Monday, December 28, 2009

Will they ever figure it out?

Us motor types have the fun of writing as many tickets as we please as well as responding to all traffic collision in South City. We also respond as cover officers for calls which would be better to have two officers instead of one. When we're not in a ticket writing frenzy we'll take the 911 hang ups, alarm calls, occupied stalled cars, traffic hazards, and sometimes even parking complaints. When we're not doing any of the above, once in a while some unfortunate resident will have his/her house on fire requiring the fire department to respond.

Us motors will respond to those too because there will be a need for traffic control due to the many sheeple who drive. This was no exception. Myself and Jolly set up at both ends of the street to keep the curious idiots disguised as motorists at bay.

Five engines responded as well as one paramedic unit and a butt load of "white shirts" from the fire department. There was billowing dark gray smoke blanketing the neighborhood block. Fire hoses criss crossed the roadway all leading up to the house on fire.

We keep local residents and the curious away and to keep them from driving over the fire hoses. It never fails to amaze me that even the locals become a little pissy and absolutely have to get to their homes on the block which is closed off. They're not happy with being turned around, too bad, tough shit.

Now most of the motorists were very obliging as they understood and turned their cars around. Although they were obliging, it didn't prevent the stupid questions from being asked...... "What happened Officer?" "Did something happen?" "What's all the smoke from?"

Lets see, hmmmm...... Five BRTs (big red trucks), emergency lights on and flashing, one ambulance, lots of fire hoses running from hydrants to the house on fire, tons of smoke in a neighborhood, and two motor cops turning people around...... what gives?

I couldn't resist with all of the stupid questions being asked and had to at least answer the most rude idiot who felt he was being very inconvenienced by all of the hullabaloo, "It's a BBQ for the International Association of Fire Fighters."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stupidity is alive and well

I was out one morning minding my own business trying to make a few friends by meeting and greeting when I hear the call sign of one of our Detectives, Callaghan, making a traffic stop. You occasionally hear them make a traffic stop but not very often.

While I'm parked patiently waiting for some unsuspecting motorist to catch my attention I hear the Detective ask for a cover unit. I figured I wasn't too far away so I answered up to take the cover.

I arrived in a couple of minutes and noticed the driver was seated in the back of Callaghan's unmarked car.

Callaghan tells me he was driving down the interstate from court when he sees this hooptie Honda ahead of him going about 80 to 85 mph. So He pulls along side and looks over at the driver just to get him to slow down. The driver looks over at Callaghan and gives him a hard look.

Callaghan didn't think too much of the hard look and pulled ahead of the Honda. The driver of the Honda obviously didn't like the fact that Callaghan had pulled in front of him, so Einstein decides to see how close he can get to the rear of his car.

Now Callaghan notices that this Honda is driving up his rear so he turned on his rear facing emergency lights. Einstein slowed down and gave some space between his hooptie and Callaghan's car.

Callaghan was thinking that he'd just head on in to his office, but he decided to pull the car over anyways. Einstein had his license, registration and insurance with him and it turned out the the fool had a no bail burglary warrant out of Monterey County.

Nothing like getting the "Po-Po's" attention. Idiot's out of county warrant allows the issuing police agency 5 work days to come and pick him up.

So much for making it to work on time.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You've got to be kidding me right now

We have a radar trailer which is deployed daily somewhere in South City, usually in some neighborhood where there have been numerous complaints of speeding vehicles. The trailer is usually deployed by a Community Service Officer (CSO). It just so happened that the CSO was off and the radar trailer deployment gets left to yours truly.

I stop the SUV I'm towing this trailer with at the reported "hot spot" of felonious speeders. As I'm unhitching the radar trailer I heard a voice behind me, "Are you going to leave that 'thing' parked here in front of this house?" I turn around, not knowing whether this is the home owner or a passerby.

And here's how the dialog continued;

2WT; "Yeah."

Anonymous Citizen (AC); "Right here in the street in front of his house? What if the home owner wants to park in front of their house?" (In a condescending tone of voice)

2WT; "That's right, the last time I checked this was a public street and it looks to me that this house has a driveway and three car garage for the homeowner. But when I get back to the office I'll check and see if the residents of this area have privatized this roadway with them bearing the responsibility of maintaining it."

AC; "Isn't it against the law to park next to a fire hydrant?"

2WT; "Typically yes, if its parked less than 15' from the hydrant. The trailer is 15' 1" away so we're good." and for good measure I threw in a little white lie, "The section applies to motor vehicles and this isn't."

Now it is beyond me that this idiot was complaining about where a radar trailer is parked, especially when it's at that location purposely to slow down drivers in the area and to remind them that the posted speed limit is 25 mph not 40 mph.

The only thing this scene was missing was gas lamps for street lights, snow, the old geezer wearing a tall black top hat, scarf. long coat and saying "Bah Humbug."

See ya Ebeneezer !

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Garbage In, Garbage Out

The "person of interest" turned suspect, Maurice Clemmons who has according to the numerous press releases had an "extensive violent history from Arkansas". Sentenced to 108 years for aggravated robbery at the age of 17. Then Governor Mike Huckabee commuted Clemmons' sentence. Of course because he was so young at sentencing was Huckabee's reason to commute the 108 year sentence.

We all know that the 19 years Clemmons spent in prison made him a model citizen, rehabilitated and ready to become a productive member of society..... BULL SHIT!!!!

You don't spend 19 years in prison and become "cured". You're still the same P.O.S. (piece of shit). Look at prison for these low life's as college. They end up getting their BA, then their Masters and finally their Doctorate in crime, all on the dime of tax payers.

We as a society have become too soft. When did an "eye for an eye" become politically incorrect? California carries out it's death sentence with a "cocktail" which basically puts the P.O.S. to sleep. How painful can that be? No pain at all.

They say the death sentence is not a deterrent to crime. I say if you'd get rid of the liberals and start executing death row inmates quickly instead of them carrying on their appeals for 20 plus years, get rid of the sleepy time cocktail with either hanging or the good old electric chair, you might see violent crimes go down.

But we'll never experience that, because our touchy feely society is too soft.

Clemmons had been recently arrested and charged in Pierce County Washington for third-degree assault on a Peace Officer and second-degree rape of a child.

Mike Huckabee has stated, "Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State."

Did the justice system fail?

It looks like it worked just fine. A 108 year sentence for aggravated robbery sounds fair. Hey but lets throw politics into the mix. It just goes to show what a politician will do to get a vote. Politics let this guy out of prison. It appears that Mike Huckabee is playing "place the blame game".

He says that it was the prosecutor who screwed up and didn't file some paperwork in a timely manner. The Pulaski County Arkansas Prosecutor, Larry Jegley says it best, "My word to Huckabee is man up and own what you did."

Of course Maurice Clemmons would not have made it so far in eluding the state wide manhunt without the help of friends and family. Those friends and family members are soon to be arrested according to authorities and rightfully so. They are just as guilty of murdering those Police Officers as if they had been at the Forza Coffee Company themselves and pulled the trigger.

The Police Officer who confronted Clemmons has done a tremendous service to the citizens. Clemmons didn't obey the Officer's commands which led to the Officer having to use deadly force. Clemmons succumbed to his wounds.

Clemmons' death doesn't ease the pain and sorrow for the Lakewood Police Department and the families of the slain officers, but I'm sure they feel a sense of justice has been served.

An eye for an eye.

The Officer who fought Clemmons at the coffee shop and wounded him before dying just goes to show, NEVER GIVE UP THE FIGHT!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yet Another Dark Day For The Thin Blue Line

I'm numb, speechless, shocked.

The tragedy of the Oakland Police Department when Motor Sergeant Mark Dunnigan, Sergeants Erv Romans, Dan Sakai and Motor Officer John Hege were murdered is still fresh in my mind. I wanted to believe that this was a tragedy which would never happen again. Yet it has.

Four Lakewood, Washington PD Officers, Sergeant Mark Renninger, Officer Ronald Owens, Officer Tina Griswold and Officer Greg Richards were gunned down at a local coffee shop, working on their laptops. A whole shift murdered. Four families suffering the pain and loss of a loved one. The holidays will no longer be such a festive season for these unfortunate families.

A person of interest has been named, Maurice Clemmons. It's not clear at this time why, but he is being sought for questioning.

A "calling" is what brought me and many others to wear the badge. When a tragedy like this strikes, our chosen profession takes a hard hit. We try to make sense of the "why". I know there are those in our society who hate the uniform and badge for what it represents, and not the person in the uniform.

I pray that the person responsible for the murders of these four Law Enforcement Officers is caught quickly before he is able to cause more loss and sorrow. We try to make good of our "hard lessons" on how to be safer and to do our jobs better. What little if any consolation it is to the families of the fallen.

Although the Thin Blue Line has taken another tragic hit, we will continue to handle our beats and sectors without fail.

We will remember those who have fallen, and we will honor them. Their names will be added to the list of other fallen heroes on our State and National Peace Officer Monuments. Tragedy does not weaken what we do, it only strengthens our resolve and dedication.

To the Lakewood, Washington Police Department and the families of the fallen four, you have my sincerest condolences and sympathies for a loss of which there are no words to express.

To those of us who wear the badge, stay safe.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just Plain Stupid

While in court one of my motor cohorts, Joker is up testifying for his case. Joker had originally stopped the car for the driver not wearing a seat belt and for not having her driver's license in possession.

