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  • az4code23
    Welcome to officer.com!

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  • socal2310
    started a topic New Member

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    Hello all. This website was mentioned by an instructor at my Reserve Officer Academy so here I am.

    At first blush, I seem an unlikely candidate for a post as a Reserve Officer given my background. I've never been in any legal trouble, but I probably should have on several occasions!

    I think of my time at the Academy as therapy after an unfortunate incident several years ago that negatively influenced my perception of police officers for a time - although at least half of that was my fault.

    I was traveling to my parents house to work in my father's workshop building a set of bookcases for our house when I was lit up. I pulled into a parking lot and then began the detention.

    First, allow me to set the scene for you. At the time I had more or less surfer style hair that fell about halfway to my shoulders and a full beard. I was driving an old beat up '85 Chevy Silverado 6.2L Diesel with a cracked windshield and was wearing an (un-tucked) old ratty t-shirt and old faded bluejeans and my hair had clearly been slept in (I had a wash and go hairstyle, but hadn't showered that morning in anticipation of the dirty work I would be doing all day).

    The officer pulled up and asked for my license, registration and asked me if I knew why I had been pulled over. I stated honestly that I wasn't sure and he informed me that I had been clocked going 55mph in a 45mph zone and my cracked front windshield was a violation. He then started asking me questions, "Do you have any warrants?" "Do you have a criminal record?" "Are you using any illegal drugs or are you under the influence of any medications at this time?"

    By this time I was getting concerned as this was not typical of how my previous encounters with traffic stops had gone. Shortly thereafter, another cruiser pulled up and I was asked to step out of the vehicle. After looking at my eyes, one of the officers asked me to step over to his cruiser and sit on the push bar. He took my pulse and then got consent to search my vehicle. After searching my truck, my pulse was taken again while he looked at my eyes and started asking me what I was on. Since I hadn't been taking anything, I said as much.

    At this time, I was treated to jerk cop / nice cop, with one cajoling me to admit what I was one while the other gave me dire warnings of what would happen when (not if) they found out I was lying. By this time, I was starting to think I really was on something but continued to deny it.

    After about 30 minutes of this (but more than an hour after I was stopped), I was asked if I would consent to a ride to the police station a few blocks away for a urine test. I decided to go along but balked when I realized I was not going to be transported unless handcuffed (my first and only time to be handcuffed during a non-consensual encounter with police). After receiving assurance that I could either voluntarily consent to cuffing and a urine test or get arrested and taken to County Medical for a blood test, I thought better of arguing with him.

    So, off to the station I go, cuffed in the back seat of a cruiser. An hour or so later my results were back (naturally it wasn't as fast as walk in, pee in a cup and wait for the results) - much to my relief (some police may not appreciate the fear of false positives some members of the public have) and to the surprise of the officer, the test was negative.

    After this, I was again cuffed, driven to my truck, given my tickets (speeding and equipment violation) and sent on my way without so much as an apology for the inconvenience.

    Lessons I have learned from this:

    1.) Watch my speed in general but around town especially. CHP usually don't care about you going ten miles over the speed limit in clear weather and good traffic, but good luck with that in town.

    2.) Shower and wear decent clothing when going out, no matter what I'm planning on doing and bring a change of clothes for on the way back.

    3.) Make sure I'm not being blinded by the reflection of the sun off of a white, south facing wall when police are trying to check the response of my pupils.

    4.) Give the beater truck to my mother in law - the nurse who has never been cited and probably never will.

    5.) Get equipment violations fixed post haste.

    I went through about two or three years of some rather anti law-enforcement sentiment following this, and only in the last couple of years (with no negative law enforcement encounters since that incident) has it occurred to me I really need to get over it and grow up.


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