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  #1  
Old 03-21-2007, 04:37 AM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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How do I stop the police from harassing me?

I work part time for a water treatment company. I've been with them for 16 years or so. Right now I work 2 hours a day 6 days a week operating a regeneration plant for ion exchange resin bed. It is one of my 4 jobs so I often fit the hours in at odd times of the day. Usually somewhere between 9pm and 2 am. Sometimes when I get to the business I might have to wait a few more minutes for a regeneration to finish or make phone calls before I go inside. So I do these things while sitting in my car.
The business is on the main road in a town of 7000 people. the police station is less then a mile down on the same road.

In the past two months I've had police officers show up. Each time they seem to get worse.

The first time I had arrived and was searching my passenger seat for my gloves. When I got out of the car I noticed a cruiser had pulled in the parking lot. The officer waved my over and asked what I was doing there at that time of night. I explained I worked there. He asked a few questions about what I did. I answered he questions. He told me to have a good night. I thanked him for checking in on the business and went on to do my job. I felt this was a reasonable action. He didn't take any real amount of my time was just checking to make sure I wasn't robbing the place or something.

The second time, a week ago, I was on the phone in my car, in the parking lot. A cruiser pulled in behind me shined the spotlight on my car. I noticed it but didn't rush to finish my conversation when I was done I got out of my car and went over to talk to the officer. I told him I worked there. He demanded to see me license. I gave it to him he told me to wait while he ran it. I stood around in the cold waiting. Eventually he gave it back and went on his way. This upset me a bit. I don't think they have any right to demand my license and I don't want my time wasted while they do whatever it is they do.

This morning once again I was in my car, in the parking lot. I had to wait for a regeneration to finish so I was playing a game on my phone. A cruiser pulled in flashing blue lights parked behind me. I went to get out of my car. The officer said on the loud speaker to remain in my car. I sat for about ten minutes. She came over to my car I opened the door so I could speak to her. The whole exchange she was very rude.

She asked 'your window doesn't work'.
I said 'not when the car is off.'
She said 'why are you sitting in your car with it off.'
I hesitated not really knowing how to answer that then told her I worked there and had to wait a few minutes before starting.
She told me she needed to see my license to run it to make sure I wasn't wanted for anything.
I asked if I could go inside while she did so. She told me 'no, remain in your car'

I sat for a good long time, eventually she came back with my license. She handed it to me. She asked why I was there at this hour. I told her that it is a part time job that I fit in during odd hours.

She then noticed boxes in my back seat and asked what was in them. They were mostly lighting fixtures for my other job. I told her as much. She then shined her flashlight on a open box of toy transformers I'm holding for my friend for her 4 year old. She said those don't look like lights. I was getting quite annoyed at her attitude at that point. I told her 'no that box is toys. Do you feel the need to search my car now?' She said 'no' and left.


I can't imagine they've never seen my car there before. I don't really want to be interrogated every time I go to work there. I'm considered calling up the police station and asking what I have to do to stop them from wasting my time. I'm thinking the way this is progressing it won't be long before they start handcuffing me and dragging me down to the station.

I've never been arrested for anything. I'd lived in this town for a few years.I don't live that far away now. I'd think just running my plate would give them enough info to not have to bother me. Just fucking leave me alone.
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2007, 04:44 AM
Fish Fish is offline
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Ask your job if there's some kind of authorization sticker or company logo you can temporarily paste into the back window. Make sure the cops know what that sticker means.

Go down to the station and explain your position to them, but don't be rude. Provide them with your work number, or your boss's number or whatever. In a town of 7,000 people there can't be that many police officers. They'll all soon get to know you. You might be surprised; they might even get accustomed to seeing you and get worried about you if you aren't there.
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  #3  
Old 03-21-2007, 04:52 AM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish
Ask your job if there's some kind of authorization sticker or company logo you can temporarily paste into the back window. Make sure the cops know what that sticker means.

