My sister called me one day and asked me if I'd be in my office. I told her I'm usually outside "playing" (chasing drivers down) and not in the office much during the day. She told me my niece had gotten a ticket for expired vehicle registration and could I "sign" off on her ticket that it had been corrected.
So I arranged a time with my sister to pass on to my niece to meet me at my office at 10:00 am. I arrived about 15 minutes early and went into the office. To pass the time I finished a traffic collision report.
10:00 rolls by and no niece... I decide to work on the sketch for the traffic collision report using a cool computer aided diagramming software (no more straight edge, pencils and erasers).
So by 10:30 I'm out of the office and back on the road. What is it with young people keeping their appointments on time?... Well maybe that I'm now sorta kinda grown up, I can understand her not making it.
I get a second phone call from sis while at coffee with the fellas. She tells me my niece is on her way to my office as we speak. So I finish my coffee, joking conversation with the fellas and get to the office about 10 minutes later.
I roll up to the parking lot and see she's sitting in her little pickup truck. I get my usual hug and "Hi" from her and catch up with what she's been up to.
I asked her for her copy of her ticket. She hands it to me as I look at the front of it and zero in to those wonderful violation lines. I see the expired registration violation, along with the defective windshield and mutilated driver license violations...
Being the trained observer that I am and remembering the conversation with my sister about the registration violation, I figured there was more to the story about my niece getting stopped, specifically her attitude with the ticketing officer.
I look at the court date assigned at the bottom of the ticket and see it had passed 3 months ago! She tells me she had gotten an extension on the ticket. I asked to see the extension from the court. She did her "Come on Uncle 2 Wheel, can't you just sign it off?"
"Uh, No". She was taken slightly aback. Needless to say she showed me the extension. I checked her vehicle registration, saw that it was current and I sign the violation as being "corrected".
I checked her windshield and saw it had been replaced as she told me it had a crack in it from a rock while driving down the highway. Violation #2 signed off.
I ask to see her driver license. She hands it to me and I look at the issue date of the license. It's her original driver license she was issued by the Dept. of Motor Vehicles.
I noticed that the lower right hand corner of her driver license had a crease in it. She told me how the "mean officer" ticketed her for having a mutilated driver license.
Come on Please!!! Even us motor cops don't get that chicken shit when writing violations! Well... maybe... sometimes... kinda... and gladly if the driver is being a prick or a bitch! Power of the pen.
I told my niece that she had been "paper fucked" (don't worry, she's an adult). "Paper what" was her reply, "paper fucked" I answered.
I then proceeded to educate my niece on Police Officer - Driver etiquette.
Put plainly, nice driver equals nice Police Officer (or at least hopefully). Mean driver equals nice Police Officer (okay I might be stretching that one).
Mean driver might equal outwardly appearing nice Police Officer (but not always).
The Police Officer who can, might and in my niece's case fornicated via a carbon copy slip of paper did use the power of the pen and meted out a small example of "justice". The Officer I would imagine felt "justified" in taking that extra few seconds to write a couple of series of numbers and titles for the vehicle code violations.
Of course she tells me she was not rude or disrespectful in any way, manner or form... Unfortunately I've listened to her dad's rhetoric about the Law Enforcement Profession and can only assume that unfortunately my niece had picked up his bad habit.
Would I have written the mutilated driver license, probably not if the driver had been courteous.
As I've stated before, ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!!! Listen people, we're not asking for you to kiss our asses and we surely don't think that our shit doesn't stink.
So when you see that Officer walking up to your door via your rear view mirror, take some personal accountability and act civilly. You'll be amazed at how smooth things go, and maybe, just maybe you might be driving off with a warning instead of a ticket.
Had I taken this approach with the Officers who stopped me when I was younger, I might not have had the crappy driving record which caused my monthly insurance premium to be higher than the monthly note for the first new car I bought.
Hindsight sure is 20/20.