As a process server and provider of court services, I’ve encountered the police on several occasions. I’ve encountered "city cops", "state cops" and "little town cops". The demeanor of the police has taught me a lot, as I am about to explain in this blog.
"CITY COPS" DEMEANOR TOWARDS PROCESS SERVERS AND/OR THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO PROVIDE SERVICES THAT ARE SIMILAR TO LAW ENFORCEMENT DUTIES:
I have been serving court paperwork in Massachusetts for nearly seven years [2002 – present]. Many times I had to serve process in a city with the assistance of "city cops". Each time the police officer who stands by to keep the peace is helpful, patient and more then willing to protect and serve. They never question my services and actually understand the role of a "process server".
"City cops" don’t seem intimidated or act ignorant towards other career fields that are closely related to law enforcement. I’m sure there are a few "city cops" out there who feel that they are the only ones who can ‘do what they do’; however, I’m sure they eventually learn throughout their law enforcement career that they’re not the only ones.
I believe that "city cops" have the proper legal education and know the role each legal professional plays in criminal law, as well as civil law.
"STATE COPS" DEMEANOR TOWARDS PROCESS SERVERS AND/OR THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO PROVIDE SERVICES THAT ARE SIMILAR TO LAW ENFORCEMENT DUTIES:
Every State Trooper, hereinafter, "state cop", that I have encountered while engaging in court services [not just process serving] has been respectful. They’ve asked questions about my duties, but have accepted the answers given to them. "State cops" have always treated me, and other process servers that I know of, with respect.
"State cops", like "city cops", have a lot on their agenda and don’t concern themselves with petty bullshit. A "state cop" obviously has a legal education and/or the experience to comprehend the fact that there are others like them who work in the criminal justice/legal fields who aren’t necessarily "police officers".
"LITTLE TOWN COPS" DEMEANOR TOWARDS PROCESS SERVERS AND/OR THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO PROVIDE SERVICES THAT ARE SIMILAR TO LAW ENFOCEMENT DUTIES:
The demeanor of "little town cops" is different then that of "city cops" and "state cops". When I encounter a "little town cop", he/she is usually uncooperative, rude and sarcastic – especially when the "little town cop" is accompanied by another "townie".
From what I experienced during my seven years of service to the judicial system, the "little town cop" acts like I am "stepping on his toes" and/or hindering his/her authority.
They never understand my duties as a process server and automatically assume I’m impersonating a police officer. The "little town cop" and his partner[s] make sarcastic comments to one another over the radio and in-person and literally harass the process server. [Been there, experienced that!]
"Little town cops" don’t accept the fact that there are other people out there who provide the same services as law enforcement officials. They believe that a person has to be a cop in order to (1) serve court process; (2) make arrests; and (3) enforce the law.
"Little town cops" lack the legal education necessary to comprehend the roles of other legal professionals who are only doing their jobs.
"Little town cops" assume that everyone wearing a badge is a police officer. And, if you’re wearing a badge and aren’t a police officer, you must be a "whacker" and must be trying to convince the public that you are a police officer even though your badge and credentials clearly state that you are a process server.
Even though every piece of credential I carry (picture ID & badge) reads "process server", and not "police officer", "little town cops" automatically assume that I am impersonating a police officer. I’m not kidding!
"Little town cops" act like they feel threatened by Sheriffs, Constables and Process Servers. In fact, "townies" refer to them as "whackers" or "police wannabes".
In reality, however, most deputy sheriffs, constables and/or process servers are happy doing the job that they do. Nearly every deputy sheriff, constable or process server I’ve dealt with NEVER acts rude and childish when dealing with "little town cops". We don't poke fun at them and make sarcastic comments about their wannabe Robo Cop attitude. We don't minimize their roles in the criminal justice/legal fields. >>>>> So, why should they be rude and sarcastic to us?
They should do a case study on this topic. It would be interesting to read! I would like to know if "little town cops" have:
(1): Jurisdictional issues;
(2): Ego issues;
(3): Are insecure about their career outlook in small towns;
(4): Have frequent "power trips", etc.
I’m seriously thinking about writing a field guide for all the process servers of my network that will explain to them what they should do if they encounter a "little town cop".
I seriously believe that we should all work together and hold no animosity towards other legal professionals who do the same job. By working together, we can all easily perform our jobs. Furthermore, we all play a vital part in the pursuit of justice. For example:
~ Process Servers [includes deputy sheriffs and constables] are needed by law. Why? Because no case can commence without service of process. Without process servers, no court would have proper jurisdiction.
~ Police Officers are needed to protect and serve. Why? Because without them, no one is safe.
We should all do our jobs and do them with sincerity and integrity.