrive at your loud party, they won’t be dicks to you. You can’t disturb the cops’ peace, so they’re at your house because you’re disturbing someone else’s. Be respectful of the job they have to do, and at the most, you’ll get a ticket, but usually just a warning.
 
Have a question for the cop?
Email askacop@slugmag.com
Photos:

Illustration by Sean Hennefer

 Dear Cop,

I ride my bicycle as a means of transportation. I learned early on that law enforcement views bicycles as another vehicle—I’ve been ticketed for riding on the sidewalk, and I’ve seen one or two cyclists at midnight get pulled over and ticketed for running red lights. While I’m fine being treated as a motorized vehicle and being subject to the same ramifications as such—and following the same traffic laws as cars, too—it seems like there is a disconnect in how the Salt Lake City ordinances privilege automobiles and leave bicycles lacking any “oomph,” as it were, before traffic light sensors that detect whether or not there is a waiting vehicle at a red light. During the day, it seems like many major lights are timed, but come nightfall, many lights will only go green (400 East and South Temple; 800 East and 800 South; 900 South and 900 West; 300 East and 400 South) if there’s a large vehicle behind somebody on a bike. So, a couple questions:
1. How do lights like these work, and how can we find out which thoroughfares take precedence over minor streets (if that’s how it works)?
2. What can cyclists do/whom can we petition/patronize to install more high-powered sensors at traffic lights that detect people on bikes in order to obey traffic laws? Or, is there a reason that the technology is so limited in a city with a mayor who pushes for more bicycle lanes and more bicycle activity?
3. It seems clear that the police cite cyclists who run red lights out of interest of protecting the offenders and drivers as well. What are the chances, though, that cops will give cyclists a break in this situation?
–Rootbeer Rick
 
Dear R2,
 
I’m no bike expert, so here’s my opinion related to bike riding in SLC and your issues. Although SLC seems favorable to, and verbally promotes bike riding in downtown, it still seems very dangerous to me. You bring up lighting and bike thoroughfare precedence, and those are still bike issues unanswered. However, I still notice how dangerous it is just to walk across a SLC street, let alone bike. Go to 200 South between 400 and 500 West. They have an unprotected crosswalk that crosses four very busy lanes, AND THE TRAIN TRACKS! And, many of the people who use that crosswalk are some of our most vulnerable in terms of their mental or physical states. It’s a crosswalk that guarantees people are going to get hit and so is the CIty––with a lawsuit. I worry the new bike initiative might get the same safety emphasis as crosswalk safety. I know the City wants to make positive changes, and maybe this time they’ll tackle the safety aspect of foot and bike traffic on our streets.
As it stands now, and keeping safety in mind, I think you’re nuts to ride your bike in the downtown area. Ninety-nine percent of downtown drivers (including bus operators) have their collective heads so far up their asses, or their phones’ asses, that you’re a pending speed bump.
Downtown bike riding cops are nuts, too. I’ve done this job long enough that I knew a cop on a bike who was murdered on a downtown street by a drug-dealing illegal driving a car. Believe me, the bike cops ticket a lot more cars than bike riders, which is the way it should be. Who has the potential to cause more destruction and damage?
I think we can all agree that any cop who writes a bike rider a ticket because the sensor wouldn’t trip, or because they’re calmly riding on the sidewalk at midnight due to shit and garbage or dangerous drivers on the road, is just a dick. Most cops will make sure you’re not drunk or an asshole, tell you to be careful, and send you on your way.
Here’s to hoping that SLC’s new bike initiative will make thoroughfares and bike lanes easier to recognize and travel, and improve bike travel technology. If so, bike tickets will be a thing of the past, and you’ll have an easily accessible forum to get future issues addressed. Oh yeah, an ordinance banning cell use while driving in the downtown area wouldn’t hurt, too. Bike cops could write tickets to those idiots instead of you.
 
Have a question for the cop? Email askacop@slugmag.com.
Photos:

Illustration: Sean Hennefer

Dear Officer,
There are so many horrifying stories coming out of different corners of the world, and plenty right here within our country, of police brutality. Just this morning read about another incident involving the California Highway Patrol who allegedly beat a 33-year-old man to death. They were called to address a possible intoxicated person and allege that he fought them. They then confiscated the cell phones of all witnesses to the man’s death.

Under what circumstances can a police officer LEGALLY confiscate your cell phone and/or camera? Do we as citizens have any procedure to follow if we find ourselves in a situation where we feel the police are hurting someone and choose to document it? Don’t the police have to file requests for evidence they didn’t directly obtain from a crime scene or suspect? Can we simply say “no” when told to give up our cameras? 

