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I have this scene I'm writing were 10 16 year olds (three girls and seven boys) are loitering in a casino parking lot around a van, Cops have been called cause the kids haven't left. I'm trying to figure out how a cop(s) would talk or approach the situation. So the question is would anyone know how a cop would approach this situation? Would they be mean, professional, condescending, or casual what?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Renan, Cyn, Hoyle's ghost, bilbo_pingouin, Elmy Mar 25 at 7:46

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes. Professional and courteous is the usual approach, but ten kids and a van comes under the heading of community policing, which makes many cops extremely uncomfortable. A cop might cover his discomfort by pretending that he knows a crime is taking place. $\endgroup$ – A. I. Breveleri Mar 25 at 3:35
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding. This sounds like a question based on a story, rather than a question about a world. Please check the help center and take the tour to understand how to improve it. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Mar 25 at 3:52
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you and sorry. this was the first sight I could think of to come to. $\endgroup$ – Dorrien Mapes Mar 25 at 4:01
  • $\begingroup$ You might also be interested in the following site writing.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Mar 25 at 9:58
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    $\begingroup$ If you go on YouTube and search for "traffic stops" you will see all sorts of examples. Of course some are for serious criminals but others show how the police start politely and then things get more dramatic. Of course all the ones on YouTube will end up dramatic because otherwise no-one would bother to watch! $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Mar 25 at 11:25
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In America, usually calm and polite

I'm assuming (and hoping) this would be true in most places in the world, but I'm only familiar with American police. The answer might vary based on country, region, size of town, et cetera. In general, police in America will approach calmly and politely inform the group they are not permitted to loiter in the area. If the children become obstinate, disrespectful, or otherwise refuse to leave, then the police are trained to escalate as slowly as possible based on the actions of the children. If things did escalate, backup would be called to both assist the situation and provide another set of police-trained eyes (and/or cameras) to cover the interaction.

Other factors which may influence this encounter:

  • crime rate in the area (an area with a high-level of violence will be treated differently than a small town with little to no violence)
  • previous events that day/week/month (a recent bomb threat involving a van of matching description, multiple police reports of "a group of teenagers" in nearby areas, etc, might make police more nervous or suspicious)
  • size of the town (small town cops have different training and resources than big city cops, and different psychology - you treat everyone differently when everyone knows everyone versus spending all day with new faces)
  • whether or not the teenagers have records, or are known by the department, dispatcher, or police officer who arrives at the scene
  • body language or other behavior of the children (are they smoking or drinking? Being loud? Playing music? Sitting down? Running around?)
  • political and cultural considerations (for example, a group of white and black children loitering on Native American casino grounds will be treated differently by tribal police, and if non-tribal police arrive, they will have a different protocol for enforcing laws on tribal land)
  • training the cop has (a seasoned officer has more experience and training than a rookie cop)
  • the officer's attitude (cops are human - if he's had a bunch of people screaming at him all day, and he's near the end of his shift, he might be more irritable or condescending than an officer who is on the first call of his shift, or is just having a good week in general)
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