The Q & A Cop thread.....

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The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Sarc » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:51 am

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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Emperor Mickey » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:58 am

I have a question... what is the deciding factor on if a cop gives you a warning or a ticket? I have had both happen to me during my life but never knew what made some cops only issue a warning when others issued a ticket instead.
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Captain Obvious » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:01 am

Can you explain why every time I get pulled over I hear a zip and get asked for a breathalyzer test?

Kidding, good advice.
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Sarc » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:13 am

Emperor Mickey wrote:I have a question... what is the deciding factor on if a cop gives you a warning or a ticket? I have had both happen to me during my life but never knew what made some cops only issue a warning when others issued a ticket instead.


It varies cop by cop, however I can tell you that in my department 99% of the deputies use the following criteria:

-How fast were they going? A good rule of thumb is that you are fine doing 9mph OVER, most deputies won't even stop someone unless they hit the magic 10 and even then it is entirely possible they won't issue a ticket, just pull you over and run your name, give you a verbal warning which doesn't mean jack because there is no way to track those, they aren't entered into any database or tracked in any way.

-What is your driving record like. Sorry peeps, if you have a shitty record (i.e 3 tickets or more) odds are you're getting a ticket, I'm much more inclined to dole out a ticket to someone who obviously doesn't get it. The people who say speed doesn't matter has never seen a car full of dead people.

-Is this person a dick?. I hate to say it but yes, I have issued a ticket to a guy who was driving 65mph in a 55mph zone, only reason? He told me it was bullshit and was rude as hell. He basically talked himself into a ticket. Only time I've written a ticket for 10mph over, actually is the lowest stop I've made as well, MPH wise that is, I mean I've never stopped someone going under my 10mph threshold.

I would like to also mention that a huge myth is that there are quotas. I suppose it's possible some states have them but they are illegal as all get out, 95% of LE departments do NOT have quotas, this is a myth. Before I joined LE back in '08 as a reserve I was under the impression that cops wrote a shitload of tickets, I was SHOCKED when I started doing ride alongs and all the county guys only wrote like 3 out of every 10 stops. I know cops who go multiple shifts with zero tickets.

So basically actual speed, your driving record, and demeanor all factor into it.

Though this may NOT apply to state troopers, those guys aren't as forgiving as city/county. :p
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Captain Obvious » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:22 am

There are some locals, one town I can think of that does write tickets for ANYTHING over the speed limit, even coming down a hill. Is there a way to fight a ticket in that case? No construction, no school zone, clear weather, polite, no other infractions, good driving record.
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Emperor Mickey » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:25 am

All but one of the tickets I ever got were in NJ... both of my warnings were in PA... just saying. No I was taught right, I know I will never win an argument with a cop ever. PERIOD! Plus it does me no good to piss them off either because with my dumb luck, that would be the cop to answer the call if I needed help. So I always try to make nice with the cops.

Ok next question, just about 1 1/2 years ago a cop came to my open window and demanded I get the door, when I answered he pushed me out of the way and started to walk in... The neighbor from upstairs runs over and tells the cop I didn't call them and he just turned and left. To this day I have no idea what happened. It might have had something to do with their son, who was in the same grade as my son, but that's only a guess. What would make a cop just walk into a house like that without telling me why he was there when I didn't call him? I know you can't give me the actual reason but this is something that happens a lot normally?


BTW, I am loving this thread, thanks for doing this. :)
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Sarc » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:30 am

Captain Obvious wrote:Can you explain why every time I get pulled over I hear a zip and get asked for a breathalyzer test?

Kidding, good advice.



Speaking of breathalyzers just an FYI that it is a myth that you can fool it. There is absolutely no way to influence the results, when people try to blow softly most cops will just say forget it, reason being that the little hand held machine (PBT) is NOT admissible in court for OWI/DUI cases. Only the big breath machine (Data Master) is admissible. (For OWI/DUI)

