There’s No Situation That Can’t Be Made Worse by Calling the Police

There’s No Situation That Can’t Be Made Worse by Calling the Police

By Brian Godfrey

I was talking with someone about divorce and family law situations the other day and the topic of police intervention came up. In course of our conversation someone mentioned the saying “There’s no situation that can’t be made worse by calling the police.” The sentiments expressed in that saying aren’t necessarily disrespectful toward the police. One way to interpret it is summarized in this scene from the 2012 copy movie End of Watch:

“No matter how you plead, cajole, beg or attempt to stir my sympathies, nothing you do will stop me from placing you in a steel cage with grey bars. If you run away, I will chase you. If you fight me, I will fight back. If you shoot at me, I will shoot back. By law, I am unable to walk away. I’m a consequence. I am the unpaid bill. I am fate with a badge and a gun.”

See, when you call the police in, they don’t always show up to make things better for you or to solve all your problems. The job of the police is to write tickets and arrest people who won’t behave. That means that when you involve the police, you can expect—after the citation is issued and after you get arrested, post bail, and get release from jail until you next court appearances—fines and a further loss of your freedom.

In other words, calling the cops can and usually will result in something far worse than the original situation.[1] Take heed when calling the police, and take even more heed of the things that you say to the cops or around the cops because “Everything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law” isn’t just something cool they say in the movies. You might actually have every single word you utter used against you. In fact, plan on it. Not all cops are bad people or people on power trips, but in our experience, sadly, most are. And cops are certainly not be trifled with and the police shouldn’t be called to settle disputes that grown adults can and should resolve without them.

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[1] Unless you’re a woman accusing a man (falsely or not) of domestic violence. In that case, you’re usually going to get exactly what you want, i.e., getting the man thrown out of his own house, if not also arrested and charged (or at least prime-positioned for slapping him with a civil protective order). But I digress.

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