An atypical typical traffic stop…

I pulled a car over recently because it had an illegal temporary license plate attached to it.

The driver, who I couldn’t see as I turned on my lights, was a young, black woman.

She cracked open the door, as I stood outside her window, to tell me that the window didn’t work, and that’s why she hadn’t rolled it down.

“That’s fine,” I said, then I asked her if she had any clue why I stopped her. Of course, she said she didn’t.

“Your temporary plate is illegal,” I told her matter of factly.

“This is my cousin’s car,” she said. “What do you mean illegal? You mean it’s expired?”

“No ma’am, I mean it’s illegal. Somebody copied and tinkered with it.”

She furrowed her brow and gave me a quizzical look as though the person before her had three heads.

“I was just going to the store to get some groceries,” she finally responded.

“Do you have a driver’s license?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“Can I see it please?”

The young lady rummaged through a bag and handed me a food stamp card and a non-driver’s identification card.

“Is this all you have?” I asked. “Neither of these is a driver’s license.”

Again, I got the puzzled look before she turned to half-ass rummage through her bag and console, ostensibly to find her driver’s license.

As she rummaged, I chuckled to myself about how many times I’ve been through this very same scenario.

“Ma’am, please stop. Stop rooting through your bag and look at me,” I said.

She looked at me, more deflated than puzzled this time.

I looked at the ID that she had given me and asked her if the name on the card was her.

“Yes, that’s me. I promise.”

“It’s a lovely name, ma’am. Very unique.”

“Thank you. Are you going to give me a ticket?” She must have thought she found an opening where we were getting along to ask that so abruptly.

“We’ll see. You may get a whole bunch of tickets, honestly. Let’s try this one more time. Do you have a driver’s license? I’m not asking if you have one on you, I’m asking if one exists anywhere in the world with your information on it.”

She looked straight into her steering wheel and pursed her lips.

“No.” She whispered.

“No?” I asked.

“No sir.” She said.

“Have you ever had one, or is it revoked or suspended or what?”

“I ain’t never got one,” she said.

“Okay. But this non-driver’s license is you for real?”

She turned to me and said, “yes, officer. I swear that’s me. I’m not lying to you about that.”

“Okay. And you’re twenty-two years old?”

“Yes.”

“Okay. Do you have any warrants or anything like that? Please tell me you’re not wanted for murder or some egregious act of terrorism.”

She smiled and assured me that she was not wanted for anything and I told her to hang tight while I went back to my car carrying her food stamp card and her non-driver’s ID card.

It was cold and windy, so the car was nice and warm when I eased back into the seat and turned the computer towards me so I could run her information.

Having been told that she had zero warrants, I was hopeful that it was true, but alas, she had four, all from other jurisdictions.

I sat in my nice warm car and pondered what to do.

Arresting her would get me out of the cold for a little bit, so that’s a pro.

Writing her several tickets would maybe get her attention and be the wake up call she needs to get a license and the rest of her shit together, so that’s a pro also.

Arresting her and writing her tickets would both get me out of the cold and would surely get her attention, so that’s a another pro in favor of taking action.

I shook my head at the computer screen and muttered, “no warrants my ass” to nobody in particular and made my way back to the woman in the Pontiac Grand Am.

She opened the door to speak to me again and I returned her food stamp card to her.

“You’re a wreck,” I told the woman. “You have four warrants, not zero.”

She again gave me the I have three heads look of utter bewilderment and said, “what? No way!”

“Way,” I said, and explained to her what they were for and what police departments they were from.

“Are you going to take me to jail?” She was calm, but tears started to flow from her eyes. She wasn’t bawling or anything, they were those tears you can’t control that just race out of your tear ducts all of a sudden. They were maybe tears of frustration.

“Step out of the car please.” I said.

“Am I going to jail?” She was still calm and teary. “Do you want me to turn the car off?”

“Nah, you can keep it running,” I answered.

I motioned her to come to the sidewalk towards the back of her car. I noticed two mechanics watching us intently from across the street, amazingly, neither of them was recording us with a phone.

The woman was petite. She stood before me in a pink panther t-shirt and some fuzzy Hello Kitty pajama bottoms. She crossed her arms to try to keep warm.

“Four warrants is right about the number where I seriously consider taking a person to jail,” I told her.

She opened her mouth to respond, but before she could make a sound, I continued, “look at this temporary plate. The VIN doesn’t go to your car and it’s expired. You may as well put a neon sign in the back window begging officers to pull you over, you know that?”

