Cops. Do you remember that show, Company? It shows on one of the channels that we get here in my new Executive Mansion, and as such my Baby Doll and I have been watching it a lot, and it led to a really interesting dichotomy that I want to share with you.
See, they must have changed over to re-run the series backward again, because for a while they were showing episodes from the late 80s and early 90s, and now they are starting to show really new episodes, like from within the last couple of years. And the methods of policing have changed a lot in the last fifteen years, and not necessarily for the better.
The early episodes are really interesting. They harken back to the days when police officers drove cars with no air bags or computers, and they all wore mullets and porn star mustaches. But the way that they went about their business was vastly different from how they do it today. When they were faced with problems or situations, they would usually attempt to talk it out and with people. They would also engage in what they like to call "community policing" where they would...oh I don't know...talk to people who weren't committing crimes and they would even hand out baseball cards to kids. It was cool. It was refreshing.
Fast forward to the new episodes. The police are - for the most part - officious pricks who take themselves way too seriously. They never get out of the car, and they are over authoritarian. They like to give orders and they like to boss people around. It is really sad. They get way more resistence than the old-time police ever did. Let me give you an example.
The police get a call that a tow-truck driver is trying to tow a truck that is parked in a handicapped spot, but he can't tow it because the owner has hopped inside and won't get out. So he calls the police so he can go about his business. The police show up. Cops circa 1990 would come out, talk to the driver, then go over and talk to the man in the truck. They would let him sit in the truck as they listened to his story and talked things over with him. Eventually they would coax him out of the truck and he would be arrested and the tow truck driver would be able to get on with his business. Now the new cops, it doesn't work that way. They get the story from the tow truck driver, then they go around the truck and tell the owner to get out. When he says that he can't, they reach in and pepper spray him and haul him out through the open truck window. Then they haul him off in cuffs and throw the book at him.
So that is the difference. Now, I can understand a little bit, because things aren't the same as they were back in 1989 or whenever. Police today face a lot of different threats that most officers couldn't even conceive in 1990. Not only are there more people, but they seem to be much more virulently anti-police than they ever were before. So I can understand that they don't have the time or desire to be chit-chatting with people. They have to take much more drastic measures to ensure their safety. But sometimes I wish that it were like the days back then, when the cops were a little more friendly. Like the porn star mustache cops.