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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 02-01-2009, 07:27 PM   #1
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Odd question for the Officers. Regarding Attitude

This may be kinda out in left field, but I haven't seen it asked recently it might be a help for some of the younger guys on here.

Ya might want to grab a coffee, or if ya are off duty, grab a beer, this ones kinda long winded.


Edit: As I wrote this post, it kinda veered off, from a simple what should a guy do or not do, in order to make a traffic stop the least stressful for BOTH sides.

The 2nd part goes into a short story about a stop that I had that to this day confounds me. Maybe I am kinda looking for any input as to why it ended up the way it did.


Part #1

For the most part officers are just regular guys out to do a job. However sometimes that job does not make everyone happy.

I realize that when you pull someone over even for a routine stop, you have to pretty much assume a worst case scenario. Not only could the person in the car to be outright Pissed Off, but for him to do "Anything" from causing yourself bodily harm to simply trying to leave the scene.

Now that I have set the tone for this.

What can or maybe a better question, what shouldn't a person do to escalate, irritate, or simply put an officer on edge at a stop.

The first thing I try to do when I get pulled over is keep my hands up high, and when he comes to the window, have it down, and smile and usually try to crack some sort of joke about why he pulled me over. If he knows I'm not a threat, hopefully things will go smoother. Growing up in the states. Near Portland Oregon, I know from experience that a simple chrome wrapper from a cheeseburger in your hand can get a weapon pulled on you rather quickly.


So what should a person to keep the stress levels on both sides to a minimum.


Part #2

I have had a couple bad experiences 2 notedly up here, where I was pulled over and the guy was just flatly PISSED OFF even before he got to my car. He was actually yelling at me, to get my license and registration. I always wait until he can see what I am doing as the last thing I want to be doing is reaching behind my back to get something as he walks up. I casually grabbed my wallet with him there, grabbed my papers from the center console, he ripped them out of my hand and stormed off without saying a word. He walked around my car checking things then walked back to his cruiser. I still did not even know why I had been pulled over. I was not speeding, hadn't changed lanes. I wasn't tail gating anyone. This was on Marine drive going into Vancouver, near the Super Store. He was back there for a good 20 mins, he finally came back almost tossed my papers into the car, handed me his ticket book and said he was citing me for Tinted windows. I explained to him, that I had only bought the car 2 months ago, and the windows were like that when I bought it. He said he didn't care, then told me the tint looks like crap anyways. He told me to sign it, so I did. Then he stormed off got in his car and followed me for a couple mins.
Was the guy just having a bad day, or is he just one of the guys out there with a chip on his shoulder looking to take it out on anyone?

For the Record, I didn't dispute the ticket, I just went ahead and paid it.

I have met some really great officers over the years, guys that'll park there car, get out and talk to people and are generally nice guys. Yet others, that seem like they want to punish the world. There was one in Port Kells / Langley/ Surrey boarder. Back around 2001, I honestly don't remember his exact name, it sounded like Apel. He'd wander around the crowd of cars and honestly tell us what was legal and not so legal. The funny thing was, he was not trying to act like GOD, but he got the respect of the car guys there. When he said it was time to get going. Not one of the regulars questioned him. We just got in and off we went. Everything was always fine, until the drunks and dope smokers showed up, and it all got shut down.
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:37 PM   #2
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Even catching a good guy on a bad day can result in an officer/violator contact that is less than ideal. I think that you have the situation pegged, be polite, respond to questions that are not asking you to incriminate yourself and chances are, all will go well.

If you are mistreated, it is up to you to decide what to do. Forget it, report it to the supervisor or go the the police complaints commission. Hopefully the outcome will be good for all involved.

I know I've been involved in some odd ones over the years. I stopped a vehicle that had one wildly mis-aimed headlight, enough so that you could see that the beam was pointed at the ground a few feet in front of the vehicle. I wrote a Notice & Order to have the headlights aligned and thought that was the end of it. A week later I found an envelope in my drawer at the detachment with $5 in it. It was from this guy who told me I should go and buy myself a coffee and think about what was important and spend my enforcement time accordingly.

I thought that mis-aligned headlights put him at a disadvantage and just asked him to fix the problem. Clearly, he didn't think the same way.

When an officer grabs your documents without cause as you describe, then maybe it is time to say something to his supervisor as next time it may not be just grabbing papers.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:05 AM   #3
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Seeing that a huge percentage of Officer deaths are in Traffic stops, we are trained by Depot and experience, to be very cautious. When you don't is when you get careless and get injured or dead. Do not do anything to cause the Cop to be concerned or nervous about you. Be cooperative and do not expect to talk them out of a ticket. We are trained to make the decision based on the observed violation of the law and not on the driver. There are a VERY few exceptions, but the VT should be issued solely on what happened and not who or why.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:17 AM   #4
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What are some steps to filing a complaint toward an officer? I have also had a very un peasant experience with one officer for a " fail to display N" charge. he was dissing my car the whole time ( " why'd you choose such a shitty car, blah, blah") and called me an idiot. It bothers me because i didnt do that much wrong to deserve that treatment from an officer. i didnt display my N, and being polite, not insulting his mother.... what gives?

