“Do you think its worth complaining?”

This is the question posed to me while I politely minded my own business waiting for my healthy Mexican Pizza from the Border. A stereotypical Town citizen asked me the question above. I say “stereotypical” because the aura of self-entitlement surrounding her was stifling.

She briefly explained to me that an officer (I didn’t ask where or which cop) was very rude to her on a traffic stop. She said he yelled at her.

MC: Did you get out of the car?
Lady: Yes.
MC: Did he yell to you to get back in the car?
Lady: Yes.
MC: Did you comply?
Lady: Yes.
MC: I’d have told you to do the exact same thing.

I went on to explain to her the frame of mind of a police officer on a traffic stop. Allow me to educate the rest of you…

Let’s say I’m pulling you over. I don’t know you. I most likely can’t see into your car. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a ’09 Mercedes or an ’89 minivan. Cops can’t afford to make snap judgements of drivers based on their ride. If the driver’s door opens and you get out, I will tell you politely (but with command) to sit down. If you don’t, I will yell at you to sit down.

Make no mistake, friends. During a traffic stop, you are being detained. It could not matter less to me if you think it is justified or not. I am not interested in your opinion of either my tactics or my reasoning for stopping you (refer to blog title…you deserved it). During a detention, you are more or less bound by law (within legal reason) to do what you’re told. Most adults don’t take kindly to that. I understand that. I don’t care. My tactics, whatever they may be, get me home to the Wife and Kid.

Now, I didn’t say all of that to the lady at Taco Bell because, let’s be honest, I just wanted my damn mexican pizza. I gave her the reader’s digest version of “It’s for our safety and yours”. She rolled her eyes. I am not kidding. I pointed at her face and said, “If I can be perfectly honest with you, that is more than likely why you got yelled at. Your attitude and demeanor.” I actually said it very politely and I think she may have actually listened to me.

I know a lot of you that read this are either cops, dispatchers, or married to them, but I know there are some that have no idea about our world. By in large, cops aren’t “out to get” you. When our paths do cross, however, just be polite. Take responsiblity. And, without sounding cliche, do what we tell you. It truly is for your safety and ours. I get that most of us don’t like to be told what to do. I get it. I guarantee, however, that if you give up a little control and go with the program, whatever the issue is, it will go much more smoothly than if you decide to exert your own wants/desires.

Until a scene is rendered secure, regardless of the detail, your wants/desires rank right up there with my desire to be in a kayak next to a humpback whale (They scare the shit out of me…they’re fucking HUGE!)

So, to answer the original question…”Do you think it is worth complaining?”

Nope. Do what you’re told.

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

13 thoughts on ““Do you think its worth complaining?”

  1. I think PD's should publish a "what to do if you're stopped by the police" piece and send it their area residents.

    When I watched Rookies, the officers in Jefferson Parish got out of their cruisers and called out to the occupants of the car, and told them to come back to the cruiser to talk during the traffic stop. And that was at the very beginning of the stop.

    So it can be confusing unless you've been stopped before. But I think a lot of women are taken aback when you guys talk in your "cop voice";)

  2. When I get pulled over, I always shuffle around randomly and reach under my seat alot. Then I file something with IA when the cop yells at me. Then I call the ACLU.

  3. "Do what your told."

    Grammar Police. Stay in the blog, do not get out. I am detaining you until you edit the post.
    Don't give me any attitude.

    Ha! Ha!

  4. I live in Northern California as well. I have a question for you. The other day I was at our favorite diner(my wife,kids and I). We were seated. Sitting behind us were 3 police officers and a sergeant. I was speaking with my family. I wasn't paying much attention to the officers sitting behind us because they were eating just like us. One of them began to swear(f-bombs). My wife and I turned around. The officers continued their rant. They were discussing some police training they attended in Nevada. They bragged about being hung over and sleeping during much of the training. That is none of my business but the continued searing-F this and F that. I asked the waitress to move us. I've never heard cops talk like that before. Do you think thats appropriate public behavior for uniformed cops?

  5. Anonymous,

    Absolutely not. I don't know how much of the blog you've read, but in my first post, I do mention that cops swear; however, in a public forum like what you describe is patently inappropriate, offensive and unprofessional.

    My co-workers and I are known to use colorful language at the PD when no citizens are around or on our off time (like in a blog), but I don't have any issue with that.

    A uniformed officer occasionally slipping? It happens. It's happened to me. But repeatedly and in an environment like you describe is not even remotely appropriate.

  6. Thanks for responding. I didn't think that was normal. I told my kids the cops were sick and didn't feel well. I didn't know how else to explain it.

  7. Anonymous,

    I'm sorry you had to experience something like that. I can't offer any excuses, but I can apologize on their behalf.

  8. Anonymous- you should have got up and shook their hands, and said you just wanted to thank them for their service, especially after last week. And then asked them to chill with the language. They would have felt like the biggest cock holes this side of Pelican Bay.

  9. Would you explain why it's safer if the driver stays in the car?

    Thanks in advance

  10. Querki,

    Initially, you should always stay in the car unless directed otherwise. If you jump out, we are anticipating some sort of altercation, be it verbal, physical, or worse.

    I have people stay in the car for a number of reasons, some of the more important ones are a)it's for my safety. If I can keep you contained, it's easier to control you. b)it's for your safety. I don't need you out in traffic and then getting tattooed by a passing car. c)if you do anything out of the norm or expressly against what I order you to do, it sends up a red flag indicating to me there might be more going on than a simple traffic violation.

    Those are just some of the reasons. Every stop is different and I may have the same reasoning behind telling you to get out of the car. Suffice it to say, however, always stay put with your hands visibile. It's just safer for all involved.

    Thanks for reading…


  11. Drivers jumping out of their cars on cars stops is one of my pet peeves. Is that grammatically correct? Grammar police help me out here.

    Anywho, your post is spot on and I couldn't say it any better myself.

    I have had a series of these lately. I can usually go moths without anyone hopping out on me, but just this past week or two I've had half a dozen at least.

    Be safe and keep up the good work.

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