First off, I think the officer’s actions and words are completely out of line. I want to make sure that is perfectly clear before I go on to the next part.
His actions aren’t the real problem here.
Yep, I said it and I mean it. His actions are unprofessional and his behavior was more than “embarrassing” but even more concerning is his attitude.
The “us versus them” , “The Only Ones”, “Cops can do no wrong” — how ever you want to phrase it, it doesn’t seem that he expected any backlash from his actions.
Not from the public, not from his fellow officers, not from his supervisors.
Why do I say this? Because he is still on the police force!
A May 2010 review says: “Officer Arnold’s enthusiasm may make him overzealous at times, which can cloud his judgment when it comes to policy, procedure and tactics. Sometimes he needs to step back and see the big picture to weight the risks involved.”
Over 2 years ago, his supervisors noted a troubling attitude. And apparently nothing they did (if they did anything made a difference).
Monday night another man met with Hurst police and indicated he plans to file a complaint regarding an incident with Arnold in August. Gared Matusz was pulled over for speeding and said the officer asked to search his car for drugs. He agreed and Arnold responded as backup. Matusz said Arnold forced him to the ground, cursed at him to be quiet, then detained him in a patrol car for several hours. Matusz said his elderly mother, who he was taking to the airport, was forced to stand against the truck during the search.
And his fellow officers apparently either approve or at least accept his attitude because he is still on the police force.
Individually any of the actions can (and apparently were ) excused but the attitude behind all of them remains the same. It is the same attitude we’ve seen displayed many times ala Officer Harliss.
I know many law enforcement officials; some I even call friends and know that not all of them are like Officers Harliss or Arnold. The problem is too many in law enforcement have the same attitude as they do. Too bad it isn’t the attitude found in Sir Robert Peel’s Principles.
Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
Please join the discussion.