Go down to the station and explain your position to them, but don't be rude. Provide them with your work number, or your boss's number or whatever. In a town of 7,000 people there can't be that many police officers. They'll all soon get to know you. You might be surprised; they might even get accustomed to seeing you and get worried about you if you aren't there.
The company is me and 3 other people. I think a sticker might be overboard. Apparently they haven't managed to get accustomed to seeing me there in the past 16 years. I think there are 25 officers in the town at this point(I have no idea why!) They seem to have too much free time on there hands and talking to other people in town this type of activity is not unusual for the police department.
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  #4  
Old 03-21-2007, 04:53 AM
anamnesis anamnesis is offline
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First of all, I can understand your annoyance with the police, but they have a legitimate interest in your presence there late at night and have no reason not to believe you aren't up to no good there. It's stupid, but the burden of proof is on you, and you aren't exhibiting any signs of the kind of behavior they expect from someone not out to cause trouble.

1) Never get out of your car to approach an officer. Ever. Let them come to you. If one of them let you do this, they're an idiot and aren't doing their job properly, even if part of that job includes aiming a bright fucking spotlight in your face and not turning it off. Just look away and wait for them to approach.

2) Do not hassle them or give them lip. This applies to tone of voice as well. I know it's hard when you've done nothing wrong, but if you cooperate, they will not be as dickish to you.

3) Ask the officer for their name and badge number, particularly if this happens more than once. You should've started doing this on the second occasion. You also should've mentioned to the other officers that you've been questioned previously by other officers, which you could've corroborated if you'd had the other officers' names.

4) Call the station and speak to a police chief immediately. Inform the chief of your work situation and that you're being hassled during your shift. Give them the number to your employer and whatever other information they need to corroborate your legitimacy. On preview, Fish already alluded to this. I think more than anything this should be your first step. The first three are just for future reference in dealing with police.
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2007, 05:19 AM
Faminista Faminista is offline
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Go to the police station and tell them while you're appreciative of their efforts to safe-guard the community, being interrogated by their officers night after night is starting to have serious ramifications on the quality of your work.
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2007, 07:41 AM
buns3000 buns3000 is offline
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[Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar] Stop breakin' the law, asshole!! [JCiLL]
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2007, 07:54 AM
Madd Maxx Madd Maxx is offline
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I think I know the problem. Late at night, water treatment plant, 25 officers for a town of 7000, just down the road from the station. They are bored/just finishing their shift/just starting their shift and there you are lookin' all suspicious and up to no good.
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2007, 09:02 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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You need to speek with the police department, and make them aware that you do this regularly, and you're getting questioned a lot, so could they please make a notation, and inform the officers you do what you do. They patrol at night looking for robbers and when a vehicle is parked outside a closed bussiness it gets checked out. It's something the owners expect to be done. You'ld have a reason to be upset if the same officer was questioning you. Never exit a vehicle and start twords a police car, and don't start digging on the floor or such. That's what happens before cops get shot at, and they might shot you first.
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  #9  
Old 03-21-2007, 09:29 AM
2gigch1 2gigch1 is offline
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Perhaps a simple email to the department may do the trick, politely and kindly worded, explaining who you are and give a description of yourself, vehicle and parameters of employment. This will likely end up as a notation in a few of the roll calls before folks go out to work and it is likely you will see some officers and they'll give you a wave (now knowing who you are) and may come over to see if you are okay.

Not that I am a big fan of authorities nosing into my business (whole other story) but there exists a great liklihood that something untoward has happened there or near there and the patrol has been asked to step up their checks of the area. Therefore what was once not of interest now is to the law enforcement brigade.
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2007, 09:31 AM
asterion asterion is offline
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Oh yeah, those dangerous water treatment plant robbers.

