Name Dropping

Here’s a little bit of advice from me to you:

When I stop you, at least be sure the person whose name you are about to drop still actually works there.

First off, I don’t care who you know.  Neither you nor they are above the law.  Simply knowing someone who happens to work at the same place I do means nothing to me and will not immediately guarantee you a warning.  As a matter of fact, it may encourage me in the opposite direction.  A direction I naturally lean anyway, by the way.  Do I always give a ticket to someone who knows a mutual friend/acquaintance?  No.  Do I always let them slide?  Nope.

You know what will more likely get you out of a ticket?  Brace yourself….


Feel free to take a moment to recover and then continue reading.

An old-school concept to be sure, but nonetheless much more successful.  When you get stopped, instead of trying to dig up that chick’s name you dated back in high school that you are pretty sure became a cop and might work at the same place I do, why not go with something more along the lines of, “I f’d up.”  You don’t even have to know what it was you f’d up.  Just show some damn backbone.

Secondly, not only do I not care who you know, but I find it uproariously amusing when you drop a name of someone who has literally been gone for years.  Seems you and ol’ what’s-his-face weren’t so chummy after all seeing as you have no clue where he’s currently employed.

Thirdly, there are ways to deliver your newly discovered news that we may share an acquaintance.  An additional hint: smarmy (see also: douchy) deliveries are not the way to go.  Neither is the “Hey doesn’t my life long pal out rank you” vibe.  Just a heads up.

Finally, if you failed the first three steps, I will congratulate you on one thing.  You have provided me with blog fodder.

In the words of Daniel Tosh…and for that, we thank you.

Anybody every try to name drop on you for a favor?

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

14 thoughts on “Name Dropping

  1. love it! we did a traffic stop a few weeks ago, had the guy drop (in the INITIAL contact) the names of a shift sergeant, admin LT, captain, the chief, and a commissioner. He did this just to try and get out of a ticket for 15mph over which we had no intention of writing him for in the first place, needless to say we decided to give him a ticket instead for his smug attitude and the most ridiculous amount of name dropping I’ve ever heard.

  2. No ticket for 15 over???? Must not be a motor. Whenever some violator drops the name of a co-worker (1 of the 700), if I’m friends with ’em, they often get a pass, but if not, I tell them to ask their friend for guidance on how to take care of that ticket. Ta-ta now.

  3. As an Air Force cop, we have our fair share of this, whether it be a spouse, child, or even officers. Last week we stopped a Major for going 85 in a 45. He tried to talk his way out of the ticket but found himself walking away with a ticket for reckless driving instead.

  4. I never understood people’s reasoning behind name droppping, I can’t believe that people still believe the crazy notion that it accomplishes anything. I know about 70% of our local cops most of them very well personally but I ain’t even stupid enough to drop names. Not that I get stopped all that often since they know my car (lets just say it stands out like a sore thumb) and just call/text me and tell me to stop doing whatever it is that I was doing and the ones that do stop me usually lecture me, roll their eyes and we end up swap bullshit stories. 😉

  5. Didn’t try to name drop, but I was on my way back to Tucson from Huachuca City, AZ from visiting my folks. This was back in 2008.

    It was pretty late at night and I was doing something stupid, driving while tired to the point I was spacing out and in danger of nodding off at the wheel.

    In any case, I had to drive about 15-20 minutes to get to the interstate, and this is really close to Benson, so there will be Benson PD along with highway patrol.

    On the approach to the intersection where the turn to the interstate is, the speed limit rapidly drops from 65 to 55 to 45 to 35. So there I was, driving while impaired, spaced out, going 70 mph in a 45, soon to be a 35 mph zone.

    Get some red and blues behind me and pull over into the gas station / truck stop.

    Keys out of the ignition and on the dashboard, both hands on the wheel, and window rolled up.

    They approach, I roll the window down and hand over Drivers license and paperwork (insurance and registration). I get asked the standard questions (had anything to drink tonight? A : No) and they tell me I was speeding.

    First thing out of my mouth is : Damn, I screwed up. I tell them that I was visiting my folks from Tucson and was on my way home and that I was actually pretty tired.

    At this point I was resigned to a ticket and felt I deserved it. Told them I was going to park in the lot and get some rest before I continued on my way.

    Surprisingly, no ticket (my clean record probably helped too ! Huzzah !) and I got a warning. They made sure I parked and was getting rest too.

    I never did get the names of those officers, but they probably saved my life that night, and the lives of other people. Chances were pretty high I could have had an accident since the interstate is 75 mph most of the way to Tucson (about an hour’s drive).

