Criminal Justice : Police Essay, Research Paper
The System: Police
Before I was to go and visit the police station, in Chambersburg, PA, I guess you could call me ignorant. You can say this because I was expecting to basically see what happens on all of those made up police shows (i.e. New York Under Cover). I was hoping/expecting to see culprits walked into the police station, handcuffed and saying all types of vulgar things to the officer who arrested him or her. I also expected to see around the station and what happens to the arrested people who are brought in; where do they go? But what I expected to see and what I saw were two entirely different things.
11:07AM-I walked into the Chambersburg Police Department with expectations to learn and to witness what goes on in the station. When I walked in, the first thing I did was look around to see the Police environment. There were posters on the wall talking about DUI and how we can t afford it, and other posters about criminal activities. I then looked forward and saw a one way mirror with a phone beside it. I walked up to the phone and saw that it read, pick up phone for service. So I did just that. I picked up the phone and heard an officer say, Can I help you? It was then that I told him why I was here and what I was supposed to do. He then told me to have a seat and somebody would be out soon, and they would bring me into the main part of the station. I hung up the phone and sat on the long, L-shaped leather couch with my notebook in hand. -11:22AM.
11:22AM- I remained on the couch, waiting for service if you will. Still, nobody came out of, or entered, the door that led to the official Police Station. It was in these 15 minutes that I jotted down some questions I had (which I will share at the end of this report). 11:37AM.
11:37AM- From 11:37AM to 11:47 AM, I sat there patiently waiting to be taken back to the place where everything happens (or at least see some body walk through the main entrance). Still, I saw nothing. 11:48AM- It was at 11:48AM when an officer, Officer James Connelly, walked through the door and told me to come on back. He asked where I was going to college and what my major was. I told him, but he didn t seem too interested. He told me to have a seat as he pointed to an uncomfortable looking metal folding chair. I took my seat, and watched him walk away. 11:52AM.
11:52AM- I did nothing here but sat and watched some more. 12:07PM
12:07PM- This is when the same officer who took me back, Officer Connelly, told me to follow him. I got up and walked behind him as he said, hey to practically every other officer that walked by us. I then saw a door that said, Officer use only and asked him what that was. He kept walking, and told me that it was the door that Officers use to bring in culprits. He told me that this was for safety of the public. He said that if he brought culprits in the main entrance, where people were waiting, and the culprit started to yell vulgarities and started to spit, and some of the spit got on me, then the Station was responsible for me getting spat upon. 12:22PM
12:22PM- It was at this time that the officer took me to a computer and asked for my name. I told him, Anthony Joseph Cardinal. He then typed my name into the computer and said that I didn t have any arrests or speeding tickets or any tickets of that kind what so ever. I nodded and told him that I was pulled over once, but I was let go. He then got some dispatch over his monitor on his left shoulder and told me that he had to go. He said I was more than welcome to sit with the secretaries and watch them do their work. So, I walked over to the secretaries and told them what Officer Connelly said, and they told me to come behind the counter and to take a seat. 12:37PM
12:37PM- I didn t say a word to the secretaries the entire time I was behind the counter. But instead, I watched the Officers only door to see if any culprits were going to come in. And to my luck, I saw one. He was handcuffed and was guided by an Officer. The culprit looked normal, if you will. I was expecting to see a ragged person with an unshaven face. But he looked to be the total opposite. 12:52PM
12:52PM- In these last 15 minutes, I saw nothing except officers leave and officers come. I heard secretaries talking with people on the phone and people who had to pay parking tickets. 1:07PM
In the beginning of this report, I told you that I expected to see culprits come through a door handcuffed and putting up a fight with the cops, and screaming at the top of their lungs, Injustice! Injustice! or something of that sort. Well, to my surprise, it was NOTHING like that. I basically moved from one sitting location to another, observing Officers leave and Officers come. Now maybe I went in at the wrong time of the day. Maybe I went into the Station at a time of the day where there is basically no crime being committed. If this is the case, then I plan on going back to the Station when I return back home at any point. Maybe if I go in, some of the Officers will recognize me and be a little more involving with my situation. So, from what I have seen at this Police Station, I can say that it was not what I expected. I am not saying that I am disappointed in this part of the system. I am just saying that maybe I caught them on a bad day, or a bad time of the day, and that I am going to have to return that exact Station to see this. During the time I was at the Station, I thought of a few questions to ask next time I go back.
Why was there a one way mirror in front of the Station?
Do the officers pull into their parking stalls backwards so they can leave easier?
How long does the whole information process take after you bring a culprit into the station?
Do cops really eat a lot of doughnuts?
Has any culprits ran from the station once you brought them in?
And finally, Why does it take so long for people (civilians) to get service?
So, in conclusion, I would say that my visit to the Station gave me a little better understanding of the way the Police System works. Although I am not completely in the light of the situations of the Police, on my next return I will be better informed about the Police and how they work.