Hell, the OP's probably lucky some overzealous cop hasn't arrested him on suspicion of being a terrorist.
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  #11  
Old 03-21-2007, 09:39 AM
Loach Loach is offline
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You work at a water treatment plant. And you think there is a problem with them checking out a suspicious vehicle in the middle of the night? I would check you every night and twice on Sunday. They are doing their jobs. They are not bored. They are not harassing you. They are doing exactly what they are supposed to do. You don't like it, stop parking there for long periods of time in the middle of the night. If you have some down time before work go to a dinner. Or put up with them checking up on you. Of course they are going to check on any suspicious activity at the local water treatment facility. You think they shouldn't?
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  #12  
Old 03-21-2007, 10:38 AM
UncleRojelio UncleRojelio is online now
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I'm with Loach on this one. Go ahead and try to let the police chief know about your circumstances but, other than that, just be glad that the cops in your town appear to give a damn who is screwing with the water supply.
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  #13  
Old 03-21-2007, 10:49 AM
bobkitty bobkitty is offline
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I would like to echo anamnesis' excellent post.

You are not helping your case with your behavior, starting with the second officer. I find it interesting that you don't want your time wasted, yet "didn't rush to end your conversation," thereby wasting the officer's time. Your tone of voice, snarky "Do you feel the need to search my car now?" comment, and overall attitude is what is escalating these encounters.

There are several very good suggestions here that you should consider following, including talking to your boss and asking him/her to file a statement with the police that if they see X car with Y plates and a person fitting Z description, that's an employee. But I'll add that if you're really concerned about being harassed, stop sitting in your car. Surely there's a chair somewhere in the plant where you can play a game on your cell or make phone calls.

Incidentally,
Quote:
I don't think they have any right to demand my license
They have every right to "demand" your license. You are sitting in front of a business, well past business hours, doing.. something, but they aren't sure what. All they have to go on is your word, and from your description here you're behaving kinda like a prick. They don't have a right to search your car, but they sure as hell can make sure you are who you claim to be.
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  #14  
Old 03-21-2007, 11:03 AM
StinkyBurrito StinkyBurrito is offline
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The cops have the responsibility to keep the town safe so they are doing a good job protecting the water supply, but you also have every right in the world to sit around in the parking lot for as long as you feel like it. You are a law abiding citizen, and the police force is there to serve and protect YOU from the criminals. They want to make sure you get to your job safely and easily. But in their position they just don't know any different and take the safer route of protecting the health and lives of 7,000 people first and then worrying about your time and energy being wasted second.

You suggested it yourself, call or go to the police station and ask them what the best course of action is. They want to help you while catching the crooks and do that all as efficiently as possible. I'm sure they will have some good suggestions for you.
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  #15  
Old 03-21-2007, 02:05 PM
Marlitharn Marlitharn is offline
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Don't discount the possibility that your presence there is being phoned in to the police station by Concerned Citizens (either neighbors or people driving by). When Concerned Citizens call it's a miracle if they can give more vehicle description than "it's some kind of car", and we have to dispatch officers out to check on it. If the cops don't know you by sight, then yeah, they're going to I.D. you.

Yeah, you'd think after 16 years the cops would be familiar with your habits, but maybe they just had a mass hiring or something and the rookies are being overzealous. Call the P.D. and let them know what's going on; give them your name and vehicle description and tell them you're there every night, and ask them to please pass that on to their night officers (and the night dispatchers; no one ever remembers to tell us anything ). Then instead of bored cops pulling in to harass you you'll have bored cops pulling in to shoot the breeze. They've got good stories.
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  #16  
Old 03-21-2007, 02:25 PM
chappachula chappachula is offline
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There are only 25 cops in the whole police force. You have met 3 of them in the past few days. So you only have 22 more faces and names to learn. That shouldn't be too hard. Drop by the police station in your spare time(during day-shift hours) and explain your situation. The 2 or 3 cops on duty will remember you. Now you only have 19 names to learn. Drop by again, (during night-shift hours). Two more cops on duty to chat with. Now you only have 17 more people to meet....


Seriously--learn their names, and greet them with a friendly smile . "Hi, officer Johnson, I haven't seen you for a couple weeks. I see you're working the night shift again. like me. Sure is chilly tonight, but at least it isn't raining like when Billy-Bob checked up on me last night."