This brutality is getting ridiculously terrifying, and I would feel better knowing where my rights are, and being able to spread the word to others so that we can stand up for each other if the worst should come to pass. 

Thanks for your service,
Megan Kennedy

Dear Megan,
Since someone only needs a GED to be a cop, vs. a Juris Doctor degree to be a lawyer, take my advice for what it’s worth.

Cops can legally seize evidence by warrant or consent. Additionally, courts have been very accommodating of police “securing” cell phones or recording devices while obtaining a warrant, as digital evidence can be easily altered, damaged, destroyed, etc. However, as you imply, when cops “secure” a cell phone that probably contains evidence documenting their own actions after a questionable encounter, this can be troublesome.

No cop should ever be concerned that he’s being recorded. If he’s a professional in all his actions, who cares? In fact, cops themselves, most of the time, are recording everything anyway. Very soon, all over Salt Lake County, you’re going to see cops wearing expensive recording glasses, courtesy of your tax dollars. Recording is not a bad thing—for cops and citizens—and most of the time, it confirms their excellent, professional work.

What it sounds like you’re concerned with is that small percentage of the time when cops weren’t professional or obviously did something wrong. All I can state is, if cops did confiscate cell phones because of their questionable actions, and they then destroyed, altered, damaged or concealed that evidence, they’re fucked, and always will be—at least in this country.

I will tell you that your belief regarding “police brutality” becoming “ridiculously terrifying” is wrong. You can look up the statistics yourself, but the levels of violence in this country, including by the police, are at historic lows. There have been double-digit decreases since before 1980. [Editor’s Note: According to USA Today and The New York Times, police brutality has increased 25 percent in the last seven years.]

What we’re all experiencing worldwide is a phenomenon known as social media. I’m going to make a guess that you have at least a Facebook account, or Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and a cell phone with push notifications going to Internet news sites every minute. We have a very in-your-face, social society, where you hear and read about everything instantly. Look how it affected the “Arab Spring.” Just because you see and hear everything immediately doesn’t mean that it’s true or that things are worse, and that the opposite is actually true. Cops are now trained with the mindset that they are being watched and recorded all the time. Consequently, instances of unlawful police violence are at historic lows.

Whether you should give up your cell phone at a police officer’s demand, well that’s for lawyers to argue. Just like cops, if you do what’s right, you’ll be fine. If not, just like cops, you’re fucked.

Have a question for the Cop? Email askacop@slugmag.com

Photos:
Illustration: Steve Thueson

Dear Copper;

What the hell is up with the city’s laws on what constitutes “street art” and what’s classified as “graffiti”? I can’t speak for everyone, but I know six year old kids who can tell the difference between a sign thrown up by a shitty tagger and a piece of art someone spent hours working on. Yet all the time I see the city take the same white-wash treatment to walls on awesome art that isn’t offensive or vandalized anything. What’s the policy in this city, and how can artists get a wall to work on that won’t get us ticketed or painted over a day later?

Love;
Downtown Dabber

Dear Dabber,

I’m sure you and I (and three-fourths of the human population) can easily agree that 6-year-olds and the feeble-minded can tell the difference between art and gang-related graffiti, so here’s my comment and suggestion related to artistic expression.

Basically, if you paint something, even if it’s beautiful (in my opinion, or three-fourths of reasonable humans’ opinions), and it’s on someone else’s property (including government property), and it’s unwanted (which will always be the case on contemporary government property), then your beautiful art becomes “graffiti” or “trash” or “ugly” or “racist/bigoted/mysogonist” or “gangster,” etc., and you can be arrested.

You mention the feeling “offensive” when evaluating some types of “street art.” How can you possibly define what someone calls “junk” as treasure, and vice versa? On the east side of the Guthrie Building on 200 S. in downtown Salt Lake City, there is a beautifully (in my somewhat reasonable opinion) painted mural depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary. I’ll bet there are people belonging to other religions (the predominant one comes to mind … Oh yeah, and Scientologists) who find that mural religiously offensive. I’ll guarantee that if you tried to paint that depiction on any government property, or the predominant one’s private property, it’d be white-washed immediately and you’d go to jail. If the predominant religion forced an Angel Moroni to the top of the federal building, you’d be pissed, right? So, your attempt to define something as offensive seems self-serving (and I’m with you—I like to self-serve, too). Any group, such as the predominant re-uniter, can place a graven image of some angel, the sun, moon and stars, or some painting or carving on their temple or wall for the whole valley to see—as long as it’s their property and not outside community moral standards. Well, one church’s treasure is another’s …

Salt Lake City is a Super Liberal, Save the Environment, If It Feels Good Do It, Hippie Tree Hugger kind of place. I’m sure there are numerous bars, stores, non-“prophet” (sic—errrr profit), anti-establishment, anti-religion types of places whose inhabitants would be more than happy to donate some space to your artistic desires. I heard some dude “say” that he owns the property at 900 S. State Street (number two corner). See him at the taco cart. Maybe the wall to the north is yours.