After hearing the defendants testimony the Judge asked her if she had her license with her. She replied that she didn't have it with her (still!). The Judge looks over at the court clerks computer monitor which she casually turned toward the Judge's view. The Judge tells her, "That might because it looks like your license might be suspended."

Of course she tells the Judge it isn't, so he replies "No, I'm looking at your DMV record here and it says its suspended." So now the defendant has been notified that her license is suspended by the Judge.

She tried to continue to argue her point about not having a suspended license. The Judge shut her down and said he was looking at her driving record and it says its suspended. He told her that the DMV was one block down from the courthouse if she wanted to check on her driver license. He admonished her that she was not allowed to drive.

After she was found guilty, Officer Joker left the courtroom while the Judge imposed a fine for the seat belt and no driver license in possession.

Joker, being the fanatic, oppressive, heartless motor officer that he is waited outside in the parking lot. Sure enough Joker's defendant exits the courthouse, gets into her car and begins to drive away. On go the pretty flashing lights and she is pulled over just after her court case.

Of course her license was suspended and Joker had her car towed. Because her driver license was suspended, not only was her car towed, but impounded for 30 days on her dime.

People might think this cruel, but most of our hit and run traffic collisions involve drivers with never having had a driver license or have had their driver license suspended for one lawful reason or another. We tend to look at these situations as preventative traffic collision follow up for a hit and run that the District Attorney's Office won't touch because they're under funded and have bigger more important fish to fry and a motor cop would much rather be out writing tickets that sitting at a desk typing out a crash report.

If there is any bright side to this story it's the driver's case for driving on a suspended license will be heard at the same courthouse and same courtroom.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Same Bat Time

The other week, Juan Jalisco and I are sitting in traffic court. As the cases are called and the court room starts to thin out, I finally hear my defendants name called. I see my defendant rise from his seat as I do the same. I catch movement off to my right side. I look over and Juan Jalisco is standing up also.

Apparently both Juan and I had cited the driver less than 7 days apart for the same violation, speeding. I stand behind the podium in front of the Judge as the defendant is standing behind his to my left. I give my version of events and the Judge allows the defendant to cross examine me meaning ask me questions.

The defendant gives his testimony and I'm completely lost to what he's talking about. The location he was describing was nothing close to where I witnessed the violation occur. The driver said he has pictures he wants to show the Judge. The Judge directs him to hand the pictures to me.

I receive the pictures and I'm looking at them and now I have no clue of where these pictures are about. I hand the pictures over to the Judge. The defendant had nothing further to add, the Judge asked me if I had anything further. I told the Judge "submitted". He was found guilty but would not check his driving record nor set a fine until his second case was heard and adjudicated.

So I sit back down as Juan Jalisco gives his testimony of the same defendant being paced in a school parking lot as school was letting out for the afternoon. Then the pictures made sense. They were pictures of the school parking lot and not the roadway I had cited him for speeding on.

Even the defendant was confused and thought his first case with me was the ticket which Juan Jalisco had given him. Given the circumstances of children all around, the Judge found him guilty of unsafe speed through a school parking lot. Two points on his driver's license in one afternoon, Ouch.

I guess the defendants confusion adds some credibility to the stereotype that all motor cops look alike....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Welcome and goodbye

I was parked at one of my local duck ponds just minding my own business. At this particular duck pond I typically stop drivers for speeding, no seat belt, cell phones and just about anything else I might see which is a violation.

I was stopped at the side of the road after releasing a driver for speeding. I make it a habit while I write my notes on the back of my copy of the ticket to face the on coming traffic. Over the years I've actually gotten used to looking where I place my pen and begin to write. Once I'm writing I'll look at the oncoming cars to see who is not wearing their seat belt or jabbering away on their cellular phone.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think most drivers when they approach a cop who is on a car stop will continue not to wear their seat belt or continue to talk on their cellular phones knowing that the particular Officer is currently tied up.

So there I stand looking at oncoming traffic as I write my notes and sure enough here comes this red Isuzu Rodeo and the driver's not wearing her seat belt. After the Isuzu passed my location, I put my ticket book in the saddle bag of my police motor, fire it up and I'm up and running after that Isuzu.

I turn on the pretty flashing lights and the driver pulls over into a parking lot. Even after stopping her and walking up to her driver door, she's still not wearing her seat belt. I get the usual license, registration and insurance card and tell the driver why I stopped her.

She agrees and tells me she had just come from a U-Haul store and bought some boxes for packing. I always tell a driver before I walk back to my police motor that I will be issuing a ticket for the violation. This way there's no surprise when I walk back up with my ticket book in hand.

So after writing the ticket and walking back up to explain the ticket to the driver, I get her signature and while I'm tearing her copy from the original ticket she tells me, "I remember you Officer 2WT." I finished removing her copy and look at the driver as she didn't look familiar to me during my first contact.

I apologized and told her that I meet so many people during the year that I didn't remember her. She told me that back in 2004 when she was moving into the "Town" where I previously was a motor cop, I had stopped and given her a ticket for speeding.

She mentioned how apropos this ticket was as she was now moving out of the "Town". I asked her where she was moving to. She told me "Georgia", and then added, "I hope your not moving there too." I assured her I wasn't and told her to have a safe trip.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Faith in the human race

Working the weekend graveyard shift many years ago made for an easy commute home as I was driving against the traffic at that time of the morning. You kind of get in that "automatic" mode of driving home, sometimes waking up in your driveway not really remembering the commute at all.

It had been a pretty busy weekend, dealing with the usual drunk drivers, bar fights, juveniles causing a ruckus about the city and yes, those damned residential alarm calls where you'd think the homeowners would now how to turn on and off.

I was driving down the interstate not really in a good mood and waiting in line to pay my bridge toll. I eventually get up to the toll booth and stick my hand out my window to hand over the toll amount when the toll booth attendant told me "The driver ahead of you paid your toll."

I don't know and never found out who that anonymous driver was. But thank you. I had been looking down at the state of the human race lately. You restored my faith.

Because of that random, kind act, I'll occasionally leave the fastrac in my other car, wait in the toll line and pay for the driver behind me.

Who knows, maybe acts of kindness are contagious. That's a pandemic I'd like to see.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weren't you the Officer who.....

A few weeks ago I handled a hit and run traffic collision. The call came out early during my shift for the collision which occurred the day prior. The gist of the call was one neighbor (neighbor A) had their car parked on the street in front of their house. The other neighbor's (neighbor B) teen aged daughter parked her car in front of her house. It appeared that the daughter left the car in neutral and didn't set the parking brake.

She gets out of the car and goes inside. Sometime during that late afternoon, early evening the daughter's car rolls forward and into the rear of neighbor A's parked car. Neighbor A was a little upset because they had recently had the rear of that very same car fixed from a prior hit and run traffic collision which caused substantial damage.

Of course neighbor A' version is that he very politely walked next door to contact neighbor B about the "bump" between their cars. Neighbor B is very irate, and insulting during this initial contact. Of course I later contact neighbor B and his demeanor was polite and neighbor A's was very threatening and rude.

I facilitated the exchange of information between the neighbors and all went away happy. You'd think that was the end of the story right? Wrong.

The next day I'm in traffic court for a seat belt ticket and unsafe lane change I had issued to a teen aged driver. As I'm sitting in the court room I see neighbor A sitting in the row in front of me and several seats over. He sees me and mouths "Hi". I give him a nod back before he looks forward.

I look at my traffic subpoena and notice the last name of my defendant is the same last name as neighbor A. Yep, it was his daughter I had cited while driving one of the cars which caused all of the drama from the day before.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Biased Journalism? Oh You Betcha!!

The other night I was watching the news and the story came up about the shooting death of Oscar Grant and the change of venue for the trial of former BART Officer Johannes Mehserle.

As I listened to the story, the pictures of both victims caught my attention. The picture of Oscar Grant showed a smiling young man. The picture of a stern faced Johannes Mehserle was his booking photo at Santa Rita Jail. Now who in the hell would be smiling for a booking photo, especially for this situation?

This pissed me off! Okay we all know this is a very touchy situation with fingers being pointed everywhere claiming racism, police cover up, and so on and so forth.

Nobody knows exactly what happened on that BART platform or what was going through the minds of Oscar Grant and Johannes Mehserle. Unfortunately Oscar Grant can't tell his side.

Oscar Grant didn't deserve to die, but the media is painting him to be a great guy and anglicising him, while the media demonizes Johannes Mehserle. Tell me that the two different photos don't have an affect on public opinion and if you believe that you probably believe in the Wizard of Oz.

That just goes to show that our media, meaning television news and newspapers aren't neutral, unbiased and are not reporting all of the facts about both of these individuals and if they have they have minimized the criminal history of one of the individuals involved.

I'm glad the Judge granted a change of venue, the Bay Area is too inflamed on both sides to allow a fair trial.

Where are the ethics of these reporters be they television or newspaper? Sensationalizing the story and twisting the facts is what appears to drive these people to get more viewers or readers. Shame on those "sheeple" who's opinions rely on the crap that is written or televised.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Missing Person?

I hear a lot of radio traffic during my shift, especially when our Communications Center dispatches for three other police agencies and several substations not including South City PD.

My motor partner, Juan Jalisco and I were on our way to breakfast when I heard the call for one of South City's patrol units about a missing person.

During our breakfast, the officer who was dispatched to the "missing person" call showed up and tells us all about his call.

