Everyone has questions for cops. #AMA about police

Adam Wilson
Feb 11, 2018

I have been policing now for 13 years and am currently a Detective and SWAT operator. I'm writing some criminal justice related books and the mindsets of future generations of police. This format is great for discovering what people are interested in.  Everyone have questions about the police world. Feel free to ask me anything. Been arrested and think it's unfair, ask me. Have a question about a crime, ask me. Have a questions about my experience, ask me. 


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When you started your career as a police officer, how different were you to the person going into police training academy to the one coming out of it after training?

Feb 18, 12:01AM EST0

No different really. Both pose opportunities for growth and teaching. If they dont make it out of rookie school here, maybe they go somewhere else or come back and make it. Never miss an opportunity to teach somebody something.

Feb 18, 9:28AM EST0

What's a SWAT operator and what are your responsibilities as a SWAT operator?

Feb 17, 10:03PM EST0

It basically means I am a participating member of our swat team which is a tactical unit. My personal responsibilities are to utilize a shield so no one gets hurt when were approaching a structure or making entry. 

Feb 18, 9:26AM EST0

Can a person be completely silent if a police officer pulls him/her over even if he asks questions? What are the consequences?

Feb 17, 7:47AM EST0

During a traffic stop? I'm going to assume a traffic stop. Theres a difference between asking general questions, like for your identification, and interrogating you about a crime. On a basic traffic stop, you could potentially be looking at some sort of resisting charge, depending on the state. 

Feb 18, 9:24AM EST0

Can a police officer ask you any question or any command for any reason, even if you have not committed a crime?

Feb 16, 5:27PM EST0

They can approach you and ask to speak with you. Just like you could walk up to a stranger and and strike up a conversation. If there is reasonable suspicion that you did something then they will certainly ask you questions. If there is probable cause you did something, you will likely hear commands. 

Feb 18, 9:22AM EST0

What inspired you to join the police force and what motivates you to keep doing the work you do?

Feb 12, 4:05PM EST0

I knew I wanted a career that offered a lot of freedom, being interesting, and something that was different everyday. I keep setting goals in the organization and community and find fulfillment in trying to achieved those goals.

Feb 14, 2:23PM EST0

What jobs did you take besides being a cop?

Feb 11, 6:08PM EST0

I was a server in restaurants for a long time. 

Feb 14, 2:23PM EST0

Does your family support you as a cop? How do you deal with them being afraid that somehow something may happen to you?

Feb 11, 4:52PM EST0

They do. I think every family worries but they understand that I understand the risks involved and if something happens to me on the job, they know I died doing exactly what I wanted to do and was ok with it. 

Feb 14, 2:24PM EST0

Do you still remember your first assignment as a cop? How was it?

Feb 11, 3:41PM EST0

Terrifying, I didnt recieve any training when I first started so a lot of stuff was by trial and error. I started on my own with a stop sign violation and then built up from there. 

Feb 14, 2:25PM EST0

What is your way of proceeding when you don’t agree with your superior’s decisions?

Feb 11, 12:31PM EST0

It depends if it violates my morals. If it is something I dont agree with but doesnt violate law or my integrity. I just suck it up and do it, even if I would have done it another way. 

Feb 14, 2:26PM EST0

What is the secret to become a successful police officer?

Feb 11, 7:04AM EST0

Compassion and being self-aware enough to know your strengths and weakness. Everyone isnt going to be the best at everything but you can get pretty dang good at some stuff. 

Feb 14, 2:27PM EST0

Do you remember at what point in your life you decided to be a police officer?

Feb 10, 6:57PM EST0

I was at NC State looking at some dirt. It was a soil science class and I remember everyone being so into a pot of dirt in the middle of the table. I wasnt into the dirt but I knew I wanted that feeling that everyone else seemed to be sharing. That day I came home and went to rookie school.

Feb 14, 2:28PM EST0

What is the biggest goal you would like to achieve as a police officer?