Dabber, I’d like to see comments to SLUG by its readers as to what you should paint. Hell, I’ll even help you. I suggest some sort of ski racer/boarder/skater depiction––pounding gates, inverted or pool skating. Maybe a combo of all so no one is offended.

Have a question for the cop? Send your queries to askacop@slugmag.com.

Photos:

Illustration: Steve Thueson

Dear Cop,

Working at a fast food restaurant, I’ve noticed a lot of rookie ‘want-a-be cops’ coming to get food just to check out one or more of my crew. Ok, ok, some are gang members and what not, but who the fuck works for minimum wage (plus a dollar/hr for grave-yard) and is not trying to better them self›s? These fucking amateur, wan-a be cops are an embarrassment to our society and tax dollars!

I know because I have done under-cover work for a more honorable district than these fucking up-town, fuck ups, that couldn’t restrain them-self’s if they had any training at all.

They serious think they are getting information by eating at out fast-food restaurant? Give me a break, next time I see a fucking cop come to our store, he’s gona get him some fucking real crime to solve!

Yours Truly,  PandyPants

p.s. (it’s like the Sandy police doing radar at the bottom of a hill!, hell fucking lo?, are you that fucking petty or what? If they need help with REAL CRIME, please tell them to contact me!

Dear uh … Pandy … um … Pants:

Evidenced by your formidable grasp of the written English language, I’m hoping my obsequious prosaicism effectuates your postulation … but, I doubt it.

First of all, by “rookie,” the inference is a new cop, correct? So, a young peace officer is checking out your “crew.” I’m imagining that one or more of your “crew” is probably young, hot, and female. So, yes, young newbie cops will commonly check out hot young women, or “crew” as you like to infer. If that’s your supposition as to what is occurring at your establishment, then you should advise those “want-to-be” (I think that’s what you meant), but wait, they are cops, so no longer “want-to-be’s.” Advise those USED TO “want-to-be” but now ARE, cops that the badge will get them pussy, but the pussy will get their badge. Please, remind them rather loudly.

Pandy—I’m going to assume that’s your snitch name, since in the next sentence you admit to working “under-cover”—let’s go with your next diatribe that one of the rookie cops, who eats at your fast food joint, did not listen to “training” and did something naughty, unable to “restrain” himself (or herself, I’m not sexist). I’m thinking that your cop nemesis nailed her (obviously your girlfriend). Your vitriol is now explained (she said you’ll have to search under “acrimoniousness” for that one).

I’m taking your last edict as a threat, Mr. Pants, and all I can say is your ire is misplaced. Just because your hot, fast food girlfriend took up with some cop (who, by the way, makes four times minimum wage) is no one’s fault but your own. OK dude, gonna be honest—she took up with me … and once or twice with Mike Brown. He makes six figs, and I make five times minimum wage, and she told me all the big words to write here … so there.

All of that said, only “rookie” cops eat at fast food joints. Veteran cops know better. No rookie cop is in any fast food place checking out some gang member crew. That’s ridiculous. They’re only in there because they haven’t learned yet that they’re eating boogers, snot, piss, shit and other body fluids––yet.

I accept your offer to help with “real crime” from your fast food, extra dollar an hour, night shift job, but you’re going to have to change your snitch name to something innocuous like “Candy Dance,” or “Randy’s Lance” or “Handy Chance” … something like that.

Have a question for the cop? Send your queries to askacop@slugmag.com.

Photos:

Illustration: Steve Thueson

Dear Copper;
Much like 2/3 of the city, we’ve got a homeless problem. There’s a guy we’re calling The Prospector squatting in a parking lot next to our place. He’s a dumpster diver, laundry thief, door and window checker, possible drug holder and been caught breaking into cars to sleep overnight. He’s had the cops called on him several times and never hauled off, the owner’s of the parking lot won’t toss his shanty duplex out for fear he’ll break their windows, and moving isn’t an option for us right now. What can the cops do to help us, and others in our kind of situation out?
Love;
Bat-Wielding Couple

Dear Bat Team:
Just the other day I watched a bum at 210 Rio Grande take a dump right on the sidewalk. Only your stick will de-motivate this disrespectful piece of trash from doing that in your yard.

