Ain’t nothin’ “Routine” about it.

We all have those things. Things that just rub you the wrong way. One of my things is when the media uses the term “Routine Traffic Stop”.

I could go off on a long-winded diatribe about the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores’, but the bottom line is there is nothing routine about a traffic stop until the subject and/or I drive away with nothing more than a citation exchanged between us. Two of the most dangerous and unpredictable calls officers respond to are domestic violence detail and traffic stops. Neither of them are routine.

So…media folks…do me and the rest of us a favor. Stop using the goddamn term, will you?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

5 thoughts on “Ain’t nothin’ “Routine” about it.

  1. While your point is well taken about each stop being dangerous, the usage of "routine" in this context is actually correct. It does not mean the same thing as "ordinary" or "uneventful."

    Routine, per the dictionary, has several meanings when used as an adjective, including "(a) a customary or regular procedure; (b) tasks, chores, or duties that must be done regularly; (c) typical or everyday activity."

    That doesn't ameliorate the danger of each and every traffic stop; however, traffic stops are part of your daily routine as a motor officer. Ergo, they are routine, albeit each one is potentially highly dangerous.

    Your job, your routine, is fraught with danger, as are many of your routine tasks.

    The above notwithstanding, thank you for your service and please be safe.

  2. Damn writers…

    I must admit to having never thought about "routine" in that particular vein. Believe it or not, you've just made me a wee bit less cross with the media.

    Thank you for taking the time to both read and comment. I appreciate a different point of view. Sometimes, I (and I assume others of my ilk) can be become so entrenched in opinion that a differing one is so foreign as to be unwelcome. I'm doing my best to keep the vision from becoming to tunneled, as it were.

    And just a shot in the dark…and your reply need not be posted (I moderate)…how did Missy enjoy La Jolla? My home away from home.

  3. Yes, it also reminds us that civilians have no clue. It's gotten to the point where "415 man with a gun" radio calls have become "common" too. Keep your heads down brothers and sister and your shit wired tight!

  4. I don't know you personally, as you seem to be wondering.

    Your blog is a fascinating read that I just happened on one day after reading someone else's blog linked via I've interviewed countless police officers over the years, but you provide an insight through this blog none of them offered. I see now what makes the clock tick after reading here.

    If you ever have literary ambitions beyond this blog, I think you have considerable potential.

  5. Writer,

    I can't say I haven't kicked the idea around, but I wouldn't really know how/where to start, plot points, character development, etc…and that's assuming I'd do something fictional.

    I'd be interested in chatting about it, though, if you've the time/inclination. If not, no worries, and I very much appreciate the compliment. Instead of going back and forth here, feel free to shoot me a message at

    Oh, and I didn't think we knew one another. There is a writer of whom I am quite the fan and I shot him an email with the blog address and thought perhaps he was being sneaky using 'semi-famous writer'.

    Thanks again!


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