Whoops – cops guilty of plagiarism with harassment post

The Police Association caused a social stir with a blog post from an unnamed Palmerston North sergeant – which seems to have been swiped, uncredited, from a US site.

In response to the anonymous question: “I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?”, the sergeant unloads:

First of all, let me tell you this ... it’s not easy. In the Palmerston North and rural area we average one cop for every 505 people. Only about 60% of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as “general patrols”) where we do most of our harassing.

The rest are in non-harassing units that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. At any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60% of general patrols are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So, roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 6000 residents.

When you toss in the commercial business and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 15,000 or more people a day.

Now, your average eight-hour shift runs 28,800 seconds long. This gives a cop two-thirds of a second to harass a person, and then only another third of a second to drink a Massey iced coffee AND then find a new person to harass.

It's amusing stuff, but as Auckland man Dylan Reeve pointed out yesterday, it bears a striking resemblance to a post credited to a Chula Vista, California police officer, answering the same question:

"First of all, let me tell you this. In Chula Vista, we average one cop for every 600 people. Only about 60% of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as "patrol") where we do most of our harassing.

The rest are in non-harassing departments that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. And at any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60% patrollers are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 5000 residents.

When you toss in the commercial business, and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 10,000 or more people a day.

Now, your average 10-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds long. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass. 

As this is a first offence, and it is quite an amusing post (read the full version here) NBR ONLINE recommends the sergeant be let off with a warning. 

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