Saturday, May 29, 2010

Regarding my previous post

Like I said--all cops are family, and I don't ticket family.

Of course I also don't ticket lots of other people I stop. Generally, if I'm hunting for drugs or drunk drivers and I stop someone for a minor infraction--known as a "pretext stop" by the Supreme Court that endorses such tactics--I usually don't cite the ones that I stop unless my brief contact with them turns into something more. I stopped you because you have a light out or because you were doing ten over. No indications of drinking or contraband? Drive safely and correct that problem before I see you again.

Other than that, most people that I stop get stopped because they've done something right in front of me that's so egregious that it cannot be overlooked. And even in that case, if I feel that my merely pulling you over and discussing it with you has been sufficient to change your behavior, you probably won't get anything worse than a written warning either. My traffic tickets are few and far between these days and generally only go to those who worked hard to earn them. So it's not like I'm stroking everyone except cops.

To the ones upset because they see a few cops getting away with something...If I pull you over tonight for something minor, unless you're drunk, appear to be hiding something, have a bad driving record or are just a total mouthy tool, you're probably not going to get a money ticket either. So chill.

17 comments:

*Goddess* said...

I think a lot of people get upset about this issue not so much because the officers are getting out of a ticket, but because the very people who are paid to enforce the law are knowingly breaking it.

For me, it's cops and the DUI issue that really bugs me. When an officer lets a fellow officer who is drunk go free knowing that he could have killed someone, that pisses me majorly.

I know a lot of officers say they don't let other officers go on DUI, but when I'm posting articles for PositiveLEO, I come across a LOT of these stories. The most recent was the one concerning the NJ female state trooper who had been stopped TEN TIMES IN A 14 month period for DUI and the officers continued to let her go. There were never any alcohol tests administered, no tickets given, no nada and she's STILL working as a state trooper.

Ten 80 said...

Some people don't realize what kind of bond we get risking our lives together. And when the shit hits the fan, who's gonna step in and help you when you're rolling around on the ground fighting someone? Most people drive right on by but a cop won't.

sparkcheck said...

Indeed. People need to chill. If they take away an officer's ability to exercise a little discretion when it comes to infractions, no one will be catching a break.

Burned-Out said...

only cops have a more thankless job than we do. be safe. and remember that law-abiding people ALWAYS support their cops.

Anthony said...

First, let me state I am not A LEO or other enforcement agency person. My belief is this, The situation in the prior post was speeder pulled over, identified and dealt with. I was not there (and not being a LEO, not qualified to state my preferred action)so cannot define the exact situation but feel that the basics of policing were all done correctly. That I may or may not agree with the result of the final decision is not important. The process was fine in action, speeder pulled over for speeding. what comes next is colored by interpretation and individual decision so get over it!

thatladybug said...

From articles I read (if I got my information right) the New Jersey State Trooper was stopped 10 for various offenses and not 10 times for DUI. Still, it doesn't look good for LE.

Jay said...

I gotta say I agree with Anthony. Well said.

Mad Jack said...

I'm not a cop. I flat out don't care if one cop is lenient with another over some minor infraction of the law.

HonkingAntelope said...

I've been stopped and let go with just a warning enough times that I do not begrudge cops extending some professional courtesy.

That being said, I sure hope that you draw the line at offenses that pose a genuine danger to the public such as driving 100mph in a school zone or sloshed DUI.

A while ago, a couple of veteran detectives in a big agency here in Bay Area got caught covering up for a colleague at the DA's office who caused a multi-car injury crash because she was WASTED, which could be charged as a felony due to injuries. Ironically, she made it out of rehab the day before. The whole thing only got exposed when the mother of one of the victims smelled the rat and got the investigation going.

bwebster said...

Ever watched Chris Rock's "How Not To Get Your A** Kicked By The Police" video? (Warning: profane language) I made a few of our teenagers watch it before they started driving. They looked at me funny, but they also got the message big time. ..bruce..

Jean said...

