Friday, September 26, 2014

Cop Signs

I'm not big on working stop signs, but there is one stop sign in town I absolutely enjoy working.

I call it the COP sign.

The stop sign in question is one of four at this particular four way intersection.  Yes, that means it's a four way stop.

I can sit there in plain sight and stop car after car as they drive right through the stop sign at 10 MPH.  Unless they see me.  If they look left and see me sitting there they will jam on the binders and skid halfway through the crosswalk.

Cars at this intersection don't stop for the stop sign.  They stop for the cop.

Hence, the cop sign...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Going Through a Phase...

Being a cop is something akin to the transition from childhood to adulthood.  We all go through phases in life, and in our career.

When you're a fresh, new boot you realize you know absolutely nothing about being a cop. Every day your FTO makes that more and more clear. You go out into the big, scary world where people are trying to hurt you, and you do your best to learn everything you can.  You have to start out by crawling, and eventually you'll be able to grasp something and pull yourself up to stand.

Once you have about a year or two on the job, you start to feel like you've got a handle on this job. You've become more confident in your abilities. You seek out more learning and keep trying to improve. You probably call your sergeant or another officer almost daily to ask about the finer points of handling a particular situation.  You're walking on your own now, but you still need someone to provide for you and change the occasional diaper when you shit yourself.  Sergeants, parents, take your pick.

At about the five year mark you start to think you know it all. You get over confident and nobody can tell you the way you're doing something is wrong.  Now you're a teen.  You're cocky and you know everything better than people who are senior to you.

Somewhere in the range from seven to about fifteen years, you are considered a proficient officer. You should know enough to be able to do the job without direct supervision, and without having to call on others regularly for answers. You know you're pretty good, but you start to realize you don't know it all.  Welcome to adulthood.  You are able to provide for yourself, but you know you're not perfect.  You are willing to ask questions without fear of losing face.  You know respect is earned.

After fifteen or twenty years, you really understand that you will never know everything, you can't fix everything, and there's nothing you can do about it. You will decide to either continue giving it your best and strive for the most positive outcome, or you will get dejected and give up.  Here's where you are either an old, crotchety senior citizen who hates everyone (and you should do us all a favor and just retire), or you are the well seasoned adult who still continues to learn and make yourself better even with the knowledge that you will never know everything, and even though your kids (read the public) think you either know everything or nothing, depending upon which better suits their needs at the moment.

I, fortunately, have not yet reached the senile old fart stage...

Friday, September 5, 2014

The American Internet Bar Association...

I enjoy it when my defendants come in to traffic court after thoroughly researching their violations on the internet. It makes for some very entertaining argument on their part.

Usually a defendant will pull a legal term out of their.... errm.... "hat".... and proceed to use it in their defense.  Unfortunately, for them at least, they usually have no clue about the true definition of their chosen term.

A few recent examples...

Entrapment

"Well, you see your honor, the officer was hiding and he can't do that.  That's entrapment! The officer has to be in plain sight when he is looking for speeders.  I have this printout of a web page from North Carolina that says he has to be distinctive..."

For those who are not aware, entrapment is when a police officer entices you to do something illegal, then arrests you for it.  Last I checked, my hiding behind a car while you drive like an idiot does not equate to entrapment.

Discovery

"Your honor, I move to have this case dismissed on the grounds that the officer did not provide me with discovery of his evidence" (Yes, those were her exact words).  When asked by the judge exactly what "discovery" she was referring to, she said this...  "The officer didn't show me the LIDAR, or a print out of my speed, or a picture of my car so you have to dismiss the citation."

There are many books, websites and other "resources" out there that claim to inform drivers how to "get out of your traffic ticket".  I have read many of them myself in an effort to prepare for the lame-assed defenses I will hear in court.

The publishers of said "resources" are not interested in whether or not you win your case.  Their sole purpose in life is to make a quick buck off you.

That's on top of the fine you're going to pay when you're found guilty...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Liar, Liar, Pants on... Wait, I Think I Already Used That Title...

It would appear that I have neglected my poor blog since before Christmas.  I suppose that would be what happens when I'm paying attention to other aspects of life.