    Since then, I’ve always made sure I was in shape to make a long trip like that before I did it.

    All of you guys do save lives out there and do have a positive impact on some of us. Thank you for being there !

  6. I’ve had my share of crazy breaks such as getting let go without a ticket a few times after getting stopped for 60+ in a 35mph zone, so I have some experience from the civilian side on the subject. There is no one trick that will guarantee that you’ll get let go without a ticket every time, but here are the things you CAN do to significantly stack the odds in your favor that the officer will either cut you loose or fail to file TBD/show up for court:

    -Good or better performance on the attitude test is paramount. Now, gratuitous bootlicking is NOT the way to go. Honesty falls squarely under this category. If you weren’t going more than 10mph over and didn’t do anything stupid in the last few minutes, that’s one thing. On the other hand, if you were doing 70mph in a school zone and claim you have no idea why you got stopped, you’ll look like either criminally stupid or a really lousy liar. No bonus points for either of these two.

    -Having your paperwork in order and no warrants on your head goes a long way towards encouraging the officer to look elsewhere. Hint: If you are asked only for your license rather than all three papers, time to be on your very best behavior. There is a very good chance you’ll get cut loose as soon as your license comes back valid with no wants.

    -Observing basic officer safety protocol is always a good idea. Just simple stuff like pulling over right away in a safe location, keeping your paperwork in places where the officer can easily see your hands, and etc. I know MC blogged on this one a few times in the past. You are not going to win any bonus points if you have to stick your hand elbow-deep inside the center console while you dig through all the crap trying to find your reg and insurance.

    Like I said, there are no guarantees you won’t get cited. Cops such as motors and CHP tend to cite well over 80% of the people they stop. On the other hand, with cops whose primary duty isn’t traffic, it’s not unusual for the same percentage to be below 30%. A lot of it boils down to luck, but at least you won’t be that stupid shmuck who talked himself into GETTING a ticket.

  7. Actually had a guy drop my name one day…the look on his face when I gave him the ticket with the name he dropped on the top was Priceless. Should always look at the officers name tag before you start throwing names around. Who says our job can’t be entertaining!

    • One possible response could be, “Ah. So he can verify to me that you drive like a nut?”

  8. No name dropping but I use to have KMA plates on my car and that got me a couple of warnings. I was MUCH younger then so taking advantage didn’t really seem like such a bad thing.

  9. Delurking to share a story! My dad is a retired Mass State Trooper, and is full of stories (he should write a book – or maybe a blog?!). He always said that the best way to get a written warning (or even a verbal one) was not to name drop, but to be honest, as you mention above. One of my favorite stories though, involves name-dropping. He pulled over a speeding motorist who said “Oh, yeah, I got a buddy on the State Police, Mike C” He name-dropped my FATHER who had just pulled him over, whose NAME was on his uniform – my father had never laid eyes on this guy. My dad said “Oh, yeah? You know the guy well?” The motorist said “Yeah, yeah, great guy!” My father said “I think he’s an a**hole” and wrote out a ticket. To this day he still doesn’t know who the guy was or how he got his name. The two times I’ve been pulled over by MSP and Connecticut SP I didn’t even name drop, it takes some balls to drop the name of a guy you don’t even know, but it makes for a good story when you name drop the guy who’s pulling you over 🙂

  10. Never namedroped,just when a few times when I was pulled over,Ididn’t give a excuse or story about”knowing someone”. I just was ready to hand my i.d.,insurance/regstration when asked for it in a calm,informing manner where this all was. I had relatives in law who told me “Don;t argue,say names you know,and act like a all-around asshole when LEO’s stop you.” Just be calm,tell officers when your stuff is at and ask if you can get what you need. Mine is in easy,nonthreating places. When I produce these items and hand over them quickly,which did prove points with officers. And DON’T GIVE THEM A LINE was pointed out by family: You did something that wasn’t right or was seen as that could be going south. Fuss Up to what I was doing and take it from there. Me doing this did get me off with a friendly warning and I do heed friendly warnings. We do talk about some people I know and where they are and how their doing. Never used anyone as a out on when stopped,so I don’t run,cause trouble or brag who I know. Just a learning lesson and note it and go home. As the officer should too.

  11. My best name dropping tale comes from a day in the very recent past.

    I stopped a driver for a cell phone violation, and he told me he was very good friends with my sergeant, and as a matter of fact that was exactly who he was talking to on the phone.

    He was none too happy when I looked over the roof if his car and asked the very sergeant he was speaking of if he had a bluetooth in his helmet because I didn’t see him talking on his phone when I was parked next to him just a few seconds ago.

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