Wow, I’m a posting machine here lately, aren’t I?
Sorry about that.
Anywho, an indeterminate number of days ago, I offered to answer y’all’s (is that the correct usage, Molly?) police officer related questions, since many of you show mild interest in such things from time to time.
I got quite a few questions, including about 50 from Julie over at Bugbytes. I’m guessing she typed them on her phone in between sets of squat thrusts or whatever it is skinny, strong people do to get that way.
The first 22 are from her.
I’m not even kidding.
Let’s do this.
1. But really – do you feel bad for crying, teenage girls? Do you let them out of tickets? I’ve gotten out of two for crying.
D: The only time I can recall a young lady crying, I wrote her a ticket. She cried, yes, and I may have leaned towards letting her go, but then she asked me, “Don’t you have something better to do than write tickets?” Yeah, don’t ask that unless you want that ticket for sure.
2. What’s your favorite doughnut?
D: Glazed. Glazed dipped in chocolate like at Krispy Kreme is really good, but glazed is my favorite and how I judge a doughnut establishment. Donut Drive-In in South St. Louis is my current favorite place, but that changes monthly. I don’t eat them in uniform when I’m in public, for reasons I assume are obvious.
3. What is the standard over-the-speed-limit-your-ass-is-getting-a-ticket? 11 mph? 12 mph?
D: Um, so this may shock you, but in 15 years, I’ve written one speeding ticket. I’ll never forget it either. The guy was probably doing 105 miles an hour in a white Nissan something or other. Do they make a Z something sports car? Anyway, he was flying and had he not pulled over, we’d have never caught him, but he pulled over because I guess he knew he was busted. We wrote him a ticket because I was with my training officer, so this must have been in 1999 sometime. So short answer is I don’t have a set limit.
4. Do you feel awkward frisking people? I would laugh.
D: I absolutely hate it for many reasons, not the least of which is the worry that I’ll miss something and somebody will get hurt. Also, many arrestees are filthy too, so there’s that.
5. Have you ever shot someone?
6. I heard a rumor that cops get a full physical before becoming a cop. This includes a finger up the ass. True or False?
D: I did not get a physical that I can recall, but there was a physical abilities test and a psych evaluation for sure. I did get a physical to become the relief train driver at Grant’s Farm by the then St. Louis Cardinals team doctor, Dr. Andrews I think. Google all that to make sense of it.
7. Have you ever escorted a woman in labor to the hospital?
D: No, and I’d never escort a civilian anywhere with them driving their own car. I did take part in delivery in an apartment once, but that’s for another post. Suffice to say there was lots of crying and screaming and near vomiting, and that was mostly from me. I was 25 and didn’t have kids yet. Funny story too, I met that baby just this year at the chicken palace. He’s a nice young man.
8. Why did you want to become a cop?
D: My dad was a cop in St. Louis for a while in the 70’s and always talked about it. Many of his friends were cops and I always heard the great stories. Like a lot of boys whose dad is in a certain job, I always knew I wanted to try it, but never intended for it to be my career. 15 years later, I’m still trying it. Oh, and I like to help people and shit too.
9. Do you threaten jail to your fighting children?
D: Never have. They’re really only marginally interested in the fact that I’m a cop at this point, and that’s cool with me. As an aside, I hate when people threaten that to their kids when they see me in public. FUCKING HATE IT.
10. Scott wants to know if you have a ticket quota?
D: See above, I obviously do not. With all the computer usage nowadays though, you sort of have to be able to show that you’ve been doing something though. There are other things to be done outside of ticket writing. Remember too that I’m in a large urban area, so the job I do is different than a small town deputy or a state trooper.
11. Best excuse/funniest excuse you’ve heard to get out of a speeding ticket?
D: I’d really have to think about this because there are so many excuses or other sides to a story. I have a loved one in the hospital seems pretty popular. I arrested a guy for stealing a car the other day and he insisted that “The bitch traded me her car for crack because she didn’t have no damn money!” Poor guy was probably telling the truth too.
12. Do you do stand up on the scanners for the people listening at home? They probably frown on that, huh?
D: I’m pretty crabby on the radio, honestly. I was funnier a long time ago though, yes. Not stand up funny, but entertaining for the dispatchers anyway. We’re mostly professional on the air, I swear it.
13. You do know that everyone taps on their breaks and stares at you in their rearview mirror while driving on highway, right?
D: Yes. I still get nervous when a cop car is behind me too, even when I’m in my own jurisdiction and doing absolutely nothing wrong.