Anywho, let's talk about a scenario.  This is all purely hypothetical, I assure you.

So, let's say, for instance, that you are driving your car on a public roadway in the "wonderful" State of California.  Let's also, still hypothetically of course, say you happen to have your cell phone in your hand, and you're tapping frantically at the screen.

Are you with me so far?

Now, let's imagine that a local copper rides up to the right side of your car and watches through your right rear window, from about 7 feet away (give or take a foot or two), as you continue to tap merrily away on the cell phone screen.  The officer can clearly see the keyboard you are tapping on.  In fact, from that distance the officer can actually see the characters appearing on the screen as you type.

Suppose, now, that the officer watches as you tap approximately 150 characters into your phone.

When the officer pulls you over and explains that he is stopping you for a violation of the texting law because he just sat seven feet away from your driver seat and watched you tap a hundred plus times on your cell phone keyboard, why should it even occur to you that it would be a good idea to lie about it and say "I was only checking the time.  I'm late for work"?

Also, why would you think the officer should not have been looking in your window to see the violation in the first place?

I'm thoroughly confused, hypothetically of course.

Comments.

Go...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Blah, Blah, Blah...

Just a quick note to the fuck-knuckle I stopped for speeding today...

You can tell me you hope bad things befall me.  You can call me all the names you want.  That is a wonderful aspect of our United States Constitution.  It allows you to be as big of a loud-mouthed asshole as you choose to be.  As long as you don't make threats or try to incite a fight, you can talk all damned day.

The key here is, if I can't convince you intellectually to accept responsibility for your mistake, whether because you choose not to or you're unable, I will see to it that you take fiscal responsibility.

Either way, you're going to have to deal with your error.

I couldn't care less what nastiness you fling at me...

Friday, December 6, 2013

Keep Your Hands out of Your Pockets...

I don't understand why people get so bent out of shape when I ask them to keep their hands out of their pockets.

I always get responses like "I ain't got nothin'", "Why?" or "Whatchu think I'm gonna do?"

I don't ask folks to keep their hands out of their pockets just for shits and giggles. I ask it because I haven't searched them and have no idea what they may have in their pockets.  I ask this simple task for my safety and theirs.

I don't ask some people and not others. I ask everyone to keep their hands out of their pockets until I have at least patted them down. I don't care if you're wearing your baggy jeans down around your ass, or you're wearing a three piece suit.

I know not who you are, what you're thinking or what you're capable of.  Therefore, I ask you to...

Keep your damned hands out of your pockets...

Friday, November 29, 2013

On Life...

I know I am fortunate to have the things I do.  I have my wife and my family.  I have a roof over my head, and food on my table.  I am able to clothe my kids.  I have the job I always wanted.  I am living the dream.

Even though I ramble on about how people irk me by their ignorance, I am not a negative person.  Even though I sound like a grouch on this blog, that is not the only side of me.  It's just the side of me that tends to come out here.

So, don't think you know me just by what you read here.  This is only one small part of my life.  Remember that before you comment negatively on any of my posts.  Remember that before you make assumptions about me.

This blog does not define my life.

I appreciate those of you who have bothered to read this blog for as long as you have, and I hope you will continue to read even though my writings have become a little, how you say, "infrequent".

For those of you I have had the privilege of meeting in real life, I am grateful.  To those I have "met" only on Facebook or through email, I look forward to actually meeting face to face someday.  You know who you are.

To those who have found my writings insulting, irrelevant or otherwise useless, well, you're probably not reading this now, are you.  That's your loss.

Above all, I ask you to keep an open mind.  Always seek knowledge and new challenges.  If you see something that you disagree with (be it here or anywhere else), ask about it.  Discuss it.  Research it.  Don't just dismiss it as bullshit because you don't agree.   Learn from it.

Be good to each other.  Even though I deal with the dregs of society, I know people, in general, are mostly good, upstanding, law abiding folks.  I recognize that.  I know it's only a very vocal few who screw things up for the rest of us.

Enjoy life.  Relish it.  Live it to it's fullest.

You never know when it might leave you...