Young Fat Stupid Cops are Poor

 

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The standards to become a Law Enforcement officer are entirely too low. This is a problem in my opinion. The dangerous nature of the job makes it an unappealing one to most people who are qualified to do it. Although being higher in rank within the chain of command at any specific agency brings a more desired salary, the demanding schedule and workload of a rookie officer comes with sub-par wages and benefits. There is a clear correlation between standards and pay. There is a problem, at least locally, where departments are understaffed, because no one wants to be a cop. People don’t want to become a police officer because they don’t get paid enough, but I don’t know what to do about it.

 

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Maybe cops should get paid more. I’ve heard it said that military, law enforcement, teachers etc. should be paid like football players. Essentially swapping income between public servants/first responders and professional athletes. That would be dope. I’d love to make as much as Russell Westbrook, just cruising around arresting people. I’d get sued more often that’s for sure. Meth heads would be lining up to sue me for “violating their constitutional rights”. A more logical thing would just be to raise the pay in a way that is proper reciprocation for putting your life in danger. Maybe make all law enforcement a federal or state job with a pay scale like the GS (General Schedule). For sure needs to be a universal pay, regardless of location. I know cops who make $10/hr. and that is SAD. Those cops could get hurt or killed doing their job, obviously the chances are lower in less densely populated areas, but it doesn’t matter. The job we do is dangerous.

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Until the standards are raised to become a police officer the low pay will probably not change. Most police departments in the US have a minimum education requirement of a diploma or GED. I have a diploma and some college, and I sometimes still have trouble with constitutional law. Further education would obviously only help you in any career, but maybe the minimum requirement should be higher. As far as the fitness requirements those should absolutely be raised. In the state of Alabama the standard is a 1.5 mile run in 15:28 or faster, 22 push-ups in a minute, and 25 sit-ups in a minute. I am certain that my 3 year old niece could complete that with ease. There is also an agility portion of the test that involves; pushing a car, climbing a 6ft fence, walking on a balance beam, climbing through a window, and dragging a 165lb dummy. Most agencies don’t even test yearly to make sure that those standards are being kept up with after completing your certification. Some people think of cops as fat doughnut eating slobs who sit around and BS, only working when they are ruining your day by writing you a speeding ticket. I’ll tell you that there are absolutely some cops who fit that description perfectly. That will always be the case though, but the physical fitness part can be changed by raising the standards. Most agencies require a minimum age of 21 by the time you complete your POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certification. Maybe make that age 25? I became a police officer when I was 23 and will admit that I wasn’t mature enough for the job, but thanks to competent and caring supervisors I quickly changed.

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I don’t know how to change the standards, but they need to be higher that’s for sure. Until then I’ll keep doing my job, trying to affect change in people’s heart to do better, for less than desired wages.

 

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My Interesting Friend and Her Podcast!

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I have been obsessed with Psychology for a while now, it is very interesting to me the way people think and interact and why. That’s where my whole “trying to know everything in the world” started. I saw a book called “Subliminal” by Leonard Mlodinow and that was the beginning of my adventure to know all things. Now my book shelf is filled with the writings of; Jonathan Haidt, Sebastian Junger, Susan Cain, Malcolm Gladwell, and Simon Baron-Cohen to name a few. It is an impossible task, to know all things, I am aware, but I am enjoying it.

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I used to live in Houston, Texas when I was younger, and I have a lot of friends from there I keep up with. One of them is Kelly Stewart. Kelly and I went to school together, and after I moved, as it often happens, we didn’t speak as much. A while back, I can’t remember when, I was scrolling through LinkedIn and saw where she posted a podcast about Industrial and Organizational Psychology. So, I immediately subscribed and listened. The I-O Podcast is interesting and informative, and I would recommend it to anyone who is employed and wants to better understand human behavior in the workplace. It features guests such as; Eleni Lobene, Ph.D., S. Morton McPhail, Ph.D., and Talya N. Bauer, Ph.D. Click here to find out about I-O Psychology.

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My friend Kelly Stewart is the Host of “The I-O Podcast” within the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). She has worked as a project manager and assisted organizations like The New Orleans Police Department, LA Tech University, and Medical Clinics in the Louisiana area to develop cost effective solutions for recruitment and retention by analyzing data and research. She went to Texas State University for undergrad and is a I-O Psychology graduate of Louisiana Tech University.

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We have recently been talking and in the future, we may team up on some things, maybe I’ll be on her podcast, maybe she will write a blog on Generally Specific. Who knows. Either way you should certainly subscribe to her podcast BELOW to be enlightened on topics of interest within or related to the realm of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. As always subscribe to Generally Specific for updates on blogs and have a wonderful day!

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CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE!

Please Welcome, Pate Cardwell!

