Saturday, October 23, 2010

I saw it first!

One of our local motors who resides in South City is a CHP motor. We'll bump into each other on car stops, at traffic court and just motoring around.

My partner, Juan Jalisco and I were parked at the top of an interstate offramp in South City. We'll usually catch red light runners, seatbelt, cellphone violations and anything else that we happen to see that is a violation of the California Vehicle Code.

I remember one day as I was pulling up and parking behind my duck blind, I noticed the aforementioned CHP motor, El Guapo stopped on the offramp giving some unlucky motorist a ticket. So you'd think that with a CHP motor cop on the offramp giving someone a ticket you'd see no violations being committed at this particular spot right? Wrong.

Juan Jalisco sees a car blatantly run a red light and off he zooms to meet and greet the driver. I'm parked there for several minutes before I see someone chatting away on their cell phone. I fire up the V-twin and I'm off. I no sooner catch up to the vehicle when I see El Guapo riding his BMW (which happens to sound like a run away sewing machine) pull up along side me.

I'm wondering to myself what the heck is going on. He yells over to me over the roar of my Harley, "Cell phone!?" I holler back "Yeah!". Then he yells back, "I saw it first!" My first thought, "Are you kidding me right now!" They didn't teach us about the proper motor etiquette for this situation when I went through motor school.

Then I got this funny visual about when I was a little kid (not that I'm that much more mature now) and having a tiff with my younger brother about fighting over some toy. You know, both of our hands on the toy pulling back and forth screaming "Mine!", "No, mine!".

So I holler at El Guapo, "It's yours!". I fall back behind him as I see the rear emergency lights on his BMW light up and he makes the traffic stop. I pulled up behind his motor and walked up to his bike where he was standing. He tells me, "Hey if you want it you can have it." I told him that he saw it first. El Guapo asks me, "Are you sure?" I replied, "Yeah, you saw her on the interstate offramp so you write her for that location. I saw her commit the same violation on a South City street so I'll write her for the same violation at the location I saw her at."

The look on his face was priceless. He caught on that I was joking as I motored off for another flock of ducks that were due in.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bait and switch

Wyatt and I have been working together for pretty much the last 11 years together. Once as patrol officers working the graveyard shift and since then as motor partners.

Every once and a while when I'd make a car stop, Wyatt would show up. Now, Wyatt and I sport those "so 80's" mustaches. Yeah, I know. It's a generational thing. Well Wyatt is about 6 inches taller than me and out weighs me by about 30 to 40 pounds. And if that wasn't obvious enough, my mustache is black and his is red.

So when I'd decide to give the driver a warning and Wyatt was around, I'd hand the driver's license, registration and insurance card to him. Wyatt would walk up to the driver's door, hand the driver his license and other paperwork and give them a warning.

And likewise, if Wyatt made a car stop, we'd reverse the roles when I'd walk up to the driver door to give them a warning. Most of the time the drivers would do a double take and have somewhat of a perplexed look on their faces.

The look on the drivers faces was a priceless Kodak moment.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Just Down, not out.

It's been a while. My apologies for not posting as of late. Seems that my almost fifty-ish body has overridden my 21 year old mind. I tell you it really sucks getting older. As one of my buddies was so kind to tell me, "Hey 2WT, you're not 45 anymore." Thanks for the reminder.

I've moved up from crutches, to cane, to limp, back to my swagger, and I'm ready to get back into the saddle. You'd think that with the many years I've been doing enforcement riding that any injuries would have been from some riding mishap and not tearing or ripping muscles.

Desk duty sucks, nothing could make it better, even if they'd mounted handlebars and allowed me to wear my helmet while seated there in front of a computer terminal....

So to the motorists in my jurisdiction, I'll be out very very soon with a renewed zeal and appreciation for being back on two wheels.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New blog of note

For those of us who enjoy reading the experiences / exploits of others, here is a blog to check out;

Monday, May 31, 2010


A couple of months ago I was at the shooting range. I had my police motor parked near a table where we load our magazines and clean our weapons. Down range you could see the targets of human silhouettes hanging. While there I heard someone say loudly, "Who's motorcycle is this?" There were three of our motors parked at the range and turning around I noticed a group of about 15 to 20 men dressed in black BDU's standing at the rear of my police motor.

