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This has to bother other officers. A pet peeve of mine.

First I want to say hello.

Just curious if this bothers some of my other brothers and sisters.

I'm at work , in uniform, and could be sitting down eating , or walking through a store, or waiting on line to pay for something and a mother (it's 99.9% the mom) grabs her child and says "you better behave or that man is gonna take you away" and she points to me. The "you better behave" part can be changed to whatever the parent wants her kid to do, but Everytime the fear that comes over the child's face is the same. I have 11 years on the job now, and now I tell the kid "mommy is lying I'm here to protect you"
I know it's trivial, but the last thing we want is children growing up to fear the police. One of my biggest pet peeves.

Anyone else have any on the job pet peeves they would like to discuss?


  • edited 18 Nov 2012
    As a private security officer, I get that too. I've never thought about it from that perspective, maybe because I am just private security and not a cop. My biggest pet peve in the private security industry, though, is when I'm in uniform and armed and people make snide comments like I have no business having a weapon. It just annoys me because we get the same weapons training you guys get, usually by retired police, but people just see a civilian with a gun on his hip. I mean, I'm in uniform! Every day I put on my gun I pray I won't have to use it today. Why do people see security officers as gun happy? That's my pet peve. Whether I'm on property or stopping for a Pepsi on my way in, my gun might be there to protect them one day. I'm not just some "pretend" cop, I'm a professional trying to do my job and come home to my family at the end of the day
  • My pet peeve in general is parents who don't know how to be a parent and want others (cops) to do it for them. That same mother will be calling 911 in a few years when her teenage kid won't listen to her...
  • Agreed. The public forgets that half the time we are chasing bad guys the other half we are being marriage councelors,and baby sitters. Lol
  • While dispatching, I would get so aggravated when parents would call & ask me to send a Deputy over because they couldn't get their kid to go to school! Grrrrrr. If you don't know how to raise kids, you shouldn't have them. Another pet peeve was all of the civil calls we would get. They didn't want to hear they needed to talk to the Magistrate about it, they would insist on having a Deputy come out...which they did.
  • edited 19 Nov 2012
    I agree with Warden522! This has happened to me to many times to count. Now when this happens, I politely approach the parent and tell their child that I wont take them away just because their mom or dad does not know how to raise a child. I usually get a puzzled look from the child and an embarassed look from the parent as they walk away. It may not be the appropriate thing to do but it sure gets the point through to the adult.
  • Up sets me to the limit,when I hear that I tell the child never to be afraid of me.Mom and Dad may need to be...
  • To jerseyguy8578: Parents using me to threaten their kids is also one of my biggest pet peeves, and it doesn't get any easier to take as you accumulate more time on the job. I even got "ticked-off" enough once or twice to assure the kids - in the parent's presence - that I didn't ever arrest kids (at that age), but that I'd put a lot of parents in jail, when necessary. To wilavitt: I spent seven years in the private security industry, part-time, during the same years I was a cop, and as a result, I got to know a lot of security officers, and still have a lot of them as friends. I respect equally any officer - public or private - who is willing to put on a uniform and a badge to do the job, as long as they don't do anything to destroy that respect.
  • Most definitely!
  • i hate that more than anything, it breeds fear and mistrust. i carry around stickers and give them to the kids every time.
  • Jerseyguy, i totally agree with you, but most of the time kids don't trust us because we take mom & dad to jail.
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  • Parents did that to me also and I hate it. A mother called me over because her young son would not eat his vegtables. She told her son if he don't eat them this police officer will take you to jail. I looked at the young boy and saw the fright in his face and told him, if your mom forces you to eat your vegtables I will take her to jail. He just grinned, but she did not like that. It wasn't right of me but I don't think she will ever do that again.
  • I once had a mother stop me in the patrol car and wanted me to put the cuffs on her child. I think it was just for humor, but I let her know real quick that by putting the cuffs on her child would likely cause the child to be afraid of Police and that I did not appreciate it.
  • We are all tired of hearing that line. One evening we were working a concert detail and there were three of us standing together talking. A woman walked by with her young son and said to him " do you know what those officers are going to do to you if you don't behave? ". Before she could complete the sentence, we all looked at the mother and told her we were not going to do a damn thing. After she picked her jaw off the ground she stormed off. Another satisfied customer....
  • Yeah, I hate that too. I usually make a point of telling the kid that I don't take away bad kids, I take away bad grown ups.
  • I take a different approach. I tend to go to the parent and tell them this: I am here to protect you and your child if need be. What you are doing is instilling fear in your child of a law enforcement officer. So if your child gets lost from you in a crowded store, who is he or she going to go to. the nice little old man with the lollipop that wants to molest, rape and kill your child or the police officer whom you taught him to fear. Believe me the child who is lost believes that it is in trouble and is most of the time scared of getting in more trouble. I rather he or she finds me. I am a man whose morals and ethics would first and foremost dictate that I take care of the child and to find the parent(s) and then my job dictates that sir, ma'am it is up to you to teach your child not to fear law enforcement for his or her own protection.