On a side note, what would realistically happend even if i did file a format complaint?
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:10 AM   #5
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Luck of the draw as to wether u get a nice cop or not. Majority are nice and freindly, some however r very mad and im sorry to say but its usualy the lady officers that r straight up power trippin!!
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:40 AM   #6
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one cop called me an idiot and a retard but he was lenient on the ticket so i just stfu
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:06 PM   #7
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Sometimes I was tempted to offer a choice..."do you want the lecture or the ticket...it's an either-or choice?" Never actually did. There are procedures to file a complaint. The first is to go to the Police station & tell them you want to. Everything else follows from there. FYI...one of my now-retired co-workers offered a guy a choice...back his car over the radar detector & smash it...or take the ticket. Guy chose to smash the detector ( I know, because I saw the pieces). Guy said why not...it didn't work at all to warn him...didn't even go off. What He didn't tell him was he got tagged with Laser and not Radar...so his Radar-only detector could not have worked anyway. Some Members are teflon, others are velcro..............
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:34 PM   #8
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I don't think being polite and courteous was part of their training. If he doesn't let you off and gives you a ticket, just be thankful it's not you that has to wrestle feces covered homeless people in hastings street.
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:58 PM   #9
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Friend was actually given the choice of lecture or ticket once before and he took the lecture.
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
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When an officer grabs your documents without cause as you describe, then maybe it is time to say something to his supervisor as next time it may not be just grabbing papers.
So I'm assuming they get complains everyday. How do you fish out the fake from the real. Also what stops the police officer from lying as well. I'm assuming both the police and driver would lie at a certain level as they're both human.
Then again i'm not saying all are liars.
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:55 PM   #11
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Where people are involved, nothing is ever straightforward. I've often said that I wished I had a video camera system in my police vehicle while I was working. If I'm out of line, tune me up and I'll learn. If I'm not, tell the complainant in no uncertain terms where they can get off.

I was never a supervisor, just a worker bee. I don't envy them the job of trying to sort out some of these complaints as I am sure that both sides try and present their side of the situation in the best light.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Where people are involved, nothing is ever straightforward. I've often said that I wished I had a video camera system in my police vehicle while I was working. If I'm out of line, tune me up and I'll learn. If I'm not, tell the complainant in no uncertain terms where they can get off.

I was never a supervisor, just a worker bee. I don't envy them the job of trying to sort out some of these complaints as I am sure that both sides try and present their side of the situation in the best light.
you don't have a video camera system in your police vehicles? is that just RCMP vehicles or does it apply to all canadian police department (OP, VPD, etc?) I always thought that they have some sort of video recording device. I guess I was wrong. Ha I probably guess I watch too much "american police car chases," that's where I got the idea from
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:01 AM   #13
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They had about 120 of the video systems to install...so they decided to put them in the IRSU vehicles, who always work in groups, instead of the single occupant HP cars. Go figure. I used to have one of the very first systems called VICS...had a VHS VCR in the trunk in a locked armoured steel box. Audio quality was terrible and the camera quality was so bad every shot taken after dark looked like a snowstorm. The system continually malfunctioned and they finally got rid of ours. The very few times it worked properly, it was nice to be recording stuff. I saw many 180 degree attitude changes when I told drivers that their conversation & picture were being recorded. The system also had the radar tied into it and you could see the radar readings and even hear the doppler audio shift. A few times I actually played the tape back to shut yappers up....instant attitude change.
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:36 PM   #14
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Last I heard the install was about $7,000.00 per vehicle. Multiply that by the number of police vehicles in the province and you see what kind of bill is involved in giving one to everyone....
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:33 PM   #15
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A few times I actually played the tape back to shut yappers up....instant attitude change.

I was watching TV in Holland and they had a program called "wegmisbruikers"
basic tranlation, "road Abusers"

They feature Dutch undercover police cars with video recording systems mounted in them. When they pull someone over, they get out, tell them why they pulled them over, and then show them the recording so that they realize there's no point in arguing. For some offenses (excessive speeding is one I believe), they take the licenses away and tow the car, unless the person is really cooperative, then they let a friend pick it up, or drive it to the person's house for them).

Extreme link (this chick flips out to begin with, then they find out she owes 340 Euros, so they bring her in, apparently the guy that shows up said he was going to visit the camera guy and the cop at home): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxR8peF41cw
other links:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...31784971301937
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEEkm...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xFML...eature=related
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:18 PM   #16
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Sometimes I was tempted to offer a choice..."do you want the lecture or the ticket...it's an either-or choice?" Never actually did. There are procedures to file a complaint. The first is to go to the Police station & tell them you want to. Everything else follows from there. FYI...one of my now-retired co-workers offered a guy a choice...back his car over the radar detector & smash it...or take the ticket. Guy chose to smash the detector ( I know, because I saw the pieces). Guy said why not...it didn't work at all to warn him...didn't even go off. What He didn't tell him was he got tagged with Laser and not Radar...so his Radar-only detector could not have worked anyway. Some Members are teflon, others are velcro..............
Hah, that sounds fun :P

I had an officer offer me a choice once. I got pulled over for not having my front license plate up. (wa sall mangled and stuff so i took it off because i didn't want to lose, never got around to putting it back on)

Anyway, he told me I have 48hours to put it on and for him to see ti and he'd take my ticket as a warning.

So i upt it on tha tnight met up wtih him, he was happy and so was I.

Case closed.

I've have had a lot of good encounters with police, and only 1 bad one (he must have been having a really bad day, i got the 3rd degree + he was threatening me with stuff. I was young so I just paid the tickets and ignored it. But if it had happened now, I would have put in a formal complaint)
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