I answered that it was my motor parked there. One out of the group asked me about the blue star flag which I have on the back of my motor. I told him I have a son who is currently serving in the armed forces. This person who appeared to be the spokesperson for this group said, "Tell him thank you from us for his service." I told him I would make sure that he knew.

About a week ago I was running errands with my youngest son who is in the second grade. The errands took a little longer than I had planned. My son being hungry chose to eat at a nearby restaurant. While we were seated I noticed that something had his attention. Looking to my left, I saw that my son was staring at two uniformed soldiers who had walked in.

My son asked me why they were here. I guess to him it seemed a little different to actually see a couple of soldiers in a restaurant to eat lunch.

After we had finished our lunch, we approached the soldiers table. I excused our intrusion as I extended my hand to thank them both for their service. I got a firm hand shake, a slight look of surprise and a polite "You're welcome." My son shook both of their hands and said, "Thanks for protecting me."

I think he understands to the best of his limited life's experience why and how they protect our way of life.

So today while we are celebrating this extra day off, having family and friends over for a barbeque, please take a small moment of time out of your day to remember those who are serving in distant countries and are without their families. Remember those families who's lives have been forever changed due to the loss of their loved one(s) who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the protection of our way of life.

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastering of fear - not absence of fear." Mark Twain

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hansel and Gretel

I'm sure almost everyone is familiar with this fairy tale and how they used a trail of breadcrumbs to mark their way with the intention of using the same said trail to find their way back.

This story came to mind during a cold hit and run traffic collision one cool clear morning. My partner, Jolly was dispatched to this traffic collision just after I had been dispatched to a totally separate traffic collision. Turns out my two driver's had decided to exchange their information with each other and actually were kind enough to contact our dispatch center to cancel my response.

I decided to head over to Jolly's hit and run. The victim vehicle had been legally parked on the street in front of their home. The left front end and driver side had been smashed by another vehicle which drove onto the opposing lane of traffic.

I pointed out to Jolly through the scuff marks left from the suspect vehicle's tires that it had veered sharply to the right, gone up over the raised concrete curb, across the front lawn of a home and came to a stop within about 12 inches of going into the living room.

While Jolly spoke with the owner of the smashed car, I noticed a distinctive tire mark left from the suspect vehicle. I looked down the roadway and could distinctly see the direction the suspect driver had fled. I told Jolly that I was going to follow the tire marks and see if they led anywhere.

The tire mark was actually two marks, a wide one of about 3 to 4 inches with a skinnier one about 6 inches away and it was about an inch wide. After about a half mile the tire marks pretty much became to light to see. They were last pointed in the direction of one of our major north - south roadways.

I noticed how the tire mark was still visible across the white painted crosswalk lines and were as distinctive as the one on the roadway surface before becoming too light to see.

I was able to see and follow this distinctive tire mark across every white painted crosswalk line as it lead me south along a frontage road. After about 3 miles of following this tire mark it led me to a shopping center. The tire mark became very visible on the black asphalt parking lot. I followed it to where the tire mark appeared to have stopped and parked 90 degrees to the marked parking stalls.

This was the spot where whomever had ripped off the plastic front bumper to their car and left it. I continued to follow this tire mark which pretty much did a 180 and saw it was parked (properly) in a marked parking stall and behind a hedge high enough to shield it from view.

So a quick records check of the license plate showed the owner lived in the adjacent county and city to the south. Jolly met me at the location of the suspect car where we rode down to the owners home and contacted them, bleary eyed and still intoxicated.

Needless to say, she was the registered owner of the car. She was able to produce the car keys and admitted to drinking, driving and "believed" she may have bumped into a parked car. She failed miserably doing a set of field sobriety tests and was subsequently arrested for DUI pursuant to Calif. Vehicle Code section 40300.5.

Not quoting the entire section, the driver met the requirements of this section and through the totality of the circumstances and certain articulate able facts she was lawfully arrested for DUI 6 to 7 hours after "bumping" into the parked car. Her BAC (blood alcohol level) was STILL well over the .08%.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

But I wasn't driving!

