History Main / SlidingScaleOfLawEnforcement

19th Dec '15 7:49:57 PM nombretomado
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Portrayals of the men in blue vary greatly across history, cultures and nations. From [[Literature/TheBible governors under pressure by rabid religious groups to engage in persecution against a Jewish prophet in ancient Palestine]], to [[TheShield borderline]] {{Sociopathic Hero}}es [[TheShield engaging in regular]] PoliceBrutality against criminal suspects, views of society on law enforcement are influenced by both political climate and the present news.
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Portrayals of the men in blue vary greatly across history, cultures and nations. From [[Literature/TheBible governors under pressure by rabid religious groups to engage in persecution against a Jewish prophet in ancient Palestine]], to [[TheShield [[Series/TheShield borderline]] {{Sociopathic Hero}}es [[TheShield [[Series/TheShield engaging in regular]] PoliceBrutality against criminal suspects, views of society on law enforcement are influenced by both political climate and the present news.

* Similarily, Film/TheDarkKnightSaga looks to be sitting in the middle. Corruption is present in the police force, but idealists like Gordon earn promotions and praise, [[spoiler:even the cop that sells out Rachel Dawes gets mention of being pressured for her mother's hospital bills]], and the police are more portrayed as misguided with occasional elements of corruption within their midst. * ''TheShield'', of course, as aforementioned, sits at an [[VillainProtagonist unusual]] negative end of the scale. Given that it was inspired by the breathtakingly awful RealLife [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rampart_scandal Rampart scandal]], it really couldn't be expected to go any other way.
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* Similarily, Similarly, Film/TheDarkKnightSaga looks to be sitting in the middle. Corruption is present in the police force, but idealists like Gordon earn promotions and praise, [[spoiler:even the cop that sells out Rachel Dawes gets mention of being pressured for her mother's hospital bills]], and the police are more portrayed as misguided with occasional elements of corruption within their midst. * ''TheShield'', ''Series/TheShield'', of course, as aforementioned, sits at an [[VillainProtagonist unusual]] negative end of the scale. Given that it was inspired by the breathtakingly awful RealLife [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rampart_scandal Rampart scandal]], it really couldn't be expected to go any other way.
5th Nov '15 2:50:16 AM StFan
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* Chief Clancy Wiggum on the {{Simpsons}} is a [[LawfulStupidChaoticStupid text]] [[PoliceAreUseless book]] example of a sliding scale. He and his department are often the [[ButtMonkey butt]] of jokes about Police inefficiency. Wiggum himself often makes up laws as he goes along. Although it's a defining trait of Wiggum and the entire SPD, however, the scale shifts quite often depending on what the episode calls for. Sometimes they can be helpful, though it's usually dependant on the circumstances of the episode. The departments' corruption fluctuates as well, though generally it's not malicious. ** The entire Springfield Police Department's undergone the effect of Flanderization big time. *** It really depends on what the episode calls for. There is an instance of an SPD Officer [[ImprobableAimingSkills shooting Homer with a pistol as he runs over a rooftop several stories off the ground]] (the cops were on the ground), while there is also the time several SPD Snipers [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy are unable to hit a passed out woman laying motionless on the floor]].
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* Chief Clancy Wiggum on the {{Simpsons}} ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' is a [[LawfulStupidChaoticStupid text]] [[PoliceAreUseless book]] textbook example of a sliding scale. He and his department are often the [[ButtMonkey butt]] of jokes about Police inefficiency. Wiggum himself often makes up laws as he goes along. Although it's a defining trait of Wiggum and the entire SPD, however, the scale shifts quite often depending on what the episode calls for. Sometimes they can be helpful, though it's usually dependant dependent on the circumstances of the episode. The departments' corruption fluctuates as well, though generally it's not malicious. ** malicious.\\\ The entire Springfield Police Department's undergone the effect of Flanderization big time. *** time. It really depends on what the episode calls for. There is an instance of an SPD Officer [[ImprobableAimingSkills shooting Homer with a pistol as he runs over a rooftop several stories off the ground]] (the cops were on the ground), while there is also the time several SPD Snipers [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy are unable to hit a passed out passed-out woman laying motionless on the floor]].
26th Jun '15 1:00:16 PM MarkLungo
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* While ThirdWatch leans heavily towards the cynical side on [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism That Other Scale]], it is much more positive on its portrayal of law enforcement. While virtually all the cop characters engage in a questionable activity over the course of the show, they are generally portrayed as good people doing a tough job. Even the blatantly crooked [[WellIntentionedExtremist Sergeant Cruz]] is shown to have a strong moral reasons for her actions, even if her actions are [[ShootTheDog morally reprehensible]]. If anything, the show's message is that cops don't get enough credit for the good that they do, and that bad cops are the exception rather than the rule.
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* While ThirdWatch ''Series/ThirdWatch'' leans heavily towards the cynical side on [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism That Other Scale]], it is much more positive on its portrayal of law enforcement. While virtually all the cop characters engage in a questionable activity over the course of the show, they are generally portrayed as good people doing a tough job. Even the blatantly crooked [[WellIntentionedExtremist Sergeant Cruz]] is shown to have a strong moral reasons for her actions, even if her actions are [[ShootTheDog morally reprehensible]]. If anything, the show's message is that cops don't get enough credit for the good that they do, and that bad cops are the exception rather than the rule.
17th Apr '15 8:59:35 PM nombretomado
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* ''{{CSI}}'' tends to sit towards the positive side, as the police themselves are generally background characters.