“It’s not my car. I’m so sorry,” She said. “I just wanted to get some groceries for my kids.”

I explained to her that I could think of at least seven tickets to write her without even trying to look for less obvious violations. I explained to her that the cost of taking care of the bench warrants and the tickets would easily exceed a thousand dollars.

As she was about to respond again, I looked over her head and said, “but it’s Christmas.”

She closed her mouth and wiped her tears.

I had been feigning some aggravation, but not in a condescending way, just sort of enough to keep her from knowing that I never intended to take her to jail for sure.

I became a little more serious with her and said, “I don’t care about your traffic warrants from other jurisdictions, and I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt when you say this isn’t your car and you didn’t know about the plate being illegal. You’re twenty-two years old though, so it’s time for you to get your shit together, don’t you think?”

“Yes. I think so.”

“Hey, you can drive a car, so I’m sure you can get a license. It costs like twenty dollars or so. Can you imagine how much better it’d be to have a valid license and not become a nervous wreck everytime a cop is behind you?”

She chuckled, “yes. You’re so right about that.”

“Okay, I’m gonna leave. Since you don’t have a license, please don’t drive at all, or at least until I’m gone. Tell me you’re walking home.”

“I have to walk home?!”

“I said I want you to tell me that you’re walking home, or taking a bus.”

Another quizzical look…

“I don’t want to SEE you drive this car away, but I’m going to leave and be out of sight shortly. Whatever happens when I’m gone happens. Understand?”

She smiled a great big, white toothed smile and said, “Yes. Thank you.”

“Bah! Get your shit together,” I said as I was walking towards my car with my back to her.

“Officer,” She said.

I stopped and turned to find her walking towards me.

“Can I give you a hug?”

I was caught off guard. Nobody has ever asked me that on a traffic stop.

“I never turn down hugs,” I said, and that’s the truth.

So we hugged, right there on the street in North St. Louis. A petite twenty-two year old black woman and a not so petite EARLY forties white man must have been quite a sight because the two mechanics across the street looked at us like we both had three heads.

As I opened my door to get into my car, one of them gave me a thumbs up, even though there’s no way he could have known what just happened.

I gave him a nod and a thumbs up in return and drove off hoping that three more people have a little bit more faith in the officers who serve their community.

—————————-
Other than the hug, this is a very typical encounter when I conduct a traffic stop. I lose interest pretty fast, especially when people don’t act like total douchebags right off the bat. I’m lucky to have some discretion where I work, and this is typically how I choose to exercise mine, particularly now that I have many moons of experience under my belt.

Feel free to tell me if you think I should be more of a hard ass. I probably won’t change, but I’m interested to hear your take.

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105 Responses to An atypical typical traffic stop…

  1. MishaBurnett says:

    Just one question–am I wasting my money when I pay for insurance and register my car and renewing my driver’s license and pay tickets when I get them? Is there any advantage to obeying the law?

    • markbialczak says:

      Really, Misha? Is everything in the world about you? How disappointing an answer.

      • MishaBurnett says:

        I’m just asking if I get the same right to disregard those laws that I find inconvenient as the woman in this story. Is there some reason that she gets to avoid paying for Don’s salary while I don’t? Isn’t equality the goal of social justice? Shouldn’t I be treated the same as another person? Or do some people deserve privileges on the basis of their gender and race and others don’t?

      • markbialczak says:

        I know what you’re asking and shame on you for it.

      • markbialczak says:

        Can’t you just let this human story stand on its own without turning it an illustration of salaries and who’s paying who’s when Don is in the middle of the St. Louis area where the police and the citizens just had zero trust and maybe he built some with this action? That’s why your comment had me on edge. Sorry to bite your head off.

      • Paul says:

        I agree with you Mark 100%. If Don had arrested the young lady, her children would have gone hungry. So, if we want to be fair, then Misha committing the same infractions, should be punished enough that her children go hungry too. That would be fair.That is equality – same impact on the indiviuals. If Misha is middle class, that would have meant fines of at least thousands of dollars if not tens or hudreds of thousands of dollars.

        Well said Mark.Bravo!

      • MishaBurnett says:

        It’s amazing how you can tell how much I make through the internet.

    • You’re not wasting your time if the peace of mind in knowing you’re doing things as your state wants you to means something to you, no. Not having things in order always means you’re subject to being stopped like this woman was and will continue to be, should she not get her license, etc. I’ve written plenty of tickets and thought or said, “hey, if I have to pay my taxes and register my car, then so do you.” Not all situations are equal though and I chose to not ticket this woman for reasons that would make more sense if you understood this area I think. I’d do the same thing again. I appreciate your comment though, you do raise a valid point.