Apparently an Asian Indian couple got into an argument. Hubby says to wife he wants a divorce and for her to go back to India. She says sure and packs her bags. Hubby drives wife to SF International Airport and drops her off. After the wife walked away with her bags into the airport, Hubby drove off only to circle around expecting to see his wife curbside asking to come home.

Hubby drives by the terminal and his wife wasn't waiting curbside. He figured a couple of more laps around and she'd be there....NOT!

Hubby had a change of heart knowing his bluff had been called. He was able to speak to his wife a few times via cell phone and white airport terminal courtesy phone trying to get her to step outside. Well she didn't step outside after she had hung up on him.

Needless to say, he drove home and then called the police to report his wife as "missing". According to the Officer, he contacted the Hubby who could not comprehend the fact that his wife was not a missing person and that a report would not be taken. He was adamant about her missing person status.

The Officer politely reminded him that he had told his wife he wanted a divorce and to go back to India and even drove her to the airport.

I guess Hubby got the clue because he hung up on the Officer.

To the Hubby, be careful of what you ask for because as in your case it looks like you got it. I guess the old saying "You catch it, you clean it" is something above his comprehension.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Personal Accountability, what's that?

I haven't yet met anyone who enjoys getting a ticket. I've probably heard about every excuse under the sun about why a driver committed a vehicle code violation after getting stopped by yours truly.

I was sitting at one of our local hot spots parked along the curb out in plain view watching the morning salmon run (commute). I see this car drive by me with a female holding her cell phone in her left hand, up to her left ear and was obviously having a conversation.

I stopped the car and walked up to the driver door. Usually the driver will sit there silently until I tell them why I've stopped them, etc., etc. Well as I stood by the driver door as the driver was rolling down her window, I get the "Why'd you stop me!" in that tone of voice like I had inconvenienced her.

So I told her I had stopped her for her not using a hands free device while talking on her cell phone. I get the "I wasn't talking on my cell phone" excuse. I politely told her she drove right in front of me, with no tint on the windows and the fact that her cell phone was pink and clearly seen in her hand. She again said she wasn't using it. I told her that her cell phone was pink.

After asking for the usual driver's license, registration and proof of insurance, she's fishing all throughout the front passenger compartment for the stuff. She tells me its in the trunk of her car. So I follow her back to the trunk and she cannot find her registration and proof of insurance. She fishes out her driver's license from her purse and her pink cellular phone fell to the ground. I asked if I could look at her call log and her obvious answer was "no".

I'm sure the car is insured as it's a newer Volvo S80 sedan. So I tell her if she finds the registration and insurance, just show it to me when I come back to her driver door.

So I scratched out a quick rag for the hands free device violation and walk back up to the driver door. She tells me she couldn't find them. So I politely tell her that I'll give her a verbal warning on those missing documents and she'll just have to deal with the hands free violation which incidentally I told her was not a moving violation meaning no point on her driving record.

She tells me she isn't going to sign the ticket and to just give her her copy. I do the usual, "This isn't an admission of guilt" thing to help sell the ticket. She tells me she has her registration and insurance and begins to look for it again and tells me "I ain't signing no ticket."

As she's turning the interior of her car upside down, I politely interrupted her and told her that I'd have to place her under arrest and take her to jail in the hopes that her case can be heard in front of a Judge sometime during the day. She gets out of her car still looking for the missing documents I had verbally warned her for.

She tells me her husband is a cop. I asked her where he works as there was no confidentiality to her driver license or vehicle license plate. She very impolitely tells me "Don't worry about it."

Well I've just about had enough of her attitude. I had been polite and professional to her. So not recalling if the registration on her car was current, I asked dispatch for the information again as the month and year tab on her license plate showed the her car to be expired.

Once I got on the radio she stopped tearing up the inside of her car and asked "What are you doing?". My reply, "Don't worry about it." During my request I also asked for a supervisor to respond as sometimes when you have those stripes on your arm it helps to get the ticket signed. Turns out her registration was current.

It turns out her husband isn't a cop but had attended a police academy. While waiting for the Sergeant to arrive I politely added the not having her registration, insurance and improper tabs. While she stood there trying to call hubby on her cell phone, I held my portable radio up to my mouth, did not key the mic and asked for a patrol car to respond to my location for transport of an in-custody to the jail.

When she heard that she immediately said "Okay I'll sign it." and muttered "cracker" under her breath. So after she signed it, I reminded her of how much more difficult she had made such a simple incident which almost cause her to go to jail. Not to mention the extra time spent when she could have quickly been back on the road on her way to work.

So ticket signed, her copy in hand, another customer blaming the "po-po" for all of her problems in the world. She gives me a parting shot by calling me a "pecker wood". End of story right? Not!

She called our front lobby and bitched at the Office Tech to make a complaint about me. Hell I hadn't even had a chance to make another traffic stop! She was very rude to him and became even angrier when told she'd have to call our dispatch center. So she calls our dispatch center and begins bitching at the dispatcher. The call gets dispatched to my supervisor about my rude, racist, unprofessional behavior about my "profiled" traffic stop.

Oh did I mention that the driver was a certain ethnic group? So she ranted and raved to the Sergeant. As soon as I heard the complaint come over the air, I called the Sergeant and told him I was coming to the station to talk to him about it.

Unbeknown to the driver, I had digitally recorded the entire contact. Complaint squashed. It's always fun to listen to them back stepping when they're told "You know I listened to the Officer's recording of the traffic stop...."

For those that read this and are of the ilk to make false complaints against Officers for doing their job and those drivers who refuse to accept the responsibility for their actions, piss on you!

I love my job! For as long as I've been doing it I still enjoy it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my weekends like everyone else does but when Monday is rolling around I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike and "making friends" and not looking for an excuse that I haven't used before to call in sick.

What liberal repealed the law that made it a crime for people to make false allegations against police officers? I think it'd be nostalgic to hang them by the feet and stone them.

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's even a SMALLER world

I'm sure everyone who reads this will recall a time in their life when you've come across one of those "HOLY CRAP! (or some other expletive) situations. This story has nothing to do with police work other than a couple of people involved.

This one however had no tragedy to it as we see and read on television and in the papers, this story has a great happy ending which there are not enough of.

My daughter-in-law is a really sweet girl, I should say woman. Her and my son were married almost a year and a half ago. My daughter-in-law was adopted at birth and since I've known her she has made several attempts to locate her birth mom. She was born locally and you'd think that it would be easy. Unfortunately she kept running into dead ends.

My wife was talking to me about trying to locate my birth mother as I'm also adopted. My wife walked over to our computer as she continued to talk about finding my birth mom and did a yahoo search for finding birth mothers.

She came across and saw "free search" and the word "California". The wife being the incognito private investigator that she is, typed in some of our daughter-in-law's information and very unexpectedly.... BAM! A return on the information!

All of the information matched!! Hospital, city, birthdate, gender, adoptee name and birth mom's name and delivering doctor's name! We used the usual internet search engines and located several possibilities. We called our daughter-in-law and told her what my wife had discovered. They verified the information talking as women do when they're on the phone, crying, laughing and crying again.

Her birth mom had used her maiden name on the website and showed she was married. As we further searched we learned her married name.

As we continued our search to narrow down and locate her birth mother, she called us and told her she thought she found her MySpace page. We checked it and low and behold, there was our daughter-in-law in the MySpace picture, only it wasn't my daughter-in-law. The same colored hair, same eyes, nose, cheeks and smile. They even held their heads the same way when having their picture taken.

We had found her!!!! We were so happy that our daughter-in-law's search and her birth-mother's patient wait were now over.
My daughter-in-law asked me take a picture of the MySpace page photograph of her birth mom and husband with my cell phone and send her a pix message of it. No problem, I have the technical know how to handle that one.

I looked at the man standing next to my daughter-in-law's birth mother and that's when the "HOLY FORNICATION!" (to put it nicely) situation occurred. I had to look at the picture again and repeated my earlier statement several times over.
The first name of her husband on the original website and the married name we found later now made sense.

The man standing next to birth mom in the picture is a Police Officer in the same department whom I've worked with since 2006!!! We've worked different shifts while in patrol and now bump into each other on occasion as we're both assigned to specialty positions within our department.

I called him and left a message. He later called back and the rest is history. Birth mom and daughter are now catching up on 24 years of lost time.

Yes, miracles still happen and the wife went out and bought some lotto tickets.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ever think about downsizing ?

Anybody who rides a motorcycle on our public roadways will be able to tell you a story or two about a close call with a car. As we all know well, those of us on two wheels won't fair as good as those on four wheels with all that metal around you. You can be the most defensive driver in the world and still have a few close calls.

Those of us who are lucky enough to ride a motorcycle for a living day in and day out stand more of a chance becoming too intimate with other cars on the road.

I was responding to a call of a CHP motor on a traffic stop at the south end of our city on the interstate who was dealing with an irate driver. I get there and see nothing unusual. The CHP motor officer held up 4 fingers indicating that he was Code 4 (situation under control) as I rolled to a stop.

After the truck driver had left, we had a brief conversation. Needless to say the location of the stop was just south of the last exit for South City. I jumped back onto the interstate and took the next exit in the neighboring city to the south to get back onto the northbound side of the interstate.

I'm waiting at a red light behind this huge Hummer (H2). The light cycled to green as I made a right turn behind the Hummer as we drove toward the onramp for the interstate. The onramp for the interstate has two lanes which eventually turn into one lane about 200 feet. This onramp curved to the right and with an uphill grade.

