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  • Off-Duty Behaviors

    Alright, I'm concerned about something, so here goes...

    I work in a fairly small agency. One of our Officers has been doing some questionable things to include not stopping for a marked cruiser (traffic stop - speeding) and accelerating on a 2 lane highway while I was on a traffic stop (estimated 50MPH in a 35 MPH zone) and coming within about five feet of me while I was wrapping up the stop with the suspect vehicle. The citizen I had stopped even recognized this as dangerous and it's very audible on the VHS tape. I didn't realize that this was him driving until I had already gotten him stopped and was half way up to his car on my approach. He didn't seem to think that my concerns were important and replied only with "Oh please!" I told him, "Whatever, have a good night," and cut him loose.

    Another Officer and I were discussing this at the station when my Sergeant walked in and said, "What's all this?" I knew that he must have heard some of what was said and didn't want to be a rat, but this is becoming a major concern. I told him what had happened. He was already aware of the incident where this Officer hadn't stopped. I was told to retain the video in the event that it should be needed, so I did.

    Now I'm having some concerns about MY actions during all of this. While my objective is not to get this other Officer in hot water, he has been routinely violating the law and expecting to be let go for it. I'm all about professional courtesy and not writing other Officers, but when he's speeding past me on a traffic stop, that puts my life in danger needlessly. If another car had come over the hill and was left of center he would have had to veer to the right in order to avoid hitting that car which would have meant that I would have certainly been smoked in the process. If he had been driving the speed limit then there would have been more time to maneuver his vehicle safely out of the way of an oncoming vehicle. When citizens crawl by while I'm on a traffic stop I appreciate their concern for my safety. When a fellow Officer flies by and doesn't bother to change lanes while doing so I feel betrayed. I prefer to crawl by other Officers when they are on traffic stops because it not only protects them from my vehicle, but also slows down those persons driving behind me. (As a side note, my state has recently enacted a "move over law," requiring vehicles to change lanes to the inside lane while passing by road crews or emergency vehicles.

    This Officer has, in the past, denied such allegations at length and argues only his side without apology. Being that I work in a smaller town, a number of the citizens are aware of which vehicles we drive and observe us in our daily behavior. I am then concerned that the citizens see us blatantly violating traffic law and nothing happens, meanwhile they are issued citations for the very same thing. That kind of thing tends to stir up a City Council.

    Here is what I am looking for: What are your thoughts on the way I handled this? I feel that I did the right thing, but there is obviously some doubt in my mind because I'm posting this thread. I feel like I've betrayed my brother, but I don't see any other effective course of action that I could have taken for this event. No discipline has come of this yet, and I hope none does. I'm just concerned about there being better choices that I hadn't seen at the time. If any of you have better courses of action to take, I am more than willing to listen to what they are.

    Thanks guys.
    "To know that you know what you know and that you do not know what you do not know; that is true knowledge." - Unknown

  • #2
    pm'd ya...
    It's not the will to win that matters...everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters.
    Paul "Bear" Bryant

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    • #3
      My suggestion is address it internally, have it documented and see if the brass have the balls to approach the officer in question. I would think a small department (who's local citizens know all the officers/private vehicles on sight) would not want such a character representing their department. Then again, if he's given enough rope, he'll probably hang himself and the brass will have no choice but to let him go. Good luck. I hate cops who think they are above the law.
      The views/opinions expressed here are solely mine. I'm retired and I don't care. I truly do not want to offend anyone, but if you are thin skinned and have no sense of humor, you better find another line of work. Therefore, I don't have to be politically correct and I will exercise my freedom of speech, until it's taken away. May God bless all retirees. We've done our duty and earned our peace.

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      • #4
        CPD7297 - Thanks for the post. I think you've hit the nail on the head. Professional courtesy and blatant violations while expecting to be let off are two different things. The public eye can be scrutinizing enough even without this type of thing. I hope he just wises up before he ends up getting himself canned. He's a VERY knowledgeable guy and does a great job when he chooses to do it. I'd hate to see someone with his skills and talent go the way of the covered wagon just because of an attitude problem.
        "To know that you know what you know and that you do not know what you do not know; that is true knowledge." - Unknown

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        • #5
          Disciplinary action in most PD's is often a three or four step process: verbal reprimand, written reprimand, suspension day offs and finally termination. This officer appears to be a candidate for a verbal reprimand to start if evidence dictates. If he's as sharp as you indicate, he should see the light quickly and get his act together for the betterment of his career.
          The views/opinions expressed here are solely mine. I'm retired and I don't care. I truly do not want to offend anyone, but if you are thin skinned and have no sense of humor, you better find another line of work. Therefore, I don't have to be politically correct and I will exercise my freedom of speech, until it's taken away. May God bless all retirees. We've done our duty and earned our peace.

