What is the strangest or most nonsensical dispute you had to settle as a police officer?

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Mudassir Ali 10 months 1 Answer 142 views

Answer ( 1 )

  1. One of my most unusual situations involved one of my own family members. My cousin stole a go-cart from one of his neighbor’s when he was young. He was caught and punished by juvenile court, and the go-cart was returned to its rightful owner.

    Several years after the theft, the neighbor began to attack my cousin both verbally and physically. The cousin was being bullied by other neighborhood people for a mistake he made three years earlier, for which he had been soundly punished appropriately. The situation was causing his whole family many problems in the community.

    My aunt called the police to try to mitigate the conflict, and officers were dispatched to my cousin’s house. I was a crisis officer in the area, and advised the dispatcher that I had personal information about the situation and would be responding to the call to assist.

    When we made the scene, I explained to the other officers the situation and they decided that they would try reasoning with the go-cart owner to try to reduce the tension in the community. After this length of time, the theft should have been nothing more than a bad memory. The officers asked me to accompany the entourage to the neighbor’s house as an advisor. I agreed, but knowing that this was my cousin involved I wished to remain silent.

    We made the short trip to the neighbors’ house. It probably looked like a posse with my aunt, uncle, cousin and three officers coming to the door. One of the officers knocked on the door and introduced the three officers. I was at the back of the group just being an observer as was planned, but as soon as the neighbor acknowledged us, the group in front of me divided like the Red Sea, and everyone looked at me like “what are you going to do now”.

    Truthfully, I felt like my participation here was potentially a conflict, so I wanted the other officers to handle the situation. Unfortunately, both seemed to have lost their voices. With no other recourse at this point I stepped up and addressed the issue as diplomatically as I could. I first explained that the young man had been punished, had paid the penalty for his crime and that restitution had been made. I continued that the event was over and that continued harassment was inappropriate and that legal action could result if conflicts continued. The parents agreed and assured us that their child would cause no further problems.

    After we reconvened back at my cousin’s house, the other officers apologized for freezing up, but complimented the professional way I had addressed the situation. My aunt agreed that the discussion had gone well, and reported later that the conflict had stopped after that night.

    I felt like the whole situation was nothing but drama. It was nonsense that this conflict flared back up three years after the theft. It was also an uncomfortable position that I was put in by the other officers not taking the lead in the conversation as we planned. The best takeaway for this situation is “ Two wrongs never make a right”.

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