I made my right turn onto the onramp behind the Hummer. I noticed the Hummer made a wide right turn and straddled both lanes. I stayed behind the Hummer not knowing the driver's intention. When the Hummer moved over to the left lane I began to accelerate and pass it in the right lane.

I have this habit of looking into cars as I drive by for things like seatbelt or cellular phone violations. As I'm passing this Hummer and I'm right about at the right rear passenger door I see this Hummer start moving to the right into my lane. I had to move over onto the shoulder of the onramp to avoid becoming one with the soundwall and really turned on the throttle.

Now as I passed this huge behemoth of a vehicle, I look over and see the driver talking on her cellular phone. Since I'm already on the shoulder I slowed down to let the Hummer pass me. I then did what comes so natural to motor cops, I got behind it and turn on my pretty flashing emergency lights.

The Hummer pulled over on the shoulder of the interstate where I contacted the female driver and told her why I had stopped her.

She of course told me the vehicle was too big and that she had to occupy both lanes because the sides of her vehicle would be to close or even scrape the soundwalls. She also said she wasn't talking on her cellular phone, but was listening to her voice mail. She just couldn't comprehend the "hands free" law here in California and how it just doesn't apply to talking on the phone.

I noticed that her address came from the snooty North Town where too many of the residents believe they're "special" and deserve every break their stature in life entitles them to.....BULL SHIT! But it sure explained her attitude.

So after getting her driver license, registration and insurance, I told her I was going to issue a citation to her. She had to ask me, "What's a citation? Is that the same as a ticket?" It just goes to show that being affluent has nothing to do with the level of intelligence..... She did tell me that she was in a hurry and to make it quick which was right in line with the attitude of many persons in North Town.

Now here's a clue. Don't ever tell a motor cop or any cop for that matter that your in a hurry and to make it quick because you'll get the exact opposite from me. I walked back to my motor and did what I love to do.... write tickets.

Since she was in such a hurry and demanding that I make it quick, I took my sweet ass time. My printing on that ticket was so neat you'd think it was done by some architect on one of their drawings.

After finishing her ticket, I walked back up to the Hummer. Because we were on the interstate with cars zooming by at 65+ mph (in California it means more on the plus side) I had made a passenger side approach on my initial contact and the second contact to issue her citation.

For those not familiar to law enforcement, by making a passenger side approach it keeps me away from the side where the traffic on the interstate is, as well as gives me protection using the vehicle I had stopped.

So I told the driver I had cited her for straddling lanes, unsafe lane change and yes, the cellular phone violation. She of course told me she personally knows the "Police Chief of Sonoma County". Her statement verified she was truly a blond because there ain't no such thing as a "Police Chief" for a county in California. Now had she said she knew the Sheriff of Sonoma County, she at would have at least sounded somewhat intelligent.

Needless to say, she told me she was going to see me in court with her lawyer and tell the Judge what happened and she'll win. I asked her if she would bring the Police Chief too.

Her last parting shot was that I had contacted her on the passenger side because her vehicle is so wide. I wasn't going to get into a pissing contest about tactics and safety with her as I handed her my cite book with pen and said "Press hard, three copies."

I handed her copy of the ticket to her as she crumpled it up and tossed it toward the floor board. I just love it when people have that reaction. I told her since it was obvious that she couldn't safely manage her Hummer she ought to think about downsizing to something like those new "smart cars".

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Evergreen State Drivers

Living in California for pretty much all of my life, you get used to the rat race, I have to hurry to work type of drivers. We see them every morning on our way to work and again while driving home. When I ride my personal motorcycle to work, I usually zip to work doing a comfortable 75 mph. But even at that speed I'll have motorists creep up on my ass and I'm not even in the so called "fast lane".

Now I typically don't mind if someone creeps up on my ass while I'm in my car, but I tend not to like it when I'm on my motorcycle. I harbor those thoughts of having a hand full of ball bearings in my hand to toss up behind me to let the driver behind me know that they're too close. Just a thought mind you.

Recently while on a trip in Washington State, the wife and I picked up our rental car at the airport and drove from Seattle, around the south part of Puget Sound and up north along the Sounds west side to Port Townsend.

The speed limit is 60 mph on Washington State freeways. It took some doing not to drive the usual Californian style of 75 mph or faster. I found it easiest to put the cruise control on 65 mph. I was amazed that most if not all of the other drivers were going the speed limit or slightly faster like I was.

I thought to myself, "Geeze, those Washington State Troopers must be some hard asses and not give any breaks to speeding motorists".

Being well into the groove of cruising at 65 mph, and I'll tell you it sure seems like you're traveling at a snails pace, I was feeling pretty relaxed and taking in the beautiful scenery. My wife had a harder time adjusting to the speed limit than I did.

While driving through Tacoma, the traffic was bumper to bumper. I didn't experience the usual Californian "You're not gonna take that space in front of me" mentality when trying to move over. I found the drivers to be courteous and had no problem making my way over to the interchange.

After getting out of Tacoma, the traffic thinned and soon enough we were back up to that sound barrier breaking speed of 65 mph. Once again I was driving along, relaxed, enjoying the scenery and pace.

Driving northbound on Hwy 16 across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was very scenic to me. The contrast of the evergreen trees which dominate the skyline as well as the contrasting deep blue waters of Puget Sound and the light blue sky was calming. I drove along with not a worry in the world.

Hwy 16 is made up of two northbound lanes and two southbound lanes separated by a very wide median of green grass. The traffic had become very light. I think I saw more cars going southbound than I did going my direction.

As we neared the Bremerton Naval Shipyard on Hwy 3, I saw a Ford F-150 coming up from behind at a high rate of speed. So I moved over to the right lane to let speed racer zoom by. As the truck zoomed by, you could probably guess which state license plate was on it...... yep California.

I guess there are those who don't do as the natives do.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Who'da thunk

A couple of weeks ago I was doing some traffic enforcement along one of our roadways notorious for people going just a little too fast. It's a four laned roadway with raised center median with a posted speed limit of 30 MPH. The road has business parks along both sides and has some fairly moderate to heavy pedestrian traffic in the morning and during the lunch hour.

While I'm posted up at this location I see violations for the usual speeding, but also seatbelt and cell phone violations. I happened to see this car coming towards me and it changes lanes where it quickly passed the vehicle it was following. So I'm thinking the car is traveling at about 45 mph. I use that wonderful laser radar and lock in the cars speed at 47 mph.

At the time I witnessed this, there were numerous pedestrians as well as bicyclists on or about the roadway, totally unsafe speed for the conditions. Needless to say, I stopped the vehicle and cited the driver and sent her on her way.

I like to move around to different locations, kind a keeps the drivers on their toes not knowing where us evil two wheeled traffic enforcement devils will show up.

I moved over to one of our local boulevards near the north city limit. I see this SUV haulin' ass just as I was parking beneath a nice shade tree. I was able to get my laser radar out after the SUV had passed my parked location. POW!, 52 MPH in a posted 35 MPH roadway.

By the time I get my laser radar in its holster and onto the roadway, I see the SUV make a left turn into one of the business parks. I was able to catch up to the SUV as it pulled into one of the local auto shops. The SUV parked with me behind it and all of the pretty flashing lights.

The driver exits where I got his attention before entering the office of the auto shop. Of course he has no idea why I stopped him as he handed over his driver license and other paperwork. We have the usual conversation, "Do you know what the posted speed limit is on XYZ Boulevard?", "Do you know how fast you were going?" Of course he answered no to both questions which I was happily able to give him the answers to.

I walk back to my motor and began to scratch out the rag for his speeding. I see the driver throw his arms up as he was looking over my shoulder. I turned around and saw the driver I had cited previously in my shift as mentioned above. Of course she didn't recognize me although it had been only 20 minutes since I had cited her.

She laughed as she told her husband whom I was now citing, "You're getting a ticket too!" So I get the driver to sign the citation and gave him his copy. The wife looked at me and asked "Are you the Officer who gave me a ticket this morning?"

I know, we motor officers all look the same, helmet, sunglasses, uniform and boots. Of course I asked her, "Was it for speeding down ABC Avenue and you stopped in the parking lot of 'such and such' fast food restaurant?" She nodded her head yes. "Yeah, that would've been me."

There's a first time for everything and this was my first for ragging husband and wife on the same day about 20 minutes apart. Talk about a ko-ink-e-dink.

Being the thoughtful, compassionate motor officer that I am, I gave them both the same court date. Does a couple that gets cited together stay together?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Befitting Honor and Legacy

Today I sat in my comfortable recliner reading the Sunday paper, free to bitch about recent current events without any repercussions and enjoying my first amendment right. How lucky we are to be able to speak our minds freely, to protest against what ever we don't agree with.

What caught my eye was a picture of an Arleigh Burke class destroyer. Those were being introduced into the fleet prior to me leaving the U.S. Navy. The first of this ship class, the U.S.S. Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) was commissioned into service on July 4, 1991. They were and are a BAD ASS fighting ship!

What brought me to this thought was an article which I read. The article was about the U.S. Navy's newest Arleigh Burke class destroyer being christened. Nothing really special, I guess to most. What caught my eye was the name given to this fighting ship.

The name of this Navy Destroyer is the U.S.S. Jason Dunham (DDG 109). Jason Dunham was the subject of a book I had read back in 2005 written by Michael M. Phillips entitled "The Gift of Valor - A War Story". Jason Dunham's mother, Debra Dunham christened the destroyer named for her son.

