That last post got me to reminiscing about my first years on the job, about the "old timers" who were still in uniform - all of whom are gone now. We had a bunch of cops who were known as the "Pea Coat Squad"or the "Pea Coaters." They were new cop hires after WWII, many former Navy Seamen.
The US garment industry had not time to completely ramp up back to civilian mode after the end of the war; these new cops couldn't buy the departmental authorized winter coats so they wore Navy pea coats. They were an amazing bunch of guys. I miss their attitude, their kindness and sense of humor.
What I see in cops today is that confidence has been somewhat displaced by arrogance. You can tell the difference when a man speaks from experience; he talks to you - not at you. Sure, there are times when dealing with a knucklehead that you lapse into full bore cop mode ... been there, done it a zillion times. But for the most part you want to employ what we called the Golden Tongue Strategy. Why fight your way out of a problem you created when you could talk your way into a solution where you didn't have to bash someone's face in? I swear, there were a few cops who could walk into a massive family disturbance (the type where first thing you do is grab all the kitchen knives and toss them behind the refrigerator) and leave with both sides promising to name their next-born after you.