Or am I missing something here?
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  #17  
Old 03-21-2007, 02:29 PM
chappachula chappachula is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boytyperanma
The company is me and 3 other people. I think a sticker might be overboard
why? Haven't you ever called a plumber to your house? He may be a one-man business, but he still has his name and phone number painted professionally on his pickup truck.
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  #18  
Old 03-21-2007, 03:42 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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A plumber has his name and number on his truck because it's ADVERTISING. When you need a plumber, and you look in the Yellow Pages or online, a semi-familiar name is more likely to get called.

However, in the OP's case, yeah, go ahead and let the PD know that you're gonna be there, waiting for the machine to get through with its business, and your car is more comfortable and has more fun stuff in it.
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  #19  
Old 03-21-2007, 03:55 PM
Cowgirl Jules Cowgirl Jules is offline
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I'm a water guy too. All of the professional education and magazines lately have been hugely emphasizing security at water plants, although I didn't know that it had trickled down to local police departments too. That makes sense though, as it's all come from 9/11, and has had enough time to percolate.

And I run a one-man business too, working by myself at odd hours and in weird locations. I have my name on my truck and usually an orange light on the top. Mostly for advertising, true, but I've had more than a few cops drive by me, take a look at my branding, nod, and drive on by. I've never been stopped. I get nodded at by cops and other utility workers on the road, which always surprises me, until I remember that I'm nowhere near as anonymous as I think I am.

See if that company will make you a magnet sign. Then you don't have to advertise for them on your hours off. They're not too expensive. Talking to the police department sounds like a good idea too.

Jules, Water Distribution Operator (among other things.)
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  #20  
Old 03-21-2007, 04:01 PM
Andrew Bird Andrew Bird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anamnesis
It's stupid, but the burden of proof is on you
No, it not. We do not live in a police state.


http://www.aclu.org/police/gen/14528res20040730.html
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  #21  
Old 03-21-2007, 04:02 PM
Andrew Bird Andrew Bird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Bird
No, it not.
No, it's not.
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  #22  
Old 03-21-2007, 04:05 PM
Waverly Waverly is offline
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You need to be forceful with them. Perhaps brandish a firearm so that they know you mean business.
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  #23  
Old 03-21-2007, 04:52 PM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Bird
We do not live in a police state.
True, but that doesn't mean that the police cannot make your life extremely annoying for a while. He is in his car, that means he is required to show a license, insurance and registration. He can be patted down. If anything in his car looks suspicious enough (probable cause) they can lock him in the back of the cruiser while rifling through his belongings. If he refuses a search, they can sit him on the sidewalk for an hour or two until a search warrant arrives, if a warrant is required.

Granted, they can't necessarily arrest you, and their choice of actions are limited, but even within those limitations your day can be ruined.

Our OP's best bet is to avoid doing suspicious things. If you can park your car and go inside, park and go inside. If you have 10 minutes to wait, or calls to make, stop at dunkin donuts. You can't do innocent things that appear suspicious and expect the police to leave you alone. Another option is to get cozy with the beat cops, be talkative let them know you're a regular at that spot, they can expect to see you there a couple of nights a week, that sort of thing.
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  #24  
Old 03-21-2007, 05:20 PM
anamnesis anamnesis is offline
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Andrew:

First of all, FYI, there is an edit button for correcting harmless misspellings now.

I never suggested we live in a police state, and the ACLU page you linked to restates everything I said. Just because we don't live in a police state doesn't mean the police need to explain their reasons for investigating what is obviously a suspicious situation in their eyes.

Cheesesteak was right on in his post, although becoming buddies with the cops is probably going a bit far, unless the OP is really interested in that kind of thing. Judging from the way he talks about them though, I'd say he isn't. Just because we don't live in a police state doesn't mean you can expect to be obstinate with police about "your rights" and get off without a hassle. I said the onus is on the OP because he's in the situation and whether he likes it or not, the path of least resistance is his choice to make if he wants the authorities to leave him be. The path of most resistance will only get him into more trouble.
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  #25  
Old 03-21-2007, 05:22 PM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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It is not a treatment plant for municipal water. It is for softener tanks our company rents and exchange in customers homes. People choose these over a regular self regenerating water softener for different reasons.