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* ''{{CSI}}'' ''Series/{{CSI}}'' tends to sit towards the positive side, as the police themselves are generally background characters.
23rd Mar '15 2:48:32 PM nombretomado
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* Since ''{{Firefly}}'' focuses on a motley collection of outlaws and fugitives, the police are generally considered a danger and threat. However, while the cops are ''enemies'', they aren't presented as particularly evil, but range from decent local sherrifs willing to look the other way to no-nonsense federal marshals to corrupt officers running cloned body parts.
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* Since ''{{Firefly}}'' ''{{Series/Firefly}}'' focuses on a motley collection of outlaws and fugitives, the police are generally considered a danger and threat. However, while the cops are ''enemies'', they aren't presented as particularly evil, but range from decent local sherrifs willing to look the other way to no-nonsense federal marshals to corrupt officers running cloned body parts.
28th Jan '15 11:36:37 AM genisgone
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fixed a redirect
* ''HotFuzz'' sits in the middle, leaning towards the positive side. While the police are portrayed as ineffectual and bureaucratic, [[spoiler:they do end up coming for the criminals in the AncientConspiracy at the end]] and Angel is portrayed less as a contrast to a world of bad and corruption and more of a lighthearted contrast to the ineffectual, [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad politically correct]] [[ObstructiveBureaucrat bureaucracy]] of the other bobbies.
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* ''HotFuzz'' ''Film/HotFuzz'' sits in the middle, leaning towards the positive side. While the police are portrayed as ineffectual and bureaucratic, [[spoiler:they do end up coming for the criminals in the AncientConspiracy at the end]] and Angel is portrayed less as a contrast to a world of bad and corruption and more of a lighthearted contrast to the ineffectual, [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad politically correct]] [[ObstructiveBureaucrat bureaucracy]] of the other bobbies.
19th Oct '14 10:54:50 PM Ptorquemada
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* ''Series/{{House}}}'' is largely neutral-to-positive on police generally, but Detective Tritter was portrayed as a vengeful jerkass. He [[JerkassHasAPoint was right that House was an addict in a position that should not be held by an addict]], and did get to deliver one really solid justifying speech to Cuddy[[note]]"[...] it's not being dealt with by doctors. Doctors are covering it up. The whole point of the criminal justice system is to make things right when everything else fails. With all due respect, you have failed."[[/note]], but he still came across as vindictive and petty, and the fact that he was going up against Our Favorite Jerkass didn't help.
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* ''Series/{{House}}}'' ''Series/{{House}}'' is largely neutral-to-positive on police generally, but Detective Tritter was portrayed as a vengeful jerkass. He [[JerkassHasAPoint was right that House was an addict in a position that should not be held by an addict]], and did get to deliver one really solid justifying speech to Cuddy[[note]]"[...] it's not being dealt with by doctors. Doctors are covering it up. The whole point of the criminal justice system is to make things right when everything else fails. With all due respect, you have failed."[[/note]], but he still came across as vindictive and petty, and the fact that he was going up against Our Favorite Jerkass didn't help.
19th Oct '14 10:54:20 PM Ptorquemada
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Added DiffLines:
* ''Series/{{House}}}'' is largely neutral-to-positive on police generally, but Detective Tritter was portrayed as a vengeful jerkass. He [[JerkassHasAPoint was right that House was an addict in a position that should not be held by an addict]], and did get to deliver one really solid justifying speech to Cuddy[[note]]"[...] it's not being dealt with by doctors. Doctors are covering it up. The whole point of the criminal justice system is to make things right when everything else fails. With all due respect, you have failed."[[/note]], but he still came across as vindictive and petty, and the fact that he was going up against Our Favorite Jerkass didn't help.
8th Oct '14 11:54:56 AM PatBerry
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Repairing broken external link
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' has been [[http://www.myconfinedspace.com/wp-content/uploads/tdomf/45644/Batman_Alignment.jpg all over the map]].
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* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' has been [[http://www.myconfinedspace.com/wp-content/uploads/tdomf/45644/Batman_Alignment.[[http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a288/Gugenheimer/batman-alignment.jpg all over the map]].
14th Aug '14 3:41:16 PM Luigifan
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At the other end of the scale, the [[BlackAndGreyMorality closest thing]] to a "good cop" is a KnightTemplar RabidCop. Most cops are [[DirtyCop corrupt]] and [[PoliceBrutality brutal]] thugs who enjoy terrorizing and brutalizing the civilian populace. If they fight against crime at all, it is either [[EvilVersusEvil a clash]] of [[LawfulEvil Lawful]] and [[NeutralEvil other]] [[ChaoticEvil evil]] or for the bidding of a rival crimelord. In milder versions of this, [[PoliceAreUseless cops are generally portrayed as bumbling, corrupt and ineffectual]], as well as [[LawfulStupidChaoticStupid Lawful Stupid]], but generally well meaning, with occasional [[InspectorJavert Inspector Javerts]] and [[RabidCop Rabid Cops]] peppering the mix. There are also settings that [[BadCopIncompetentCop mix the two]], with the cops that aren't useless being dirty as all get out.
to:
At the other end of the scale, the [[BlackAndGreyMorality closest thing]] to a "good cop" is a KnightTemplar RabidCop. Most cops are [[DirtyCop corrupt]] and [[PoliceBrutality brutal]] thugs who enjoy terrorizing and brutalizing the civilian populace. If they fight against crime at all, it is either [[EvilVersusEvil a clash]] of [[LawfulEvil Lawful]] and [[NeutralEvil other]] [[ChaoticEvil evil]] or for the bidding of a rival crimelord. In milder versions of this, [[PoliceAreUseless cops are generally portrayed as bumbling, corrupt corrupt, and ineffectual]], as well as [[LawfulStupidChaoticStupid Lawful Stupid]], LawfulStupid, but generally well meaning, with occasional [[InspectorJavert Inspector Javerts]] and [[RabidCop Rabid Cops]] peppering the mix. There are also settings that [[BadCopIncompetentCop mix the two]], with the cops that aren't useless being dirty as all get out.

