Good Policeman/Woman

Bon Policier

who acts as an impartial and unbiased law enforcer.
who does not abuse her/his power by blackmailing or threatening vulnerable people (such as immigrants, children, elders and people of color).
who helps without alienated themselves from the poeple.
who is committed to public service.
who is fair and not impressed by how much power they have
who is fair.
who is neither easily corrupted by a position of power nor uninterested in his/her work.
who is not abusive of their authority.
who is observant and rightfully enforces the laws.
who looks out for the community, keeps the needs of the community at heart, is respectful.
who makes the weak feel comfortable but harsh towards criminals
who protects citizens, and doesn't harass them.
who respects human rights.
who treats all citizens equally, who does all he or she can to protect communities
who upholds the law and ensures the safety of the general populice.
who will listen to all sides of the story
who works for justice, not a paycheck.
works for the good of a community

aime aider des autres
de compétent et de moral
deteste la corruption et réprimande objectivement
fait régner l'ordre
nerveusement stable, compréhensif, et vif
protège les gens, qui ne se base pas sur des préjugés, qui ne profite pas de son pouvoir
qui a un bon chien et qui ramasse les dejections de son chien
qui charge.
qui est disponible pour les gens ordinaires.
qui fait respecter la loi
qui fait respecter la loi tout en la respectant lui meme
qui n'abuse pas de son pouvoir
qui n'abuse pas de son pouvoir
qui n'abuse pas de son pouvoir, et qui sait être représentant de l'ordre public.
qui n'abuse pas du peu de pouvoir qu'il a
qui ne cherche qu'à protéger, pas à emmerder
qui n'est pas raciste, qui n'a pas de préjugés envers les gens qui s'habillent avec du cuir et ont les cheveux longs, qui aide et conseille, sur qui on peut compter
qui place l'individu devant la loi
qui réprime mais ne profite pas de son pouvoir
qui sait allier écoute et autorité
qui sait être juste, professionnel
qui vient en aide aux personnes en danger, qui n'est pas agressif


Generally, French students are worried about the police abusing their power, while American students are somewhat more neutral. I am intrigued about the response describing a good police officer as one who cleans up their dog's shit. Is this really a problem in France? Or was it sarcastic remark pointing out that a policeman/policewoman's job is banal? Secondly, do the police use dogs commonly on the streets of France? In the U.S., after September 11th there has been an increase in bomb sniffing dogs at almost every public venue, but generally, police dogs are kept out of residential areas.

Personally, I have noticed that since 9/11 American attitudes have changed towards the police. In New York City during the 1990s, a number of unwarranted killings and cases of police brutality gave them a very bad image, and there were many protests against the NYPD (New York Police Department). However, after 9/11, when many officers died in the World Trade Center, the police became heroic figures. Over the past few years, there has been a turn towards a middle ground between admiration and hate, but certainly the police are still looked upon more favorably than in the 1990s.

Do you notice a similar trend in France resulting from terrorist attacks or an increased fear of terror?

Americans and French agree that a good police officer must be impartial, must not abuse his/her power, and must protect the members of society that are his/her charges. Whereas the French responses are dominated, as Philip said, with concerns over the abuse of power, an important subset of responses deal with the ability of the police to actually establish order and to create general respect for the rule of law. These I would say are indicators that depend on the behavior of the greater population of citizens; their presence requires a certain modus operandi on the part of the police as well as society's demonstration of certain desired behaviors.

For Americans, it seems, the police can be judged to be "good" by power of their personal behavior alone. In general, there is less recognition on our part of a need to hold the police to a standard in regards to the ideal societal effects of policing.

"Do you notice a similar trend in France resulting from terrorist attacks or an increased fear of terror?"

Absolument pas. La vision que les Français ont de la police reste invariablement liée aux bavures policières et à la politique mise en place par le gouvernement (lorsque Sarkozy était ministre de l'intérieur, ie des policiers avec plus d'autorité, on voyait plus les policiers sous leurs mauvais côtés et chaque bavure faisait la une des journaux).

La peur du terrorisme reste beaucoup moins forte que dans d'autres pays. Et la première chose à laquelle on pense alors n'est pas la police.