I am on private property sitting in my car. If I was driving it it might be a different story. From my understanding I don't have to even have a license to do this, much less hand it out to any officer that feels like running it. Last I checked being in the parking lot of a place I work at is not illegal. They could sit and wait till I did something that might be considered a crime before harassing me. Like watch me go to the door unlock it with keys I have and disable the alarm I have codes for.

The reason I don't go inside is we turn the heat down at night. The offices are kept around 55 and the plant is kept at 45. Sometimes I'll go inside turn the heat up and hang out in my car till it warms up inside. My car(even when I've turned it off already) is a more comfy place to hang out.
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  #26  
Old 03-21-2007, 05:46 PM
lorene lorene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waverly
You need to be forceful with them. Perhaps brandish a firearm so that they know you mean business.
I can't seem to stop laughing at this.
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  #27  
Old 03-21-2007, 06:33 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Quit offering "Synchronicity" for download on WinMX...
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  #28  
Old 03-21-2007, 06:42 PM
Hal Briston Hal Briston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waverly
You need to be forceful with them. Perhaps brandish a firearm so that they know you mean business.
I was thinking that he should make himself less obvious. Perhaps by skulking in the shadows while wearing a ski mask. The cops can't hassle those they can't see.
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  #29  
Old 03-21-2007, 06:52 PM
Miller Miller is online now
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"Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Your normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side. This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. Make the bastard chase you. He will follow." - Hunter S. Thompson
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  #30  
Old 03-22-2007, 04:39 AM
tashabot tashabot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anamnesis
Never get out of your car to approach an officer. Ever.
I know and understand the reasoning behind this. It just saddens me incredibly. The police are supposed to be the good guys. You're supposed to be able to approach them, without them suspecting you of brandishing a weapon or trying to steal something. Now they're the bad guys and everyone they pull over is a suspect. I was under the impression that we were all innocent until proven guilty, but I guess not.

I'm only 22 but I remember that my town used to have some beat cops - as in, they actually walked a beat. Man, they were the coolest. I was totally bummed when they phased them out. Everyone in my neighborhood could talk to one of them if there was an issue and they'd get it taken care of. They were the good guys.



~Tasha
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  #31  
Old 03-22-2007, 05:19 AM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boytyperanma
Last I checked being in the parking lot of a place I work at is not illegal. They could sit and wait till I did something that might be considered a crime before harassing me. Like watch me go to the door unlock it with keys I have and disable the alarm I have codes for.
OK, but it's the middle of the freaking night and although you know who you are and what you're doing, they don't, and are just doing their jobs.

People have already offered sound advice in this thread. You need to get over yourself, let the station know what's up, and you should be fine. I really doubt they will continue to "harass" you after that. A little bit of friendliness can go a long way. Hell, one night someone could follow you there and mug/rape you. Then you would need their help, imagine that.
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  #32  
Old 03-22-2007, 09:39 AM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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Talk to the police chief, let him know the situation and give htem hell each and every time they approach your car. It sounds like there might be a part of the story that's missing, and it's not on your end. Once or twice, I can see. If this is a common ocurrence, tell the cop that this happens to you a lot, and you'd appreciate it if they took a picture and circulated it around so they know you and know that you're going to be there..you know..if it's that big of a hassle to have you at your workplace in your car.


