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Just curious to get as much feedback as possible on this scenario. I have been through many interviews in the past with various law enforcement agencies. One type of question that always seem to come up is the catch-22 questions. For example: you are on patrol one night at 2:00 am, and you notice a car in a ditch (single car accident). When you approach the car, you detect a strong odor of alcohol. Then however, you notice the driver is your best friend; or another officer you work with in town. What would you do? I always answer that I would call for a "hook" and give said person a ride home. And...given the fact that I haven't gotten any jobs out of the interviews, I don't know if my answer is not what they are looking for, or whether I am just answering wrong. I realize that they are trying to get you to change your answer, and I never do. Any feedback??
 

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Call for advise

I would call for the patrol supervisor or a senior officer.

It would be best to distance yourself from the situation if at all possible.

Just my thoughts.

Gil
 

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It is not a "catch-22" question. The question originated from a psych index long ago, where it came from I don't remember. The answer is to treat him/her like you would any other. The index shows that if you answer the way you did, it's an "indicator" to a predisposition of being partial to certain people or groups. Of course this can be challenged by many other factors, but that is the answer they are looking for. I'll try and look up the psychological area for you. It is specific for police questioning. I learned this many moons ago in undergrad research methods(psych).
 

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If you answer that you'd treat your friend or fellow officer as you would anyone else, their next question will probably be "what if it was your mother or the chief of police . . . you'd lock up your own mother??" I'm not sure you can answer that question without getting it thrown back in your face. But being consistent and sticking with your answer is very important.
 

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The very few interviews I have gone too, I try to remember one thing: Tell them what they want to here, not what a fellow officer wants to hear.

If its a really sticky scenario, the solution of calling for a supervisor seems to be a decent answer to them.
 

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I had the same scenario for a Boston based University campus police officer job, they asked me what I would do if the President of the university was driving drunk and you pulled him over and he threatened your job if you pulled him in, what would you do? I said lose my job. They all gave me a funny look so who knows if that was the right answer, thre never seems to be an answer that is perfect, seems to change with each department you interview with.
 

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Anyway you slice it, the questions sucks. I was told (before I had any clue what I was getting into) to be honest. Period. I was; I got hired by two NH departments. Let me tell you, my answers weren't "spit and polish" at all.

DWI situation you spoke of was "your brother" They kept changing the scenario all the way to a fatal accident (one of his passengers). The whole time I was saying that I can not and will not arrest my brother. I would immediately call in another department (due to being a one horse town) to take it over (for the more serious scenarios), and whatever they do, they do. I just wouldn't put the Habius Grabus on him. My personal beliefs, my own answer. I got hired.
Say what you think is best to say, that way there's no one else at fault if you don't get hired! :wink:

Whatever you choose to say, best of luck with it.
 

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Another thing to keep in mind, not everything is black and white there are always gray areas in every situation. They will also be looking at your level of discretion.
 

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I had the same question on an interview board a few years ago. I asked the board if they want me to answer the question with what they might want to hear or if they want me to be realistic. I said we all know what the real life answer would be if I catch my Chief OUI. They looked at each other, smiled and moved on to the next question.
 

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I had a variation of the question. The fact is that you really cant be faulted for going by the book. Someone above me said call a senior officer...its a good idea, but what if he tells you to put the cuffs on the guy? Are you ready to do it? If you want to play it by the book then call the boss...thats why he/she wears the chevrons and gets paid more than us...to make these decisions. He may order you to collar the guy but then at least you were ordered to do it. Thats the book answer out here.
Now with that bullshit being said...Accident? DWI? no injuries? no property damage to others? I would shove a few peanut butter sandwiches down his throat (in case the boss shows up on his own) and drive him home.
 

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devil's advocate says....

"There's no superivsor on tonight, and you're the senior man. What are you gonna do now?"

or

"You're the only officer on shift, so you have to make the call."

I've had both. They both suck. There were more, too. It just keeps going. Make quick decisions, back them up. If you do something-Anything-on the street, can you back it up? That's what I've had explained to me by those who ask just those questions.
 

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extremesgs said:
devil's advocate says....

"There's no supervisor on tonight, and you're the senior man. What are you gonna do now?"

or

"You're the only officer on shift, so you have to make the call."
Lock em up! If you absolutely have to. Officer discretion is a big part of the job but sometimes your discretion is limited. Shit happens, they go to court pay the fine etc... whatever at least you still have a job to support your family, if you loose your job because you went by the book I guess you could have an interesting lawsuit.
 

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The closer the question gets to you (the interviewee), the tougher it gets; its your old friend or neighbor, then its your good friend, then its your boss, then its your mother/father/brother/sister.

The referenced person seems to change the game. My answeres would change in the above-mentioned list.

I wouldn't lose my job for certain people's f-ups, but for some I'd risk it for sure. ...just me
 

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Lots of interesting points here. I have one thing to add. Regardless of what action you take, consider the following.

I came across a similar circumstance out on the water one time. The group involved was a family acquaintance and neighbor. It was a real dark night and as I was patrolling through the water I saw a boat moving with no lights. Then I heard two splashes. Two ladies decided to jump from the moving vessel and the operator was very erratic - he hit two boats while trying to recover his passengers before I could make it to his position and make the stop. (If your confused, this was an obvious BWI - and no one left on board who could safely control the vessel) Once everyone (including me) was safe, and they all realized who caught them, they began downplaying everything. I wasn't downplaying anything and they said I should be ashamed for giving them such a hard time. The rest of the story is inconsequential, as that was the point that it finally struck me that THEY should be ashamed for putting ME in that situation.

I'm sure others people here have had something like this and came to the same realization. It was important to me because it is what finally made me lose that strange embarrassed feeling I had when dealing with someone with a personal connection and allowed me to realize "hey, I'm the good guy here!" It allowed me to be more objective about discretion in that type of situation.

-Eric
 

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"You find your good friend (doing XYZ)....."

"If they're that good of a friend, they wouldn't put me in that position in the first place. If they did (put me in the situation), they'd understand what I had to do."

Again, actual answer.

I totally agree with you.
As I said, most of that was as "Devil's Advocate"
 

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I have answerd this questions both ways. Going by the book did not get me the job, I got drilled when I said I would lock them up. "You would lock up the chief?????" Best answer I have said is " I know what the law says I should do, but I would most likely use discretion as long as there is no PI". The main thing is to stick to your guns.
 
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