Law Enforcement Peelian Principles

Law Enforcement – Peelian Principles

Woop woop mother fucker. Bad boys bad boys… what is thou going to do…

It’s the 1820’s and it’s time to take a bite out of crime and this old school baller thinks to himself “Let’s write up some rules for this police force thingy” the Peelian Principles are born.


Wiki and some other resources will likely tell you he’s some really great dude that has nothing but the hearts and minds of his citizenry (subjects?) in mind. These principles SOUND good on paper. But I personally know of MANY high ranking military officers that I have worked for that have official memos that are called “Command Philosophies” that are a list of their priorities; things like Honesty, Loyalty, Respect, Family First, Training Like We Fight; and I know for a fact that NONE of those things make it into practice.. but they sure sound sweet don’t they???

Red Flag #1

Again…Let’s keep this in mind: he’s a “Sir”

The Principles

These are abbreviated and in my own bad ass words. To see a full “professional” list SEE HERE.

  1. Instead of having super harsh legal and jail punishment, and instead of militarizing your entire town, let’s just plain old fucking PREVENT shit from happening.
  2. Police only have policing powers pursuant to public allowing them to police.
  3. For #2 to work, the public must have a WANT TO FOLLOW THE LAWS.
  4. The more #2 and #3 we have the LESS FORCE we have to use. (Can you start to tell a redundant politician may have had a hand in these redundant principles?)
  5. No matter WHO the fuck someone is we will strive to give CONSISTANT and UNBIASED treatment, which will help in securing public approval. We should also act like polite humans, be courteous, and understand that we should Preserve Life over all other things. (Uhhhh is it me, or should this have been 3 separate principles…? Just sayin. Maybe easier to memorize.)
  6. We should only use FORCE as a LAST resort, and it should always be the least amount necessary.
  8. KNOW YOUR ROLE. Police are not the courts, and they are not tools for revenge for the state or for any individual. Just do your fucking jobs.
  9. How to measure success: ONLY BY THE ABSENCE OF CRIME, not by the amount of police action… you fucking idiots.

This brings us to the next logical part of this discussion…

Do these principles still apply? Exist?

Yes, they still apply 100%. They make perfect fucking sense.

Do they exist in Real Life? Or as I like to say “Does this shit happen in RL?” No. No this does not actually exist in practice anymore. Here are some reasons why…

  • A lot of agencies don’t allow officers to work the same patrol area day in and day out. This is not The Shire from LOTR, or is it the Andy Griffith show. Real people have ON SHIFT time and off shift time, and vacations, and get promoted and transferred etc. etc. et fucking cetera. Sometimes yes. But consistently no. There isn’t a real opportunity to get to know the people in your patrol zone and with the sizes of most jurisdictions and it’s smaller patrol zones it’s impossible to meet every citizen that lives in your zone.
  • Some cops are lucky enough (or unlucky) to live inside the actual zone that they patrol. MOST in this country do not live where they patrol. So during your ON time you only have a limited amount of time to make a 10 minute arrest and do over an hour of administrative procedures including transporting and writing reports and documenting evidence; rinse repeat etc. So when exactly the fuck are we supposed to get out of our cars and take nice long strolls down the streets meeting people? Can’t. Too fucking busy, not to mention you can’t get too far from your patrol car because it’s basically your life support AND what the fuck is the public going to say when you are 2-3 minutes late to a cry for help because your ass was two streets away from your patrol car? It’s a lose lose. ANNNNNND (I could do this all day – that’s what she said) what if you work the night shift for 3 years in a row… are you supposed to build a relationship with the people that are fucking sleeping in their homes while you work?
  • Bureaucracy. Let’s say I work in the hood. Let’s say they overwhelmingly do NOT support the police. The Peelian Principals say that I’m done. Mission fail. Should I get on the radio and say “Sorry boss, not responding to that 911 call. Nobody in the hood supports Law Enforcement so I can’t take any action because we rely on public support, that’s were we get our power from.”
  • The fucking Liability Beast. If a crazy man is running around pissing everybody the fuck off, not endangering anybody, just pissing them off; the Peelian Principles say that I should use force as a last resort. Does the public really want me to just let this guy run around their neighborhood all night because I should avoid using force to detain him and talk to him? Hmmm.
  • How about this one. IF the public actually took the same actions that Law Enforcement took, they’d go to jail. Soooooooo no, the police are not the people, and the people are not the police.
  • What option does the public have after they have lost faith in us. Is there a stamp or a letter maybe that they use to force us to stop taking action? The only option I see is complete insurgency. …which would cause modern LE to take MORE action.

The Culture

Peelian Principles were only TALKED about, you can tell by my note in the margin. ALSO our instructors lied to us and made us think that we ever actually DO form strong community bonds, as a whole, with police work. Never at a crime scene have I (or my partners or supervision) said to the public “What is Causing this criminal action and what can we do together to solve it”

In the police academy my text book actually showed a different “father of modern policing”. And it was only one page worth of info. I found today that in the margin I wrote a hand written note that one of my instructors must have mentioned the Peelian Principles. It’s all lip service, just like the one paragraph section of my textbook titled “Focusing on the Constitution” (photos below) where – guess what was never cited…. the Constitution. So there’s the beginning of building the culture.

Page number 29* this will be important shortly.

See anything missing?

…and still did not cite the actual constitution. Just a half ass attempt paired with an explanation that I don’t believe is correct.. And let’s be honest… of ALL the parts of the Constitution do you really think that the Fourteenth Amendment is the best/only one we should be citing?

IF you take a different mindset or approach on the job then this culture acts as if you are a cell that doesn’t belong and all the other officers who are set in their ways are the white blood cells that bond together and push you away, because they are the same and you are different.

Officers face violence every fucking day. There is this thing called BACKUP. And if you take an actual real non-violent approach to criminals and you believe that Taxation is Theft and you don’t fuck with people because you don’t believe traffic laws are just and you don’t believe it’s righteous to detain someone for walking down the wrong side of the street; then the WHITE BLOOD CELL officers start to treat you like you are a virus that doesn’t belong and you know what comes with that??? Less backup. Slower backup. Less support. So when your literal LIFE becomes reliant upon fitting in, you fucking tend to fit in.

Not to mention, if a large amount of your time is spent administratively than how important is it, really, that you spend your time out preventing crime…

…Actions speak MUCH louder than words. You’ll notice below what was a priority to the people shaping our young prospective police minds… and in what order…

Page….? which page was the Constitution on? Oh… the Constitution was all the way back at Page 29. Yeah, page 13 looks good to talk about sexual advances on coworkers; priorities up front. 

Listen. I don’t think ANYBODY should be raping ANYBODY else. But on a daily basis we affect peoples Constitutional (some people would say “God given”, some would say “Universal”) rights. Shouldn’t maybe we worry about a little inappropriate ass slapping later in the day? Call me crazy…

Thanks for listening. FYI you will soon have access to this in audio format by way of a Pat Rant over at so head over there occasionally and keep your eyes open.



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