* ''HotFuzz'' sits in the middle, leaning towards the positive side. While the police are portrayed as ineffectual and bureaucratic, [[spoiler: they do end up coming for the criminals in the AncientConspiracy at the end]] and Angel is portrayed less as a contrast to a world of bad and corruption and more of a lighthearted contrast to the ineffectual, [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad politically correct]] [[ObstructiveBureaucrat bureaucracy]] of the other bobbies. * Similarily, Film/TheDarkKnightSaga looks to be sitting in the middle. Corruption is present in the police force, but idealists like Gordon earn promotions and praise, [[spoiler: even the cop that sells out Rachel Dawes gets mention of being pressured for her mother's hospital bills]] and the police are more portrayed as misguided with occasional elements of corruption within their midst.
to:
* ''HotFuzz'' sits in the middle, leaning towards the positive side. While the police are portrayed as ineffectual and bureaucratic, [[spoiler: they [[spoiler:they do end up coming for the criminals in the AncientConspiracy at the end]] and Angel is portrayed less as a contrast to a world of bad and corruption and more of a lighthearted contrast to the ineffectual, [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad politically correct]] [[ObstructiveBureaucrat bureaucracy]] of the other bobbies. * Similarily, Film/TheDarkKnightSaga looks to be sitting in the middle. Corruption is present in the police force, but idealists like Gordon earn promotions and praise, [[spoiler: even [[spoiler:even the cop that sells out Rachel Dawes gets mention of being pressured for her mother's hospital bills]] bills]], and the police are more portrayed as misguided with occasional elements of corruption within their midst.