Several actions or inactions have greatly exacerbated the bum problem in Salt Lake County. I don’t want to call criminals homeless. Homeless are people and families who have lost their homes. They’re using legit homeless services to get back on their feet. They’re respectful and law abiding, go to work each day, and their numbers aren’t huge. Ask these legit homeless what they think about living around all the bums you describe above. Their horror stories are way worse than ours.

I’m referring to the street trash who live and breathe as self-induced substance abusers with resulting mental illness. Yes, real mentally ill people do end up on the street. However, go hang out among the folks down by the shelters, and you’ll quickly see that they are few and the criminal trash are many.

The courts in Utah have ruled it free speech for the bums to stand in a public place with signs begging for money. I can’t think of anything, except for maybe open-air market drug dealing, that diminishes the quality of life more. Ask all the ex-patrons of the Gateway Mall or its movie theater about bums and their signs. They’ve gladly switched to City Creek and other theaters.

Every time you give a bum money, you are perpetuating drug dealing, drug and alcohol abuse, robberies and theft. The bleeding hearts are actually causing people to be victims of violent crime and are assisting a heroin addict to get high. Please, use the homeless meter or donate money directly to the shelters as it will go to the legit homeless.

What can the cops do? What their administration tells them to do. In April 2013, drug dealing among the street people was so bad, the SLCPD was going to double their efforts to stop the illegal activity. However, in September 2013, it was actually worse and even the coppers called it close to out of control. In response to the drug dealing being “out of control,” the PD Administration decided to “reboot” the initial “doubling.” If you go watch the shelter area and Pioneer Park today, even after the reboot of the doubling, you’ll see an open-air drug market. However, SLC’s Top Cop, Chris Burbank, has come up with a plan that no doubt will finally solve the drug-dealing problem. It’s called “Knock It Off.”

When it comes to enforcing drug dealing laws, the SLCPD suffers from Multiple Drug-Dealing Policy Disorder. Until the Top Cop decides to enforce the law, or telling the dealers to “Knock It Off” actually works, the area will continue to decline with legit homeless and heroin addicts suffering the most. Make moving an option to get as far away from the bum epicenter as you can get, or relocate to a city that won’t tolerate illicit bum activity.

Photos:

Illustration: Steve Thueson
Dear Cop,
I want this settled once and for all.
Someone comes to the person in charge of SLPD with a choice. Through some miracle of science, there is a way to get rid of everyone in the city that is straight edge or every single Juggalo. There’s no resistance, no struggle, they’re just gone with no explanation and you never have to worry about them again. The numbers stay the same of whichever group remains, but one morning when you wake up, there will be either no more straight edgers or no more Juggalos. Which one goes away and why?
–Trevor Hale, Concerned Citizen

 

Concerned Citizen Trevor,


I’m gonna make a guess that you have some sort of personal issue (not favorable) with straight edgers and juggalos.

I’ll tell you “straight” out that law enforcement’s concern about these two groups is pretty much at the bottom of the totem pole. Law enforcement concerns itself with groups who violently prey on the weaker or singled-out minority members of society. They’re commonly referred to as gangs or, on a worldwide scale, terrorists.

It’s very difficult to classify straight edgers or juggalos as gang members. Most of their members associate with one another for a cause or movement. I’ll grant you that there are those sXe or hatcheteers who collaborate in order to instill fear or facilitate violent criminal acts, but, in the grand scheme, they are few.

In Utah, you’re going to see much more law enforcement effort at dismantling Sureño, Norteño, Asian, Poly, Mexican DTO or OMG gangs. Those are the organizations who openly admit that they exist to commit crimes, deal drug misery or terrorize weaker members of society.
But, if you’re going to make me choose, the only choice is juggalos. Why? Well it’s obvious—granted, I’ve only dealt with the criminal juggalos, but they are some of the most god-awful smelling people I have ever encountered. It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s written into their bylaws that someone must be stinky in order to join.


Have a question for the cop? Email askacop@slugmag.com!