There I was, parked in the shade and minding my own business, people watching. I see Joe Citizen roll to a stop in the left turn lane talking on his cellular phone. Joe looked over at me and continued talking on his cell phone. I'm thinking to myself either Joe is a complete idiot or from out of state and unaware of California's cell phone law.

Joe's light cycles to a green arrow and he makes a legal u-turn and begins to drive off in the opposite direction. I decide to conduct a "stop and talk" with Joe.

2WT: Hi, good afternoon. May I get your driver's license, vehicle registration and insurance card.

Joe: What for?

Here's a clue people. Motor cops don't just arbitrarily pull people over for no reason contrary to what you may have heard or believe. If you're pulled over and asked to produce the aforementioned documents by a police officer in the performance of his or her duties, don't begin the contact with any such or similar question.

Don't believe whom ever said that there is no such thing as a stupid question.... because there are such things and "What for" is one of them.

I just looked at Joe through my sunglasses and he needed no further prompting as he begrudgingly handed me his driver's license which just happened to be from this golden bankrupt state of California.

I told him I had stopped him for not using a hands free device for his cell phone.

Joe: "But I wasn't driving, I was stopped." Then followed his attempt to hurt my feelings by saying I had nothing better to do, and why wasn't I out there catching "real" criminals.

I told Joe that I had seen him roll to a stop as he conversed away. Joe was adamant about not driving and therefore no violation had occurred. I again told Joe my observations which he disagreed with and said he'd see me in court.

My original intention was to "catch and release", which was to stop Joe, explain the cell phone law to him, and send him on his merry way being more aware of at least one of the state's myriad of vehicle code laws.

Typically if I am going to write a ticket to someone, I'll usually give them a warning on some other violation which commonly is no current registration paperwork or no insurance card.

Joe had basically talked himself into a ticket which I was more than happy to oblige. I can write tickets fast or really, r e a l l y s l o w. Needless to say, Joe had a very, v e r y legible ticket.

In Joe's haste, he forgot to hand me his vehicle registration and insurance card and him being an adult, I didn't ask him twice for them. I just added them onto Joe's ticket as additional violations.

Do I ticket every driver I stop, no. My attitude or niceness is in direct relation to that of the driver. Nice driver, nice motor cop and possible warning. Asshole driver, asshole motor cop with your personalized invitation to the local traffic court presented to you with a smile by yours truly.

Education or education through enforcement, Joe opted for the latter.

We do give breaks / warnings, but attitude is everything.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Life's Lottery Winner

Besides stopping motorists for vehicle code violations, us motor types (at least in my department) handle all of the crashes, provided we are on duty. All crashes means, private property fender benders to fatalities.

I just happened to get dispatched to a report of a solo vehicle into a light pole. There were no further details as to injuries or if the vehicle and pole were blocking the roadway. As a precaution I requested through our dispatch center to have an ambulance started... just in case. Due to the lack of details, I responded with lights and siren and arrived in just a few minutes.

It had recently rained and this roadway is notorious for drivers going too fast on a slippery surface. Usually its a solo vehicle spin-out where the vehicle usually comes to rest against one of the curbs.... but not this time.

I get to the collision scene first and notice a small pickup truck had slid driver door first into a light pole. It was obvious that the light pole had won because it was still standing. The intrusion into the passenger compartment at the driver door was a good 18 inches.

It has been my experience that more times than not, this type of collision usually results in some type of injury requiring the driver to get an ambulance ride to the hospital and in some cases leaving the body in the vehicle as we investigate another fatality and call the coroner after we've wrapped up our investigation and forensic mapping of the scene (which can take hours depending on the complexity of the dynamics of the crash).

I was amazed to see the teenage driver standing, walking and talking with no injuries. I directed him to have a seat on the curb. He had a noticeable knot on the left side of his head as well as lots of broken safety glass from his door window. I let him know that I had an ambulance coming to check him out.

He asked me if the ambulance was necessary because he didn't have any health insurance. I told him due to the knot on the side of his head and the dynamics of the collision I wouldn't be canceling it.