  2. Love, love, love this Don, as usual. You’re so freaking awesome.

  3. NotAPunkRocker says:

    You rock!

    My ex hit a deer with my car when M was still a baby. I couldn’t afford the repairs, and of course I got pulled by the state police officer in the area while I was going to the grocery store. He let me off with a warning, but two weeks later I still didn’t have the money and he got me again…this time leaving the hospital after my mother’s terminal cancer diagnosis. This time I got a ticket, but he dated the as far out as he could so I could come up with the money to pay the fine (sixty bucks, may as well have been six thousand). He was known as being a real hard-a, so even with the ticket I am glad he tried to make it a little easier for me.

    • Lol, well at least he tried to be nice the second time as well, in his own way. I think people remember their encounters with law enforcement, good bad or otherwise, more than they do a lot of their encounters, and I try to make the memory as palatable as I can, even in bad situations. Why make it worse, right? Thanks as always.

  4. You gave her a good experience with law enforcement and I highly doubt the public is at risk with her on the streets. I do hope she gets the violations taken care of, but I think you did a great thing.

    • Why thank you! You’re right that she’s not going to go and hurt anybody by not having a license, and I didn’t get the sense that she was playing me in any way. I hope she gets herself together in this respect as well. She may not, but at least she can say she was treated well by a police officer one time to the point that she gave him a hug. That has to mean something.

  5. bethteliho says:

    This is exactly why I think so highly of you. Because you have common sense and empathy. I hope she realized how lucky she was. Something tells me she did.
    Happy holidays, Don!

    • Merry Christmas to you, Beth!! I say Merry Christmas, I hope that’s okay?? Lol. Thank you for the kind words. You know I think highly of you as well. You’re great people and I’m proud to know you on this here internet.

  6. jgroeber says:

    You know what I don’t have time for right now? Besides a shower and breathing? Reading anyone’s blogs. And yet, you wrote a new one so I just had to. So glad I did. I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats. And as for what you shoulda coulda woulda done? I trust your judgement Don, how good is that to hear? (Except on dietary/beverage choices… you seem a bit shady there.)

    • I’m so honoured that you made the time for me. I added that silent “u” just for you!

      You’re one of my favorites, and it tickles me that you made time to read my post, even if you continue to shun me on the Facebook. Lol.

  7. Don, you did a wonderful thing here. I think focusing on how she “got away” with breaking the law is missing the whole point. I have a valid driver’s license, my car is registered, and my insurance is current, but I’m still happy that you gave her a break. She was in a bad place, and she knew it. Clearly, you had an impact on her that she asked for a hug. And maybe your kindness will inspire her to handle her shit more than if you would’ve given her the tickets and/or arrested her.

    • I sensed she was a broken spirit that day. Maybe having kids so young and it being Christmas time, etc., she was under a lot of stress. Adding tickets or an arrest to her load may have sent her over the edge, and that’s not going to help her get her shit together for sure. I like to believe that treating a person kindly will payoff someday. I think you’re right that the hug meant something. I think it meant I did the right thing that day. I mean it’s my first traffic stop hug in almost 16 years so….Lol. Thank you!

  8. Maggie O'C says:

    Crying at work! The world needs you. I got a ticket a month or so ago for talking on the phone. I was at a stoplight and holding the phone which was on speaker. The cop was a douchebag of the first degree from start to finish. I’ve never been rude to a cop, I still haven’t. I’ve never encountered a rude cop, but there he was! I wanted to write the Police Chief and the Mayor but I didn’t, he may have just been having a bad day.

    You’re the goodest cop!
    Merry Christmas Don!
    If you send me your address you will get an acclaimed Maggie Christmas Card and you never answered if I could still send you money for some good deed of yours. I finally have PayPal figured out!

    • Hey sweet Maggie!! No crying at work please. Lol.

      I will message you my address and as always, I love you for your always supportive comments. You rock! I think I’m done dealing with Christmas donations, etc., so you should give your donation to a great organization in your neck of the woods. I think that’d be swell!

  9. Matticus says:

    Misha’s comment cracked me up… I’m not sure how serious he was asking those questions, though he might have a valuable argument in asking them.
    It’s Christmas… In your where and when in this world, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you know what you are doing. I trust your judgement. And, it’s Christmas, so why not spread a little goodwill, why not practice a little forgiveness.
    I hope she uses the positive energy you sent her direction to turn her life around.

