General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

Do you feel safe(r) with a heavy police presence?

Asked by tinyfaery (41409points) June 22nd, 2009

I don’t. When there are tons of cops around I actually feel less safe. I know what the cops are capable of, especially LAPD. And there is always the idea that those who might cause problems might do so just because of a heavy police presence; it’s kind of a fuck you I can do what I want attitude.

How about you. Why or why not?

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37 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

no, I feel more pissed off

Ivan's avatar

Depends on the situation.

Judi's avatar

I’m not sure how I feel here. I went to Israel and it made me feel safer. They know how to do security! We jumped over to Egypt and the police presence made me feel very uneasy. Like my every breath was being watched.

btko's avatar

Depends what they are doing and what other people are doing. If there is a gang shoot-out I would be relieved if there was a strong police presence.

SirBailey's avatar

I feel the heavy police presence IS a deterrent to the bad guys, so YES, I feel safer.

whatthefluther's avatar

It certainly can be counter-productive with too much of a presence in certain situations. An example might be a mild protest where one protestor or small group feel the presence is inappropriate and decide to make a statement of that by egging the cops on. Of course, with the LAPD, a heavy police presence can always be found here.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Well I’m sitting here at work looking at 3 heavily armed (MP5’s, well it heavily armed by UK standard) members of the metropolitan police, all of whom are looking bored and reading books like James Bond and Andy McNab and I have to say I think I’d feel safer without them.

whatthefluther's avatar

@Lightlyseared…Let’s see, you could be working at a bank, or the Treasury, or an art museum, or, maybe you are in prison??? Just kidding, but I am curious of your situation, if you don’t mind sharing?

fireside's avatar

Typically a heavy police presence means that the area is thought of as less safe. So I guess I would not feel as safe as if I were in an area where a heavy police presence was not deemed necessary.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@whatthefluther I work in a hospital. Someone tried to kill someone but didn’t quite suceed so the police are here to make sure they don’t come back and er… finnish the job.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@Lightlyseared – eek!

When I was a girl I didn’t feel safe around police. I thought they were looking for any excuse to arrest a resident of my poor neighborhood and take some night sticks to them. Where I grew up, no one trusted the police and that attitude rubbed off a bit onto me.

Where I am now, there isn’t much of a police presence, and the few officers I do see are unfailingly polite. If I saw a lot of police in my current neighborhood, it’s probably because something was very, very wrong and I would be glad they were around.

whatthefluther's avatar

@Lightlyseared….My, that is not a comforting thought, and I mean the potential visit by the suspect more so than the police presence. I hope they catch the suspect soon and things return to normal for you.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’ve never experienced it anywhere so I couldn’t say yet.

evolverevolve's avatar

No, every situation I’ve been in where there is a heavy police presence just pisses everyone off more and it leads to riots. Most recently at Ohio U. a few weeks ago, perfect example. A house had a speaker in the window blasting NWA and a handful of cops just bust open the door (this was mid-riot) and smashed up everything in the house, then they left. That was the point when I realized that cops can do that shit and get away with it, I could see breaking the speaker, but they broke their t.v., lamps, xbox, etc. It was pretty insane, then the dudes went out and starting lighting couches on fire and dumpsters. It was awesome I’m not going to lie.

Judi's avatar

@evolverevolve ; sounds like the police INCITED the riot!

Kraken's avatar

Fuck the police, is my favorite police song by various artists.

The police are parasites that harass instead of serve and protect.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, generally I do. It depends on whether I’m part of the mob, or the innocent bystander. The police are usually pretty good at sorting them out.

I was in the neighborhood of the Watts Riots, and the extreme police presence was dangerous for the people who insisted in going outside, but for those of us with sense enough to stay inside, they provided a lot of protection.

nikipedia's avatar

I guess it depends on whether or not there’s a real threat present. A couple weeks ago, I saw a ton of cops randomly swarming on campus and I was really irritated; they were riding motorcycles through heavy pedestrian traffic and generally being dicks. I found out shortly after there was some concern that a gunman might be on campus—and I instantly felt better about the cops being there.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I don’t like having a lot of cops around, but I’d prefer it far more than having a boatload of criminals around.

If I lived in an area where there were a lot of cops around consistently, I would move. Lots of cops mean lots of need for cops (i.e. bad area of town).