Feb 10, 6:07PM EST0

I've done everything I really wanted to do as a cop besides being in a supervisory role. I would really like to continue helping shape perceptions of cops in forums like this and youtube. 

Feb 14, 2:30PM EST0

What is your top advice for someone who’s considering enrolling in the police academy?

Feb 10, 4:50PM EST0

Sit down with your family or girlfriend, boyfriend, both, whatever, and make sure everyone has a clear understanding of the ramifications of that decision because it effects everyone around you. Make sure there is a solid support system in place. If it's just you or if you have that support system, now ask yourself can you handle the bad parts of the job. Being cursed, public scrutiny, people putting stuff in your food, being made a target, added stress, and the main question I asked myself was, can you, with all certainty, give your life up for another human being. If you can answer all of these questions with yes, now, get in the floor and do 25 push ups because a lot of people can answer yes to a lot of those types of questions but have no physical fitness. Talk to your family, talk to yourself, do some push ups. 

Feb 14, 2:35PM EST0

Based on what you have seen throughout your career, what are the most common causes of violence?

Feb 10, 2:02PM EST0

Domestic related. Usually husband and wife have been arguing and someones been drinking. Typically married couples really know how to push each others buttons. Mix that with a temper and alcohol, and you get a lot of domestic calls. 

Feb 14, 2:36PM EST0

Do you think there is police abusive over the African-American community?

Feb 10, 10:21AM EST0

No, I dont. Not specifically to that community. I think there are abusive officers. I dont know any but I'm not naieve enough to think they dont exist. I just dont think they exist at the rate people like to believe. I think if you are an abusive person, you're going to be abusive in all aspects of the job. As cops we go through, psych tests, polygraph tests, extensive background checks, etcetera. I dont know what else we can do to weed people out. Surgeons dont even go through this type of applications process. 

Feb 14, 2:40PM EST0

Do you have any tips for surviving police academy with a good rookie reputation?

Feb 10, 8:48AM EST0

Work hard. No matter if you're last place every damn time, people will give you so much more respect when they see you're going as hard as you can go. And people know when you're really not trying vs. when someone is really giving it everything they got. 

Feb 14, 2:41PM EST0

How far has corruption gone in the American police? Would you consider this a subject that is rotting the system?

Feb 10, 7:29AM EST0

More in the prisons than in the police field. Much more corruption in prisons than there are in policing. Again, I'm not saying it doesnt exist, I'm sure it does. just maybe not at the rate people like to believe. Corruption will always be there, I do think it is better now than it was years ago. Look at NYPD for example. They still have their share of issues but it's a lot better than it used to be. 

Feb 14, 2:43PM EST0

Have you ever been in a position where you feel you’re not doing things right as a cop?

Feb 10, 7:00AM EST0

I have, but I've never not corrected it. I gave someone a ticket one time as a rookie for an unsafe lane change. They were very poor and I started feeling really guilty. Tickets are supposed to be habit changers. However, by pulling them over, I felt that I satisfied what I was trying to do, so, I go to their mobile home and knock on the door. They open it, and in the floor they are counting pennies to pay the ticket. I ask for the ticket back and say not to worry about it. They literally start jumping up and down with excitement, then I'm jumping up and down with them and it is still one of my most favorite memories on discretion. 

Feb 14, 2:47PM EST0

How do you deal with people trying to mock you as a police officer?

Feb 10, 6:06AM EST0

You just have to have enough mental toughness to not let it bother you.  Honestly, you get so used to it, you dont even think about it anymore. I hear crazy stuff and I just roll my eyes to it. 

Feb 14, 2:55PM EST0

How does your profession affects your personal life?

Feb 10, 2:58AM EST0

It affects everything. It affects who you surround yourself with, how you conduct yourself on social media, and in public. It affects everything in a good way, though. It's a good trade off though. 

Feb 14, 3:00PM EST0