    • What he said isn’t wrong for sure. Good points. Thank you, sir, for your comment as well.

      I have a good feeling about this woman. I think she’ll make an effort to at least get a license, I really do. I know when somebody is blowing smoke up my ass, and this woman wasn’t. Or maybe she was, who knows? Lol.

  10. Kim says:

    Awww! Don! You are such a sweetie! Is she breaking the law? Yea, sure. I don’t condone it, but sometimes we get in a bad place and just need a hand up instead of condemnation and more trouble. People don’t need to be kicked down even further when they’re already struggling. Here’s hoping that woman took your kindness as a break in life and will use it to better herself.

    • Exactly! Why kick people when they’re down already? If she had any hope of getting her stuff in order before we met, a bunch of tickets and an arrest would have postponed it probably until never, so I think I did the right thing, and I really believe she’s going to get her shit in order. Thank yoU!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Life…it’s all just a big fuckin mess and nobody is going to get out alive. We’re all just a sad , sad mess so nice on you for relieving someone of the sadness for one moment in their life. No cell phones pointed at you? That’s just weird.

  12. steph says:

    Keep on keeping on….you’re doing it right πŸ™‚

  13. Happy Christmas Don.thanks for all the stories during the year. And keep up the good work. On all fronts. MB

  14. The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley says:

    I absolutely love stories like this. My dad was a State trooper for many years and I remember him doing similar things from time to time. Human first, cop second.

  15. A.J. Goode says:

    Another fantastic post, Don. Thanks for sharing this!

  16. Paul says:

    I agree with what you did 100% Don. She was no threat to anyone and was trying to feed her kids the best way she knew how. That said, i can tell you , you put yourself at major risk doing that – which I am sure you know. If she went down the street and had an accident, you would be hung by your bosses and the general public in the media- should anyone find out you’d set her free. Without insurance or a liscence or registration with her, an argument could be made that you were liable if she had an any kind of an incident , even if it wasn;t her fault. An accessory to a crime.

    I am really glad that you did what you did Don – there is not enough knidness and understanding in the world especially this time of year. I wonder if she understood the risk you took when you did? I hope so.

    Merry Christmas Don. Best of the Season to you and your family. πŸ˜€

    • Meh, I can live with any of the fallout from what you’re saying. It’d be different if she were drunk or driving recklessly, but she wasn’t. I think she’s a good egg, just misguided right now maybe. Why kick her while she’s down, right?? Hope all is well with you, good sir. Merry Christmas, if I don’t hear from you before.

  17. I agree with and applaud your kindness with the woman. But…

    I hope you did some follow-up with the car, the illegal plates and the “cousin.”

    I wish more cops had your attitude about “going easy on non-douchbags.” I have always been 100% polite and nice to officers and never got out of a ticket in my life (that is until I fight the ticket in court, when the ticket disappears, but only after wasting everyone’s time).

    • I do plan on following up with this woman for sure.

      I would say I probably write tickets to 20% of the people I pull over. I think that often shocks some people, but I just lose interest in whatever it is I stopped a person for by the time I get to their car. Honestly, working in a busy city, there are so many other things to be doing than traffic that I don’t sweat it too much. Keep at it, sir. You’re bound to get let go with just a warning one of these days. Lol.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Don you are the best

  19. jessica says:

    This is why I have so much respect for police officers. Not necessarily because of what you did, or the decision that you made, but because you had to make that decision. She likely hasn’t had an easy life, so maybe this break and act of kindness was what she needed to turn things around. Or maybe it was all lies and sob stories and nothing will change. Either way, so many huge decisions have to be made that have incredible impacts on other people. Usually with very little time to make that decision. As someone who gets multiple opinions and does a week of research before spending $90 on new shoes, I have a lot of respect for the people that have to make the big decisions regularly, and who have to live with the impacts of their decisions.

    • That’s a LOT of research for buying a pair of shoes!! Lol. Thank you, Jessica, I mean that. Decisions do need to be made quickly, and they really can impact a person’s life tremendously. Arresting a person is a really big deal. I think a lot of cops lose sight of how incredible it is to have the power to put another human being in a cage. I don’t take that lightly.