He told me he had been visiting his sister at a coffee shop and was running late getting back to work. Of course he said he was going the posted speed limit of 30 mph when his truck "for no reason" began to slide out of control.

His mom and brother-in-law showed up at the scene. I let mom know that an ambulance was coming. She gave me the same song and dance about her son not having medical insurance, who by the way was only 17 years old. I told her she could take that issue up with the ambulance crew.

Brother-in-law happened to be an insurance adjuster and tried to talk me into canceling the ambulance. I asked him if his brother -in-law had some type of internal injury and latter fell out from it, who'd be responsible. His reply, "Me".

Yeah, right buddy. He obviously had a different take on reality and liability.

He kept trying to get the ambulance cancelled to the point that I had to tell him if he didn't get out of my face he'd be sitting in the back seat of a patrol car with a pretty set of linked "bracelets".

The teenage driver had no other apparent injuries other than the knot on his head. Mom signed the necessary form declining further treatment or transportation to the hospital thus releasing the paramedics from any liability.

The driver was unable to find a current insurance card for his pickup, but brother-in-law said he was the family insurance agent and could vouch for the pickup being insured.

Needless to say, after completing my collision report later during my shift, I completed the required paperwork and cited the driver for unsafe speed for conditions and no evidence of insurance at the scene of a traffic collision.

Cruel? I don't give young drivers any breaks. My hope is that they learn a lesson and improve their driving habits. There may be some nay sayer's thinking that by citing young drivers the only people really affected are the parents who pay the insurance premium. Thankfully in the jurisdiction where I work, the Judge who presides in our traffic court will not allow them to pay their fine and orders them to pay the fine by doing community service.

And just in case some of you inquisitive persons out there are wondering, yes my "no break" attitude includes young drivers who's parents are police officers and firefighters. I'm not going to give some young impressionable mind that they have a sense of entitlement and a "freebie" getting out of a ticket because of what their parent does for a living.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Ever Wonder?

You ever wonder what some Officers think about when they just stare back at you through thier sunglasses when you're being a total asshole?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thanks Dad, and Happy Birthday!

What can I say about Dads,

They can be some of the most influential people in our lives. My Dad is the typical "old school" Dad, you know the type who supported the family working long hours. Dad always had something to impart upon me and believe it or not, a lot of it has stayed with me throughout the years.

My Dad is a 20+ year Navy Veteran. He enlisted near the end of the Korean War and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer at the end of the Vietnam War. I used to really enjoy the times he'd take me aboard whatever ship he was stationed on. I think it was those times that got me hooked and wanting to join the Navy as a youngster.

I tried the college thing for a while. It just didn't work. I did have a great grade point average considering my class schedule was something like this, English, jogging, architectural rendering, tennis, architectural graphics, swimming and racquetball. Pretty tough schedule huh.

Needless to say the class schedule didn't go over too well with Dad. Seeing that I was spinning my wheels I decided to follow in Dad's footsteps and enlisted in the US Navy. I worked my way up through the enlisted ranks and attained the rank of E-6 in 7 years.

I spent four and a half years of hell on a small gator freighter as an independent duty machinist. My son was born while I was stationed on that ship. Shortly after his birth I was deployed to the Western Pacific for 6 months. Seeing my infant son in his mother's arms as the ship pulled away from the pier was a heart breaker.

I decided then (with three years left in my second enlistment) that I was going to get out of the Navy and not watch my son grow up through pictures. It really wasn't a hard decision when the time came. Already half way to a retirement I weighed my decision and called my parents while they were on vacation. It was the hardest thing I've had to tell my Dad, especially since he was a "lifer".

Although my decision to get out of the Navy was not a popular one with Dad, he made no objection when I told him I wanted to get into Law Enforcement. I knew he was concerned about the inherent dangers of the profession but he never said anything to deter me.

My Dad always liked listening to some of the stories of calls for service handled and reached the same conclusions.... "some people really are that stupid aren't they."

The years went by, different assignments came and went. Then came the time when an announcement for 2 full time and 2 alternate motor officer positions became available for my department's anticipated motor unit. I had just been involved in a fender bender in one of our patrol cars and received the appropriate corrective counseling.

