“What should I fix for dinner? Why is that woman yapping on her cell phone in the #1 lane? Can I get to the dry cleaners before it closes, and why doesn’t anyone wipe off the equipment when they are finished?” all pin balling through your brain at the same time, a frenetic free for all. No wonder I didn’t spot that cop surreptitiously positioning himself at my six, then the Christmas tree lights go on ,”Oh, Crap!!”.

Is there a more stressful time for most folks? Maybe an IRS audit notice in the mail, but other than that, this really sucks.

From time to time I look at YouTube videos of shitshow attorneys and so-called experts advising you on what to do when this happens. Sadly many that I have seen will get you a nice police car ride, with hands cuffed behind you, to your local magistrate with your car getting towed to car jail. Big on civil rights but lacking in common sense, the essential element to conflicts with the police is usually missing. But no worries, with this handy-dandy self-help guide, in just a few minutes you too can avoid an intimate relationship with your local bail bondsman and get home before the wife with plenty of time to update your Ashley Madison profile.

Before class begins, some housekeeping; as with most power dynamics, one party is always at a disadvantage, and that party is you. The very nature of the traffic stop puts you behind the eight ball. What you say or do within the next few moments decide whether you get to leave or not. Your demeanor will also go a long way in determining whether you get ticketed or not, so really, you have more power than you thought.

Another factor; chances are you got pulled over by a relatively new officer. They are the ones that incorrectly think that ticket quotas somehow translates into proficiency or year-end glowing eval’s.  Still new at this, his people skills may not be the best. Lacking in experience as a basis for evaluating general behavior, he may see that furtive nervous gesture you always make as a threat. You don’t want that. His testosterone levels are also peaked out, so any challenges, real or imagined will also complicate things.

You also have no idea what training  he has had. Each state mandates a certain level of proficiency in training but each is different, so getting pulled over  by the L.A.P.D. may not garner the same result or experience as  an officer from  Swampville, Alabama.

And that post that I wrote a few weeks backs about the military dropping standards? That goes double for police departments. Long gone are the days where ex-military, those possessing discipline, maturity, life experiences, and good judgement, populated most agencies. Boys are now hired, instead of men. Sure, he can pass the physical performance standards and the psyche eval, but is he stress-tested or able to defuse situations with a calm measured presence? We will find out.

And don’t think for a minute that he was properly vetted and trained. If he/she is part of a protected group, he/she will get preferential treatment, up to and including passing them through despite not achieving basic proficiency.  The California Labor Commissioner’s Office determines quotas within the state hiring process. If they need more women or more minorities, they will be hired accordingly. And they will make it through the police academy, period. The individual departments do have some latitude within the break in period.  During my last 3 years in L.A. I ran the field training program in my office.  Our probationary period was longer than most. The standard attitude with trainees is this; the state has a lot of money invested in this guy so give him a fair shot, but if problems arise that  could not be corrected during break in, he washes out. With protected classes, an extra layer of paper work was involved so I always got those cases.  But better to jump through a few hoops now then wait for the inevitable lawsuit to follow when substandard officers hit the streets.

So here is the video that we will work with, it’s pretty good;

Nothing I need to correct but a few clarifications. During car stops never give consent for the officer to search your car or your belongings inside the car, it is a fishing expedition and nothing good (for you) can come of it. Also, roll the window all the way down. Pissing off the officer because he has to shout through the crack and pass documents through a tiny slit because you don’t want to roll the window down will only result in him definitely ticketing you and maybe doing a walk around inspection of your car for other violations.

If you are being questioned on the streets by a cop and it has to do with a prior crime that you witnessed, help him out, you are doing your civic duty as a good citizen. If the query starts to focus on you, it’s time to button it up. You will know this when it happens.

If you are at a protest or demonstration and the police tell you to move, do it. They will give you the reason, like you are blocking the street or the sidewalk. Most organized demonstrations are limited to certain areas, it is more for the protester’s safety. But when it spills out into the street or freeway, now we got problems.

If mistreated you don’t need a lawyer to file a complaint. Even if something looks fishy, call the desk sergeant and ask him if this is standard procedure. For the bad apples out there, the citizen complaint is usually the first step in recognizing the impropriety. Complaints will get management to focus on this guy. Nowadays with body-cams all contacts are videotaped anyway but if something happens that  makes you uneasy, don’t assume that his body-cam is turned on or that he will not erase it later. If you want to audio tape your contact, no by-the-book good cop will ever object.