          Comment


          • #6
            He just got back from a suspension. He's great at DOING his job, but he's not so great at being the person he needs to be in order to be effective at it for a long time. That said, he is the first one I'd grab if I were headed to a gun fight.
            "To know that you know what you know and that you do not know what you do not know; that is true knowledge." - Unknown

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            • #7
              I was told to retain the video in the event that it should be needed, so I did. ------ WHAT??? It is already needed. At minimum a counseling session is in order! The video is kept in the back pocket in case he denies it and hangs himself in a lie.

              He just got back from a suspension. ------ And he hasn't figured out to fly under the radar???? This guy sounds like he is going to hang himself (figuratively).

              Stay professional in your dealings with him. Don't act in such a way that management might believe it is just a personality conflict between him and you.

              OR

              you could do like one old timer did years ago..... Next time you stop him on traffic, run him for warrants and a DL check on the radio so everyone can hear.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd confront this guy and call him out for his behavior.

                I know this is the rookie corner, and if you are a rookie (and still on probation) let fellow officers know about this. Endangering fellow officers is never tolerated, and they'll have a way of getting that message across. Sometimes, more effectively that a supervisor can.
                You can now follow me on twitter.

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                • #9
                  The odd thing is that we do work well together. We get along just fine. He just does some stuff that is less than safe or appropriate. The video has been watched, by the way.

                  Everyone else there already knows about what happened. Apparently his biggest concern is that I was disrespectful during the stop. Given the circumstances, I'd say I was respectful enough. Irritated, clearly, but respectful enough.

                  (Oh, and I am still on probation.)
                  Last edited by Sheepdog110; 09-25-2009, 05:00 PM. Reason: Added last sentence.
                  "To know that you know what you know and that you do not know what you do not know; that is true knowledge." - Unknown

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sheepdog110 View Post
                    I feel like I've betrayed my brother,
                    You've got it bass ackwards. He's the one betraying the badge, your department's reputation, and your personal safety. He needs to be straightend out or kicked out.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sheepdog110 View Post
                      He just does some stuff that is less than safe or appropriate.
                      I've seen his kind before on my department of 1900 officers. Believe me, that one guy will attract negative attention and spoil the good done by all other dedicated officers. Especially on a small town department. If the local news media leaches get wind of the tape and/or any disciplinary action taken by the brass, it will boil over. Can you transfer away from him? Or better yet, can he be reassigned to another shift, job assignment? You're on probation...you better disassociate yourself from him, or you may be linked to his screw-ups. Regarding your statement, if their were a gunfight, he'd be the first guy I'd grab. Really? Think about it. Gunfights can go south real fast with runagate officers. This guy appears to be the bad apple in the cart. Good luck.
                      The views/opinions expressed here are solely mine. I'm retired and I don't care. I truly do not want to offend anyone, but if you are thin skinned and have no sense of humor, you better find another line of work. Therefore, I don't have to be politically correct and I will exercise my freedom of speech, until it's taken away. May God bless all retirees. We've done our duty and earned our peace.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We have no different divisions to transfer to. We have a very small station. Luckily, he works days and I work nights, so we rarely have to see one another. I run into him more when he's off duty than I do when he's working.

                        You've got a good point about gunfights going south. I was thinking in terms of the training he has regarding firearms. He's the person who taught me how to shoot as well, so I may be a bit biased there.
                        "To know that you know what you know and that you do not know what you do not know; that is true knowledge." - Unknown

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                        • #13
                          I worked with a guy like this at a small department years ago. Thought his stuff didn't stink. He got fired and last I heard is working unarmed security at a community college.

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                          • #14
                            Be polite and professional in all you dealings. Never put yourself in a compromising position or let his actions put you in one. Karma is a bitch with a bad hair day.........his actions and choices will come back on him, especally in a smaller community. It has happened may times.

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