  20. Mike says:

    Hey buddy, you are the one standing there making the call. No one else was or can ever be in your shoes. I do have lots of thoughts on it of course from law enforcement standpoint. A very Merry Christmas to you and your family, Don!! Be safe always please… πŸ™‚

  21. Bruce Bateman says:

    Good Job Don!!! I’ve been gone from the SLPD for 7 years now, and I hope that during the time I was there we had the pleasure of crossing paths. I too always took the attitude that the drivers response to our encounter dictated the outcome of our meeting. What people don’t understand is that we have the same apprehensions when we get pulled over. At the end of the day, we go home, pull off the uniform, kick back in the easy chair, pop a top, and watch the boob tube, just like most folks. Be Safe and Happy Holidays!!

  22. Elyse says:

    You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.

  23. corley598 says:

    You’re a better man than me (well, I’m not a man at all but I am a retired cop). I wouldn’t have let her go with warrants from multiple jurisdictions and driving an illegal vehicle. It seems pretty obvious that she blatantly disregards the law and even though she doesn’t have a driver’s license, she continually drives and commits violations while doing so. There is no reason to adhere to the law if there are no consequences for not doing so. This seems exactly like what the Ferguson protestors want. Don’t hold me accountable for my actions and don’t punish me when I refuse to follow the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to agree with corley 598. Not only that, but she kept lying to you. Own your shit and life is easier. Had she come clean from the beginning… then maybe some leeway. I know it’s Christmas time but clearly she had been getting away with stuff for far too long.

      • You could be right. I didn’t get the sense that she was hustling me, but what do I know. I’m comfortable with my decision, and would do it again for sure. Maybe not with a different person under the same circumstances. Is that fair? I don’t know. Every encounter is different. It was sort of a gut feeling, and after 15 plus years, I trust my gut. Thank you for commenting.

    • You make some excellent points for sure. Sometimes it’s hard to explain your decisions to other people without their having the benefit of being there. Something about this woman was different and I really think I made the right choice. It’s not a choice I’d have made with every person, but here, it was the right one for me. I could be completely wrong though, true. She may never change and continue to get pulled over until she’s locked up for her warrants. Thank you.

  24. markbialczak says:

    You did the right thing, Don, in my humble opinion. You made her think about her situation and you taught her to respect the police and herself more. Win and win. Let’s hope she still feels the same way the next day and follows through.

  25. juju333 says:

    You’re a big teddy bear!

  26. There’s no easy day, is there, Officer? My son-in-law is currently in a 27 week training program with CHPs. I can only fathom what you come up against day-in and day-out. No two days are ever the same. I believe you did what was necessary at that point in time. I respect that you professionally interrogated her, did so without harrassment and conveyed a spirit of concern.
    Lord knows we are in the midst of extraorinary times in light of all that has come in to focus recently. I live in Texas, i’ve seen my tax dollars awarded to illegals for housing, food, childcare. I’ve seen undocumented non-citizens awarded four year college offers, at the expense of the citizens of Texas’s taxpayer dollars.
    So, when all is said and done, how does a hardworking man or woman, citizens of our USA make a difference? We stand up straight and call the shot as only one can. We do our best. The world need not agree with us, but we must believe in our effort(s).

    Merry Christmas! Stay safe.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I understand why you did what you did, I just hope the young woman takes your advice. I believe for some, driving on a non drivers license, using plates real or temporary that dont belong to the vehicle could be a way of life in some communities. And getting a hug is always good. This kind act could be a turning point in her life.

  28. You rock! I don’t know you but I like your style. Merry Christmas to you. Acts like this are the true spirit if the holiday.

  29. You let her go, plus you treated her like a person and talked straight to her. Maybe that will give her the impetus to get her shit together.

  30. Mental Mama says:

    You are, good sir, what my dad would have referred to as “good people.” ❀

  31. rynolexson says:

    Why can’t there be more cops out in the world like you? Thanks for sharing this, you do have a heart πŸ™‚ Wow, I actually like you again Don.

    • Sounds like your hormones are flaring up again. I hope you can get them under control. I think you meant to say you love me, not like, but I forgive you. Lol. Hope all is going well with you guys. Merry Christmas, if I don’t talk to you before then.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I think what you did was beautiful. Given the area in which you work along with the current climate, this was a lovely gift to a young mother.

  33. Cheryl says:

    A little goodwill goes a long way and what you did was a thoughtful, wonderful thing. Especially given the area you work in and the recent tensions there. You probably made that woman’s Christmas. Does a person’s heart good. You’re good people. Merry Christmas, Don.

  34. Don, if everyone in the world could be just a little bit more like you – even a sliver – the world would be a much better place for sure.

  35. KODonnell says:

    ‘Tis the season Don Re. Good on ya for showing some compassion. I think it was the jammies that sealed it. I think you’re a jammie loving guy.

