Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jack Dunphy on the Los Angeles Police Department's mediocre higher-ups, a group he calls "the Club":
When they graduate from the police academy and have worked the streets for some time, members of the Club learn that they . . . simply lack the skills that mark the best police officers. What they find they are skilled at, however, is learning the esoterica of the police bureaucracy and taking tests by which such knowledge is measured. And in the Los Angeles Police Department, the term “esoterica” is stretched to almost unfathomable lengths. For example, there once appeared on an LAPD promotional exam a question about how long the lights should be allowed to be kept on in an unoccupied room. (Yes, there is a section in the LAPD manual that governs such things.) You wouldn’t want to work for the person who got that question right.