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Pate is a friend and brother from my time in the Army, and a mortal enemy because of our first responder careers. You might have seen him on Buzzfeed, or one of many websites that used his photos from a witty reply to his wife’s request of him using the selfie stick she gave him (pictured above). He may have even literally saved your life at some point in time, and will certainly enrich your life by joining this website. He will be contributing to Generally Specific in the editor role, publishing and editing blogs, and will eventually be a huge part of the podcast once it gets off the ground. I imagine he will post an initial blog to tell you all about himself and what he hopes to accomplish with this blog. As the interaction numbers of the blog increase by the day I am excited to team up with Pate to grow our followers more and more with a wider audience by his unique and entertaining point of view. Expect a blog about Pumpkin Spice Lattes and if you’re lucky, maybe a war story or an adventure tale from his smoke diving career. Suggestions are always welcome here and feedback fuels the blog, contact us if there is anything you have on your mind!

-Zac

America: Fixing it, Impossible? Probably, But Try!

 

Everyone has an opinion about everything, and that’s okay! The problem with opinions is that they’re mutually exclusive to most people, which I think is ridiculous. Now, more than ever, is a time that people argue and debate how they feel about specific things and preach their opinions as the only truth. People should be more objective, not too right and not too left.

 

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A perfect example is the recent kneeling in protest while the National Anthem is playing at NFL games. Far right people are blinded by xenophobia and racism while quoting Jefferson Davis and bringing up how these over-paid monkeys are disrespecting their great grandfather who fought in the war, even though they never met the man and probably didn’t know that he had a boyfriend who was a black guy, and sided with Franklin D. Roosevelt on many social issues. The far left is held up in a cave having flashbacks of a CNN video of an “assault” rifle cycling through a 100 round clip, contradicting everything they say and painting pictures of Donald Trump with a clown nose quoting Hitler, all while sending thoughts and prayers so fast and aggressive in an attempt to resurrect 1960’s Bernard Sanders for one last “peaceful” protest before the world ends because “Not My President” said something rude about Mother Clinton. I honestly believe that if you agree with, or buy into, EVERY idea or guideline that is all the way right or left, you are neither; an intelligent person or someone who needs to talk about anything ever to anyone.

The kneeling may have started as a peaceful protest of police brutality against black people but it has turned into nothing more than a publicity stunt now. I agree that there have been many cases of police brutality in the last decade that were terrible and wrong and need to be talked about and protested to keep from happening again. The media and ever-growing simplicity of gathering information worldwide has kind of magnified these happenings, which is good and bad. It’s good for the exposure of wrong doings by police but bad for the justified actions of police, and both parts have one common thread, political opinion and persuasion. I hate to repeat the cliché argument but I’m going to, I’m self-destructive that way, “there are good cops and bad cops”. There are situations that happen where the actions of police are justified and some where they aren’t. Too much of the blame game is being played, the media falsely portrays police and claims they are acting on racist thoughts. While I agree there are ABSOLUTELY racist cops out there, I would argue that less than 1% are actually acting on those thoughts, and mostly not the ones that the media decides to cover. people can have ignorant racist opinions, but that’s a right given by the same amendment that allows the media to say whatever they want. The media highlights race because we as a country are drawn in by it because we’re too ashamed or bored of who we are to care about what’s actually going on around us and need someone to blame for it. Equating race to crime is silly, statistics shouldn’t even matter when it comes to crimes. Unfortunately, it does because the faults of our ancestors and so now we have to live in this world.

But how do we fix it? We can’t. I know (because my fiancé told me) that it is ignorant to state absolutes, but, we ABSOLUTELY cannot fix this problem in our world. If we were to begin to try though, this is how we would do it:

 

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“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart”
-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

^that quote is awesome and so true.

We have natural, instinctual, drives that move us forward to survive and thrive. Furthermore, we are living in a culture that continues to stimulate fear and desire, grouping us into a particular consumer role or party that leaves us unconscious to our true self. I may be biased by my own beliefs but I think human’s true moral make-up is 49.9% evil and 50.1% good. And that .1%, although minuscule looking by most, I believe is enough to preserve life and is the key to a more harmonious mortal life on earth. I also think that .1% is unstable, constantly tipping from one side to the other. People should stay off the band wagon and pay attention to their own flaws rather than pointing out others. You should think about how you can convey ideas that are helpful in a way that is accessible, and how you can be useful without slipping into a selfish prideful mode that is counterproductive to the battle of keeping that .1% on the good side of the scale. Throughout time humankind has been exposed to data and information of their ancestors that gradually rises decade by decade. That data and information is exponential these days, and will continue. People get better and better, I think, because of the knowledge of our ancestors, and I hope that continues. Good deeds and positive vibes don’t sell though, so turn off the news and act out of kindness. Forgiveness is a necessity for change too! You’re trapped by a belief if you cannot forgive. To be liberated of that you must change the way that you react or feel to a certain person or instance, especially if it has a negative vibe. Pay attention to what you’re doing and ask yourself if it is productive to a better you.

Remember to be objective and have an open mind, but not so open that everything spills out.

 

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“If you know the way broadly you will see it in everything.”
― Miyamoto Musashi