 

Photos:

Illustration: Steve Thueson
Dearest Officer,
There are a couple of corners in our beloved Salt Lake that are riddled with some of the most incredibly obvious substance transactions I have ever seen. These corners—specifically, the corner of 200 S. and 400 W.—often see squad cars cruise past, but rarely does anyone get busted. I’m not for an increased police presence anywhere, but if you’re passing what is an obvious deal, isn’t it your OBLIGATION to stop it?! I swear to god I’ve seen cops make eye contact with these scumbags who, when they’re not exchanging smack for cash, make it their life’s mission to make any female—no matter how tough—feel vulnerable. My question, ultimately, is why don’t you guys do your fucking jobs instead of using taxpayer money to drive over the speed limit past low-level drug dealers? This is not to say every weirdo should be put away, and I know you’re not the person to talk to about systemic failings, but Jesus, it’s as if you’re encouraging these guys.
ACAB.
Dearest ACAB,
I’d apologize, but it’s not my place. Before continuing, reread The Huffington Post article from Oct. 30, 2013. In the article, the Chief law enforcement officer over the address you detailed promoted the idea of “just knock it off” with drug dealers. You also have a DA who doesn’t put dealers in jail. Early resolution puts the dealer right back on the streets you walk. Those bosses would disagree with my assessment, but then again, they’re not on the streets like you and me.
Almost a year ago, when the article was printed, this strategy had already been in place for some time. You have seen the complete failure that has resulted in a criminal street pharmacy. Once thriving businesses are now vacant and drug infested. Children and families trying to use the services of the shelter are continual victims—overdoses, homicides … I could go on for hours.
How did “knock it off” affect cops in Utah? Well, when I go on a felony drug call, I’m forced to tell the dealer to only knock it off. How’s that criminal going to react the next day when I arrive to arrest him, because now he beat up a competitor? He’s in my face, “Fuck you, pig,” with a complete lack of respect for a peace officer’s authority. As you put it, the cop is going to do his fucking job, and the fight is on—people get tased, sprayed, cops get shot, people get shot—it’s a vicious circle. The result: dead cops and dead druggies. I’m generalizing, but you get the idea.
Police admin know of their failure. Stories in other states promoting the SLC drug area and profits to be made have gotten back to City Council, which has demanded change. Continue to voice your concern with the “systemic” problems. Understand that those implementing the change are the same who promoted the open-air drug market in the first place. The SLC narc unit was disbanded. A new unit, with new people, is gearing up to reclaim the area, and a couple street cops were consulted. That’s different than before. There’s hope, but don’t hold your breath. When those in charge offer you an apology, rest assured, we’re no longer encouraging the bad guys.
Photos:

Illustration: Steve Thueson

Hey Copper,

With all the hype over the local dog shooting controversy, I really want to know, what is the policy when it comes to dealing with animals? And was the SLC cop in the right in taking action, or was he just being a prick who didn’t want to deal with a barking dog?
Love;
Edwin’s Cat
Dear Nicolas,
 
There are a few concepts that we need to acknowledge. Although you’re a cat, I’ll address you as though you were a human. Cops never signed on to the job to kill dogs. It never entered their minds before taking their oath, and if they had a class on it in the police academy, some cadets would have quit. Extreme animal lovers will never accept the death of an animal over the death of or serious injury to a human. Some cops are extreme animal lovers. I have former cop friends who are no longer cops because of dog attacks (not to mention postmen). I have dogs. I love dogs.
 
Here is my take: One of the most volatile calls a cop goes on is where a neighbor has killed another neighbor’s dog or—I’m sorry—cat. The emotions are as bad, if not worse, than domestic-violence incidents. Every cop with at least one year on the force has been on one or more of these calls. So, cops know how the death of a pet emotionally and personally affects the owner.
 
In general, policy at law enforcement agencies is never going to require that a cop be bitten by a dog in order to perform their duty. Cops may defend themselves against aggressive dogs by ASP, taser, flashlight, radio, pepper spray, gunfire, fire extinguisher, bean bag, flash bang, punching, kicking, etc. A reasonable tactic that allows a cop to complete their statutorily demanded duty, and also defend from attack, is justified.
 
Again, there are extremists who will never accept this. Thankfully, reasonable people in this country—not social media—decide whether a cop’s actions were justified. They decide over hours when the cop had seconds. Any time a cop kills an animal in order to complete their duty, there will be a review. In the larger agencies like Salt Lake City, West Valley City and a couple others, the review is performed by regular civilians, like Edwin.
 
Why so much controversy now? My belief is social media, which is more prevalent than ever. Reasonable people post pics of their friends and family. Extremists or agitators post opinions and agitate (trolls), the same as those who comment on Internet news sites. Animal rights lovers are professed extremists, with some going so far as to advocate violence or death to those who believe differently.
 
This I can guarantee: No cop enjoys killing a dog. Because of the recent controversy, human beings (cops) are going to be injured by dogs because they’ll now hesitate. Animal rights extremists will accept the cop’s injury and end of their career as “just part of their job.” Finally, he wasn’t a prick—he was looking for a lost child.
 
Yours,
Cop
 
Have a question for the cop?
Email him at
askacop@slugmag.com
Photos: