Gaining Temperence on Cops

I think that the police community in America is sick. By that, I don’t mean depraved, I mean ill. There are strains of very, very bad things running through police forces all over the country, and the police seem damned intent on not doing anything about it. This infection is spreading when it needs to be excised. That is where I am coming from. On the other hand, I have been going through the forums on the QQ Cops site, and I think that I have to expand on my opinion in the name of honesty.

The forums over there are a lot different than the front page. Different enough that I have to wonder if the whole thing has turned into one big troll. I want to make it clear that I am a huge fan of discretion. I want to see the police using it. I want to see the prosecutors using it. One of the posters on the forum summed it up perfectly.

Again I have stated that as long as I have “DISGRETION” on my traffic stops I will not write a fellow officer a citation for an offense I would give John Q citzen a break on and I have given more than my share of breaks to regular citizens and will continue to do so.
If you a a criminal (A REAL BAD GUY) I will hammer that indiviual with all the traffic offenses I can, and on the same note if you are police officer and you commit a traffic violation that causes a accident with personal injuries or are DUI involved in a accident, there is no courtesy, you have to take your lumps just like John Q citizen because in those cituation I DO NOT GIVE COURTESY to anyone.

That, ladies and gentlemen, I have no problem with whatsoever. I’ve been let go from traffic stops. Hell, I’ve even had a cop let me go with a warrant for an uppaid ticket in another jurisdiction let me go, because he knew I wasn’t a Bad Guy. Most cops can be assumed to not be a Bad Guy on their face.

My problem with the site is the sense of entitlement and separation from the People. No one QQing on the front page is saying, “he should have let me go because I would have let most people go in that situation.” They are saying, “he should have let me go because I am better than most people.” This is no different than when a politician or a celebrity cries about getting a ticket. You were cited. If it isn’t a big deal, then pay it. If it is a big deal, then pay it.

I think another part of it may be big city patrol car vs. little berg cops. (Motorcycle cops exist for no purpose other than writing tickets. They aren’t cops, they are tax collectors.) I don’t get tickets in Dallas. I don’t know anyone who does get tickets in Dallas other than for running red lights (a real safety issue.) I know people who got popped for road rage in Dallas. In Dallas, traffic stops are ancillary to real keeping of the peace.

I don’t think it is like that in the little bergs. They don’t have much keeping of the peace to do. That means they either end up with a little tiny department, or they find other ways to justify expansion. Like generating revenue. The people on the forum who are making reasonable arguments (like Dep214, chicagocop, roadranger) seem to be from large city departments. The traffic shenanigans happen in little county and suburb departments, where the major and the chief are friends, and there is pressure to write citations.

I don’t have a knee jerk reaction that “anytime a cop is stopped and doesn’t get a ticket, something crooked is going on.” I do have the reaction, “any cop who think that he is immune to traffic laws is crooked.” And I will expand that to, “any cop who thinks that he, his wife, his kids, his parents, and his aunts and uncles are immune to traffic laws is a thug who should be removed from power.”

Threads like this are what have me on the fence. On one hand, we have exactly the wrong attitude expressed here (and not just the poster, the entire situation):

Unlike many other areas of the Country, NYC and the areas that surround NYC have the highest level of Professional Courtesy. Our local justice systems allow plea bargains. Anyone who receives a summons for a traffic violation and enters a plea of not guilty and goes to court, usually ends up with a reduced fine and no points on their drivers license. Once in a while a cop will actually issue a summons to the friend or family of a cop or other public safety worker and when it goes to court, it gets reduced or often time dismissed. PC is taken pretty seriously around here. If PC is not extended for one reason or another, the Presidents of the PBAs/Unions will step in and get involved and the outcome is positive 99% of the time.

That, to me looks like organized crime and racketeering. On the other hand, responses like this (from a Dallas cop, no less) keep a spark of hope alive:

you are the type person that abuses that professional curtesy.i would not hesitate to write you since you seem to speed for no good reason.they let you go and you just speed again.the curtesy only is given to a lost that privilige for being a habitual speeder

That is proper discretion.

One Comment

  1. Firehand says:

    It’s not just the “I should not get tickets” that bothers me, and that’s fairly minor. It’s the “I can use the force/database/anything I want anyWAY I want. And nobody can stop me.” that really troubles me.

    There are criminal history databases that are ONLY supposed to be used in an actual criminal investigation or after an arrest: they use them on traffic stops to try to find something so they can claim cause to demand to search. Garbage like that. It’s illegal, but most agencies seem to either blink at it, or ignore it entirely. And the cops doing it don’t care that it’s illegal. It’s “I’m a cop, and if I think I need to run it I can.”

    Part of the same attitude difficulty.