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?
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)