I write this trying to understand in this day and age why other Police Officers do not extend Professional Courtesy for motor vehicle infractions.
Now being from the Northeast, (New Jersey) it is a rarity that we hear of one BROTHER officer writing a summons to another. It was a recent topic with some of my friends that it is a big issue once you hit the Virginia state line and into the Southeastern I-95 corridor states..... I have NEVER written another Police officer a summons.....He/she may just be the person that is my BACK -UP on a stop or arrest gone bad some day. And this topic includes retired officers, I gave them more respect when I met them because they "survived" this job and got out....
To be clear, I am not speaking about DWI, Reckless Driving, or criminal offenses. Every profession extends professional courtesies, lawyers, doctors, etc. This is not a we are better than the general public, as we all make driving mistakes, and I have given many a private citizen a warning, break, whatever it's called where you are.
So my question is what makes one Cop write another Cop a summons??? (Barring a bad attitude situation?)
I was stopped in North Carolina by a Barney Fife look alike State Trooper.
First he set me up by tailgating a old junker in his dodge super hot unmarked hot rod. This was on an isolated section of route 64 in an area of nothing but swamp. After following him for a while I put the pedal to the metal and got around him fast. He immeadiately hopped on my bumper, pulled me over and when I offered him retired ID with my license he scoffed, I don't need that.
Not only did he write me, but claimed I was over 15 miles per hour over speed limit (55) and I would have to personally answer summons in court or have an attorney appear for me.. (bit tough as I live in CT.)
Result was a speeding ticket that cost me roughly 500 dollars. First I am a trained radar operator and know he could not have tracked me at 76 mph while passing him, second I witnessed him tailgate two cars which is a 5 pointer each in NC.
Last I was wrong but at least I ain't no SCUMBAG.
As a cop I have driven drunk cops and drunk priest home to avoid arresting them. Its not just about enforcing the law its also about common sense and a little compassion.
I would have to agree, there are too many cops out there that don't care what kind of badge you're carrying. I have been pulled over many times (cursed with a lead foot) and I always respond that it is their stop and I don't try to influence their decision. But when I am carrying I always say that first so they know there is a firearm in the car (which is most of the time, esp. with my wife being LEO also), so I can't help but show them my badge so they know who they're dealing with and they can lower their alert level a notch if needed.
I am a LEO in Virginia, and I've been pulled by many troopers and a couple of small county deputies. I don't think it is the southern mentality that makes them feel the need to write a ticket to a fellow officer, I think it probably goes to what their dept. policy is, and also what their personal policy is, like do they have an "open door" policy (If I have to open my door, you're getting a ticket), or do they just want the stat, no matter who they have to piss off. I was pulled by a trooper one night and as he was walking up and saw my badge sitting on my lap he quickly did an about face and said have a good night. Another trooper felt the need to have me step out of the car so he could lecture me on speeding! Really??
A small town deputy stopped me one time for speeding on my way to visit relatives. I told him it had been a long night and I was just trying to get there. He couldn't have been more respectful, and suggested I stop at a convenience store up the road and take a breather. He even followed me up there and we shot the bull for a few minutes until I was ready to go. The coffees were on me of course.
I will say this about the northern states. My wife and a couple of her friends were on the NJ turnpike coming home from a shopping trip in NYC a couple years ago. Her friend (also LEO) was speeding, she showed her badge and the trooper proceeded to rip her a new one because she should have known better, and he gave her a warning ticket (?) And I have heard stories from other officers travelling north that received the same treatment. So I don't think it's a territorial thing, and I am in no way defending Va or the other southern states, but I think it just comes down to what kind of officer are you getting, what kind of attitude he/she has, if he's having a good day, etc. We've all been there and we understand that there are many factors that come into play as to how we respond during a traffic stop.
One more thing about pulling over LEO's. If they have no badge or creds, always verify through other means, like a phone call! I pulled a guy who claimed to be on a neighboring dept but had no badge/ID with him. A phone call verified he had been fired about a year ago and was routinely using that excuse when he got pulled over. He got a ticket but for some reason didn't meet the code for impersonating a police officer, which kinda ticked me off.