So what's in a name? Every Navy ship has a history behind it's name. Especially those named after people. Yeah everybody knows who the U.S.S. Eisenhower, U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, or U.S.S. Truman are named after (at least I would hope so).

How about the names of whom were not as famous, but their personal sacrifice was just as much if not more than the famous names in our history.

Names such as;
Pfc. Oscar P. Austin USMC
Chief Engineman Donald L. McFaul USN
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Edward C. Benfold USN
GYSGT. Jimmie E. Howard USMC
Navy Cook 1st Class William Pinckney USN
Chief Warrant Officer Donald K. Ross USN
Steel Worker 2nd Class (Diver) Robert D. Stethem USN

The Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers bear these names as well as many others in honor and remembrance to their bravery of thinking of others before themselves.

To most, me included these were names I had never heard of before, with the exception of Robert D. Stethem whom I remembered being tortured, then murdered by terrorists who had hijacked a commercial airliner and then just dumped his body on the tarmac. Petty Officer Stethem was returning home after an assignment in Greece.

So who was Jason Dunham. He was a son, a brother, he was a United States Marine. He sacrificed his young life for the ideals and morals he was raised with. He gave up his future to keep the fight against the global war on terrorism on their soil, not ours. He was a Marine that voluntarily extended his enlistment to remain with his platoon, to see that every man under his responsibility made it back home.

They all made it back home, because while fighting an Iraqi insurgent hand to hand, Cpl. Dunham saw him drop a grenade. There was no hesitation in his actions as he covered the grenade with his helmet and body to bear the brunt of the explosion to shield his buddies. Jason Dunham gave his life so that his men, his friends, his brothers in arms would be able to go home.

Too many people take their freedom for granted and those whom have made the ultimate sacrifice all too often fade away as the years go by. Let us not forget those who have guaranteed our way of life. And if you're interested, take a look at CMOHS.ORG - Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Open Mouth Insert Foot

I was sitting in traffic court the other day waiting for my case to be called. Being in traffic court is always amusing for us motor types. I've appreciated some of the funny and stupid things which defendants and officers have said.

My motor partner, Wyatt points out his defendant and said, "Boy she was a real bitch." His case gets called before mine, so I'm thinking this might be a little interesting.

Wyatt and his defendant are before the Judge. I watch Wyatt look over to the defendant as he smiled at her and nodded his head in way of a greeting. Well Missy just narrowed her eyes, hunched over slightly, pursed her lips and just gave him the nastiest glare ever.

Of course there was some chuckling coming from the rest of us who were seated. The Judge even noticed it as he leaned his head back, brought his chin to his chest and raised an eyebrow.

Wyatt and I have worked together for more than 10 years. He gives his testimony telling the Judge the events of this incident. After Wyatt had finished, the defendant is allowed to cross examine the Officer, in other words ask him questions.

She'd ask Wyatt a question. Wyatt would politely and professionally begin to answer her when she'd interrupt him and interject that he was mistaken or untruthful. The Judge of course would intervene and remind Missy that she needed to allow the Officer to answer her question without any interruption.

Missy would apologize, Wyatt would finish answering her question. MIssy asked Wyatt another question. As he was answering her, she again interrupted him saying he was lying and obviously had no independent recollection of the stop. Once again the Judge would remind her not to interrupt the Officer.

Missy's style of questioning and interruptions went on for some time. A typical traffic court trial will last maybe 5 minutes. This one went on for about 15 minutes.

Her questions pertained to the location of the stop, the violation she was alleged to have committed and the direction she was traveling. Throughout her line of questioning she was obviously trying to discredit Wyatt. So she finally gets through her questions and makes her statement to the Judge. The Judge listened to her very patiently.

When she had finished her statement the Judge asked Wyatt if he had anything further. Wyatt's reply, "Yes your Honour, Missy's testimony about the location, violation and direction of travel are all correct." The Judge looked at Wyatt and tilted his head to the side.

Wyatt finished by saying, "The violation and location of the stop is for the other ticket I had given Missy about a month prior to this one."

The Judge found her guilty and before sentencing, he always asks the defendant if they've had any tickets in the last three years.

Missy looked over at Wyatt and glared at him again, when she said, "Only the ones he's given me!"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Paradise found in Port Townsend, Washington

Looking to get away from the triple digit heat, the wife and I traveled up to the Evergreen State and boy is it sure evergreen! We stayed at a B&B in Port Townsend named the Holly Hill House. Our hosts, Greg and Nina were wonderful. After staying there and sampling Nina's great gourmet breakfasts, I'll never look at that morning meal in the same way again. If you're a history buff, Greg has the parlor decorated in WW II aviation memorabilia. He also has a website about WW II combat aviation books from his private collection.

A great town with lots of history. We used this time to not only relax and sight see, but to check out a few other towns and cities along the Olympic Peninsula.

The views of Puget Sound were spectacular! Not far from our stay was Whidbey Island, Marrowstone Island and Indian Island. The San Juan Islands are not too far away either. Whidbey Island is accessible from Port Townsend via a ferry. Being my first visit to this beautiful state I learned that it really helps to make a reservation for the Port Townsend to Keystone ferry as they fill up fast. I figure not making it to Whidbey Island is a good excuse to "have" to travel up there again.

It's nice to wake up to the sound of crying seagulls, looking out my window and seeing the blue waters of Puget Sound. The Town is not really big, but it sure has a lot of character. The uptown area is filled with many historic Victorian era homes which are beautifully maintained. It's referred to as "uptown" due to this part of the town is located on a bluff overlooking the downtown area (although I'm sure the uptown reference was related to the influential and affluent folk who settled here).

There's a weekly Farmers market held in the uptown neighborhood. Great tasting goodies, fresh organic vegetables grown locally.

The Town is filled with Artisans. If you ever want to see what happened to some of the Woodstock generation, some are living right up there which gives this place it's unique flare.

The downtown area still holds that 19th century charm as most of the buildings are from that era. Great restaurants, shopping and oh yeah, sea kayaking!

I'm used to seeing the murky waters around the Sacramento and San Joaquin river deltas as well as the Carquinez Straits. It was different for me to see such blue and clear waters. I can't explain what my attraction to water is. Maybe it was from growing up in Southern California and playing in the surf at the local beaches, or maybe it could be from my Navy days. Either way, I have a yearning to be on and near the water.

The days are longer there being much farther north than we are here in the SF bay area. It was still light out past 9:30 PM. The drawback is during the winter according to the locals, it's dark by 4 PM. Not everything or place is ideal. You give and take with different geographical places. I think I could deal with it.

We do plan on visiting the area during the off season, just to give us a better idea of what it is like there with the summer tourist season over.

To drive down a two lane road with towering evergreen trees surrounding you, makes you feel like your driving through mother nature's "sky scrapers". It definitely is a sight better than driving down a two lane road with towering concrete buildings surrounding you. While driving on these roads, you have to look up to see the blue sky.

As usual with "get aways", the time passes much too fast. It was nice though, not to be a "slave" to the clock, to breath clean air and not have to deal with the urban hustle and bustle.

I know there are plenty of other beautiful states and places but I was drawn to the area for it's slower pace, scenery, weather and yes of course, it's spectacular local sea kayaking destinations.

I found myself really relaxed and not really wanting to leave such a wonderful, beautiful place and would not have if it wasn't for those things in life such as a mortgage, career, children, school, etc., etc.

So if you find yourself planning a trip up to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, specifically the historic seaport town of Port Townsend, consider staying at the Holly Hill House B&B. The hospitality is first class, the historic Victorian "Hill House" is beautiful inside and out. Your just a short walk down the steps from uptown to downtown. Greg & Nina will make you feel welcome. And if you're a history buff as I am, you'll enjoy the WW II military aviation decor.

Take a look at their websites; and

What a nice break from the daily grind, now it's back to "meeting and greeting new and some old 'friends'".

Friday, July 24, 2009

You're Looking for What!!!!

Today while I was parked at one of my local duck ponds and heard my razor cell phone ringing in my shirt pocket. So thinking that it's the "Boss" (synonymous for "wife") calling, I pull out my cell phone. The display on the front of the phone which would normally show who's calling just shows a Tye dye of colors after it survived a 40 mph drop while motoring along and trying to tuck it up into my helmet.

I flip it open and see it's a "1-800" number. The conversation went something like this...

2WT; "Hello."
Anonymous female caller; "Hi, I'm looking for 'Dick.'"

Wow! I've never had anyone straight out proposition me like that. The mind was quickly working..... what to say back to the AFC.

I thought of replying, "Cut or uncut." or how about, "With pith helmet, or would you like an ant eater?" or "if the sight of what looks like a baby's arm holding an apple doesn't gross you out."

I thought that maybe she was a past customer of mine and used one of the many terms of endearment I've been called over my career. I knew she was actually calling for a "Richard".

I thought I'd keep it clean and just laughed with my reply, "I think you've got the wrong number."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Big Brother in the Bay Area

I was perusing the local paper when a headline caught my eye. It was about the Town of Tiburon wanting to have all car license plates photographed which enter the town. They say of course that it would only be used to aid the "authorities" with a lead for solving crimes which occur there.

So where are the checks and balances here. What and how many "security" programs are already in place by government in the cause for "our safety"? We're already caught on "security" cameras while conducting our daily business going about our lives. Good old "Fastrac", makes going over any of the bay area bridges easier. It's also convenient how it transponds your location just like our dash mounted GPS systems.