OpryLeigh's avatar

Yes I do feel safer and I always like to see them out and about doing their job and not just pushing papers round a desk. One of my colleagues husbands is a policeman and he feels that there is so much paperwork to policing now that they can’t put all their focus on protecting the general public anymore. I think that’s sad. I have never felt that the police were a pain (I can only speak from what I have experienced here in England though) and always like to see them out and about even when there is nothing to worry about. It doesn’t hurt anyone if they are just there, keeping an eye…

chelseababyy's avatar

HAHAHAHAHAH Most definitely NOT.

rooeytoo's avatar

Jeez once again I feel my age showing. When I was a kid, the policeman was your friend. He knew your name and your parents and you knew him and knew you could count on him if you needed help. He always smiled and said hello.

The police I see in the small town where I live now, stomp through the plaza and rarely ever smile or say hello (unless you are a cute young thing in short shorts and bra straps hanging out).

So the world has changed and I guess the cops have too. Some take the job because they want to serve and make a difference in their community and they are probably the good ones. Some take the job because it gives them a license to bully.

But all in all, with the amount of crime in the streets today, I mostly feel safer if I am walking down the street at night and see a cop nearby.

cyndyh's avatar

I don’t tend to feel unsafe so a police presence doesn’t really make me feel safer. It doesn’t usually make me feel less safe either. If I suddenly saw a large number of cops and didn’t already know why they were there I think I’d want to know what was up.

I have had both good and bad experiences with the police in another town, and only good experiences with them the few times I’ve seen them in Seattle.

SuperMouse's avatar

Because of the strong police presence I felt completely comfortable walking around Times Square at midnight. That being said, having grown up outside of LA under police chief Daryl Gates I tend to be a bit nervous around a large police presence. Gates was nuts and it seemed to me that he cultivated an atmosphere in the LAPD that almost encouraged officers to be jerks.

xTheDreamer's avatar

Not really, cause it’s like a bunch of hawks staring at you and ready to attack or something. Just not a great feeling. I’ve never broke any laws before but whenever there’s even one cop by my side I just feel anxious or such ya know? So a just plain old big no to your question.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

I wish I could. But in the late 60’s and 70’s, I looked like a roadie for the Grateful Dead, and I got pulled over so many times for spot checks (outlawed in 1979, too late for me) that I’ve never been able to get over the distrust and resentment I feel towards them. Sure, I could have got myself a crew cut and some button-down shirts to get some relief from it, but people who are black or Hispanic, for example, don’t have the option to change their appearance to avoid the profiling and the harassment.

It does not help that I still see the bastards sitting in the corners of parking lots, skulking with radar guns. I know I can drive the speed limit and not get pulled over, but I don’t like their eyes on me. I know that there are people getting mugged and burglarized and worse, but there they are, waiting like trap door spiders for some unsuspecting schmuck to come along so they can pop him. Nothing green about those V8 Crown Victorias sitting there at idle, either.

dannyc's avatar

If such a presence is needed for whatever reason, I might fear the venue or situation much more than the police who are there. Unless I was in Iran.

YARNLADY's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex I can’t get your link – outlawed in 1979 – to load. All I get is “Internet Explorer Cannot Display the Webpage.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Loads fine in FireFox. Delaware v. Prouse, 440 US 648 (1979).

Jeruba's avatar

I would feel anxious being in a situation where a heavy police presence were considered necessary. It would not be the police who made me nervous but whatever caused them to be there.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

rarely. i feel less safe surrounded by people with a lot of power that can, and frequently are seen, taking advantage of it, than ‘average’ people who may be dangerous.

justus2's avatar

NO. I hate the police

dustintownsend's avatar

No. I would not feel safer.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I live in a rural area with a very low crime rate. A heavy police prescence would just make me angry that my taxes were being wasted. All the protection I need is in my shoulder holster, and that’s mostly against bears and moose.
In an urban area I think there is an optimum level of police protection. Less than that concentration and people feel unsafe. Above that level and it feels like being in an occupied “police state”. I tnink that what is deing done in Europe with the video cameras is a good idea; it increases actual surveillance without the “feel” of too many uniforms around.

Nullo's avatar

I live in what Time Magazine once described as a real-world Mayberry. Even now. it’s a pretty peaceful area; people can be out on the streets at night without fear of being mugged. Public events get one,maybe two police cars. A heavier police presence would mean that something bad was going on, and that would indeed make me nervous.

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