    I change it a little according to who I am talking to, but that is the gist of it.
  • I worked as a private security officer for two decades and have seen many instances of what Wilayitt was talking about, and I was only armed with pepper spray and handcuffs. I have also seen instances where Police Officers have been near vilified by parents or worse yet by supposedly rational adults who really ought to know better.

    Those times I've been pulled over rather than be stupid and try to run I do what I'm supposed to and pull over at the closest point that is safe for both myself and the Officer. People think it's personal but it isn't... it's your job and it's critical to the smooth working of society.

    At the risk of being a little corny here, just want to say thanks to all of you on the job that put your lives on the line for the rest of us to be able to sleep soundly at night and go about our lives safer than we would otherwise be from the malcontents of this world. I think it's wrong on so many levels that you don't hear those two words often enough.

    Stay safe out there and Happy Thanksgiving.

    Keith W Wilson
    Salisbury MA
  • While doing PR walking thriugh the stores, shaking hands, waving and speaking to most everybody, my biggest peeve ever is when I approch some one say "Hi how's everything going?" And the person automatically sticks up their hands saying dont take me to jail or he did it.. pisses me off.. next time I might just pull out my cuffs and slap iron to flesh.. maybe that will change some attitudes
  • @Regrix, I agree. God bless all of you who work as police officers. I babysit inmates in in the Federal Prison System, but I can't imagine what ya'll deal with everyday, and the same goes for those who work private security. My pet peeve is all of the rap music, and any other music for that matter, that teaches the public that every cop is crooked and young adults need to have a hatred for the police. Most of the adults who tell their kids those stupid things that those before me quoted also probably teach them to hate the police too. Finally, I will also say that if a police officer stops me, I obey everything he says. How can I try to help inmates start being law-abiding citizens if I am not willing to " practice what I preach"?
  • I think Lieutenant26 hit the nail right on the head. I use to hate when parents would do that. It only makes the child scared of all law enforcement.
  • Being on the inside on a daily basis, I see the product of what this has taught kids. My role differs than yours but I still like to think I serve the public from what I do. That being said, and coming from where I work, I've learned to politely put obnoxious people in their place and make them realize their errors in the way they act towards LEO's. The unfortunate thing is we all get a bad wrap from one bad egg. Similar to the way one woman who has been cheated on or disrespected by a scumbag, treats all men as scum. It isn't fair but it happens. So you can only start with number 1, that's you! Be a role model, a hero, a savior, and a shoulder. Whatever the situation calls for, but leave them impressed, and eager to cross paths again. It not only helps you but all of us.
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  • I understand the contempt LEO's feel when being made the "boogieman". Somewhat like "wait till your father gets home." Whenever possible I never gave a traffic ticket to anyone with kids in the car and tried to engage the kids before I gave the adult a "pass." Try to be officer friendly with the kids on the street. Parents, society and their respective environments will corrupt their views so much - we don't need to add to or confirm their misconceptions.
  • To all you LEOs, Public and Private, I first want to say, Thank you for your sacrifices. Myself and my daughter appreciate it. Second, I just want you guys to sleep at night knowing I have always taught my daughter to seek out the uniform if she is ever in trouble and I have always worked with her to know her phone number and address to give to you guys if ever the time warrants it. I myself have dealt with good and bad LEOs over the years, but have always known not to let one bad apple spoil the bunch. Keep up the good work and be safe out there. (But, could I make one small suggestion? Maybe grab a partner and walk a beat, even if it's only for an hour and maybe only during the times kids are arriving/departing school. When growing up, my family was stationed at Ft. Knox, KY and I remember the MPs walking their beats and they were very approachable to us little kids, I was 7-9 yrs old at the time.)
  • Agree completely. Even with my being a cop, my husband started to say that the other day and i about smacked him. I looked at him and said, "seriously? In what world do you want our son to think a, to fear police, and b to think we need an officer to get him to listen to us." Not cool.
  • I agree 100%. I also embarass the adult who tells their child this. I burst out and state,"Thats not true, dont tell your child that!" Many times the adult will agree with me.
  • I would always try and carry a junior badge or something from D.A.R.E. in my pockey and give it to the child. Then I would 'whisper' in the parents ear. Many times they say, 'I never thought of it that way". Most times we would part with a better understanding. There are those who just don't get it. You know the type, 'lights are on, but no one is home'....
  • edited 22 Nov 2012
    I'm a LEO from the west coast and I couldn't agree more w/ what everyone has been saying. I just wanted to throw out another pet peeve of mine is when we are sitting down for lunch and some slappy comes up and says, "If you are here who's watching the streets".. Like my partner and I are the only officers working..
  • edited 23 Nov 2012
    Major pet peeve!!!
  • Right on, Rangerrandell. That's the way I handled it when I was active. Those parents are just in the here-and-now and aren't even thinking about the future when they won't be w/ their kid 24/7. Most of them just aren't thinking.
  • Why are there so many chuckleheads out there?

