08 December 2009

Learn to ride or drive....

From the Cop side: OK, I guess I have one more story. This is a cop story from many years ago (almost 30 years!) when I was a very young rookie cop. I used to work in a small city that was kind of full of weird people.
Well...maybe that's true of all cities I guess...all have some weird folks...the cops get to meet all the weird folks that normal citizens seem to not see I guess. But I say this because for the size of that city at the time, they seemed to have more suicides and drunks than decent folks. I never have been able to figure it out...and now I don't care.  (and one thing I teach new cops now is: If it were not for wierd people, assholes, drug abuse and drunks, we'd be out of a job.)

In them good old days we worked a "Beat System"in that city... where each officer was assigned a beat for their shift. Each officer who worked day or swing shift was also responsible for their beat all the time...meaning that in my beat, I had a book full of arrest warrants for people who lived in my beat.
I tried to be cool about the warrants... but I had to keep my beat "clean" and not allow a lot of warrants to accumulate or my beat would be "dirty."
What I was trained to do was: if a citizen had a minor warrant for only a few hundred dollars, I'd contact them and ask when they could go "take care of it."
I'd usually give them until the next pay day to go to court and pay the fine they had managed to forget about.
Most citizens in this category weren't bad people, they just "forgot" things sometimes. In most cases, the person with the minor warrant took care if it the next payday and I didn't have to haul them off to jail. This was good for them and good for the department since I wasn't making a 30 mile round trip taking somebody to the county jail for a minor warrant.

One afternoon I went to advise one of my citizens of a minor traffic warrant. Let's call him Louie. He was a good kid who worked at one of the local restaurants and had sort of forgotten to pay off a traffic ticket. We came to an agreement that he'd take care of it the next week on payday.

Two weeks go by and I was working my beat in an unmarked patrol car. I noticed that the clerk had updated my warrant book and now Louie had several more warrants that added up to thousands of dollars...and he had not taken care of the little warrant we had talked about 2 weeks prior.

I parked around the corner from Louie's house and sorted out the warrants I was holding for his loss of freedom. (This is an authority few people in any society are given--- to legally take somebodies freedom).
As I had added up all the warrants and was getting ready to go around the block and knock on Louie's door, I looked up and saw a motor cycle coming at me from the area of Louie's house... being operated by none other than his stupidness, Louie. And Louie didn't have a license to operate a 2 wheeled vehicle in the State of California (Violation of 12500 of the Vehicle Code) And he was driving on a suspended license (Violation of 14601 of the Vehicle Code)...

So this kid was also going to be guilty of being stupid in public.

Stand by...to be cont.

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