What happens when a retired officer uses his badge to get out of a speeding ticket?
Well…I HATED when I pulled a Cop over and he/she failed to identify themselves until I had already done my speech or 5 min into my opening and “greeting• speech”. If the Cop was legit endangering lives I would take his keys and lock them in the trunk…then call his wife to come get him. I know that sounds awful. I was just raised as a cub from day 1….”YOU DONT WRITE COPS TICKETS” If you did…enjoy being known as a huge BF and expect to face a lot of hairy situations alone.Usually what happens is this. “I’m Officer Bender of St Louis City Police. The reason I stopped you was I clocked you on radar going 20 over the limit….*sees the Badge in the guys hand”. …..Hey…fuckstick….where’s the fire? Quit driving like an asshole….you’re not on duty. …Later Bro” Trust me…getting pulled over as a Cop is mightily embarrassing…..It has happened to me 3 times since 1995. Expired dealer tags…they forgot to send updated ones…..one mildly retarded U Turn in an intersection (the kind Cops do all the time) and one time going 35 in a 25 of a street circling a mall parking lot by a motorcycle cop in Ft Lauderdale. I can’t stress enough how as a Cop, a person who prides themselves on knowing and following the law (and lecturing your wife and kids, critiquing their driving for safety and following the letter of the law) HIMSELF gets pulled over. It’s sooo embarrassing and to be avoided at all costs…not a free pass to go nuts and flash it, off you go. I probably drive 100% more carefully than the average “good” law abiding driver because people know I’m a Cop in this town and expect me to set an example and follow the law. I know the Cops and Sheriffs in this town from the Fraternal Order of Police lodge and other things. To see them by getting pulled over would be mortifying to me and I would feel like I had lost respect as a older retired Detective “role model” if you will.The one exception is if the Cop acts like John Q Jagoff and has an attitude. Then you call your Supervisor who will order you to “load them up” and write up the guy for IAD…for which I’m blameless because it was an order.This was the 90s mind you. Today you can be the Chief and king stud glory Cop of your little corner of the world and get pulled over for DUI and you ARE going to get treated just like any other schmoe. Nobody is letting DUI’s slide or any type of impaired driving. Again though back in my time I often would lock a guys keys in his trunk and call a Cab and put him in it. Not call out on it over the air or write up anything. Just wasn’t done. I think a lot of Cops were serious alcoholics…on a side notes. A certain percentage…over half…would meet up at the Metro Cop bar (ours was called Area IV because the City was divided into Three Areas (I, II and III) each with 3 Precincts so this was our Area IV. Think a couple of retired Detectives opened it up. I was already married and had a baby while I was in the academy so it was always straight home for me…but a lot of guys unwound nightly by drinking in the Police parking lot (you take off your uniform shirt and stand there in blue slacks and a white T shirt, we called it our “Bus Driver” uniform cause it looked just like a City Bus drivers uniform). These “Lot Parties” were a regular thing and guys would drive right home from them or the bar. I’m generally an old school type but I’m glad this is a by gone thing. Driving impaired in not a joke and I’m glad it’s no longer acceptable.We were not some Wild West dirty department either. We had a no joke IAD staffed by pros who LIVE to break it off in a bad cops ass and have the power, money and tech to do it too. I never saw anyone take money, steal or anything like that. I heard rumors like I’m locking a guy up and I put his money roll in his hand and don’t touch it…let him count it out later and lock it up. They might say….”damn dude…you’re not bad. That Officer Jones though…he will just pocket your shit”. You hear it once you think….”hmmm”…you hear it every other day you know he is robbing drug dealers. Shortly thereafter if I had heard of it like clock work a week later IAD and the Intel dept do a big thing and not only fire the guy but arrest and prosecute him too. I did hear of about like 5 sketchy Cops…rumors and every last one got locked up …1 I think was smart and was allowed to retire.As far as use of force it was like this. If you try to assault me, knife me, shoot at me, throw a bottle at my head (all ..I shit you not monthly occurrences in the Summer especially) the only thing that will beat you to the hospital is the headlights of the ambulance that you’re riding in. My use of force was just about 1 notch over whatever you were doing. Punch me in my face? Hit you in your Knee really hard with a night stick. Try to stab me? Hit you really hard with brass end night stick in your head. Fire a weapon at me…you get hydro shocks coming your way until you are no longer a threat….dropped expired. I found that that realistic threat of real consequences in the Projects I worked in actually lessened the amount of violent Police/Gang encounters. You can’t walk through the High Rise Projects inhabited by some serious shooting Thunder Cats who claim that drug turf and not make it very clear who is the Man and who needs to submit. By facing down the local Lads and usually speaking the only language they understand to them you establish an order that in time will save everyone involved many problems and extra holes they didn’t start the day with.This wouldn’t fly today. The 90s were a different time. The Crack epidemic. Carjacking. Crime rampant…gangs rampant. People wanted solutions. Not to know how it was getting done. Today we have better play by play than in the NFL and you’re either wrong or really wrong. No matter what you do. Guy shooting at you? How many rounds did you fire back Officer? So you executed him? Why didn’t you hit him in the knee? I saw that last night on Law and Order Civilian Couch Unit. Cops are “de Policing”. You would have to be literally crazy to go out on active patrol looking for bad guys, patrolling a neighborhood, stopping and talking to suspicious people in dark alleyways at 3 am. You will end up dead, fired, in prison. The people you are laying your life on to protect are waiting..cell phone in hand to record your every move so it can be dissected on the news and online. I was fortunate that the people I worked for in my neighborhoods were working with me, rooting for me, and my eyes and ears. Not my silent enemy waiting for their chance to catch a mistake or even a perfect call to critique. I did have to earn that relationship with the “good folks” of that tough neighborhood. If the Thug/Enforcer of the drug gang that had taken over your block and threatened you and your kids was accidentally tackled so hard when he ran from me he ended up with a concussion. My neighborhood was there to back me up and make a statement saying I was professional and the bad guy tried to escape. We worked together…not like today.Many people do respect and support the Police but enough don’t that the environment for Cops to do police work is extremely dangerous …to do even the most basic work targeting professional violent felons. Name me a job that every day you risk not just being fired, but being killed or arrested as a Felon and spend life in prison just for going out and doing a thankless job where 1/10 of a second life and death decisions have to be made 100% correctly, every time, every day, every scenario until you retire. One mistake on any given day can end up with you either dead or in a cage for life.The pendulum will swing back again. There is a happy medium between a Police force that has the means to smite bad guys and seek them out and be professional enough to understand that that type of behavior is not acceptable when dealing with non professional criminals whom are currently not causing mayhem and great bodily harm. Unfortunately right now hating and hunting Cops has become something of a national pastime and the effects will be noticed eventually.Wow did I get off in the weeds answering that one…but I think that the question which was essentially “How are the laws bent for Police concerning traffic stops” really does relate to what other things are laws are being ignored on “tradition”, ethics and how these things relate to a departments performance in relation to how the general public views and treats a given department.