I hear a lot of people say, just keep mouthwash in the car and before the cop pulls you over swish that around. Well that's great and all but it doesn't work. Whether or not the cop follows procedure or is a dumbass/not trained well, they are "supposed" to wait no less than 15 minutes before giving someone a PBT that has had nothing in their mouth, that means no gum, nothing to eat/drink in the previous 15 minutes. When I first got hired we tried the whole mouthwash experiment. One of our deputies swished around a mouthful of scope for about 1 minutes. We immediately gave him a PBT and he registered a .435, now you may say "aha...it works, someone can just claim they aren't drunk and it's just mouthwash affecting the result".....here's the wrinkle to that, not even 5minutes later we gave him another PBT and it went down to .123, and then we waited another couple of minutes and by 8 minutes he blew all .000's, hence why cops wait 15 minutes before giving a breath test.
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Sarc » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:36 am

Captain Obvious wrote:There are some locals, one town I can think of that does write tickets for ANYTHING over the speed limit, even coming down a hill. Is there a way to fight a ticket in that case? No construction, no school zone, clear weather, polite, no other infractions, good driving record.



Actually yeah, what a lot of people do is this:

-Be polite to the cop in the hopes that they are lazy and don't take good officer notes.

-Show up to court on your assigned day. If the cop shows up ask him if they could/would drop the ticket, though odds are at this point (having to go to court) they won't exactly be happy. If the cop doesn't show up for court the judge will dismiss the case.

-Plead "not guilty". This pushes the court date back about 2-3 months, things get lost, officer might not show up the second time, county attorney's office might just lower the ticket.

If you go through all of that and it really does to to trial (it'll just be a bench trial with just a judge, no jury) be prepared, know where the speed limit signs are, time of day, circumstances, etc...it is unlikely but it can/does happen where people get off.
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Emperor's Prize » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:38 am

Sarc wrote:it is unlikely but it can/does happen where people get off.

*snigger*
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Captain Obvious » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:41 am

Ok, here's a good one for ya. Maybe it will stump you, maybe not.

A local town has a speed zone going east that drops from 45 to 35. Going west it goes from 35 to 45.

The odd part is that the zones overlap. One way between the signs is 45, the other way is 35. If you were LE in this town, what would you tell citizen?
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Sarc » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:46 am

Emperor Mickey wrote:All but one of the tickets I ever got were in NJ... both of my warnings were in PA... just saying. No I was taught right, I know I will never win an argument with a cop ever. PERIOD! Plus it does me no good to piss them off either because with my dumb luck, that would be the cop to answer the call if I needed help. So I always try to make nice with the cops.

Ok next question, just about 1 1/2 years ago a cop came to my open window and demanded I get the door, when I answered he pushed me out of the way and started to walk in... The neighbor from upstairs runs over and tells the cop I didn't call them and he just turned and left. To this day I have no idea what happened. It might have had something to do with their son, who was in the same grade as my son, but that's only a guess. What would make a cop just walk into a house like that without telling me why he was there when I didn't call him? I know you can't give me the actual reason but this is something that happens a lot normally?


BTW, I am loving this thread, thanks for doing this. :)



Yeah that first part I can tell you is for the most part everybody I work with nobody "demands" respect, just civility, one of the great things about county deputies and the main reason I chose my particular department is the fact that out of all the LE agencies your county deputies are "usually" (not always) more laid back than state/local cops. Reason being our backup could potentially be 20 minutes away and you can't exactly go spouting off on people and getting them pissed off. You don't want to be on a gravel road at 2am with a car load of 4 agitated drunk people who hate cops and think you illegally stopped them.

The second part I have no idea, extinuating circumstances is the only thing I can imagine. There are times I don't need a warrant to enter a house, but I have to be able to articulate my reason very very well the who/what/why I did what I did.

One of the drawback to LE is that some of the younger officers are just way to gung ho, they are to young to have any real life experience and don't use a lot of discretion. I'm not trying to be anti young here but at least in my dept it's usually the younger guys who get people riled up.
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Emperor's Prize » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:47 am

Captain Obvious wrote:what would you tell citizen?

Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law. :p
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Captain Obvious » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:49 am

I AM THE LAW[/dredd]
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Darth Mall Guard » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:51 am

Riddle me this one batman. I have no idea how/why I was sent on my way after this...