It'd be nice that if Tiburon passes this "security" system, that all tourist would just boycott that place. Like it's a high crime area... NOT! Maybe its just a case of the "haves" not really wanting the "have nots" in their town. Maybe Tiburon should help the economy and just place a gate with a red and white striped pole which has to me manually raised as well as a little guard shack. Oh yeah, and how about uniforms for the guards...... and twisted cross arm bands and symbols all over the place. It'll create some needed jobs.

To begin and end your visit to the "Fatherland" of Tiburon you're asked, "Your papers please."

It's seems there's examples everywhere of our country getting close to that utopian society depicted in George Orwell's book "Nineteen Eighty-Four".

We allow our legislators to pass laws which take away our individual freedoms. Some of the laws have good intentions behind them, for instance, the helmet, seatbelt laws and the hands free law for cellular phones, but lost individual freedoms none the less. Next thing you know, we won't be able to listen to music or drink coffee while we drive. What's after that? No talking?

What about several of the big name cellular phone plan providers who blindly and willingly handed over the telephone numbers of their thousands of customers just because Big Brother came knocking on the door and said "hand them over." Thank God one of the company's had the balls to tell Big Brother to come back with a warrant. So much for unreasonable search and seizure.

Gun control...... Now lets allow our legislators to pass stricter gun control laws. The only people which gun control laws affect are honest, hard working Americans. So eventually our legislators pass laws designed to take away or severely restrict our ability and our right to "bear arms". Do you think criminals are affected by these laws. Do you honestly think that criminals walk into gun stores and fill out the required paperwork and patiently await their processing time to pass by?

All these laws passed to create a safer society! For whom? My opinion is surely not us. When you disarm the law abiding people as most of us are, things like freedom of speech, freedom to gather and free thinking will shortly fall victim in the cause for a "safer society". Simply put, you disarm the people, you control the people.

There are plenty more examples around such as our financial institutions and automotive business being pretty much owned by Big Brother.

The scary thing is it's being done slowly to the point where your typical person doesn't see it coming and thinks that the soapbox standing people making all of the racket are just crying wolf.

Most of our conformists society don't and won't see it coming until it's too late. You'll be like sheep being lead to slaughter.

Question our legislators and their actions, we're the ones who vote for them and put them in political office. Government is supposed to work for the people not the lobbyists, big business or special interest groups. Remember elementary school history, "by the people, for the people." Oh that's right, most adults can't even pass a 4th grade history or geography test.

It might be hard for some or most of you to believe that a cop, yes a cop has this opinion. I'm not a liberal, just a very concerned conservative.

Question authority.

If you don't the "Thought Police" will be coming for you in the middle of the night......

Monday, July 20, 2009

Unreasonable Retirement?

Lately I've read several articles and "opinions" pertaining to the retirement benefits of public safety persons. Our local paper, "The Times" have featured articles bashing public safety retirement benefits.

The articles really haven't specified if it was CALPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System) or the 1937 Retirement Act which some California Counties still use.

For those of you not familiar with the Public Safety retirement in California it goes basically like this.... 3% @ 50. This formula is at age 50 (if you plan on retiring at that age) they take the number of years worked (usually using your single highest year) and multiply that by 3. The result equates to what percentage you'll receive of your "full time" income.

So I'm leaning more toward the articles relating to the 1937 Retirement Act because CALPERS has a 90% cap on their retirement benefit.

With the 1937 Retirement Act, you can have a Law Enforcement Officer retire out in excess of 100% of his or her salary. It's basic mathematics here... how can a retirement system sustain itself when people can make more money retired than when they were working full time???

Of course the author(s) of the article(s) from what I've read has never distinguished which retirement system they're writing about. So much for unbiased journalism (and you thought cops were bad!). What a way for these "unbiased, truth seeking" journalist(s) to get the uninformed public on their side to have our "lucrative" retirement scrutinized.

My brother-in-law has the same uneducated view, but hey, he doesn't really work anyway.

To those of you doubting ninnies out there, think about it. I didn't pick this profession for the retirement and I won't argue with you that it is a great retirement, but you chose what ever line of work you do and the benefits which come with it. What other profession in this world other than the military does one's occupational hazard include being killed by some other person?

I chose this profession because I truly felt that I could make a difference out there. And if during my years of service I've only changed the life of one person then it has been worth it. This profession over the years takes its toll on your body. Years of working shift work, holidays worked, family time missed, and sometimes even mandatory overtime due to being understaffed. All of this not to mention the personal toll which many Officers pay for dealing with the scourge of society, those in dire need and even some of the horrific things we experience.

How many of you would chose a profession which has a higher divorce and suicide rate of the general public?

For the doubting ninnies, how much is your life worth to do the job which all of us working the "thin blue line" risk daily? And to be middle aged, which I am, and chasing thugs half my age who often don't just say "Uncle" and give up without a fight?

Let me put it this way, when you're getting the shit kicked out of you, would you want an old cop holding on to the magic age of 65 or 70 to collect his social security benefit to save your ass? My guess is NOT.

And if that (those) jealous, pansy journalist(s) is (are) reading this, GET A CLUE. Oh and try something which has gone to the wayside in your line of work..... ETHICAL UNBIASED REPORTING, now there's a concept.

Be thankful there are people like us in this world to protect you from those which would prey upon you and yours. Let "us" get away from the often thankless things we do daily. Let "us" have our peace in retirement. Allow "us" to enjoy and experience what you have never had to sacrifice.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Working hard or hardly working?

I remember during my military service I worked a ton of days. Those long days of standing watch sucked! A typical day at sea for us engineering types (people who work in the engine rooms and auxiliary engine rooms) was 18 to 20 hours long. The normal engine room temperatures would run around 120 to 130 degrees.

By the end of your 18 to 20 hour day it came down to a choice..... do I shower and eat, and if so I'll lose about an hour's sleep. Needless to say I'd always take the shower option and only lose about 10 to 15 minutes of sleep.

After I became a civilian I did the usual Monday through Friday 8 hour a day grind which usually turned into a 10 hour day. God I hated that job!!!! Every time Monday rolled around I'd try and think of an excuse I hadn't used before to get out of work. The bad thing was, it was a small business and I only got paid when I worked. There was no such thing as sick time.

After being hired by my first law enforcement agency I had a chance to work day shift, swing shift and graveyard. Day shift was a 5 day, eight hour shift. Swing shift and graveyard were only 4 day, ten hour shifts. So graveyard worked just fine for me. Later on during my career my last agency tried something unheard of and progressive.... the 3 day, twelve hours shifts just for the weekend crews, Awesome! The only drawback was that we would have to work additional hours during the month to even out the hours.

My current agency has a similar schedule, 3 day, twelve hour shifts with no make up time. Having a four day weekend every week is a wonderful balance between work and family.

We keep track of our statistics every month, meaning we count how many citations we've written. Call it what you want, a quota, performance objective, personal goal or what ever else you can think of. Part of this bean counting also includes "shifts worked".

I was not really surprised when I saw the number of "shifts worked". It turned out that I worked approximately 120 days for the year (not including vacation days).

But believe it or not one of my family members beat me out on the number of days worked for the year and they're not even in a public safety profession. That would be my unemployed brother-in-law.

A lot of people probably think this is a pretty great deal and I agree. Even though I have a four day weekend I do get driver's who chose to exercise their constitutional right. This usually means having court one to two days each week (the off-duty court pay is great too!). But once in a while it is nice not to have court and to be able to enjoy the whole four days off.

Someone once told me, "If you love what you do, you'll never work another day in your life."

If that's true, then I haven't "worked" for a very, very long time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Yep, that was me.

As a motor cop I get the chance to meet quite a lot of people. Our customer base is huge. On occasion we come across previous "customers".

Sometimes they come out with the "Hey you gave me my last ticket" while others try to remain anonymous not knowing that they've been recognized by you until you let on that you know who they are. And some are just plain oblivious that you are the one who gave them their last ticket.

I guess that disguise of helmet, dark sunglasses, mustache really does work. I always get the "All you motorcycle cops look the same"

One bright sunny day I was parked at one of my local duck ponds when a motorists stops and tells me that there was a broken down vehicle over at Mockingbird Rd and El Corporal Dr. Mockingbird lane is what we affectionately refer to as one of our several speedways in South City.

I arrived at the intersection and luckily the broken down vehicle was on the less traveled El Corporal Dr which is actually the jurisdiction of North Town. I figured since I was there I'd handle the detail. I parked behind the disabled vehicle and had my motorcycle rear flashing emergency lights on to warn any approaching idiots that the lane was closed.

The driver was grateful to see me park behind her (now that's really a change!). Thankfully the driver was a member of AAA. Problem easily solved. I contacted dispatch and advised them that I had an owner requested AAA tow and to expedite as the vehicle was blocking the roadway.

While waiting for the tow truck the driver asked if she could ask me a question. Her question was how much was a cell phone ticket going to cost her.

For those of you not in California, we have this "hands free device" law which prohibits drivers from holding their cellphones in their hands and talking on them while driving a motor vehicle.

She relates to me that she was driving on Mockingbird Rd and had driven by a fast food restaurant where she guessed a motor cop had been "hiding" because she heard his siren a few times moments after she drove by it.

I told her I believed the base fine was something like $20 - $25. She replied "that's not bad." I told her "Yeah, but then you have all of the state, county and court enhancements." The driver asked "What does that mean?" I answered "Oh a total fine of around $147."