Thinking that I really didn't have a chance due to the recent faux pas in the patrol car, I wrote out a memo in crayon, writing in my left hand for one of the positions. By the time I had finished, it looked like a 1st grader had written it. Much to my surprise I was selected to be an alternate motor officer. I felt like I had just won the lottery. I've been wanting to be a motor cop since "Chips" was on t.v. Living up to the motor creed of R.A.L.B. (ridin' around looking bitchin'")

Well I just had to share this great news with Dad. I was surprised when Dad's response was pretty sour. He asked if I was crazy and why in the hell would I want to be a motor officer for. I told him it looked like a lot of fun.

Of course Dad pointed out that his friend, a retired motor sergeant from a local agency in the same county I work in told him it's the most dangerous day to day police job there is. I guess this Sergeant told my Dad about all of the horror stories about motor cops.

Dad never complained when I became a US Navy pilot rescue swimmer, never complained when I spent my last tour as a US Navy Shipboard Firefighting Instructor, never complained when I got into law enforcement.....

I had to point out to Dad that he was the one who bought me my first motorcycle at 8 years old and taught me how to ride it which caused my first brush with the law riding it on a public street (and getting caught by the pole-leece). Because of him I had this two-wheel bug in me. That kind of quieted him down (somewhat), but he still wasn't happy about my decision to attend a police motor academy.

I told him my gene for adventure had to come from somewhere.

So here I've been doing enforcement riding for 5 to 6 years now. I love what I do and consider myself to be the luckiest man in the world living my childhood dream. I know that there are very very few of us who can claim to be living the dream. Dad, I like to think that I'm a safe rider because of the early start you gave me on motorcycles.

So Dad, thank you for supporting my decisions even though I knew you felt at times that I was making the wrong ones. And as they say in the world of motor cops, I'll keep my head on a swivel, keeping the shiny side up and the rubber side down.

Happy Birthday Dad.

Monday, March 15, 2010


During the Christmas season I received a text message from a motor cop buddy of mine working several jurisdictions to the north of South City which read "Commence O.O.L.P."

Not knowing what the hell "O.O.L.P." meant, I sent a text back, "WTF?" (no explanation needed I hope). Next thing I hear is my phone ringing.

Not being in the "know", my buddy explained to me that every Christmas season they spend a lot of time checking the handicap parking stalls at their local shopping centers and malls to cite those drivers who are too lazy to walk and chose to park in a marked handicap stall meant for those who need them.

So I have since been educated and also spent time with the same thing in mind. Needless to say, I was able to write numerous citations for people parking in a handicapped parking spot without the required placard or license plate.

Oh yeah, "O.O.L.P.", Operation One Less Present...... HO! HO! HO!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Butt Cold + Puddles = ICE x OOPS = "photo op"

A few months ago we had a very cold spell out here on the west coast. I rode into the parking lot of the Police Department and noticed a puddle of water had frozen during the night chill. I told myself, "Watch out for that ice when you ride out of the parking lot."

So after the rest of the motor squad arrived, we decided to head out to our local coffee shop for our morning ritual before the morning salmon run of motorists.

Just like I told myself as I rode into the parking lot, I watched that frozen puddle. I watched it as it lined up with my front fender, as it passed beneath my front tire and then both tires were on the frozen puddle. Thankfully I was the last in line which prevented any others from "dropping" their motor.

Luckily I was riding at about 5 to 10 mph when the laws of physics came into play and a remedial lesson in gravity and the coefficient of friction came into play. My motor gently (if there's such a thing in laying down 700 lbs of steel and chrome) went down and slowly spun around 180 degrees before it came to a stop, and yes I was still in the saddle.

My buddies having the situational awareness of eagles, noticed the beam of my headlight striking the second floor windows of the neighboring building. My partners being the concerned friends they are, quickly turned around.

Of course they wouldn't think of making me upright my motorcycle by myself. They all quickly parked and dismounted their motors and saw that I was now standing next to my motor uninjured.

Now as if they had practiced precision drills at opening their saddle bags simultaneously, digital cameras were produced with blinding flashes going off for several seconds. Once the photo opportunity was completed, I was assisted with righting the motor.

