I find myself wondering why, in the only two occasions I have had interactions with local police in their official capacity, they have been total assholes. This is the story of the most recent interaction.
Today, the parking lot I typically use on campus had the overwhelming majority of it marked off with cones, and a squad car driving slowly within that area. I pulled into that parking lot and began driving around the outside of the coned area toward the area at one end where I could see several cars parked.
As I drove along the narrow strip left between the cones and the edge of the parking lot, the squad car rolled up from the other direction. I rolled down my window, with the intent to ask where or if I was allowed to park in the lot. The officer, without waiting for me to say a word, proceeded to berate me, asking rhetorically "Didn't you see all the cones and the squad car?" He then proceeded to both call me an "idiot" and tell me to "turn your brain on." He continued, declaring that I should have used a very specific lot entrance (where the other cars were), even though there were no signs declaring such, nor were there any indications that the entrance I did use was intended to be closed. (It's not like they had a shortage of cones to close entrances with.)
I received this verbal abuse despite the fact that at no point had I crossed a line marked out by any cones, nor had I been anything but respectful to the officer. I think from now on I will cease calling police officers "sir" by default, since they clearly feel no duty to be respectful to me. I know a few individual officers who are great people, but I'm getting a bit jaded on the population as a whole.
To the unknown officer I unfortunately met at noon today: You are an asshole, and you have greatly diminished the respect I have for people in your profession. If you want civilians to cooperate with police at any time in the future, it may behoove you to at least be civil to us. Being an ass is only undermining your own authority.
To the Purdue University Police Department: I can only assume that Officer Asshole is one of yours. Please discuss with him the virtues of attempting to model respect and professionalism in interactions with civilians, which help to bolster rather than undermine the authority of police everywhere.