Law Enforcement: discretion regarding vets & service members..

jks9199

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Tgace posted something in The Study that I thought would maybe make some interesting discussion here.

How much, if any, consideration is given to someone's veteran or current status as a status member when you deal with them? Do they get a little break, or no break? How much weight does it carry that a guy or gal is a veteran or a service member?

I admit; I've given some breaks to people becuase of their status as a veteran or a current service member. If I'm 50/50 on a traffic ticket, it might push the decision in their favor... but it's not a guarantee. And we're not talking anything more than traffic violations, of course.
 

Dirty Dog

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I know that my job has gotten me out of a few traffic tickets. We're not talking 70 in a residential area (I speed, but not in residential, high traffic or area with cross traffic - mostly it's on the interestate heading back and forth to work). Nor for running lights or such - because I'm anal about things that are actually dangerous. 85 in a 75 on an empty interstate may be illegal, but it really isn't dangerous.

So yes, I've gotten a break on some minor things, and I've appreciated it when it's happened.
 
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jks9199

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I know that my job has gotten me out of a few traffic tickets. We're not talking 70 in a residential area (I speed, but not in residential, high traffic or area with cross traffic - mostly it's on the interestate heading back and forth to work). Nor for running lights or such - because I'm anal about things that are actually dangerous. 85 in a 75 on an empty interstate may be illegal, but it really isn't dangerous.

So yes, I've gotten a break on some minor things, and I've appreciated it when it's happened.

Oh, yeah... ER docs and nurses (ESPECIALLY NURSES!) get breaks. Too much shared time, too many shared headaches... and nothing can make a crappy night go better than having the ER staff on your side, whether you're hurt (OK, especially if I'm hurt!), or stuck with a prisoner needing medical clearance.
 

seasoned

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Good manners and respectful behavior first, add vet or active service to that and I look at minor situations a little differently. If the first two are missing, then their just one in a crowd.
 

arnisador

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I've gotten two speeding warnings in the past year and others in the past (and I've never had a speeding ticket). When I'm pulled over I'm polite, non-argumentative, with my hands on the wheel where he can see them as he approaches. I say "Yes officer", "No officer", and "Thank you officer".

One time I was let off b/c I was a new professor at the small college in town, though.
 

Tgace

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The specific incident that brought his to mind:

I was midnight Patrol Lt. and was responding to a call of two suspicious males staying late (till closing) at a local restaurant. The workers were growing scared as the males asked questions about where money was kept, when they closed, who the manager was..etc.

When I arrived the males had left on foot and were thought to be possibly hiding behind an adjacent closed business.

My "boys" and I found them..wandering through a nearby parking lot.

Out of state ID's..one of them had an Army ID card....right off the bat he starts with the "this is ********..Im a COMBAT Vet...I was overseas...yadda yadda yadda".

Little did he know that the Lt., Sgt and 1-2 of the patrolmen were all military vets, a couple of them recently back from Iraq themselves. And My Sgt and I were Army MP's to boot. So not only were we former military..we also used to "deal with soldiers" in an LE capacity too.

Needless to say he had the facts of life explained to him. In the end we really didn't have anything to charge them with but I think they may have been contemplating a little strong-arm action against the manager transporting the nights receipts.

For minor things...sure I will take military service into consideration. But no more or less than any other aspect (medical, LE, respectful attitude and no priors, etc...).
 

Dirty Dog

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Good manners and respectful behavior first, add vet or active service to that and I look at minor situations a little differently. If the first two are missing, then their just one in a crowd.

Absolutely agree. I do speed in places where it seems reasonably safe to do so. So I do get pulled over on occassion. I pull over, roll down the window, turn off the car (I don't own a stock vehicle, and it makes talking easier) and put both hands on the wheel. When they ask for my papers, they get license, registration, insurance and CCW permit.

I also never assume that they're going to cut me any slack. I appreciate it when it happens, but I also know it's not something I'm entitled to.
 

Tgace

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Along these same lines. There is a recent arrest making the rounds in media due to the "Assault Weapon" hype....