    • I DO love a woman in public wearing her jammies! It’s so, “I don’t even give a fuck” that I can’t resist.

      Thank you, Kathleen. I hope you have a great holiday season. Don’t fuck up the meal too much with one of your secret ingredient tricks. Lol.

  36. Larry Young says:

    I think it’s wonderful that you did what you did, you did the right thing, and I HOPE it will bring back many blessings. It, however, reminded me of a Snoopy poster: Doing something nice for somebody is like wetting your pants in a dark suit. It gives you a warm feeling inside, — and nobody notices it….

  37. Kristi Campbell - findingninee says:

    I read this from my phone earlier so didn’t comment but unlike SOME PEOPLE came back to do so when it was easier on my computer. Dude. You so rock. There was a night when I’d been um imbibing. I’d dumped the stupid guy I was with and there was a party. Anyway. I wasn’t wasted wasted… but I shouldn’t have been driving. The cop who pulled me over followed me home (because I was only 2 blocks away or used to be a tiny bit cute or for whatever reason – doesn’t matter). That changed how I went out at night. It made me pay for taxis when I needed them. I like to think that you did something great for this girl who is just a girl but already has kids. I also like to think that she’ll fucking listen and change. Too many of them don’t. But some do. And the one who gave you a hug??? She just very well might.

  38. Kristine says:

    You made me ‘tear up’ at this. My brother was a police officer in Santa Barbara for 30 years. The advice he gives my 19 year old son whose sole purpose in life is to be in law enforcement, is to remember that everyone is a human being. He made far more headway with people by treating them with the appropriate amount of respect than other officers who were always ‘hard asses’. To remain human in the inhumane world you must travel in everyday is what keeps your own humanity, and sanity intact. Thank you so much for what you do everyday and the shit you deal with on a continuous basis on all our behalves. And thanks for writing it all down, love this blog!

    • Thanks for the great comment! Your brother is right. We all have bad days, and somebody who’s acting like a fool one day might be a real good person other days. It’s important to not hold peoples’ past against them and treat everyone with compassion until they give you a reason not to. Good luck to your son!

  39. Todd says:

    Amazing story, Don, and thank you for sharing it. I’ve never understood the antagonistic approach when I’ve been caught violating a traffic law. Being nice has gotten me out of some of them, other times not. Either way, I know I’m the one at fault and the other person is just doing there job. Thank you for all you do for your community.

    • Thank you, sir! No sense in being condescending or confrontational on the part of the cop either. Do what you’re going to do without being a douche about it and move on. Have a great holiday season.

  40. jasteck says:

    I think most officers have a few stories like that, Don. I just wish more people got credit for the amazing work they do. This has been a tough time for those of us in law enforcement. We have an officer fighting for his life after getting hit by a car during a student protest. That is a tragedy, but nobody is protesting in support of his life.

  41. Sandy Ramsey says:

    Giving someone a break is sometimes the motivation they need to make a change. Maybe that is what this moment is for this young woman. Maybe not. But you are a good man for trying either way.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Don, and thank you for doing what you do. You are definitely one of the good guys.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Nice job officer, happy holidays. πŸ™‚

  43. Don … That was a wonderful Christmas gift and message you gave that woman. I hope she takes your advice and gets a license pronto. Many years ago, when I lived in Liverpool, New York, a cop pulled up behind me after I pulled into a parking lot. My two children were with me. He told me I’d driven thru a stop sign. I said, honestly: “What stop sign?” Cop: “The one with 3-foot high letters.” Well, I had to smile. No, I hadn’t seen it. He reminded me to be careful, pointing to my two little girls. Then, he let me go.

    It wasn’t Christmas, but it’s a friendly encounter I’ve never forgotten and I’m much more mindful of stop signs and other things while I’m driving.

    With some of the ugliness going on in the world, I think often about you … and others who wear a badge. I wish you well. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  44. Ben Naga says:

    If things don’t get better starting right now right here then when will they? Good call.

  45. julie says:

    I don’t think you need to be more of a hard ass Don.Not at all. I think more officers need to be more like you. It is nice to see a compassionate human in a police officer’s uniform.

  46. mfh says:

    Just found your blog due to your current post showing up everywhere. I’m happy I found you. And after this story I want to thank you. This is only the second post I’ve read so no clue who or what you really are as a person…. but for this and the current post, you’re a hero to me. Thank you. And stay safe out there brother.

  47. David K. M. Klaus says:

    Justice doesn’t exist unless it’s tempered with mercy.

    I live in the city and I’m glad you’re on the force.

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