How suspicious do you and your car look?
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  #33  
Old 03-22-2007, 01:35 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anamnesis
First of all, FYI, there is an edit button for correcting harmless misspellings now.
I may be wrong but I don't think that function works for guests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tashabot
I know and understand the reasoning behind this. It just saddens me incredibly. The police are supposed to be the good guys. You're supposed to be able to approach them, without them suspecting you of brandishing a weapon or trying to steal something. Now they're the bad guys and everyone they pull over is a suspect. I was under the impression that we were all innocent until proven guilty, but I guess not.
Plenty of people approach me all the time, both when I am in a car and when I am not. Everyone should feel free to walk up to an officer and ask questions. When someone says "never approach the police car" it means when you are being pulled over or if it is a situation like in the OP. Someone getting out of the car in that case makes me think he doesn't want me to see what or who is in the car or he is trying to get a mobility advantage over me while I'm stuck in my car. I don't prone out everyone who walks up to me and asks me for directions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boytyperanma
I am on private property sitting in my car. If I was driving it it might be a different story. From my understanding I don't have to even have a license to do this, much less hand it out to any officer that feels like running it. Last I checked being in the parking lot of a place I work at is not illegal. They could sit and wait till I did something that might be considered a crime before harassing me. Like watch me go to the door unlock it with keys I have and disable the alarm I have codes for.

If he has an articulable suspicion then he has every right to ask for your identity and some way to verify it. What you can and can't do in a vehicle on private property varies from state to state and is not relevent in this case. Most people would prefer the police to prevent crime rather than wait for it to happen. I guess you are in the minority. I have checked on many people in this situation. Most of the time it is something innocent like getting to work early and catching a nap. Sometimes it is a couple engaged in certain activities, which can be pretty scary depending on who it is. Sometimes it is a drunk driver, a burglar or someone doing drugs in a secluded spot. I have never had anyone who was there for a legitimate reason complain about harassment . All of them have been greatful that we are checking their businesses at all hours of the night.
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  #34  
Old 03-22-2007, 01:46 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Least Original User Name Ever
Talk to the police chief, let him know the situation and give htem hell each and every time they approach your car. It sounds like there might be a part of the story that's missing, and it's not on your end. Once or twice, I can see. If this is a common ocurrence, tell the cop that this happens to you a lot, and you'd appreciate it if they took a picture and circulated it around so they know you and know that you're going to be there..you know..if it's that big of a hassle to have you at your workplace in your car.


How suspicious do you and your car look?

Of course once or twice you can see but THREE TIMES! Holy shit! C'mon three officers at three different times see a vehicle in what normally is an empty lot in the middle of the night, occupied. That is suspicious. It is out of the ordinary. They are trained to know there districts. To know what is usual. To know which business are closed and which have workers at night. They get to know when the cleaning crews show up and leave. If there is something out of the ordinary they check it out. If the OP is there every night then he will become part of the routine. If he is there at night once a month he won't be. That is what the town is paying them for. Otherwise they would stay at the station and be dispatched like firemen after a crime occurs. Usually the complaint is about lazy cops who don't do their jobs. These guys seem to be doing the right thing and are getting shit from the OP. It is not harassment.
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  #35  
Old 03-22-2007, 02:32 PM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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Do not talk to the police. If they decide you are a trouble maker they will make your life hell. Just get used to the police state and keep your mouth shut.
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  #36  
Old 03-22-2007, 02:51 PM
RedSwinglineOne RedSwinglineOne is offline
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The next time it happens, you could ask the officer if there was something in particular that looked suspicious. Maybe there is something you don't realize you are doing, like parking in the shadows or close to the door instead of in a marked space?

Last edited by RedSwinglineOne; 03-22-2007 at 02:53 PM..
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  #37  
Old 03-22-2007, 03:28 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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In the latter two incidents (and most especially the third), it sounds like the OP was made to wait for some time while the officers checked his license. Does a license check really take more than one or two minutes? I can understand his thinking they're harassing him when it appears they're going out of their way to drag out the process and make it physically uncomfortable for him. Is there a legitimate reason for their doing so?
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  #38  
Old 03-22-2007, 03:54 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzomax
Do not talk to the police. If they decide you are a trouble maker they will make your life hell. Just get used to the police state and keep your mouth shut.
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  #39  
Old 03-22-2007, 09:23 PM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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I stopped by the police station and gave them my plate number and a brief description of myself. They told me they would let the overnight officers know.

