Thursday, June 14, 2007

Leaving The Enforcement of Laws Behind

After reading King of Ankh's post, "Baddies", where he asked readers what they would do if they witnessed a crime, I was inspired to write my own blog entry, even though I'd left a comment there.

First of all, I'd like to stress that despite being a former law enforcement officer, I do not and will not try to personally stop any crimes in progress -- especially the type of petty property crime that Gwyn described. Despite my years of experience, I'm no longer paid or certified to do so. I have no desire to risk injury or death -- and lawsuits!

There are, of course, some exceptions to that rule. If I witness something that threatens great bodily harm or death to a victim, I would try to stop it if it's reasonably possible. I no longer go about armed, so it's not always feasible to do so. Rushing into a situation unarmed, only to get myself hurt or killed -- and do nothing to help the original victim -- would only be a futile gesture.

Most often, the most useful thing I can do is to call the police, get tag numbers, descriptions, and so on. Because I am frequently out on the roads, I spot a lot of drunk drivers, which I report and will follow in my car to help officers en route to more quickly apprehend the offender. Using a cell phone to report possible drunk drivers is something any citizen can do and can help officers to get more drunks off the road.

One thing I totally mind my own business about are the victimless crimes -- gambling, prostitution, people drunk or high in public, but not driving, and so on. I didn't like enforcing such laws when I was certified and obligated to do so, so I damn sure will not now help to invade people's privacy by facilitating the enforcement of them. My attitude about such things is strictly, "Not my business -- not my problem".


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