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-ne...onies-for-possession-of-ar-magazines_01312013

In the latest attack on the American people, a decorated War Hero has been arrested and charged with five counts of third degree criminal possession of a weapon, for having empty 30 round AR-15 Magazines in his vehicle.
On Sunday January 6th Staff Sgt. Nathan Haddad, a decorated combat veteran, was driving through Jefferson County New York when he was randomly pulled over for a vehicle check. Haddad, who had five 30 round empty magazines in his possession, was arrested by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and charged with five felony counts.

Now..NYS has had a "hi-cap" magazine law on the books since the AWB sunset on the rest of the nation. It was/is seldomly enforced.

Of course, in light of the recent hype this arrest is being paraded around as an example of the up coming totalitarian clamp down. The first stories out describe the guy arrested as a vet...decorated..combat vet. He was supposed to have been pulled over for a "random vehicle check" where the magazines were found and he gets railroaded on felonies.


But...

In another more recent article....

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog...er-ny-vet-arrested-30-round-magazines-part-1/

According to Jefferson County Sheriff’s office sources, Mr. Haddad was in the parking lot of a closed business at 7:30 p.m. when an officer asked him what he was doing. The police allege that the Fort Drum civilian employee said that he was meeting someone to sell the AR-15 style rifle magazines. A police source also said that the magazines were stamped with the words “Restricted. For military use only.”For the possession of the magazines, Mr. Haddad was arrested, booked in county jail and charged with five counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, according to the arrest report. Mr. Haddad did not have his AR-15 rifle in the car, but it is unclear whether he had another firearm. Police say that he was in possession of a New York State carry permit. He was not charged with any other offenses.


Which based on my "cop gut" tells me that there may be more to this story than first hits the eye. Perhaps theres suspicion that he was selling government property...seeing his employment at and proximity to Ft. Drum. Seeing how magazines that used to go for $17 are now going for $40+ it's not outside the realm of possibility.

Of course unless we are made privy to all the details we will never know..but whats interesting in relation to this thread is the interplay of military service in the "PR/Media mix".
 

StreetReady

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I'd say it all depends on the situation, but vets and/or service members are decent people for the most part. I'd say give them a little break for something minor like traffic stops. However, if it appears they're committing a felony, then you've got a job to do.
 

punisher73

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As always, it depends. I have dealt with ex-military people (surprising how many are SEALS, Rangers, or some other special forces when I deal with them...) that were drunk and complete asses and to me disgraced the uniform by acting that way and claiming to be a vet. So, in those cases it did NOT get them a break.

On the other hand, I have pulled people over that talked themselves into a ticket for a minor traffic violation that if they were polite (or at least not an *** or disrespectful) would have gotten a warning.

As Ed Parker said, "So is the attitude, so is the response".
 

oftheherd1

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Oh, yeah... ER docs and nurses (ESPECIALLY NURSES!) get breaks. Too much shared time, too many shared headaches... and nothing can make a crappy night go better than having the ER staff on your side, whether you're hurt (OK, especially if I'm hurt!), or stuck with a prisoner needing medical clearance.

First thing I learned as a new MP was that MPs and medical personnel took care of each other within reason.

I never bought into the old idea of knowing before I got out of my vehicle or approaching a situation, if I was going to ticket an individual or not. It depended on many things; attitude, seriousness of offense, etc. Being a vet wasn't that big a deal since I was at that time in the military too.

However, when I first became an MP on Okinawa many years ago, and pulled town patrol, it wasn't uncommon to take a simply drunk GI outside, put him in a taxi, and tell him to return to his unit and we better not see him again that night. Sometimes when the drunkenness in a bar resulted in relatively minor damage to bar property, if the GI could pay and wanted too, that would resolve the complaint, except for the obligatory taxi ride to their barraks. Again, attitude played a big part in those decisions.

It was sort of an unwritten rule that if a GI didn't argue and especially didn't fight us, we would treat them with respect as well. But if they decided to show attitude they would probably be apprehended and written up, and especially if they decided to fight, we weren't going to be the ones to get hurt. Worked pretty well for everybody.

Of course, it was a different military back then. Discipline was different, as well as respect for authority. It wasn't uncommon for two Armed Services Policemen to walk into a bar where there had been a problem, order everyone out and to surrender their IDs and passes on the way out. Depending on the problem, we might form them into a platoon and march them off to our station.

Quite a different military.
 
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