Many years ago, I was on my way home from a baseball game where I had drank heavily (surprise!) I fully and stupidly admit I had no business driving. I fell asleep at a red light where a pizza delivery guy woke me up after only a min or two (he said) Well I drove off and he apparently called the police. A few miles down the road I get pulled over and asks if I had been drinking. I said I had a few at the game. He said he was glad I told him because he could smell it on my breath. I was asked to to a field sobriety test, which I did. He stated, and as close to a quote as I can get, "Based on what you just did you pass, but barely. Would you mind a breathalyzer?" I complied. Now, my last beer was less that 30 min prior. I blew and this is exactly what happens. I blew, he looks at it, looks at me, taps it on its side a few times and asks if I am ok to drive. I say yes and he says drive safe.

I am not comlaining he let me go, but I have no idea WHY!?
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Sarc » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:54 am

Captain Obvious wrote:Ok, here's a good one for ya. Maybe it will stump you, maybe not.

A local town has a speed zone going east that drops from 45 to 35. Going west it goes from 35 to 45.

The odd part is that the zones overlap. One way between the signs is 45, the other way is 35. If you were LE in this town, what would you tell citizen?


Well the zone is going to be specific to which way you are traveling so they technically don't overlap, the zone coming into town and going out of town are separate, that being said my basic rule of thumb is this: Treat every person with respect until they give me some reason not to. I basically treat everyone like this "what if this were me being pulled over?"

When I was on patrol I was ADAMANT that I never ran radar in a zone change, that is to say I never ever...ever...sat in a zone change that went 45/35/25 in a short distance. I feel that is complete and utter BS, if I write a ticket I want to have zero doubt that the person was actually speeding, none of this waffling were they or weren't they crap. I want to be 100% sure with no doubt whatsoever. If there is even the slightest doubt I'll just pull them over, run their name, the end result is the same, they slowed down, at least for a couple of days or so usually.
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Captain Obvious » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:57 am

So you are saying that a 2 lane road can have 2 different speed limits on the same half mile distance, 35 one way, 45 the other?
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Sarc » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:11 am

Darth Mall Guard wrote:Riddle me this one batman. I have no idea how/why I was sent on my way after this...

Many years ago, I was on my way home from a baseball game where I had drank heavily (surprise!) I fully and stupidly admit I had no business driving. I fell asleep at a red light where a pizza delivery guy woke me up after only a min or two (he said) Well I drove off and he apparently called the police. A few miles down the road I get pulled over and asks if I had been drinking. I said I had a few at the game. He said he was glad I told him because he could smell it on my breath. I was asked to to a field sobriety test, which I did. He stated, and as close to a quote as I can get, "Based on what you just did you pass, but barely. Would you mind a breathalyzer?" I complied. Now, my last beer was less that 30 min prior. I blew and this is exactly what happens. I blew, he looks at it, looks at me, taps it on its side a few times and asks if I am ok to drive. I say yes and he says drive safe.

I am not comlaining he let me go, but I have no idea WHY!?


Well I'm not going to judge, back when I was younger I drove twice when I shouldn't have, I was more of a binge drinker in college. When I book people into jail for OWI (1st offense) I'm always pleasant with them and tell them hey everybody makes mistakes, it happens. But...if they are dicks and say it's BS that they aren't drunk I never saying anything but think to myself, "if you're sober why did you blow a .238???" Now if someone has multiple OWI's, we get a lot of 3rd and 4th offenses here in Iowa, THAT is when I start losing my sympathy, but for a first offense I'm usually like hey man you messed up, just try not to let it happen again. OWI 1st offense can usually be deferred.

Now to the question, I have to assume you must not have had that much to drink since you passed the standardized Field sobriety tests. Most people don't know there is a method as to how/why those particular tests are/were selcted. Every state in the union has the same field sobriety tests, hence "standard".

If you only had a couple then it is entirely possible to just barely pass SFST's, lot of people don't know that your body can physically only process a certain amount of alcohol ina given time, I believe it's somewhere around .03 % per HOUR. I'm not quite sure what the officer was doing with the PBT, if they had a malfunction etc...they can do it multiple times, they just have to put a new plastic tube on and cycle through it once. Never blow on the same tube more than once, ask them to put a new one on.

I would guess you must have only had a couple of beers and were borderline, most OWI's takes hours to process and if you were say an .084 the officer might be out looking for someone who is far worse off, in other words why take the borderline off the road and miss the .233?
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Sarc » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:16 am

Captain Obvious wrote:So you are saying that a 2 lane road can have 2 different speed limits on the same half mile distance, 35 one way, 45 the other?