Once all was in order, it was back to our usual morning ritual of coffee with some small talk to go with it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

All in the family

We have numerous duck ponds throughout South City. I guess that's one advantage of working in a larger city compared to a smaller one, meaning more cars on the road.

This one spot allows us to watch oncoming traffic as far away as 1,500 feet or more. When the cars don't appear to be speeding we'll watch them drive by and more times than not, end up seeing a driver on their cell phone or not wearing a seat belt.

Watching this one group of about 5 to 7 vehicles traveling toward my parked location, I noticed a small sedan drive by and saw that the right front passenger wasn't wearing their seat belt. Not wanting to miss a chance to "educate" the passenger, I quickly fire up the 103 cubic inch V-twin and quickly catch up to it.

I turned on the pretty flashing lights and notice the driver's seat belt is just hanging from the B-pillar instead of being worn. It's not too often that you catch two in one car.

After the car pulled over, I contacted the driver and obtained his driver license, vehicle registration and evidence of car insurance. After speaking with "Dad", I then contacted the adult daughter whom I initially spied not wearing her seat belt.

I got the usual story of them knowing a "friend" who was involved in a terrible vehicle collision and had they been wearing their seat belt they wouldn't be alive today.

My reply to that story I've heard so many times is, "Well I've never seen anybody killed in a vehicle collision where the cause of death was a direct result of wearing their seat belt."

Needless to say neither were happy about getting seat belt tickets, "Press hard 3 copies times two please."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I was riding from the south end South City by way of the freeway cruising at about 70 mph. It's amusing how people give you plenty of room as I can see all of the traffic behind which won't pass a motor cop on the freeway, especially since the typical traffic travels at around 75 mph or faster (hey remember this is California).

I know some drivers behind me are chomping at the bit and wondering when the hell am I going to take an exit off of the freeway so they can drive their usual 75+ mph. I figure there is always one in every group. I bump my speed up to 75 mph to see if there are any "takers" who want to keep up.

Initially the traffic became smaller in my rearview mirrors and then I feel a nibble..... Fish On! I see an SUV leaving the group of cars behind me. When I drive upon the white painted diamond (carpool lane) in the #1 lane or far left lane I begin to count (thinking about that All State Insurance commercial for the 3 second rule).

I get to the count of three when I see the SUV in my rearview mirror drive across the diamond. I repeat this for a couple of more diamonds and see that the SUV is keeping pace with me as I twist the throttle a little more and bump it up to 80 mph.

Sure enough, the SUV is keeping 3 seconds behind me. So I let off the throttle and move over to the lane to my right so the SUV can pass. I slowed down to 65 mph as the SUV matched my speed. After I slowed to 55 mph the SUV finally passes me. I pull behind it and turn on the pretty red and blue flashing lights.

After stopping the car I asked the driver if she knew why I stopped her. She was honest and replied "for speeding". She was honest enough to even admit that she was going 80 mph. I asked her if she knew she was following a police motorcycle. She said she thought so but wasn't sure.

Unlucky for her that I had taken off my jacket which has the word POLICE emblazoned on the back just before jumping on the freeway.

Because of her honesty I cited her for 75 mph in a posted 65 mph zone instead of the 80 mph she had been keeping pace with me.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I rode over to our local tow yard to inspect a vehicle involved in a crash I was investigating. I noticed numerous patrol cars from local agencies (including South City). I realized that the K9 officers were doing training.

I bumped into one of the K9 handlers, Semper Fi Mac. Now Mac and I had been beat partners many years ago on the graveyard shift. Our entire weekend graveyard shift were a bunch of clowns, always playing pranks on one another. Those were some really good, fun times.

I asked Mac if he had been staying out of trouble. The look on his face told me otherwise. He was telling me that weeks ago when we were experiencing some very very cold nights, actually freezing nights he was bored. Well Mac's idle mind had the great idea of watering down a couple of patrol cars.

He was at the station finishing up reports from the weekend and every fifteen minutes he'd walk out into the parking lot and hose down the two patrol cars. He was laughing as he was telling me this story that the ice had built up so much on the two patrol cars that the small gap where the roof and car door meet was totally filled in.