Anyway, be safe everyone, and dont' be scared of driving through Virginia this summer!
You're 100% right about the specific officer....and it also depends on a million other aspects,(having a bad day, speed, etc.) ...The warning she got, is a "superficial" item which gives all NJ Troopers the discretion that may be needed at times....and since every STOP by a Jersey Trooper is video/voice/recorded, a lot of personnel will use the warning to show motor vehicle activity, because stop statistics are a VERY involved scenario up here.(DOJ Racial profiling accountability lawsuit)
I can tell you from experience, I do believe it's a North/South thing, which I know I've been hearing the stories for all of my 27 years, and in the beginning of my career by guys that had 25 years on then, so that's a pretty long time. We do have our "idiots' too that write everyone, and I will NEVER agree with that, ever, period, end of story. Nor would I want to work along side some one who has that mentality, because they will get you hurt or killed, because they are a ROBOT, and you can not be a ROBOT in this job.....
and yes Stay safe, this has been an absolutely horrible year so far...
Like many, I have never written a brother or sister, never will. Not their wives or their chil'ren (though they may get a call on this one).
The problem I think is that we're not teaching the Brotherhood anymore, not in the academy, not with the FTOs. Not sure why, but I'm guessing it's about being PC and not wanting to piss off the public.
Again, like someone else has already said, we're not the only profession that engages in professional courtesy, wer'e just the one that catches all the grief for it. What many seem to forget is that we have the option of writing or not writing, arresting or not arresting (except in some places for DV - a whole 'nother discussion) anyone. I generally don't write beautiful women, I've got a buddy that wouldn't write ugly women. To not write a brother or sister is a courtesy, as it should be.
We've got to get back to the Brotherhood. If we lose it . . .
Man "O" Man are you right. Being stopped by a brother/sister to me is embrassing enough, but to have them write you a citation BS. OK now, I haven't been stopped in over 25+years, but whenever I stopped another member or one of thier family members>No way they received a ticket! If it was a family member who had a bad attitude boy I sure gave them an earful, but not a ticket [and I always called the brother LEO to advise them, so they could handle it]. I even drove home another LEO who was feeling a little too good, could have made an arrest-but no! Yes we talked about it the next day and he realized I saved his career, I never saw him even look at a beer after that and we became good friends. I think the attitude of some of the newbees is 1] every man for himself 2] quickest way up the ladder 3]
or fear that big brother is watching you. I even heard some instructors in the academy proudly brag to newbees on how nobody gets away from them, no matter who you are, LEO or ?? Remember thats why they work in the academy, no one will work with them. Last word>brothers & sisters, if we don't respect/help each other out then we have nothing, not even our brotherhood of family.
Be safe and healthy
John, I don't know where you live? but your sheriff is in desperate need of some professional help[mentally].
Before I retired, when any LEO phoned in for help, retired, visiting or on the job-we responded as if it was our brother [on duty] calling for backup.
NEVER treated like the way you described. Maybe next term you should back a good person running for sheriff, get the AH out. Good luck, GOD bless.
I agree, I respond the same way, whether they are off duty, in town visiting, on vacation, etc. I work in a resort area so we get a ton of cops down here in the summer time and come across them in various aspects. Mostly with their families while on vacation, and the occasional group of young officers stirring up trouble.
I don't know if anyone has ever attended Police Week in DC each May, but I don't know how the DC Metro PD does it, having to put up with so many cops roving the city for a week, many of them very much intoxicated (of which I have been guilty of myself). My hats off to those guys/gals, they must come across professional courtesy situations every hour!
In my 14+ years I stopped officers from local jurisdictions as well as other states and have not issued any of them a citation. And if it is a spouse or other immediate family member I usually extend the same courtesy. Of course if it is their kids I may give the parents a heads-up on the kids driving habits.
Unfortunately, we have some local troopers who have made a habit of stopping and issuing citations to the PD and SO spouses, even though they are stationed in the same county with the other agencies.