* ''Series/AlienNation'' had an LA Precinct overcome racism and embrace an alien cop as one of their own, and thus sits largely toward the more positive end of the middle, given that the whole show was [[{{Anvilicious}} an allegory to the struggles of minorities, immigrants, freed slaves and homosexuals]] set TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture. However, there were some corrupt cops, other cops who were racist jerks, and the Captain of the Precinct was a bureaucratic prick given to alternating fits of condescending and sucking up to his two more noble Buddy Cop subordinates.
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* ''Series/AlienNation'' had an LA Precinct overcome racism and embrace an alien cop as one of their own, and thus sits largely toward the more positive end of the middle, given that the whole show was [[{{Anvilicious}} an allegory to the struggles of minorities, immigrants, freed slaves slaves, and homosexuals]] set TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture. However, there were some corrupt cops, other cops who were racist jerks, and the Captain of the Precinct was a bureaucratic prick given to alternating fits of condescending and sucking up to his two more noble Buddy Cop subordinates.

* ''Series/ColdCase'' is a relatively positive portrayal, as the main characters are detectives, but issues like institutional sexism, racism and anti homosexual sentiment are still brought up, as is the problem of corruption (particularly during past eras) and police incompetence. They tend to be fairly good about PoliceBrutality, too, at least compared with ''SVU''. * Crime Dramas in Hong Kong usually places cops on several sides of the scales of justice, on one hand there are few Corrupt Cop stories while in others, the cops are seen to have an excellent track record and their free time activities aren't just drinking beer or coffee but outings with some Camp elements. * Gene Hunt of ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'' and ''AshesToAshes''. Very big fan of "Kicking in nonces," as he'd say. The show oscillates widely around the mid-point of the scale; Sometimes Gene Hunt is perfectly willing to do bad things in a good cause, but sometimes he's so willing to do bad things that he doesn't need a cause beyond feeling like hurting someone. The other regular officers stake out points all along the scale, with modern officers Sam Tyler and Alex Drake at the more heroic end, while Ray Carling tends to be the lower end of the range - excepting occassions when Gene overshoots him. There are also some ''really'' bent coppers, which helps the viewer see Gene as being a ''bad'' cop, but not an ''evil'' one.
to:
* ''Series/ColdCase'' is a relatively positive portrayal, as the main characters are detectives, but issues like institutional sexism, racism racism, and anti homosexual anti-homosexual sentiment are still brought up, as is the problem of corruption (particularly during past eras) and police incompetence. They tend to be fairly good about PoliceBrutality, too, at least compared with ''SVU''. * Crime Dramas in Hong Kong usually places place cops on several sides of the scales of justice, justice; on one hand there are few Corrupt Cop stories stories, while in others, the cops are seen to have an excellent track record and their free time activities aren't just drinking beer or coffee but outings with some Camp elements. * Gene Hunt of ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'' and ''AshesToAshes''. Very big fan of "Kicking in nonces," as he'd say. The show oscillates widely around the mid-point of the scale; Sometimes sometimes Gene Hunt is perfectly willing to do bad things in a good cause, but sometimes he's so willing to do bad things that he doesn't need a cause beyond feeling like hurting someone. The other regular officers stake out points all along the scale, with modern officers Sam Tyler and Alex Drake at the more heroic end, while Ray Carling tends to be the lower end of the range - excepting occassions when Gene overshoots him. There are also some ''really'' bent coppers, which helps the viewer see Gene as being a ''bad'' cop, but not an ''evil'' one.

* In ''{{Transmetropolitan}}'' all cops save for one exception are knuckle-dragging, corrupt thugs who care about nothing but their paychecks and the power their badges bring, and a chance to regularly beat up or shoot peaceful protesters and other freaks.
to:
* In ''{{Transmetropolitan}}'' ''{{Transmetropolitan}}'', all cops save for one exception are knuckle-dragging, corrupt thugs who care about nothing but their paychecks and the power their badges bring, and a chance to regularly beat up or shoot peaceful protesters and other freaks.