At the point where the third officer treated me like a criminal even after she had confirmed my identity and reason for being there it is harassment in my opinion. I appreciate them noticing something out of place(I'm not sure why they still consider me out of place, maybe they changed shifts around or something)

Speaking with my lawyer the police may ask for a license but I am not required to comply with the request.

My car is a 2000 white Malibu. I'm can't think of any vehicle less suspicious. I am 6'1" short blondish hair.
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  #40  
Old 03-22-2007, 09:41 PM
Telemark Telemark is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boytyperanma
My car is a 2000 white Malibu. I'm can't think of any vehicle less suspicious.
What vehicle is more suspicious?
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  #41  
Old 03-22-2007, 09:54 PM
Morbo Morbo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark
What vehicle is more suspicious?
This one?
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  #42  
Old 03-22-2007, 10:14 PM
MissGypsy MissGypsy is offline
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All winter, my husband is called upon to do “fire-watch,” which is sitting in his truck and staring at some condo complex, because the pipes froze and the sprinkler system won’t work. Oh, and he gets to go prowl around the buildings every two hours or so, checking for random fires. The police are fairly attuned to some random person scoping a place, or skulking around apartment buildings at 3 a.m., so he’s been questioned quite a bit.

He now has professionally printed magnetic signs on his work truck, with the name of his business, and a placard to place in the windshield of his secondary truck stating that he is there by request of the management company. (Total cost was <$150, for the magnetic signs. I think he printed up the placards himself.) He hasn’t been bothered since.
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  #43  
Old 03-22-2007, 11:43 PM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark
What vehicle is more suspicious?
yeah that's what I meant
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  #44  
Old 03-22-2007, 11:44 PM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach
Of course once or twice you can see but THREE TIMES! Holy shit! C'mon three officers at three different times see a vehicle in what normally is an empty lot in the middle of the night, occupied. That is suspicious. It is out of the ordinary. They are trained to know there districts. To know what is usual. To know which business are closed and which have workers at night. They get to know when the cleaning crews show up and leave. If there is something out of the ordinary they check it out. If the OP is there every night then he will become part of the routine. If he is there at night once a month he won't be. That is what the town is paying them for. Otherwise they would stay at the station and be dispatched like firemen after a crime occurs. Usually the complaint is about lazy cops who don't do their jobs. These guys seem to be doing the right thing and are getting shit from the OP. It is not harassment.

You're right, it is suspicious. I'm suspicious of other things they have to do. You say "three times" and wonder why people aren't patting them on the back. I'm saying "three times" and wondering why they haven't got the hint yet.

Give them the hint. Talk to the police chief, see if you can't get some of the heat off your back.

bootyperanma IS part of the routine. He's at work. What's not routine is the variety of cops taking their (snark alert) oh so important time (end of snark) out to hassle him.

In my mind, the only question is the use of the word "harassment". Is he actually being harassed? Does he feel harassed? Is it denoting bias on his part? These are the important questions, and we can't answer any of them.
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  #45  
Old 03-23-2007, 02:39 AM
CanvasShoes CanvasShoes is offline
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What anamnesis said.
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  #46  
Old 03-23-2007, 05:02 AM
St. Urho St. Urho is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Least Original User Name Ever
You're right, it is suspicious. I'm suspicious of other things they have to do. You say "three times" and wonder why people aren't patting them on the back. I'm saying "three times" and wondering why they haven't got the hint yet.
I think you'd have a point if it was the same cop. However, he made it pretty clear there were 3 different officers involved. I doubt they get together and talk about the suspicous person/suspicous vehicle call that turned out to be nothing.
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  #47  
Old 03-23-2007, 07:59 AM
FRDE FRDE is offline
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This is quite interesting.

Although it is a softener plant, don't lay a bet that the police don't think it is a water plant.

Find a way of making your car distinctive, the mag sign idea is good, but with four jobs it would be a PITA - something like a reflector strip on your rear window - it just needs to be unusual and not jerkish.