Yeah. Like one heading into town, getting lower as you get closer, and one heading out of town gradually rising in speed, at some point they are going to be different, that only applies if it's a road heading in/out of town though. I would have to guess that the speed changes start about 1/8th mile outside of town and gradually increase/decrease, could be wrong though.
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Darth Mall Guard » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:21 am

I know I had no business driving. Pre-game tailgating I had at least 6...I know that. Had at least 4 more in the stadium and one more at the bar after the game.
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Darth Mall Guard » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:23 am

Btw, this was old DMG. 7 years ago. Now I just get hammered at home :p
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Sarc » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:01 am

I should also point out that if you get pulled over and the cop sees that you have a Radar detector most cops will write you a ticket, sorry. Radar detectors used to work because cops kept their radar unit in the "on" position all the time, with modern units they are always "on" but not always scanning or more to the point sending a signal out.

Cops basically have what looks like a little TV remote that controls the radar unit, all you have to do is drive and if you see a car off in the distance you hit a button and lock in a speed, takes literally a split second, if the person is speeding you just keep re-locking their speed and it keeps track of the highest speed, I don't care how fast your relfexes are a person who is speeding can't react fast enough, think of it like turning on a light switch on/off, that's how fast it is. By the time your detector goes off you're already locked in. Also of note these things are extremely accurate and have multiple settings, cops CAN tell who is speeding if you are in a long line of cars, especially if there are only two cars single file. A cop who runs traffic and is familiar with their equipment could theoretically lock in two cars at once since the unit is capable of that.

LIDAR (Laser) is even more accurate, you're hosed if they are using that. That's the one that looks like a big ass phaser type gun, the distance you cover with that is insane....
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby soxtalon » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:35 pm

Sarc wrote:I would like to also mention that a huge myth is that there are quotas. I suppose it's possible some states have them but they are illegal as all get out, 95% of LE departments do NOT have quotas, this is a myth. Before I joined LE back in '08 as a reserve I was under the impression that cops wrote a shitload of tickets, I was SHOCKED when I started doing ride alongs and all the county guys only wrote like 3


Not entirely true - Many agencies get around the illegality of it by having traffic stops themselves be the quota...no quota on writing tickets though. My department definitely has a hush hush traffic stop quota. I don't know the numbers but it's quarterly.
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Emperor's Prize » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:40 pm

Not surprising. These days, there's so much emphasis on data - statistics - that agencies (LE, education, etc.) set up policies meant to circumvent "illegalities" while still padding their statistics. It's why many schools teach to the test - even when they say they would never do such a thing.
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby Sarc » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:44 pm

Well that's why I put "it's possible in some states", I don't want to bore everyone with all this cop shit and get really specific, I know Florida got in deeeeep shit over quotas about 15yrs ago. But a good majority of agencies don't have quotas of any kind, stops...tickets..etc..., Now would an officer get in deep shit for just driving around not doing anything, sure they would, but they can't come out and say "you have to write X amount of tickets", that's actually what got Florida in trouble if I recall.

The way your department does it is definitely the way some agencies skirt the issue. For awhile our local PD told their officers you had to have X number of "contacts" per month. Now these "contacts" could anything, like a vehicle unlock to say someone coming up to you and asking how to get back on the interstate/directions. So yeah I get how/why your dept does that, but I'd be hard pressed to find any agency that tells its officers you have to write X number of tickets in a given time frame.
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Re: The Q & A Cop thread.....

Postby soxtalon » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:45 pm

EP: Exactly. I work in a town that 2 years ago won the award for "Safest Town In The US". Well we have quite the joke in our department. Homicide is written off as accidental death. Robbery -> verbal disagreement over property...things of that nature ;) We exaggerate a bit but it's no surprise to see things sweetened for the media.

Sarc: Yeah that I will defintiely agree with. Right now we have less incident numbers then we have had in awhile. The honest truth is we have less men on the road and they are all being tied up for longer dealing with just what is called in and no time to "generate" their own number via "contacts" -- ie check a subject, property checks, etc. etc. But we've been told to try to up the numbers...

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