Obviously she was not happy to hear that news.

Now the place where she told me she was caught was one of my "duck ponds". I asked her if she remembered the motor officer's name who had given her the ticket. She told me she didn't remember but excused herself as she said "He was a real asshole!"

The oblivious driver remembered she had her copy of the citation still in the center console of her SUV. She goes and gets it, walks back to where I'm standing. She looked at the ticket and said "It was an officer 'Two Wheel Terror'" as she handed me her copy.

I looked at it and said "Yeah, it sure was. I'd recognize my signature anywhere."

You talk about a Kodak moment.......

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Watering hole

Another story about that protest. I parked my police motorcycle in the right turn lane to protect the idiots who decided to sit in the middle of the entrance to this business with their hands and arms encased in pvc and steel tubes.

Needless to say, LAPD blue, ballistic vest, motor boots, and helmet don't go well with very warm weather. I'm one of those types that keeps my helmet on while in the roadway just in case some idiot motorists decides to make me a hood ornament. This is just my way of doing business whether on a traffic stop, vehicle collision scene or protest.

I feel the small inconvenience is nothing compared to being some brain mush body on a ventilator lying on a hospital bed for years when there is no hope for any quality of life.

So yes it did get warm, very warm, in fact it was just plain hot. I'm up and around the corner from the main body of protesters and where all the attention was from the road sitters.

While I stood there I noticed several protesters walk up, set up a folding table with coffee and juice. They also had a cooler full of ice and bottled water. One of our beat officers was just down the road from me. He looked as uncomfortable as I was standing on the hot asphalt roadway.

I used my NEXTEL and asked him if he wanted a cold bottle of water. He looked toward me and asked me where I had the water at. I told him it was in the cooler on the sidewalk where the protesters had set it up. He laughed and said "no".

"To hell with that" I told him. There were about four protesters present getting coffee and water. Much to the surprise of these protesters I walked up, opened the cooler and grabbed four bottles of water. They looked very surprised and said nothing (not that it would have changed things anyways).

I made the short walk down the roadway and handed the other officer two of the bottles. He began laughing saying he couldn't believe that I would take their water. Of course I played it off and told him I thought they were being very kind and considerate to bring a cooler full of cold bottled water for us.

Yeah he mentioned "No wonder you 'motor guys' are always in the shit."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Remember where you can find sympathy?

One of our big corporations has a yearly shareholders meeting which draws the attention of various groups of protesters. For the most part the protesters are very peaceful and want to make their opinions heard.

They set up their signs, stand along the sidewalk and have their voices heard about what they stand for and believe in. And of course we always hope for the best but expect the worst with contingency plans just in case things get out of hand and go sideways.

I'm sure that some of the views of these protesters are shared by many, including those of us keeping the peace there. I had one elderly protester ask me my opinion about the ecological disaster this corporation is causing in these foreign countries. Of course I have my own opinions. I politely told her that I didn't have any opinions while on duty.

As with any protest you always have those who want to cause trouble and escalate things. One group of protesters ran out into the main entrance of this corporation, sat down and had joined hands within steel tubes blocking any further cars from entering. So as a motor officer I'm tasked with closing down the right turn lane into this corporation entrance.

It's a screwy world when responsible (and I use the term very loosely) adults sit in the middle of a roadway. This litigious society of ours makes it possible for people to sue other people, corporations, and government entities due to their own head up ass stupidity.

For example use the idiots blocking the roadway entrance. If one of those loser's were run down by a car who pays? The driver? The corporation? Their security division head?, the city?, the city's police department?. Probably all of them. All because some grunge looking, unemployed, hemp wearing jackass decides they're going to make a stand and sit their ass where cars travel.

Maybe I'm wrong but I figure if you get yourself even slightly injured up to dead and everything in between because of your own stupidity, then the only person responsible is you and nobody else. Case closed. The only consolation should be their nomination for the yearly Darwin Award

I guess we could politely ask them to get up out of the roadway, yeah right. So as it goes, these idiots refuse a lawful order for their own safety and you use reasonable force to move these people, you're perpetuating the "Blue Meanies" stigma and those so called "victims" of oppression have lifetime injuries and emotional trauma..... bull shit.

As far as the police using any type of reasonable force to remove the human speed bump. You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. Those tambourine shaking fools and the attorneys which some of these protesting groups are represented by are going to have anybody and everybody involved in a lengthy civil lawsuit.

Hell who knows, there could still be a law suit because they were sitting on dark roadway asphalt which became pretty warm by some of the complaints the "sitters" were making.

I'm not even going get started about how the media sensationalizes events like this to boost their viewer ratings. We all know that modern journalism isn't about telling the truth. It's about selling newspapers, television news ratings, etc. etc.

Gotta love California and our laughing stock 9th Judicial Circuit Court.

So for anyone out there who does this stupid crap like sitting in the roadway, you can find sympathy for your cause in the dictionary between "shit" and "syphilis"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

One of those calls

You know we respond to some pretty stupid calls sometimes. In fact, so stupid it makes think that "this can't be real".

When I was working patrol I was dispatched to a call of a 415V or in plain English, a verbal disturbance of the peace. The call happened to be at an open air market on one of our boulevards. I get to the location and contact the manager of this market and asked him what was going on.

He told me two of his employees were arguing. When I asked him what they were arguing about he told me that one of them accused the other of taking a quarter from him. I was thinking to myself, "You've got to be kidding!" I asked him where the employees were at.

The manager walked me over to them as neither of them spoke a lick of English. Their English was very broken and hard to understand. A fellow officer arrived on scene and thankfully he spoke fluent Spanish. The officer translated my questions to them.

My first question was "You guys are fucking kidding me right?" I don't know if the officer used the appropriate Spanish translation for "Fucking". I understood one of the probably few words of English they spoke and that was "No." My next question was "So you call the police for a quarter!" Again "No."

So obviously my next question was "Well who the hell did then?" They both simultaneously pointed toward their manager. I asked both of the employees how they wanted their problem resolved. One who denied taking the quarter just wanted to go about his work. The other of course wanted his 25 cent piece back.

Not wanting to waste anymore time, I reached into my pocket, retrieved a quarter and tossed it to the employee. I asked "Is everything square now?" The employee was happy to have a quarter back and replied "Jes".

I walked away, back toward my patrol car when the manager asked me if everything was okay. Now the manager was probably in his mid twenties. I walked over to him, told him everything was settled. I reached into my shirt pocket and handed him my business card.

He asked me "What's this for?" I told him on the reverse side was a number for conflict resolution and next time either call them first or maybe do something like use his brain and just fork over a freakin quarter.

That's what happens when you put "youngsters" in charge, DUH!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Never Forget

A three day weekend.... great weather, fun times which make for great memories. While I'm on the topic of "memories", I think people all too often forget the true meaning of the holidays our country celebrates.

Many people are thankful for a three day weekend (and who isn't!). I write this entry as a reminder to all of us who are able to celebrate this day with friends, family and loved ones. Memorial Day, a day to remember our country's veterans. Many of those veterans who didn't get a chance to live their life's dreams because they made the ultimate sacrifice...

The sacrifice of giving their life for our country so we could continue to enjoy our freedoms. Freedoms we take for granted because we've always had them. Read the papers, watch the news and you'll see there are still many places in our world where people don't have the same freedoms as we do.

Am I patriotic, yeah I am. I fly the American Flag in front of my house. My father retired as a warrant officer from the U.S. Navy after 23 years. He made his deployments to "Yankee Station" off the coast of Vietnam. I followed in his footsteps and served in the U.S. Navy for two enlistments and then some. My oldest son, proudly serves in the U.S. Navy also.

On Saturday my youngest son and I were running errands. We were stuck in traffic on I-80 creeping along very slowly. This SUV passed to my left as I saw this sailor in uniform seated in the right front passenger seat wearing his dress blues. As typical of traffic, they stopped as I slowly came along side the SUV. The sailor's window was rolled down. I rolled my window down and as I stopped in traffic next to the SUV he looked over.

I told him "Thank you for what you do." The word "thanks" just doesn't seem to be enough. Our veterans went to war as young men and returned as heroes in some conflicts and as villains in others. Regardless of the politics they were called on to do a job either by choice or the draft.

My son asked me "Why did you do that Dad?" How can you truly explain to someone as young as him the importance of our service members serving all over our world protecting our way of live and the sacrifices they make and the sacrifices our veterans have made?

Young men and women who had to put their lives on hold, young men and women who's last goodbyes were not long enough before leaving for war, not knowing that it would truly be their last goodbye.

So while we're all enjoying our extended weekend, please take a small moment of your time to honor and thank those veterans past and present .

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Is bad luck better than no luck? Hell No!

One Friday late in the shift Juan Jalisco and I get dispatched to a two vehicle traffic collision on the west side of South City. Typically collisions that happen on that road are usually either out of the South City limits or out of our county.... not this time.

The collision occurred on a major arterial roadway which goes from 3 lanes in each direction down to 1 lane in each direction. This collision happened because Einstein driver needed to turn around. She politely pulled over to the shoulder of the road where its 1 lane in each direction.

When she decides to make her u-turn she didn't realize another car was coming up behind her. So as she pulls into the lane, POW! the other car plows into hers. Thankfully nobody was injured so no follow up required at our local hospital and it was close to the end of our shift. Einstein driver was able to move her car to the shoulder to clear the roadway and keep the Friday afternoon salmon run (commute) going.

