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  • Tickets and common sense

    I apologize in advance if this starts a flame war, but I've just got to get it off my chest.

    It seems to me there is an abundance of officers these days that have no common sense as to when someone needs a ticket and when they don't. I just don't understand officers that write tickets for every single violation they see. Someone's headlight is flickering? Ticket. Inspection expired by 5 days? Ticket. Going 1 mph over the speed limit with no other traffic or pedestrians within a country mile? Ticket.

    Have these officers never gotten a ticket themselves and do they not realize just how much money they cost? Especially in a nationwide recession? Have we lost our ability to be able to think in a gray area instead of the black and white area of the transportation code? Have we lost our ability to empathize with the society in which we live?

    Don't get me wrong, I've written people tickets that needed one. I just don't understand the officers that go out there and write everyone for everything. If you're one of those officers, I'd like to understand your thought process. I don't say that to be antagonistic, I'm dead serious. I don't understand the mentality. Shed some light for me please.... and let the flames begin.

  • #2
    I don't know what it is, but it seems like a lot of the newer guys , and this may be area specific, seem to gage how good of a policeman they are by the number of tickets they write on a shift. I never got the reason to "load up" someone with a ton of tickets on a stop. The courts here use to (been out of patrol a long time) pretty much frown on some guy rolling a stop sign getting 6 tickets in addition to the stop sign. Newer guys seem to not want to listen to the older guys and learn how to police, look for bad guys, hot cars, guns, etc. It's almost as if that stuff is secondary to traffic. When I came on and worked patrol, part 1 crimes, dope ( and not 1 dime or nickel of reefer), hot cars, guns, were what you were looking for and the traffic just happened to fall in your lap in the course of looking for those things. Now it seems to be the other way around. Do traffic, do nothing but chase the radio, and maybe a bad guy will fall in your lap.

    Don't get this wrong, some places aren't busy and they expect some type of activity from you, or you're working a traffic car and have to bring in tickets, but there are people that just being stopped and a reminder to "slow down", or "watch those stop signs," gets the point across. I never wanted to, and very seldom , took money from a working guy's pocket, when there were much more deserving mutts driving around. My thing was why screw over a working guy that may have had a momentary lapse in judgment. Why jam a guy that may have been on our side, pro Police, just to get a few movers on your activity sheet. In some of the areas I worked, just having a valid D/L, current plates, and a job, got you a pass..
    Last edited by ChiTownDet; 03-09-2011, 09:39 AM.

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    • #3
      Well said. I know of a few who heads explode if I pull someone over and don't give them a ticket.

      Rode with one officer and we were looking for dope. Long story short we pulled over one guy and he had already smoked it up so my partner wanted to "put him on paper" and write him a ticket. I said sure, go ahead.... they went and wrote him 8 citations.
      “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

      "You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."

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      • #4
        Sorry guys, just noticed this was in the Texas threads...

        Stay safe out there in the Lone Star State..

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ChiTownDet View Post
          Sorry guys, just noticed this was in the Texas threads...

          Stay safe out there in the Lone Star State..
          No problem, I appreciated your post and agree with it 100%.

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          • #6
            I agree with ChiTownDet, at least for bigger departments, use that traffic violation to gain intelligence and see what you can find in the car. I don't write tickets, unless they "ask" for one or two, but nowadays with the economy the way it is, some people do have a hard time. But on the other end, if you don't have those ticket writers, you aren't going to have that guy with that one ticket warrant that you can get before you pull the crack or powder out of his car, giving you another tool in your toolbox. Just my 2 cents.
            Last edited by FlashTACP; 03-09-2011, 03:00 PM.

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            • #7
              the way i see it people earn tickets by the way they talk to you and their demeanor, i hardly ever walk up to a car with my mind made up about writing or not writing a ticket. I try to give everyone a chance...sometimes though i'd rather write somebody a ticket than take them to jail on a few traffic warrants.
              In Valor there is hope

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              • #8
                Everyone has a different outlook. I'll keep minor violations as contacts, warnings, and a reason to stop and say hello to people. I'm not going to cite for a lamp being out. Most people don't know it's out until they are stopped for it anyways. We are out to help and serve, not generate revenue. Just my opinion. I'm not for taking from the working man's pocket to get "Kudos" from my supervisors.
                TEXAS STATE TROOPER

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Trooper2795 View Post
                  We are out to help and serve, not generate revenue. Just my opinion. I'm not for taking from the working man's pocket to get "Kudos" from my supervisors.
                  This. I've never been the kind of guy to play those games. If I have to take money from good people to appease my supervisors then I guess I just won't be teacher's pet. Police work should be about police work, not about trying to brown nose your way to the top at the expense of the public.

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                  • #10
                    "Stroking for distance" is saving lives? You stated in another thread that you are bothered when arresting for DWI!

                    I believe takin someone in for DWI is saving a life! Not stroking someone because they don't have their current address on their DL.

                    You're enjoying your job when " stroking for distance", writing for lamps being out, and looking for "kudos" from your supervisors? What do you call it? I doubt it's a good officer! Anyone can go out and write citations. Citation numbers don't make you a good officer sir! I do know that it's those type of officers that make ppl hate the police. By doing so, you're not letting the ppl know that we are here for them.

