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Thread: I just do not understand police in America

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  1. #1
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Default I just do not understand police in America

    In England, it's easy. There is the police, they drive cars, and they can arrest you.

    In America, it's a lot more tricky. There's State Troopers, county police, town police, metro police, park police, the sheriff, the FBI, the CIA and a whole lot more. And they all drive cars with flashing lights on top.

    So who does what, and what can they do to me?

    Put another way, if I drive by one of these guys in a car and give them the Bird which ones can chase me and arrest me?

    A State Trooper?

    A State Trooper who happens to be out of State?

    A County Sheriff?

    The Park Police?

    I just don't get it. Which ones could someone Bird and where?



    Last edited by Ian Gills; 10-17-2009 at 01:30 PM.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    There is kindergarden police, university police, shopping center police, etc.

    Being a free country, you can flip a bird to any officer if you feel like it. Not against the law. But if for any reason, they tell you to pull over and show ID, just freaking do it! Cooperate with the police, and you will never go wrong. There are tons of people sitting in the county hoosegow because they thought is was ok to scuffle, or refuse to ID themselves, etc. "checking people out" is how cops find bad guys. If you are not a bad guy, just suck up your pride and you will be on your way!

    Don't go to places where bad things happen, and bad things won't happen to you! ( I have been down some dark alleys in Olongapo and Pattya Beach. That doesn't count!)

    I am 65 and have never been rousted by the cops for any reason. I don't act up in public, don't go out after dark, etc! Remember, nothing good ever happens after midnight!

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    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    So any of these can ID me, anywhere?



    I thought they were a lot nicer here.

    Last edited by Ian Gills; 10-17-2009 at 02:19 PM.

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    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    City of London police, Metropolitan police force, British transport Police; various Parks in the city have their own constabularies... then there's MI5 & MI6.



    I'm sorry, what was the question again?
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    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I was just wondering whether there were any differences. There are just so many types here all doing similar things...driving around. Different uniforms, different cars. Different hair cuts (state troopers all have the same one). It really is quite strange.

    Last edited by Ian Gills; 10-17-2009 at 02:26 PM.

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    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills View Post
    So any of these can ID me, anywhere?
    Dude, this is America. They can ask you to identity yourself. But without reasonable suspicion of a crime being committed or about to be committed, they can't demand it.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
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    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Ah, I see.

    Does that mean (and I am being serious) that you need to carry an ID, like a driving license, at all times, even if not driving?

    Or will a spoken name and address suffice, should an officer ask?

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    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    This isn't Europe - there's no law that says you have to carry ID.

    Spoken name & number & such is fine. They'll run it through the computer, maybe ask you a couple of questions to prove you're who you say you are (what's your address, what's your birthday, something like that).

    Note that I'm just talking about, walking down the street, here. You want to go into a bar, you need ID. You want to go into any Federal Building, you need ID. You want to go into some doorman buildings in NYC, you need to show picture ID. And so on.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
    __________________
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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills View Post
    Ah, I see.

    Does that mean (and I am being serious) that you need to carry an ID, like a driving license, at all times, even if not driving?

    Or will a spoken name and address suffice, should an officer ask?
    You are not required to carry ID. But you are required to identify yourself to the police if they demand it. Mind you, cops can't and don't go around pulling people off the road or off the street to check their ID. But if they pull you over for a reason...speeding, headlight out, etc, they have the right to identify you. If you are not carrying ID, and you give them your correct name and date of birth, then the BFC ( big freaking computer) at police headquarters, can confirm and all is well. If you fail to identify yourself, they can hook you up. This is one way that people who are on the lamb get caught. I am OK with the system. Secret to no hassles....carry your drivers license, and if you get pulled over, just get over it! I never get pulled over. People who do usually deserve it. There are exceptions....( for example, DWB....driving while black, in an exclusive high end community). We are working on that.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills View Post
    In England, it's easy. There is the police, they drive cars, and they can arrest you.

    In America, it's a lot more tricky. There's State Troopers, county police, town police, metro police, park police, the sheriff, the FBI, the CIA and a whole lot more. And they all drive cars with flashing lights on top.

    In a nutshell-

    In general terms, they're all Law Enforcement Officers (aka LEO's)

    -A Police Officer is typically an employee of a City. Local Police enforce City and State ordinances (most (all?) municipal codes have a blanket statement that incorporates all state ordinances into the municipal code).

    -A Sheriff is employed by a County. They patrol unincorporated (not under the jurisdiction of any city) County land. Also, towns too small to justify their own police department will often contract with their local county Sheriff for law enforcement services. The County Sheriff typically provides Bailiffs for county courts, and the correctional officers for county jails. Sheriff's enforce county and state ordinances.

    -State Trooper/State Police/Highway Patrol -- like a Sheriff, but at the state level. A primary duty is enforcement of the state Vehicle Code on state and interstate highways.

    -U.S. Marshall - like a Sheriff, at the federal level

    -FBI - the name kind of says it all - Detectives with nation-wide jurisdiction - enforce Federal law

    -ATF - like the FBI, but limited to Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms issues.

    -CIA - an information gathering organization, by charter, limited to operations outside of the U.S. --- (but...)

    -State Park Police, National Park Rangers, etc, etc, etc - what the name implies

    Cross-jurisdiction authority varies. In some cases, a LEO has zero authority outside of their specific jurisdiction (particularly in regards non-violent crimes). But in many (all?) states, any LEO can at least detain you and call in a local LEO if they observe you in the commission of a crime.

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    Don't forget the hunting and fishing police!!!!

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