I requested a tow truck for both vehicles to get them completely off the roadway and out of here so I could begin my weekend. The tow company arrived on scene and took one of the cars away. The second tow truck was a flatbed and stopped ahead of the car with the major front end damage.

This roadway was narrow enough without the added flatbed tow truck obstructing more of the traffic lane. I request a report number as I'll be the lucky one writing this collision report as Juan Jalisco took a collision report earlier in the shift. Juan and I are standing near the rear of the damaged vehicle as the tow driver is hooking up the car.

Right after the tow driver gets the car on the flatbed and secured, he walked back to where we were standing with the driver to give him a business card for the location and telephone number to the tow yard.

As we're ready to wrap things up and actually get off duty on time I hear this WHAM! I see the flatbed tow truck shaking slightly. I see a flatbed pickup truck park in front of the tow truck. I noticed the foot step and driver door exterior mirror of the tow truck are totally demolished.

So much for getting off duty on time now...

Juan Jalisco contacts the driver, who didn't have a California driver license or any driver license for that matter. He did have a Mexican Consular I.D. card to go with the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.

Juan runs the driver through a standard set of field sobriety tests (FST's) and ends up arresting Flaco for DUI. The tow truck is still drivable and leaves the scene. The driver tells me he'll be at the tow yard as I needed to get some information from him and give him a report number for his boss.

I had to request a third tow truck, this one to take Flaco's truck to the tow yard for a 30 day impound on his dime. By the time the third tow truck is on scene, off duty time as come and gone (always on a Friday). Flaco's truck is up on the hook and on its way to car jail. I head over to the tow company only to find out the driver's on another call, thankfully within South City.

I have his dispatcher contact him and tell him I'll meet him at his tow location to wrap up the crash. Now I'm like everybody else, its Friday and I'm ready to begin my weekend.

I fire up the Harley and I'm off like a prom dress to finish up business and get the hell outta Dodge. I'm cruising down a frontage road which parallels I-680 at what I determine to be the speed limit for being late on getting off work again.

SHIT! I see black smoke billowing up into the air coming from I-680. As I ride by I see a car almost fully engulfed in flames. I notified dispatch to get fire and CHP rolling to the location (not that I hated to bother and interrupt the fire guys playing their XBOX game while seated in their lazy-boy recliners) I do a u-turn, park, jump the chain link fence with no horizontal support bar at the top (helmet, motor boots and all, not an easy feat).

I get up to the car and thankfully see that no one is still inside it. I don't see anyone walking along the shoulder. I'm told the fire department and CHP are on their way. Fire got there pretty quick and doused the fire quickly. CHP showed up while the fire guys were doing their magic of putting foam and water on the car.

I inform the CHP officer how I came upon this obstacle for getting off duty, then I'm off again to meet the tow driver. Needless to say, I catch up to the tow driver and conclude business. I get back to the office parking lot and go to retrieve my keys from my duty belt.

Wouldn't you know it, my damn keys were gone. My guess is I lost them as I climbed that damn fence to check on that burning car.

Yep you guessed it, back to the scene of the fire and where I hopped the fence. The whole area was covered with dead leaves which went up to my ankles....

And no, I didn't find my damned keys.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I meant to do that

Some time ago while I was working as a motor cop in North Town we used to run Lidar on a frontage road. When the interstate traffic was way backed up, motorists used to use this road as a bypass. It made for easy pickings.

While I'm posted up beneath some shade, I see this nice BMW sedan haulin ass. The posted speed limit for this section of road is 40 mph. I estimated that she was doing around 60 to 65 mph. I had her speed locked in at 64 mph. I pull onto the roadway behind her waiting to get further south to where the road widens.

I turn on my emergency lights as she begins to move to the right side. She pulled onto the shoulder of the road at the same time I was on the radio with dispatch when she just slammed on her brakes and came to a quick stop. I mean real quick.

I remember grabbing all the brake I could as I saw this clean, shiny pristine rear bumper of a BMW. I'm thinking to myself, "Aw shit, this isn't going to be good."

As I rode onto the white painted fog line for the shoulder of the road my rear tire locked up due to the slickness of the paint compared to the asphalt. Well the back end of my motor began to slide to the right as the rear of the BMW came closer and closer.

The rear of the motor stopped sliding as the motor came to a stop, then high sided as motor and I fell to the right. Luckily I had missed the rear bumper of the BMW. The driver got out of her car and came running back to the rear of her car, you know those tiny little running steps in high heels with arms held high bent at the elbows.

I watched as she stooped down, looked at her bumper to check for damage. When she saw her BMW wasn't touched she then turned and asked me "Are you okay."

Thankfully no damage to the motor and the only damage was to my pride as I stood there embarrassed as motorists drove by looking at the scene of a police motorcycle on its side. It's a sight that any motor officer dreads.

Now to pick up this Harley Davidson Road King..... I could radio for my fellow motor partner to come and help and probably hear about this incident till retirement. The same thing would happen if I called a beat car to come out and help. The driver was kind enough to offer her help, but I asked her to take a seat in her car.

I was able to get the motor upright and I hope to never have to do that again. Next time I think I'll put up with the ribbing from my fellow officers. Luckily I didn't throw my back out. Too eager and being a new motor officer, I figured I had better tone it down if I want to become an "older" motor officer.

Lesson learned: New motor officer, riding too aggressively = bruised ego. I was very lucky. I could have bruised or broken a lot more to the point of a medical retirement if not worse.

I was too eager being a new motor officer. I figured I had better tone it down if I want to become an "older" motor officer.

Since that incident years ago I've learned that you won't catch all the violating motorists and some are not worth my safety to even attempt to catch.

Yeah, she still got her ticket and thankfully she never took it to court.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Old school was meant for another publication, sorry for those of you who got a peek at the darker side. To BTV, you are absolutely right!

The truth shall set you free

I was dispatched to a solo vehicle traffic collision which occurred on one of our residential streets. What had happened was one of our Police Explorers was driving home after buying an X-Box 360 game and was in a little hurry.

Let me describe the scene to you. He was traveling westbound on a major boulevard which had two lanes and made a right turn onto the street he lived on, a regular residential roadway with no lane divider. He had actually moved over into the opposing lane of traffic and side swiped this parked car.

I arrived at the location and spoke to the driver. He told me he was driving at about 20 mph when he made his right turn. Now he further said he made his right turn from the right lane of the boulevard. I asked him if he had any passengers with him. He said he was the only person in the car.

I looked at the damage to both vehicles and the physical evidence on the roadway. I noticed a very clear, defined critical speed scuff. A critical speed scuff is a tire mark left on the roadway when the tire loses traction in a turn. I noticed this critical speed scuff began in the left turn lane on the boulevard. He tried to apex his turn by driving across both lanes of the boulevard and turning close to the corner nearest him onto his street.

This critical speed scuff continued onto the residential roadway into the opposing side of the roadway up to where the parked car was hit. I asked him again how fast he was driving. He stuck with his original answer of 20 mph from the right lane of the boulevard.

I told Junior that the gray in the sides of my hair and mustache were indicators that I've been doing this job for a while. I also threw in the comment, "I was born at night, but not last night." I realize young people make stupid decisions. I was young once so I understood why he wasn't being honest. Hell I still do stupid things. This was me giving Junior a chance to come clean.

I pointed out my motor boots to Junior and asked him if he knew why we wear them. He of course said they were for safety. I told him, "No, its to prevent the bullshit as it gets deeper from getting my pants dirty." So I told Junior to think about what really happened and I'd come back and talk to him after I took my photographs of the traffic collision.

While I was taking the photographs, my dispatcher told me that I had a neighbor who had further information about the collision. I contacted this neighbor with my cell phone. This neighbor ranted and raved about the speeding problem on this street as well as the person who was involved was one of the "regulars" who frequently speed down this residential street.

She asked me if the driver was all right. Then she inquired about the passenger she saw get out of the car. I told her that to the best of my knowledge there was no passenger. She was positive that she saw a friend of his get out of the passenger side door.

I walked back up to Junior and had him tell me again what had happened. The only part of this dumb ass's story which changed was he might have been going 25 mph. I asked him again if anyone else was in the car with him. Once again he told me he was the only person in the car.

Listen if a cop asks you a question more than once, realize he or she more than likely already knows the answer. So I asked Junior why a neighbor would request a call from me only to tell me that she saw a passenger get out of the passenger side. Well his stumbling words told me the truth. I told him to call his friend and have him get his butt back up to the collision scene.

I had an ambulance respond due to the complaint of pain Junior had, and figured the passenger should be checked out also, not knowing if he was injured.

I then began to show Junior the critical speed scuff, where it originated from and how it didn't match the speed he had given me. I was able to determine his minimum speed based on the critical speed scuff and it sure as hell wasn't 20 to 25 mph.

The reason his passenger had run was Junior had his driver license for 4 months. He was a provisional driver who wasn't allowed to drive any passengers in his car under the age of 25.

Of course I cited him for an improper position for a right turn, unsafe speed for conditions, violation of his driver license provisional restrictions, and failure to provide proof of insurance at the scene of a traffic collision.

I later spoke to the Officer who is in charge of our police explorers and told him about the traffic collision and Junior's less than honest statement of how the collision happened. Unfortunately for Junior, he is no longer a police explorer with our agency.

This is one of those instances where I don't think I'll be going to court on the ticket Junior received.