                    I try to look at the big picture. If a simple reminder(warning) to slow down, get something fixed, or up to date will suffice then that's what they get. I'm looking for bigger fish.

                    In my rural area, farmer John might be my back up one day when I get in a fight. I doubt he will be there to help if I stoke him for distance for lamps. I look for voluntary compliance from the community. They know they can count on me when things go bad, but you never know, I might need to count on them one day.

                    But everyone has their own way of policing. Just my opinion.
                    TEXAS STATE TROOPER

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                    • #11
                      Ha ha. Calm down there princess. Don't get your panties bunched! I never made things personal, but it sure sounds like someone has a complex. I'm not trying to "win the hearts," just saying that with the economy in a recession you might need to look at the big picture. I am a Trooper, but I do more than just traffic. If you get off on writing tickets all day and consider that as "saving lives," then kudos to you. Congratulations, you're a fine traffic cop. I look for real h***ards like DWIs and dope. But that's above you and too much paperwork for you. You can leave those up to ppl who are concerned for the public and not too concerned about "stroking for distance" and "generating revenue."

                      And just because you work in Harris County, that doesn't mean you're in the ghetto. Everyone knows that there are bad people where ever you go. If you're going to cry about how bad Harris County is, save it.

                      But go ahead, get steamed, think of some whitty comeback, and bash me and how I'm a Trooper traffic cop yadda yadda yadda. I've been called worse by better people.

                      Not personal bud, just different views of serving the public! Be safe out there!
                      TEXAS STATE TROOPER

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Trooper2795 View Post
                        "Stroking for distance" is saving lives? You stated in another thread that you are bothered when arresting for DWI!

                        I believe takin someone in for DWI is saving a life! Not stroking someone because they don't have their current address on their DL.

                        You're enjoying your job when " stroking for distance", writing for lamps being out, and looking for "kudos" from your supervisors? What do you call it? I doubt it's a good officer! Anyone can go out and write citations. Citation numbers don't make you a good officer sir! I do know that it's those type of officers that make ppl hate the police. By doing so, you're not letting the ppl know that we are here for them.

                        I try to look at the big picture. If a simple reminder(warning) to slow down, get something fixed, or up to date will suffice then that's what they get. I'm looking for bigger fish.

                        In my rural area, farmer John might be my back up one day when I get in a fight. I doubt he will be there to help if I stoke him for distance for lamps. I look for voluntary compliance from the community. They know they can count on me when things go bad, but you never know, I might need to count on them one day.

                        But everyone has their own way of policing. Just my opinion.
                        I pretty much agree with everything u just said!!

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                        • #13
                          I don't think common sense policing is "out to win the hearts and minds", I think it's reminding the citizens everyday that we work for them! Granted sometimes the outcome isn't what we had hoped for, nor what we would prefer and we must show how big of a stick we carry.

                          I wonder how you have enough time to write for piddley violations if your "banging it out in the ghettos of Harris County"?

                          Perhaps your supervisors have realized that you have a 1 track mind and don't really have an appitude for anything else other than traffic enforcement?

                          I'm all about stopping for anything that's in our playbook, but there are other ways to educate the public then a ticket!!

                          It's a shame to see that so many have lost sight of what our jobs are!!

                          On the EVERYONE is accountable under the law comment, your setting yourself up for failure if you only see black and white my friend..

                          I will be the first to admit, I speed, sometimes I roll through a stop sign, sometimes my inspection sticker has been late getting renewed!! I have broken traffic laws in the past and will more than likely break them again, so the thought of not giving a break when I can makes me sick..

                          I don't know why you have to bash the above poster for where he works, I bet he can go into a local restaurant and talk to the customers for hours at a time. The same above poster knows that if he's in a restaurant and a thug comes in to do harm and he ends up in a fight, the people are going to open up a can of Texas justice on the perp.

                          I know first hand, I warned a trucker from my county who was speeding about 1 1/2 weeks before I got into the scariest fight of my life. I stopped a DUI and we ended up getting in a fight roughly 12 miles from my nearest help.. We had fought for a few minutes and I was almost to the point of shooting the guy. I hear brakes screeching and see a red semi block the road, the driver jump out and kick the guy square in the side just as hard as he can. He kicked him so hard it knocked his uterus loose along with a few ribs!!

                          The fight was done, I mean right quick and in a hurry...

                          How many of the people you've dealt with would do that for you?

                          I always try and make an impression on someone, that I would want made on me!!
                          "If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck"

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                          • #14
                            I agree with the OP. I absolutely hate writing tickets. Expired tags, blown out headlights, and minor violations like that are great pc to stop someone to look for drugs, but I hate hassling people for that crap.

                            It all depends on how you want to police, and I've got nothing against officers writing tickets for minor traffic infractions, I just avoid it like the plague.

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                            • #15
                              ^^+1. that's the type of job I signed up for. Thanks for the reply.
                              TEXAS STATE TROOPER

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