14. Give us a wave when you pass us.
D: Will do. I always try to smile too.
15. Do you chit chat with the arrested people in the back or are you silent?
D: That’s absolutely up to the person in the back seat. I do offer turn on the radio, if they want. My preference is really to not talk, but you’d be surprised how talkative people are on their way to jail.
16. Would you ever do an episode of Cops?
D: We have cameras in the car most of the time now, and I’m not a fan, so probably not. Taken out of context, a lot of what I say probably doesn’t look too good, you know, profanity and stuff.
17. Have you ever pulled over on the side of the road and taken a nap instead of clocking people? I think I would.
D: I’ve never taken the class or training to use the radar gun, so I’ve never even touched one. My car doesn’t have one in it either. I’ve been pretty close to falling asleep in the car, yes. We get tired like anyone else, but it’s too dangerous to do that where I work and really anywhere nowadays. If you aren’t exposing yourself to getting shot, you’ll get put on social media. I’m not sure which is worse.
18. Is it true that red cars are more prone to getting pulled over?
D: I have no idea if that’s the case or not. Do you drive a red car, Julie? And wear a lot of red hats and shirts and stuff?
19. Worst (best?) thing someone has called you after giving them a ticket?
D: Honkey Ass Cracka was pretty good. I’m actually told I’m not like most cops a LOT. I think it’s a compliment, or meant to be so.
20. Saddest thing you’ve ever seen while on the job?
D: It’s hard to call any one thing sadder than another. Whenever a person dies needlessly, it’s sad, especially when it’s a kid. Any sort of mistreatment or situation where I see a kid has no chance for a decent future is sad to me. This is especially true since I’ve had my own kids.
21. Funniest thing you’ve ever seen while on the job?
D: Fat, naked guy running around at Mardi Gras one time was pretty funny. He had this whole Frank the Tank thing going on because I think he thought there were others with him, but no, there were not.
22. Who’s the faster driver? A mom in a sedan or a dad in a truck? THINK WISELY, HERE.
D: I think the world of ya, Jules, but women are worse. The WORST! But they look better doing it.
Beth stopped by, yay! She wants to know the following:
1. What’s the strangest/worst DOA you’ve ever encountered?
D: I’ll exclude all floaters plucked out of the Mississippi River, because they’re in a category of their own. When I was a younger cop, I was the leanest first responder on a call to check on the well being of a person. The door was locked so the fire department removed a window air conditioning unit and beefy firemen tossed my skinny ass (it was a long time ago, okay?) into the house. Long story short, the woman we were looking for was on her hands and knees in the middle of her living room, dead, stiff as a board. One arm was up, reaching towards some pills that were on a television set nearby. I swear it. It was creepy. For real though, nobody dies with respect. It’s almost always a stinky mess.
2. What’s the most outlandish thing someone has tried to get out of a ticket?
D: I get a lot of do you know who I ams and that sort of thing, but nobody has really ever done anything outlandish. One woman told me that she was a stripper, which wasn’t an answer to anything I asked her. It was late at night and she was apparently coming home from work. She passed the jumping and bending and cartwheel DUI test with flying colors, so no ticket. (KIDDING!!?). It’d be nice to have a Tommy Boy type story where the occupant ran around their car yelling “BEES BEES, THEY’RE EVERYWHERE!!!” Lol.
From my pal Paul the Trucker:
What was the funniest encounter you ever had as a cop?
D: Hmmm, there are so many encounters over the years that it’s hard to pick one that’s the funniest. I’m a fan of anybody falling down, so once, a guy put his fists up like he wanted to box me. He’d just been in a fight in a bar and was hammered drunk. This was before we had Tasers, or I’d have probably hit him with that right then and there, but instead, he threw a swing at me (never close to making contact) and fell face first onto the concrete. He roughed up his face pretty good and then peed in his pants before yelling, “I’m not drunk! I’m drunk, but I’m not driving home!!” No sir, you won’t be driving home for sure. Lol. Maybe you had to be there. This was also funny too.
Mark asks, “Have you ever had a ridiculous handcuff incident, Don? On the job, on the job?”
D: Duh, on the job, Mark. I’m married so the other is silly fantasy stuff! I don’t really have one that comes to mind, but once, my partner cuffed some fat guy and he took off running, hands in cuffs. My partner, who is not fleet of foot, chased him and the sight of the fat guy and my lead footed pal running was pretty funny. He did catch up with the guy though and all ended fine.
My question is: how many times a day do you have to stop yourself from saying, “you can’t really be that fucking stupid!”?
