Monday, May 26, 2008

Is There a Problem Officer?

If you are a police officer, and you happen to be driving through my city, please do not do anything stupid like making a u-turn across a divided highway right in front of my distinctively marked police patrol car.

If you do, and I stop you, maybe it would be good if you said something like "Oh shit, I'm sorry. I'm a cop too. I should know better." Whatever you do, do not halfheartedly toss your police identification card at me and say nothing as if this is just going to make me say "Oh, I'm so sorry sir, have a nice day".

If you do toss said ID card, and I begin to tell you that I think it is poor form for you to intentionally do something you know is illegal, right in front of me no less, just because you have a police identification card and you think it's going to automatically get you out of a ticket... do not say to me "I've been a cop for twenty years, son. I don't need a lecture from you."

If you do say that to me, do not be surprised if I reply with something akin to "Well I'll tell you what, son, you can either listen to a lecture from me about your piss poor performance, or you can take a ticket from me for that stupid u-turn you pulled."

If the discussion has gone this far, and you should still decide to press the issue, do not be surprised if I tell you to press hard, because as you know, there are four copies.

So far, I have not had the discussion get to the point of issuing a citation. I have, however, come really damned close a few times. Do not ask me for professional courtesy if you yourself are not going to be courteous.

It really spins me out when a cop does something illegal just because they assume they are not going to get a ticket for it. I won't write you a ticket if you can convince me it was a simple mistake. But when you start doing things wrong just because of the simple fact that you're a cop and you think you can get away with it, we're gonna have some issues.

Bottom line... don't abuse your position. It makes us all look bad.


USAincognito said...

I have never ever to this day used the line "I'm a cop" nor have I ever flashed my badge or any form of police ID when I have been pulled over. I believe that if I am breaking the law (always speeding for me when i had my sports car. i know, my bad!! hehe!) then I deserve a ticket if I am caught. One of my fellow officers up here was actually shocked when I refused to show the officer pulling me over any LE id but rather just took the ticket. My reasoning, that officer is just doing his job and I have no problem with it because I know what it is like to be in his shoes when I am on duty. But this is just how I am.....(and then i deal with the butt chewing from my captain! lol) Good thing it has been a few years since my last ticket!

TheBronze said...

"Bottom line... don't abuse your position. It makes us all look bad."

Very true, but It'd be a cold day in Hell when I would scratch another copper. I guess I could envision a situation where I could, but if it was that bad, I'd be more inclined to give his Sgt. or WC a call and let him know what their troop is up to. That would probably hurt him far worse than stubbing him.


But yeah, if a copper gets stopped, he shouldn't have an attitude (just like a citizen shouldn't) and he shouldn't EXPECT professional courtesy (even though he/she will likely get it).

Berserk said...

I've only written another cop once. He badged me after I brought him the ticket, and it's just too late at that point. That guy was pretty bent out of shape.

I agree with thebronze... professional courtesy is pretty much a given if I pull over another cop. I do have a problem with cops who demand it, or cops who don't know enough to be courteous themselves when they're pulled over.

TheBronze said...

I don't know how it works in other parts of the country, but at least in NorCal (and SoCal I assume), letting the on-duty officer know that you have a gun in the car pretty much tells him/her that you're an off-duty copper. The rest tends to work itself out...

Officer "Smith" said...

Don't get me wrong Bronze, I'm not saying I go around looking for cops to cite. As I said, I have never cited a cop, yet. The point I'm making is that this guy could have handled it quite differently. It's like he EXPECTED me not to rag him.

If I get stopped, I don't expect anything other than professionalism. If that copper sees fit not to cite me, I thank him or her very much.

And it's funny you should mention the whole gun in the car thing (see todays post). I must have missed that day in the academy when they told us to identify ourselves a peace officers simply by saying "I have a gun in the car".

TheBronze said...

Smitty, I didn't take it that way (what you said). Sorry if my posts insinuated that.

That definitely wasn't taught in the academy, but I've come to know this through talking to other coppers and subsequently from personal experience when being stopped.

Officer "Smith" said...

We are only separated by one county, but the local procedures are worlds apart! I guess you just have to know what the coppers in your area expect.

Berserk said...

The gun in the car thing is a nice start here, since the ensuing conversation should reveal what you do for a living (the guy I was talking about didn't even throw that out, though).

5150Wife said...

I see what you mean, Smith. It was the attitude that was worse than the infraction. Bronze is right, a call to the guy's Supervisor would probably carry more weight than any ticket.

By the way, doesn't California still have the Code Blue, where you'd know the vehicle was registered to a LEO?