A good unique story is always helpful. Offering money or flashing your boobs is never a good idea–OK maybe the second one is alright–but showing genuine contrition and a having good attitude is the quickest way to getting off with a warning.

5 comments

  1. I do enjoy watching the idiots on shows like Cops or Live PD because it reminds me of why I don’t do drugs. My brother is a state trooper & I am sure he could tell you some stories (like the time he got a call over a decapitated body (the head had been chewed on by animals) in a trailer park. You know, little stuff like that.

    But as to the subject at hand, for stress relief?
    https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/5-metal-classics-evoke-coming-midterms/

  2. I recently had a encounter with the police…

    2 weeks ago i gave a buddy at work a ride home, dropped him off at his place and proceed back through town, Quincy Ill,.population 40,000.. or so. so il rolling up 12 street about to hit Broadway. when the car in front of me comes to a crashing halt, when i say halt i mean she plowed into the car in front of her and caused that car to collide with the car in front of them. well i locked my breaks up hard and fast as i could…sssllllliiiiddddddd to a stop just a cunthair off her read bumper…. i didnt feel a impact, but i pulled off to the side and got out, well he car was totaled , but she was frantically pushing aside her airbag so she coudl text onher phone……. so i checked the fron of my truck to see if i had any damage, i was worried that these big ass aftermarket floodlights on my bumper were smashed, but there wasnt any damage.
    So.
    She wasn thurt there was a guy attending her,. i had no damage, and the lead 2 cars drivers came and talked to me asked if i was ok, i told them so and they seemed ok., the gal inthe car was on her phone and so was the guy helping her. i decided that since i was ok no damage and help was on the way id head off since i wast involved….
    heh i got 3 blocks before the city police rolled up and did a police turn in the middle of the street rolled up on my ass with the cherries going.
    I pull off on the side street and mr, cocky mc cop strolls up. Were you jsut at the sceanof a accident, because we got a call that a black truck hit and ran up the street here…………………. WHAT?.
    Well i explain what happened,mand the nice officer asked me severl time wether i did or did not hiit this gals car. i explain i did not i even got out of my truck to check for damage, which prompts him to ask again why i got out and looked for damage if i didnt hit her, to which i repley that with my luck i looked any way, see i have these fog lights that sticks way out., He checks it… that when is backup arrives..which they both then began to question me again, hey look at my lights if i rear ended her there would have been damage? right?
    .Neither one had beento the scene of the wreck yet. boitha gree that it seem like i did not rear ende anyone, so they let me go, get my number and finally see me off… about 10 minutes later the Mr, notso cockycop, calls me.
    Uh Sir the woman clams that you rear ended her, but we see no damage to her rear end. so no worries we will take it from here.,. just letting you know.,
    so over all it went well,. but i was nice as hell through the whole thing even when mr.cockymccop kept asking if i hit her and why would i check for damage if i didnt hit her several times.,. it was kinda frustrating… but over allit went well… 2 days later in town, another rearend crash right in front of me… … thankfully i wasn’t that close and it didn’t involve me at all, but it did inviole some half naked guy protesting on the sidewalk, in 30 degree weather. …..apparently the old couple in the first car freaked at the site of him or something.,..

  3. WVR, my wife LOVES Live PD, she watched the hell out of that. I kinda enjoy it, and we keep a close eye on it when its in a Pinal County, we have a long time friend that we just know is the type to end up on there for a DWI charge………………

    I want a undercover cop show, one where the cops dont know they are on camera.and not so polite and respectful…….

  4. Grendel, I’m going to give the cops the benefit of the doubt and assume that they had personnel already at the scene before chasing after a potential hit and runner. One thing you might want to think about if this happens again, spending a minute and giving one of the drivers your info., name and phone number, as a witness for the cops prior to leaving. This would be helpful for their accident report and it would dispel any notion that you were trying to flee the scene.

  5. i did speak with one of the other drivers. Even mentioned that i wasn’t involved., but you are correct i should have waited…i jsut dont have much patience of empathy for those that cause wrecks.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: