Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to do some pretty incredible things. I’ve made dozens of arrests. I’ve been in fights. I’ve issued countless tickets. I’ve saved lives.
During my time in both the driver’s seat and atop my motorcycle, I have picked up a few clues I felt important to pass along to the newly minted patrol officer.
Clue #1. When the driver you have pulled over has purple-stained lips, you may want to investigate for a possible DUI.
True story. I pulled this dude over years ago and it looked like he was wearing Beyonce’s lipstick. Now, the fact that he also smelled like a winery was also indicative he may have been operating a motor vehicle in a most unsafe fashion, but can you imagine the sheer capacity it would take to stain one’s lips such a deep and rich color?
[Tweet “If your lips are stained purple, you are giving yourself away. #BeyonceLipstick”]
Clue #2. When transporting an in-custody with a warrant who is also 5150 (bat-shit crazy), make sure the individual is not trying to end their lives using the seatbelt.
Also true and the #1 reason I hate taking people to jail (not the act of arresting them, but the act of actually driving them…thank God for my motorcycle and beat cops). Many moons ago, whilst in training, I went to serve a warrant on a female. She also made threats to harm herself. Guess what? There are shrink in the jail, so off we went! I was driving and my training officer was riding shotgun. It was deathly quiet in the back seat, but being the good driver that I am, I was paying attention to the road.
Imagine my surprise when I got to the jail and got out of the car to see her now blue face up against the passenger window. Wingnut (a technical term) had wrapped her head around the seat belt repeatedly and tried to hang herself. She failed and my report remained very short.
[Tweet “Seatbelts make terrible nooses. #FieldTested”]
Clue #3. When attempting to catch a speeder and a completely different car does some crazy shit in an obvious attempt to avoid you, you may want to let the speeder go and investigate that suspicious vehicle.
In the not-too-recent past, I was attempting that very activity when a completely different car busted across the double yellow, passed a bunch of cars on the wrong side of the road, and dropped the hammer (read: increased his speed significantly). Being the observant and well-trained motor officer, I said to myself (out loud, no less…not even kidding), “Well that seems kinda suspicious. I do believe I’ll try to talk to that dude.”
At which point, I tried that very thing. I never got closer than about 400 yards. Dude blew a light and I lost sight of him.
Not to worry, though, I caught him. I came around the corner and saw him stacked up sideways against a couple other vehicle stopped for a red light. After securing him, I took great pleasure in mentioning to him, “Dude. I wasn’t even coming after you.” His crestfallen face was totally worth it.
[Tweet “Making suspects cry at their poor decision-making skills is food to my soul. #YouSuckAtDriving”]
Two interesting side notes to that last story.
First, dumbass only ran because he was suspended.
Second, the light he ran? A witness (who had the green) didn’t enter the intersection because he heard my siren. If my siren wasn’t sounding, he would have entered the intersection and would have been killed. Like a lot. Suspect was doing at least 90 (in a 35, by the way).
Sound those sirens, kids…it ain’t just for our safety.
Question: What about you, fellow veteran LEO? What deceptively easy clues can you offer the new patrol officer? You can leave a comment by clicking here.