D: Uh, lots!! I also have to stop myself from asking if people really think that I’m that stupid too.
Red Dog – No sir, I’ve never pushed anyone down the stairs, swear it!
From my new friend Jen:
1. Best story about someone who got out of speeding ticket..
D: See above, I don’t really write speeding tickets. Boring, sorry.
2. Naked people. (That’s not a question, more of a general topic. Because cops plus naked people would have to make a good story…)
D: It’s not really a question, but the answer seems to always be PCP. It’s crazy.
Ugh, here’s notorious cop hater Girl Ryan – I’m making a list of questions for you- i have many.
For starters, why do cops always have to be so rude when they first pull you over?
D: I’m very pleasant to almost everyone, thank you.
How do you get out of a speeding ticket?
D: Don’t speed.
What happens if you are pulled over for a DUI?
D: Um, generally, if you’re drunk, you get in trouble?
Is it illegal to pee outside even if you have to pee really bad and cant hold it?
D: You live in New Jersey, right? My understanding is that people piss, shit and throw trash wherever they please, no? As for my part of the country, yes, it’s illegal to pee on the street. Don’t drink so much booze though and you won’t have that problem.
From perhaps my first ever follower, Canadian!!
D: Haha, my sexy one! That’s rich. I touch it (the non sexy one) occasionally just because it’s on my hip there. I pull it out a handful of times a month though, I’d guess. Certainly whenever I’m checking out a house or building for burglars and such. Sometimes zero times sometimes several. Just depends on the time of the month and the phase of the moon.
The amazing DJMATTICUS!!
If police are there for our safety, then why do they hide on the side of the road to “catch” us speeding? And, along those lines, do you have any input on the “law enforcement” verse “peace officer” debate?
D: I don’t really do the whole speeding thing, so I’m not much help with that one, Buddy. We have a unit devoted exclusively to traffic and they do most of that stuff. It’s not really my bag. People drive like mad-men on some of the streets where I patrol though, so I’ll eat my lunch in a spot where people can see me and slow them down a bit, but I have no intention of writing a ticket, normally. The highway is one thing, but 70 mph on most city streets is unsafe.
I didn’t know there was a debate, but there’s truth in both titles. Keeping the peace is a big part of what I do, but there are different agencies that do more “law enforcing” I guess, like a trooper maybe.
Have you ever pulled someone over and had them be completely belligerent about getting a ticket? What did they do? (I may not like getting pulled over, but I’m always very polite…)
D: Lots of people are belligerent in their own way, or at least passive aggressive. If I sense any sign of that, I’m more apt to write a ticket. For example, if I have to tap your window to get you to roll it down, it’d better be broken or you’re getting some tickets. While I don’t write folks for speeding, I get them for any number of other violations. Nice people and people who are up front about being in the wrong almost always get out of tickets with me. I let more people go than I write for sure. I can’t recall one person being outrageously belligerent, but I’ll keep thinking on that.
A couple times I was pulled over in the middle of nowhere in Arizona driving between bigger cities and the officer asked me if I had any weapons in the car… Have you ever asked someone that? What was the strangest answer you received?
D: I ask about it a lot, yes, but not always. If the person isn’t doing anything like bending over between the seats or acting suspicious in some way or other, then I generally take care of what I stopped the person for and send them on their way. If I run their license and see that they have a violent history or robbery arrests, then I may also inquire as to what they have in the car. Smaller town officers or troopers don’t have the luxury of another cop being close by like we normally do in the city, so I can see how those guys and gals would be more apt to concern themselves with such things.
My favorite Southern person, Molly asks:
Do you wash your police uniform or is it dry clean only?
D: It can be done either way, but I get mine dry cleaned because I think it looks sharper. Looking like you care is half the battle with this gig sometimes. I think you lose a little bit of credibility, if you show up looking like you slept in your shirt.
How many times have you used hand cuffs this week? At WORK.
D: I’m on vacation this week, so zero so far! Generally though, I maybe put them on people two to five times a week. I don’t know what the perception is, but we don’t arrest people every shift or anything like that. It just varies.
Do you ever turn on the fancy lights and siren when you don’t feel like waiting through a red light?
D: I’m probably not supposed to say yes to this because it’s against policy, but if I had, it’s always on my way to a call for service, not to lunch or something like that. Honest!
Okay, this was way too long and I apologize for that! Hope it was at least mildly informative and entertaining. Sorry if I missed anyone, if I did, give me hell and I’ll make up for it somehow some day.
Have a great Monday!.