* Chief Clancy Wiggum on the {{Simpsons}} is a [[LawfulStupidChaoticStupid text]] [[PoliceAreUseless book]] example of a sliding scale. He and his department are often the [[ButtMonkey butt]] of jokes about Police inefficiency. Wiggum himself often makes up laws as he goes along. Although it's a defining trait of Wiggum and the entire SPD however, the scale shifts quite often depending on what the episode calls for. Sometimes they can be helpful, though it's usually dependant on the circumstances of the episode. The departments' corruption fluctuates as well, though generally it's not malicious.
to:
* Chief Clancy Wiggum on the {{Simpsons}} is a [[LawfulStupidChaoticStupid text]] [[PoliceAreUseless book]] example of a sliding scale. He and his department are often the [[ButtMonkey butt]] of jokes about Police inefficiency. Wiggum himself often makes up laws as he goes along. Although it's a defining trait of Wiggum and the entire SPD SPD, however, the scale shifts quite often depending on what the episode calls for. Sometimes they can be helpful, though it's usually dependant on the circumstances of the episode. The departments' corruption fluctuates as well, though generally it's not malicious.

* On ''TopGear'', the "rozzers" (along with nearly every other form of invasive traffic control, such as speed cameras) are mildly annoying petty villains, whose main role is to interfere with the presenters. While some ''Top Gear'' challenges include alleged traffic stops thrown in [[RuleOfFunny entirely for humor]] (in one memorable sequence The Stig was actually arrested), other races have been delayed or interrupted when a presenter is held up by a traffic stop. ** The police did come out in full force when demonstrating proper police procedure in the Police Car Special. There was also the Bonneville episode, where Richard and Jeremy are stopped by a policeman after loudly revving the engines on their muscle cars (They do it specifically to set off car alarms and the police officer is portrayed as being completely in the right and refuses to believe that they were "Just fooling around").
to:
* On ''TopGear'', the "rozzers" (along with nearly every other form of invasive traffic control, such as speed cameras) are mildly annoying petty villains, whose main role is to interfere with the presenters. While some ''Top Gear'' challenges include alleged traffic stops thrown in [[RuleOfFunny entirely for humor]] (in one memorable sequence sequence, The Stig was actually arrested), other races have been delayed or interrupted when a presenter is held up by a traffic stop. ** The police did come out in full force when demonstrating proper police procedure in the Police Car Special. There was also the Bonneville episode, where Richard and Jeremy are stopped by a policeman after loudly revving the engines on their muscle cars (They (they do it specifically to set off car alarms alarms, and the police officer is portrayed as being completely in the right and refuses to believe that they were "Just fooling around").

** Characters at times mention that there are good cops out there, but they can only survive by keeping low profile and turning blind eye to their colleagues' activities. * While ThirdWatch leans heavily towards the cynical side on [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism That Other Scale]] it much more positive on its portrayal of law enforcement. While virtually all the cop characters engage in a questionable activity over the course of the show, they are generally portrayed as good people doing a tough job. Even the blatantly crooked [[WellIntentionedExtremist Sergeant Cruz]] is shown to have a strong moral reasons for her actions even if her actions are [[ShootTheDog morally reprehensible]]. If anything the show's message is the cops don't get enough credit for the good that they do, and that bad cops are the exception rather than the rule.
to:
** Characters at times mention that there are good cops out there, but they can only survive by keeping a low profile and turning a blind eye to their colleagues' activities. * While ThirdWatch leans heavily towards the cynical side on [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism That Other Scale]] Scale]], it is much more positive on its portrayal of law enforcement. While virtually all the cop characters engage in a questionable activity over the course of the show, they are generally portrayed as good people doing a tough job. Even the blatantly crooked [[WellIntentionedExtremist Sergeant Cruz]] is shown to have a strong moral reasons for her actions actions, even if her actions are [[ShootTheDog morally reprehensible]]. If anything anything, the show's message is the that cops don't get enough credit for the good that they do, and that bad cops are the exception rather than the rule.
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