He told me you could run your hand over where the gap was and you wouldn't be able to feel anything discerning where the roof and car door met.

Yeah, he was sure proud of himself. I got to laughing so hard as he was telling me this story that I thought I might have broken a rib. He was very descriptive about the small icicles hanging from the patrol car's emergency light bar, spotlights and wheel wells.

Since water doesn't instantly freeze, the water on the ground eventually froze. When the dayshift officers arrived to begin their day, they noticed the ice on the parking lot.

Well the city public works people had to come out and put salt on the frozen part of the parking lot. It took one of the officer's 30 minutes to eventually get the door open which didn't include the time spent trying to get a key into a frozen car door lock.

Mac paid though, during the time it took the officers to get into their patrol cars and de-ice them, Mac was held over from his graveyard shift for any possible calls for service until all was well with the icelcars.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

We're not heartless

I was parked at one of my favorite duck ponds at an intersection along one of our busy boulevards. I usually work it in the afternoon because the drivers are heading toward the sun.

This helps light up the interior of the car which helps me see if a seat belt or cell phone violation is being committed, it also helps because the drivers have the sun right in their eyes..... I'm just using mother nature to my advantage.

I see this SUV go by, female driver talking away. I pull out from behind my duck blind and quickly catch up to the SUV and pull it over. I noticed the registration looked to be expired by the month and year tabs on the rear license plate. I walk up to the driver door and she's now off the cell phone. She tells me her window is broken and won't roll down.

I have her open her door and she tells me she knows she shouldn't have been talking on her cell phone. So I ask for the usual driver's license, registration and insurance. The driver quickly hands me her driver license and as probably 95% of the drivers I stop, now have to search through their glove box or center console which is just packed with papers and various items which spill out onto the floor board while they look for their insurance and registration.

While the driver was leaned over looking through the glove box I noticed a stack of bills with "PAST DUE" and "LAST NOTICE". I also see a telephone bill which is a "lifeline" account. The lifeline account is for people who meet a certain income requirement and get a reduce rate for their telephone service.

She finally finds the other paperwork and begins to say "I know you've probably heard every excuse in the world, but", and that's when I interrupted her and said "But you know your supposed to be using a hands free device." I told her what the actual cell phone violation costs after all of the fees and enhancements are added on.

So I figured that there are plenty of other ducks driving around committing some traffic violation I can pull them over for and greet. I used my discretion and let her go with a warning.

Don't think we're heartless. I understand you don't like getting tickets and if I can cut you a break on something like a recently expired insurance card or not having your current registration paper with your car, I will.

So remember the old saying about "If you get stopped by a motor cop you're for sure gonna get a ticket" isn't always true.

By the way, I've got my appointment to see the Wizard of Oz where I will finally get a heart.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A weighty decision

I was in traffic court the other day. Something usually good and humorous happens. Today was no exception. I see an old police academy buddy of mine who I haven't seen in a few years. He's there for a "client" who decided to fight the ticket for a stop sign.

His traffic case is called. I listen to his testimony and then listen to his defendant cross examine (questioning) him. She has some good questions about the incident which require my buddy to go a little more into detail about the traffic offense.

She ends her questions for my compadre and tells the Judge, "Your Honor, I'm 5' 4" tall and I weigh 110 lbs. The officer wrote down that I weigh 185 pounds. I am not 185 lbs!" The Defendant appeared to be more miffed by the faux paux my buddy made by making her physical description synonymous with "short and round". By the looks of her, she looked to be about 110 lbs.

The Judge asked her what her driver license said. The defendant removed it from her wallet and said "110 lbs Your Honor." The Officer replied, "It could be a new license which had been re-issued." The Judge motioned for the Defendant to hand over her driver license to the Officer. The Judge asked him, "What does her weight say and the license date of issue?" My old academy buddy answered, "110 lbs. and an issue date of 'umpty squat 2008.'"

My buddy handed the Defendant her driver license back. The Judge's ruling....... "I find you not guilty in this matter, count one is dismissed, thank you."

This will probably be the only time in the Defendant's life where being mistakenly described as a blond oompa loompa worked in her favor.