    Teaching children to fear the LEOs and taking lame verbal pot shots at them when they're on breaks... *shakes head* It amazes me that the human race has gotten as far as it has being so dumb.

    That bit with asking LEOs on break "If you're here who's watching the streets" I'd probably fire back with something akin to "What's wrong, you need an audience?"


    I'm also tired of hearing the inner city "nicknames" for the Police and such, Things like "PoPo" for example, I just feel it's disrespectful. Anyone else have issues with that?
  • Lazy parenting, plain and simple. Drives me batty! I always tell my kids the opposite, if you need help find a police officer, fire fighter or medic and they will help you. Having been all, they understand but their friend's get nervous around us when they see us in uniform, whatever that uniform may be. Definitely drives me batty!
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  • Public perception can be a career killer. My biggest pet peeve is not having the support of the people who you are expected to serve, yet they expect you to provide professional law enforcement services on a regular basis. Another pet peeve of mine is an officer that is unwilling or unable to do their job. I have little to no respect for someone who puts on the uniform, but goes above and beyond to avoid doing their duties as a sworn officer. Morale can already be an issue, but dealing with co-workers who can't be trusted can drag a good officer even further down. When my life is on the line, I want to know I have back up on the way
  • Yes I agree than people wonder why Kids are afraid of the POlICE...
  • Some parents I'll tell ya.
  • I remember a story I heard at the funeral of Constable Brian Bachmann in Texas. Brian was out eating lunch and a father did the typical behave or that officer will arrest you thing and that did not sit well with Brian, so he went to his car and got matchbox replicas (of the BCSO cars) for each of the children and told the father "I'll have you know we don't only arrest people" wish I could have been there to see the look on the fathers face.
  • i just tell the kid i arrest bad parnet's not good kid's lol that will get you dirty look's
  • Definitely annoying. Parents your kids should fear and respect you as much as they love you. Do not use the Police as an alternative to your own discipline and do not teach your children to fear us.
  • What really ticks me off is when I go inside BK or any restaurant for that matter, and someone inside (usually behind the counter) says "Don't arrest me, Officer. I didn't do it!" Then they usually say to someone in the kitchen "Hey [so-in-so], the cops are here for you.." First, I am all about having fun but when I come inside to eat I can care less about whomever is in the kitchen knowing that they are preparing a cop's food... you never know when it maybe someone who has a bone to pick with the police and decides to spit in the food, or even worse..
  • Female officer here. Pet peeve.... When you are in public and guys say stuff like "oh, ok I did it, cuff me" or " you can arrest me any day!" Annoying!! Do they really think that will get them anywhere?? Oh, and people who drive w little digs on their laps!!!!
  • Yes that makes me mad when parents do that, I also hate it when someone is walking with a friend and they point at their friend and say "he did it, take him" or "he's the one your looking for" it's innocent, but it gets annoying when it happens everywhere you go
  • i hear it too. mostly from parents in section 8
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