ATTN : Bluepony (or any other police officers)

Are you less likely to ticket someone with one of those transparently phony, suck-up bumper stickers that say “Troopers are your best protection?”

Are you less likely to search a car with a DARE bumper sticker? How about that wonderful “Do drugs. Do time” sticker? Ever found drugs in a car with either of those stickers?


Well, how’s that for a succinct answer?

Is that your answer to all five questions? If not, to which do you refer? If you’re answering the first question, would you be MORE likely to ticket the suck-up over a sticker-less driver? Are there any stickers that make you want to search, no matter what the situation or occupants of the car seem like (e.g. Grateful Dead & Phish stickers)?

What about the “Bad Cop, No Donut!” sticker? (I know somebody that actually has this on her car) :smiley:

How about one of THOSE stickers?

[hijack] when I was doing computer instruction, I taught our city police department- I’m talking old timer detectives and everything. Day one I brought donuts and acted completely confused when someone said “Oh, sure! Bring donuts for the cops!” I was like “Really? I’ve never heard that!” Eventually it turned into “Good get, get donut. Bad cop, no donut”. They all took it in great stride and humor, and always brought in apples for the teacher. [/hijack]

Sorry for such a short answer earlier. I did not have much time to post.

To clear things up, I am a certified police officer but unfortunately I have not been hired yet. Soom though! My roommate is a Deputy and he was at the computer with me earlier. We both laughed!

**Are you less likely to ticket someone with one of those transparently phony, suck-up bumper stickers that say “Troopers are your best protection?”**No. This really has no effect. Most of the time, these things are not even noticed since the attention of the officer is always on the occupants of the vehicle.

**Are you less likely to search a car with a DARE bumper sticker? ? How about that wonderful “Do drugs. