Top "Stupid Cop Myths"

Archangel M

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  • A state trooper cannot give you a ticket if they aren't wearing their hat.
  • It's a law that police must have their headlights on to run radar.
  • Police are not allowed to stop people they see leaving the bar because it's entrapment.
  • The police cannot arrest someone in a church.
  • Police drug dogs are addicted to drugs.
  • You have to show me the radar! Its my constitutional right!
  • Police can't give you a ticket if you're already out of the car.
  • Police can't tow the violator's car because it's on private property.
  • You cant arrest me cause you didnt read me my rights!
  • You can't chase me if I go into my house.
  • You can't pursue people out of city/county lines.
  • Police Officers/Deputies/Troopers get a comission on the tickets they write
  • If you question an undercover cop and ask them if they're a cop, they have to say yes.
  • Police departments have quotas.






 
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Archangel M

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-Asking me if I want to have sex for money or buy drugs is entrapment.
-Leaving a bait car for me to steal is entrapment.
 

punisher73

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If you question an undercover cop and ask them if they're a cop, they have to say yes.

Back when I started my career working in our jail, a group of inmates were discussing this topic. One of them said that it wasn't true because "cop" is a slang word. BUT, if you ask them are you a "police officer or law enforcement officer" then they DID have to answer it. They asked me if it was true and I told them, "Absolutely!". LOL nothing like a little disinformation to help out our undercover guys.
 

OKenpo942

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Yeah, I would be one of the wealthiest people in my county if we got a commission. Goodbye warning book. Lol.

James
 

Steve

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Yeah, I would be one of the wealthiest people in my county if we got a commission. Goodbye warning book. Lol.

James
It doesn't help you guys when municipalities are installing things like red light cameras that are intended to do nothing more than generate revenue. It gives the impression that the entire ticket thing is about money, not about safety or the law.

I got pulled over for expired tabs a few years back. I mentioned it to one of the guys I train with. His first question was, "Was it a motorcycle cop?" The long and short of it, as he explained it, is that the motorcycle cops are in the business of giving out tickets. That's their number one mission. I don't know how true it is. It wasn't a big deal for me. My tabs were expired. I sent in proof I'd updated the registration and ended up paying half the fine.

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/126436423.html?skipthumb=Y

The city has made approximately $66,000 since it began issuing the $124 tickets four months ago. That's when the city installed cameras at three busy intersections and a school zone.

But police say the lights can save lives and prevent car crashes at busy intersections, as well as curb dangerous driving behavior.

Cmdr. Shari Shovlin, who co-manages the program, says the number of crashes have dropped a bit, but she admits the city hasn't made much money.

Red light cameras have not been paying off in Redmond, and the whole program might have to be ditched.

So, in a nutshell, the cameras are slowing people down in school zones and reducing accident counts and the cops seem to like this, but because they're not generating gobs of money, the politicians might ditch them. Seems like misplaced priorities to me.
 
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Archangel M

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Tickets are those things that everybody wants us to give to the OTHER GUY (wheres a cop when you need him?) but are just revenue makers when THEY get them.
 

punisher73

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I got pulled over for expired tabs a few years back. I mentioned it to one of the guys I train with. His first question was, "Was it a motorcycle cop?" The long and short of it, as he explained it, is that the motorcycle cops are in the business of giving out tickets. That's their number one mission. I don't know how true it is. It wasn't a big deal for me. My tabs were expired. I sent in proof I'd updated the registration and ended up paying half the fine.

It depends, some job positions are traffic enforcement only, so their "job" is to write tickets and take accidents. They don't take other calls unless it's to back up another officer. So, it could be in your area that the motorcycle cops are that function so they do give out alot more tickets. Also, it's hard to justify job performance if you have no "proof" that you are doing your job, tickets are a way to show their bosses that they are actually working (not agreeing/disagreeing just pointing out what is a reality to many people in that situation).

I also know several that have had additional training and experience at drug interdiction and use traffic stops as a way to investigate suspicious vehicles further. They could really care less about giving you the speeding ticket and usually give you a warning if you check out so they can get right back out there trying to find drugs/weapons.

I also know many officers that rarely enforce traffic laws unless it is really bad because they are "complaint cars" that only go from call to call and then have to write tons of reports. They really don't have the time to do traffic since the only driving they are really doing is going from call to call.

The point is, like any field, there are specialties and preferences within the job and officers gravitate to what they like doing best. I haven't met a single officer though that writes tickets and talks about how much revenue he has brought into the budget.
 

jks9199

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Our motor officers are the bulk of out traffic section. They do traffic enforcement, traffic control, and handle traffic complaints like abandoned vehicles and the like. They can also take calls if everyone else is busy. Yes, the bulk of their activity is writing tickets -- but that's not all they do. (They take coffee breaks, and get ogled by the girls, too. ;))
 

Steve

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Tickets are those things that everybody wants us to give to the OTHER GUY (wheres a cop when you need him?) but are just revenue makers when THEY get them.
Just to be clear, I have no problem with the ticket I got. But decisions by politicians to remove red light cameras based on lack of revenue when the cops say that they're helping reduce accidents and such is compelling evidence that they're largely about revenue and less about public safety.
 

Steve

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It depends, some job positions are traffic enforcement only, so their "job" is to write tickets and take accidents. They don't take other calls unless it's to back up another officer. So, it could be in your area that the motorcycle cops are that function so they do give out alot more tickets. Also, it's hard to justify job performance if you have no "proof" that you are doing your job, tickets are a way to show their bosses that they are actually working (not agreeing/disagreeing just pointing out what is a reality to many people in that situation).
This may be exactly what my friend was saying and I misunderstood. It was funny, though, because he asked me if it was a motorcycle cop, I said yes and he replied, "Yeah, well, you didn't have a chance, then." He was smiling when he said it and I want to be clear, it wasn't contentious. I don't mind paying the fine. My tabs were expired.
 

Steve

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Our motor officers are the bulk of out traffic section. They do traffic enforcement, traffic control, and handle traffic complaints like abandoned vehicles and the like. They can also take calls if everyone else is busy. Yes, the bulk of their activity is writing tickets -- but that's not all they do. (They take coffee breaks, and get ogled by the girls, too. ;))
Blatant generalization warning: the motorcycle cops around my neck of the woods tend to be built a little too much like Homer Simpson to be ogled too much. :D
 

MA-Caver

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Just to be clear, I have no problem with the ticket I got. But decisions by politicians to remove red light cameras based on lack of revenue when the cops say that they're helping reduce accidents and such is compelling evidence that they're largely about revenue and less about public safety.
I think ANYTHING created to make a police officer's job easier should be left as is. I guess politicians don't have to walk up on to a scene of an accident and look in the wrecked vehicle(s) and see the carnage that could be inside, or go around to the front of a vehicle and see a dead/injured child under the bumper of the car that didn't want to slow down or run the red/yellow light. Likewise they don't have to relive it all back at the station writing up the report(s).
 

Steve

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I think ANYTHING created to make a police officer's job easier should be left as is. I guess politicians don't have to walk up on to a scene of an accident and look in the wrecked vehicle(s) and see the carnage that could be inside, or go around to the front of a vehicle and see a dead/injured child under the bumper of the car that didn't want to slow down or run the red/yellow light. Likewise they don't have to relive it all back at the station writing up the report(s).
Exactly! Remember, the original "myth" is that cops have a quota of tickets. While this might not be true, the idea that citations are for public safety is pretty clearly also untrue. Traffic citations are primarily about revenue generation, at least in the eyes of the politicians. Any positive affect on public safety is incidental.
 
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Archangel M

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The thing is, it is possible to go out and find a violation at will. I can sit at an intersection and catch someone blowing a red light at almost anytime of the day. So if I sit there and do nothing but cite red light runners am I improving traffic safety or am I only making revenue? Is red light running a traffic hazard or is it not? Is it only for public safety only if a live cop is doing it (who then has to answer the "don't you have real crimes to solve??" BS)? And only for revenue if a camera does it? Which comes first the chicken or the egg?
 

jks9199

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The thing is, it is possible to go out and find a violation at will. I can sit at an intersection and catch someone blowing a red light at almost anytime of the day. So if I sit there and do nothing but cite red light runners am I improving traffic safety or am I only making revenue? Is red light running a traffic hazard or is it not? Is it only for public safety only if a live cop is doing it (who then has to answer the "don't you have real crimes to solve??" BS)? And only for revenue if a camera does it? Which comes first the chicken or the egg?
Yep. I have no problem finding reasons to stop cars. And I probably warn at least half, probably more like 2 out of 3, maybe even more, rather than cite.

Let me be honest: My agency, like most, has a performance standard, including a base number of tickets that an officer should write over the course of a month. "Tickets" in this sense includes written warnings. It's slightly more than 1 "ticket" per day of work. And we work a 12 hour tour. A good supervisor also knows who was on vacation, in training, or handling some sort of special assignments or duties that may have prevented them from reaching that number. Because that magic number is just a management tool to make sure that people aren't coming in, and cooping up for 12 hours somewhere. It's actually very possible for me to go my entire shift, and not see my supervisor. I've actually gone several days without seeing my supervisor before, except for roll call. The motor units are expected to write more tickets, because traffic enforcement is one of their primary duties, so they don't answer nearly the calls that a patrol unit will.
 

Steve

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Yep. I have no problem finding reasons to stop cars. And I probably warn at least half, probably more like 2 out of 3, maybe even more, rather than cite.

Let me be honest: My agency, like most, has a performance standard, including a base number of tickets that an officer should write over the course of a month. "Tickets" in this sense includes written warnings. It's slightly more than 1 "ticket" per day of work. And we work a 12 hour tour. A good supervisor also knows who was on vacation, in training, or handling some sort of special assignments or duties that may have prevented them from reaching that number. Because that magic number is just a management tool to make sure that people aren't coming in, and cooping up for 12 hours somewhere. It's actually very possible for me to go my entire shift, and not see my supervisor. I've actually gone several days without seeing my supervisor before, except for roll call. The motor units are expected to write more tickets, because traffic enforcement is one of their primary duties, so they don't answer nearly the calls that a patrol unit will.
So... then... are you saying that you have a quota? You're confusing me. 1 per day sounds like a quota. Calling it a performance standard or an expectation is just semantics.
 

jks9199

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So... then... are you saying that you have a quota? You're confusing me. 1 per day sounds like a quota. Calling it a performance standard or an expectation is just semantics.
No, it's not a quota. Yes, it's partly semantic. But, like I noted, a good supervisor will be able to justify why someone didn't meet that standard, so it's not a hard quota. There's pretty much no punishment for those who don't meet it, except perhaps at the end of the year during evals. And... where I work, if you don't have manage that, just working crashes and the occasional glaring violation committed right in front of you... you need to explain what you're doing with your day.

Oh, and there's no bonus or incentive for exceeding that standard. Do your job, and you'll meet it without trying. Or, like the old joke says, "Nope, no quota. I can write as many tickets as I want!"
 
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Archangel M

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People confuse "quota" with "If you haven't done at least this much than what the hell are we paying you for?".
 

Steve

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People confuse "quota" with "If you haven't done at least this much than what the hell are we paying you for?".
I get what you guys are saying. I understand the distinction you're trying to draw here. But if you guys don't think that a performance standard involving a minimum number of traffic stops constitutes a quota, you simply don't understand the definition of the term.
 
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