I should probably expand on my previous comment a little!
I've served briefly as an elder, and I can safely say that the level of "policing" very much depends on the personality of each individual elder.
Some elders "get off" on throwing their weight around and influencing those around them. Others just want a peaceful life and/or genuinely want to help the congregation. I have encountered both types of elder. The bully elders really are something to behold, and dislodging them or getting them to quit making people miserable is harder than anyone could imagine.
Anyone who thinks the answer to an overbearing or meddlesome elder is to "wait on Jehovah" for justice to prevail is deluding themselves. They are born survivors, and they are ruthless when it comes to protecting their position, which they value above all else.