A few years back I wrote a column entitled A few simple rules to live by. It contained some common sense rules devised by a California Assistant District Attorney called “How not to get shot by Police.”
A retired VPD member, Mike Windle, sent me another common sense list put together by an American street cop. It was too good not to share.
Your 5 year old kid getting pushed down by another 5 year old kid is NOT a police matter; talk to the other kid's parents, not the police.
If your kid won't do his homework or do his chores, 911 is not the answer.
If a cop causes a car accident we usually get a ticket, and sometimes we get suspended. When is the last time you got 3 days off (without pay) for rear-ending a guy at Wal-Mart?
We know you've had more than two beers. When I've had two beers, I didn't hit six parked cars, drive my car through the front doors of a Toys-R-Us, pee my pants or pass out at a traffic light.
When you see an emergency vehicle behind you with its lights and sirens on, pull to the RIGHT, and stop. We are usually required to pass cars on the left.
When you're driving in the fast lane and you see a cop behind you, don't go 5 MPH under the speed limit. We are not impressed by how safe of a driver you can be, we're trying to go help someone (or catch that guy in the SUV that just cut you off). Safely move over and let us pass please.
If you get a warning instead of a ticket from a motorcycle cop, go buy a lottery ticket, because you've already beaten the odds.
When you see an officer conducting a traffic stop, or with a suspect in handcuffs, it is generally not a good idea to approach him and ask for directions. If you do, don't expect the officer to be nice when he tells you to get lost, and don't expect the officer to take the time to explain.
Here's how to get out of a ticket. Don't break the law.
If you drive a piece of crap, that is why you're getting pulled over.
In one week I pulled over 10 cars for minor traffic violations. 5 out of 10 had no vehicle insurance. 3 out of 10 had suspended driver's licenses. 2 out of 10 had warrants. 1 out of 10 had felony warrants. 1 was a known sex offender with his 12 year old niece in the car without her mothers knowledge.
If you've just been pulled over doing 70 in a 35, do not greet the officer with, "What seems to be the problem, officer?"
We get coffee breaks too.
When you're the victim of a burglary, take the time you spend waiting for the officer to find the model number and the serial number of the stuff that was taken.
Some cops are just jerks, but take heart in the fact that other cops don't like them either.
If it's nighttime and you're driving a vehicle with tinted windows and I pull you over, it's not because of your skin color. I usually can't tell if the vehicle even has a driver until the windows rolled down.
Every time you hear on the news about people running away from a crazed gunman, someone's son or daughter in a police uniform is running TOWARD that crazed gunman.
Yes, it's true, cops usually don't give other cops tickets. Think of it as an employee discount, perk or benefit. Other cops are family and you wouldn't give your brother a ticket if you were a cop either.
If your local police agency has a helicopter, everyone knows it's loud and annoying, but did you know it can cover the same area as 20 patrol officers and safely chase criminals that are driving 90 MPH through city streets. Many times the guy has no idea it's there and slows down.
Police work is.... writing reports.
If you rob a gas station you're only going to get about $100, but I get to see a K9 dog use your arm as a chew toy. For all I care you can keep the $100.
In one year of patrol work in a large city, only about ten minutes would be cool enough to be on the television show Cops.
Every traffic stop could end in gunfire, but we have to be polite and professional until that time.
I've taken about the same amount of men and women to jail for domestic violence, so NO, it's not always the man.
People love fire fighters.
If the light was yellow, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Cops know you pay taxes and that your taxes pay cops' salaries. Cops also pay taxes, which also pay cops' salaries so, hey, this traffic stop is on me. Now sign here; press hard. There are four copies.
Police Officers...our job is to protect your butt, not kiss it.