I think I understood what you are saying. I pray to God (my husband also agrees) that we don't abuse this "privelege"! Recently, at 2 AM, I was pulled over. I am still surprised that he let me go with only a written warning for going 10 over. Was it because of firefighter license plate? Was it because of blue lights? Was it because it was oblivous that we're going towards home, with two buckled in kids in back with edvidence of long hours according to pile of empty diet Mountain Dew cans in front seat (like a single mama)? Was it because he couldn't find other fault with my driving (turn signal, not tailgating, waited my turn, use of crusie, etc)? Was it because I tried to be super polite? Was it because he recognized my husband's name as one who stopped to help with two wrecks outside our own FD down the road? I didn't recognize his car following me for miles because it was pitch black out... Wow, how humbled I felt back then! Because of this, I became a little more careful. On other hand, also recent, I recognized one as unmarked police car, zooming by me (at least 20 over limit), making quickfire change of lanes with no turn signals as civilians unintentionally blocked his route, I recall thinking that if I am a police, I'd pull him over and give a ticket for unsafe driving. It wasn't very light traffic, approaching rush hour. I recall thinking if he is in true emergency, then TURN ON PRETTY FLASHING LIGHTS!! Please do continue your best judgment regarding to public safety.

*Goddess* said...

Thatladybug, you're right. It was three times in three months for DUI, but overall ten times for various offenses. Frankly, I'm surprised no one was concerned with three times in three months...

Marjorie said...

I don't have any quarrel with a police officer using his or her disrection about whether to cite or to simply give a warning, and knowing the driver concerned, or kowng their profession, may be a valid consideration in deciding which option to chose (you may, for insance, feel more confident that they are an experienced driver, that they are in general a law-abiding citizen who will benefit from the warning, for instance) BUT a blanket "I don't ticket cops" policy is wrong because it means that you potentially allow people who are a danger to others to continue unchecked, and because it means you are not using your discretion based on safety or the law or the person's behaviour or attitude, but solely on whther or not they are a cop.

In the case you described, you personally, AND the other cop had caught this guy speeding before - so clearly, it's something he does habitually AND despite having had previous warnings, and which he is overwhelmingly likely to continue to do.

In speaking about civilians you said, " I stopped you because you have a light out or because you were doing ten over. No indications of drinking or contraband? Drive safely and correct that problem before I see you again." - this cop clearly failed the "drive safely and correct the problem before i see you again" part of that philosophy, and that's the point where I feel you should have taken action.

Professional courtesy is one thing,and perfectly understandable. Ignoring repeated offences just because the perpetrator wears the same uniform as you is, at best, unjust.

It's also unhelpful to the interests of the police as a whole, as it fosters the perception that there is a 'Them and Us' culture in which police officers are and always will be treated more favourably than other peopl. Demonstating and then defending injustice does not inspire confidence.

As I said at the outset, I haveno issue a all with use of discretion, but I do feel that you have a duty to exercise that discretion fairly.

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

If it is okay for policemen to discriminate in favor of policemen, does that mean it is okay for regular citizens to discriminate against policemen?

Officer Krupke said...

Cleanville,

It's a free country, so you can be a tool anytime that you want to. And we're used to it, so have fun. Just know that if you decide to give us bad service at whichever 7-11 that you work at, we'll just go somewhere else and you can do without our money and our protective aura as we drink coffee and read the magazines in some other convenience store. Be careful what you wish for, little fella...

2 wheel terror said...

Discretion, it's doled out to citizens as well as other public safety professions, sounds fair enough.

Although I've made it a practice that if you're a teenaged driver who's mom or dad is in law enforcement, you're still getting the ticket for whatever moving violation I pulled you over for. I do so to prevent these young impressionable drivers from getting that sense of entitlement. I'm sure they've been stopped several times before and let off with a warning.

Beat And Release said...

Ticket books in my state have a total of 50 citations in them. I turned my last one in in 1992. I finally got another when I went back to patrol two years ago. I JUST turned that one back in. 50 cites in two years - definitely not excessive, and in the view of some of my administrators, downright unproductive. Screw 'em. I have, however, gone through three books of warning citations in the same period of time.

Back in the day you took the officer or firefighter home if he/she hadn't hit someone. Now, departments tend to enjoy locking up cops from other agencies. My ex-brother-in-law, POS that he is, works from a small speed trap town and he starts each shift with the GOAL of locking up an officer from another jurisdiction. Needless to say, he doesn't get inter-jurisdictional calls for help answered very quickly.