Apparently snowflake millennials make hopeless cops, who knew?

Police’s Tasman District Commander Mike Johnson. Photo credit: Luz Zuniga from Stuff

In an interesting article on Stuff recently I was surprised to find a Police District Commander actually telling it how it is. Surely he will be censured, is it still legal to be non-pc in the Police?

New police recruits who have grown up in the internet age, with social media, emails and comment sections, struggle with face-to-face confrontation on the beat, Tasman’s police boss says. End quote.

District Commander Superintendent Mike Johnson said, quote.

 Millennial rookies were ill-equipped for encounters with criminals and drunk or drugged people as they entered police training. End quote.

Police with the ‘Huia’ Remembrance Day pin. Photo credit: Stuff

Johnson spoke about the dangerous situations police officers had to deal with at a Police Remembrance Day ceremony on Friday, held to remember police staff killed on duty. Quote.

“It sounds good when you watch a police recruitment video, but the reality of dealing with drunk and drug-fueled people in confrontational situations is a key part of the job,” Johnson said.

“In the age of modern media … and keyboard warriors, people become outraged over seemingly minor things … which they wouldn’t confront people over in real life,” end quote.

This is the thing. I personally find all these clever new age recruitment videos cringe worthy. Police sometimes need to have a bit of mongrel in them. They actually need to be feared a bit. It’s all very well saying that my mouth is my best weapon but in reality, there are times when you can’t talk your way around a situation.

People who are high on P don’t actually think about what they are doing, and sure as eggs they won’t do as you wish just because you asked nicely. Videos doing stupid dances, and pretending to be Superman jumping over parked cars, to my eyes, just make the police look silly. Superintendent Johnson goes on to say. Quote.

“We’re finding this with recruitment. We’re all fine online but to front up and deal with people in confrontational ways is often really challenging for people. But that’s what we ask them to do.

“We do train them for it and it takes some getting used to, perhaps it always has. But the more we get into the technological age, the more we’ve got to spend time helping young people learn to communicate in situations like that.” End quote.

But is it, in reality, all the fault of the Millennials? How much has the lowering of the entry standards affected this new reality?

Fifteen years or so ago, there was a major reduction in standards to encourage more Maori and Pacific Island recruits. The required English level, among others, was dropped right down to allow more to be recruited. The problem was that there is now a substantial amount of university study that is required in the years after graduating. Many of these new, lower standard employees absolutely struggled, to the point of being unable to pass the first year university courses.

Unfortunately, because the police knew at the time that they hired these folk that they were a bit thick, they couldn’t even fire them! So cue thousands of hours and lots of our dollars being spent teaching them how to read, write and study.

The standards don’t seem to get any better. Life at the Police College now is very very different to what I knew back when I was in the job.

I’m led to believe that currently serving officers, who may be there on a course etc, are not allowed to wear their uniforms in case it intimidates the recruits! There seem to be no dress and deportment standards anymore at the college, gym clothing is whatever they feel like and by all accounts, it’s a bit of a fashion show, particularly among the females who seem to be competing for an award for the sluttiest active-wear!

The blokes are not much better as turning up unshaven and wearing a man bun is apparently fine nowadays, as is calling your instructor by his first name. And if they don’t really feel like going for the 2.4 km run today, they just pop along to the sick bay nurse and get a pink slip that gets them out of it. In my day you ran, you puked, you carried on!

The little things matter. When I was a cop I would never have spoken to a member of the public while wearing sunglasses, it’s just plain rude, but you only have to watch any of the myriad of police reality TV shows to see that this is now the norm.

Shamefully we regularly hear of newer police officers not getting out of patrol cars if they don’t feel safe, refusing to stand on cordons or go to sudden deaths cause they’re yucky. Perhaps they’re all just known as Cute and Fuzzy Police Bunnies now.

Stop or I shall hop about all nimbly bimbly and post a frowny face on your social media!

So if the government want to get better cops, there’s a pretty easy way to do it.

Stop lowering the standards, go back to the tried and true militaristic training to install a little pride and discipline back into the profession, and pay them appropriately.

Oh, and when the bad guys are actually caught, don’t just let them out again if they promise to be a good boy, that’s extremely demoralising for cops.

Otherwise, we’re going to have a police force full of pussies, like Officer Mittens here, and maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather have a big, hulking, hard-looking cop turn up to help me when I’ve got some P-head trying to take my car off me.

Officer Mittens, reporting for duty.
Image credit Pixy


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ExPFC, ex lots of things. Husband to a great woman. Father to great kids. Traveller, teller of tall tales, wannabe capitalist property magnate. I’m a passionate user of fossil fuels, a proud Kiwi, Ford over Holden, Indy over F1, V8’s over everything else.

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