Get some ID tags made up, it is pretty easy, most copy shops will have a laminator.
While fake ID is easy to make, it makes people assume that you are who you say you are.
Also do it for all three of you.
Clip it on or wear it as a dog tag - get it company policy.

Keep the interior light on in the car - people casing a joint or acting as driver don't do that.

Wear something that is vaguely uniformish, a white boiler suit would be ideal.
Start with that and work back to something practical - the thing is, like your car, be very recognizeable (and not a jerk).

Act informative, tell them why you are there and more specifically what you (collectively) do in there - probably one day you'll give a guided tour - probably next week.

Always leave a good impression.

The girl cop was probably scared - and computers screw up - especially at late hours when people take them down for maintenance.

In a few weeks you'll have them waving at you, and you might avoid the odd ticket.

My guess is that they have had a local 'course' in anti terrorism, it sounds dumb, but if their behaviour has changed in the past few weeks after 16 years, then it is because they've had some gingering up.

The thing is to stick out a mile - and look as if you belong - also to be very relaxed
'I know you are just doing your job - and I appreciate it' goes down well

As someone earlier said, soon they'll be looking out for you.
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  #48  
Old 03-23-2007, 09:32 AM
Loach Loach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boytyperanma
I stopped by the police station and gave them my plate number and a brief description of myself. They told me they would let the overnight officers know.

At the point where the third officer treated me like a criminal even after she had confirmed my identity and reason for being there it is harassment in my opinion. I appreciate them noticing something out of place(I'm not sure why they still consider me out of place, maybe they changed shifts around or something)

Speaking with my lawyer the police may ask for a license but I am not required to comply with the request.

My car is a 2000 white Malibu. I'm can't think of any vehicle less suspicious. I am 6'1" short blondish hair.
At first glance I would say you have a bad lawyer. As I think about you either didn't give him the actual scenerio or you got the complete answer and choose to repeat the part that agrees with your point of view and leave out the rest. If you are stopped randomly on the street you have no obligation to talk to the police or give them ID (that does not happen very often if at all). If it is part of an investigation, including investigating a suspicious vehicle then you are required to identify yourself. Refusing to give biographical information during an investigation is obstruction. If you have a problem with that take it up with the Supreme Court. You are not required to have a driver's license on you when you are not driving. If you don't present it as identification during an investigation the officer will be obligated to try and verify your identity in some other way. It will take longer than if you give up your license, which I would guess you wouldn't like. On top of that you have raised the level of suspicion, especially considering that you drove there and are supposed to have a license on you. The best way to keep them off your back is not to start lying to them.

I can think of plenty of cars that are less suspicious. Any car that is not occupied in an otherwise empty parking lot in the middle of the night.

I think giving your information to the police station was a good idea. You may still be checked out if you don't modify your behavior. This is not because of a conspiracy to fuck with you. Everyone might not get the information, or a month from now they might forget they were told. A quick explaination to the next guy including the fact that you gave your information to their headquarters should help. Where I work the information would be in the computer dispatch system and would pop up for any call to that location. We have only had that system for a short time. Your department might still be in the 90s (or 80s). Your information might be tacked up on a board somewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Urho
I think you'd have a point if it was the same cop. However, he made it pretty clear there were 3 different officers involved. I doubt they get together and talk about the suspicous person/suspicous vehicle call that turned out to be nothing.
Exactly what I was going to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Least Original User Name Ever
bootyperanma IS part of the routine. He's at work. What's not routine is the variety of cops taking their (snark alert) oh so important time (end of snark) out to hassle him.
I think you missed the point. From the OP it says he has no routine. He is there at random hours when he can squeeze it in, usually at night. He has been questioned 3 times within 2 months. There is no routine there. If he was there everynight at midnight that would be a routine. Cops don't work 7 days a week. The guy who starts at midnight may not remember seeing the car there before because the other nights the OP was there after midnight the cop wasn't working. Or more likely the times he did see it might not have registered because it was unoccupied and didn't cause him to take notice.
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