Thursday, April 16, 2009

Paybacks a Bitch

Yesterday I walked into the court room where all of the traffic cases are heard. My partner Juan Jalisco had arrived just minutes earlier. The Judge who presides over traffic matters is a great guy. Most of us Traffic Gurus (Traffic Nerds to others) have known him for years. Also present in this court room was none other than Motor Cop.

I'd say we all have a good rapport with him. He was asking Juan Jalisco about these whistle lanyards we wear. He had never seen them before and inquired of Juan what it was and why. So Juan explained how the whistle lanyard makes it easier to retrieve you whistle from your shirt pocket and when your momentarily done with it you can let it hang from you shirt epaulet.

Try directing traffic at a major intersection without one and you'll have a greater appreciation for that small piece of metal after you lose your voice yelling at motorists.

Well I open the closet door where all of the local agencies keep their traffic and engineering surveys in. These are also referred to as speed surveys or traffic surveys. So while I'm standing in this closet removing the survey I need for the roadway I used my LIDAR on, I overheard the Judge ask Juan Jalisco, "Does he have one of those lanyards too?" knowing well he was referring to me.

The next words I heard spoken from the Judge was "Excuse me Officer, I don't mean to call you out of the closet." Needless to say all had a good chuckle over that. He does have a good sense of humor. I guess it was payback for an incident which happened many, many years ago when I was a patrol officer in his town working the midnight shift.

It came out as a suspicious circumstance with an unattended vehicle left parked in the middle of a roadway, engine running and no occupants. This was a two lane roadway at the outskirts of town with a large field and fenced off cattle.

I roll up to the scene and have dispatch run the license plate out as I exited my patrol car and walked toward the van. I noticed the interior dome light was on, with the driver door open and engine running.

The dispatcher told me that the registered owner information was sent to the computer in the patrol car. As I looked around I heard a voice yell out from a field near the roadway, "Officer, that's my car." I then see this solitary person standing beneath this wooden pole with a light attached to it.

As this person walked toward me I noticed he had an object in his right hand and could see that part of that object protruded from his hand in the shape of a barrel. Not really knowing what the object was, but I was thinking GUN, I nonchalantly placed my gun side leg back and gently placed my hand on the grip of my duty weapon and unsnapped the holster as a precaution.

This person saw me move my gun side leg back and place my right hand on my duty weapon as he threw the object from his hand and yelled "Don't shoot! Its me, Judge So and So. I then recognized his voice and walked toward him. What he had thrown down to the ground was a hammer.

The Judge was running for superior court and was placing election signs for his campaign in this field. Needless to say the next few court appearances when I stood at the podium to testify, he'd ask, "Shot anyone lately?" or "Pulled your gun on any Judges recently?"

He was a good sport about it.

Now its my turn to be a good sport also. I'll have to let him know that it sure was a heck of a long time for payback.


  1. How bad do you feel when you loose your traffic case to an officer that almost shot the judge..

  2. Win, lose or draw it truly doesn't matter to me. Especially since most of my traffic cases occur on my days off Cha-Ching! I love the overtime!

  3. Good on ya, Terror! I applaud your ability to laugh at yourself.

    Saves me the trouble of laughing at you. Wait, I did that in court. :-)

  4. Great blog! Just found it courtesy of TOTWTYTR. I wonder why this judge felt he had to sneak around in the middle of the night to post his re-election signs?