I’d like to think by now I’ve made it more than clear I dig on writing tickets. It never ceases to amaze me, however, how often I hear the “end of the month” argument. It goes something like this. I stop someone for doing something they shouldn’t. I contact the driver, get their info, go back to the bike and write the cite. Then, I walk back up to the driver and ask them to sign. Commence time-honored, albeit ridiculous, argument:
MC: Okay, I just need you to sign the highlighted yellow portion (where it says signature)
Driver: Are you serious?
MC (resisting the urge to sarcastically say, “No, I’m just messing with you”): You’re not admitting any guilt by signing, it’s just a promise to appear.
Driver: Must be the end of the month, huh? Gotta fill that quota. (OR) Gotta generate some revenue, eh?
This is what I’d like to say…”Listen, asswipe. I don’t give a good goddamn about making a quota (follow above link for a discussion on that) or making any money. How’s about you take some responsibility for the stupid shit you just pulled. Believe it or not, jackhole, I’m out here to protect you from yourself. I’m here to make sure you don’t cause a collision or hurt anybody else. So do us both a favor and sign the fuckin’ ticket and get the hell outta my Town.
Folks, let me take yet another opportunity to repeat myself…I truly don’t care about the number of tickets I write. I set a goal for myself each month. Statistics don’t lie. The more tickets my partner and I write, the less collisions we tend to have.
When you apply to be a police officer, you go through a fairly rigorous application process. One of the steps is the Oral Board. They ask you a bunch of questions. One of them is the typical “Why do you want to be a police officer.” My answer was, “Because I want to help others.” There was a little more to it, of course, but the bottom line was just that. I still believe that. I actually do go to work every day with the desire to help other people. That is the basis for all the things I do at work.
I’ve got a beautiful little girl. Sometimes, she does some things she shouldn’t. My response? Discipline. If I don’t point out the thing she did and explain to her why it was inappropriate and she doesn’t have any consequences, she won’t grow up to be a responsible adult. The correlation between her and the people I stop every day is obvious. It’s the same logic, but with a heavier emphasis on the consequences.
Some drivers are just too dense to get it and will continue to violate the law. No worries, I’ll stop them again and cite them again. And again. And again. Understand that I have no problem citing the same driver repeatedly. My favorite argument is, “I just got a ticket for this.” Like that’s supposed to be some kind of get-out-of-jail-free card. Uh, guess what? The ticket isn’t some kind of talisman that prevents you from getting cited for that particular violation for a predetermined amount of time, my friend.
I know the State, County, Town, insert f’d up governmental body here, is in dire straits financially. My job is not to put revenue in their coffers. I don’t give a professional shit about how Arnold has completely screwed the State. Nor do I care how the Town/City/County government is constantly giving themselves raises, but punishing the rest of us (at least not in the professional sense…on the personal tip it really creases me, but that’s not the point of the blog). My function is not to meet budget shortfalls or to repair short-sighted fools with too much power and too little sense.
My job is to help create and maintain safe roadways for you and your family. That’s it. I take my job very seriously. Sure, I have a good time and I’m a smartass and I occasionally laugh at other’s expense. All of that doesn’t mean the purity of purpose behind my antics is any less clear.
You have officially been warned (again). If you do something illegal in front of me, I will stop you. I will cite you. You will suffer the consequences. Oh, and you may end up the subject of a sarcastically written blog post. It’s part of the consequences…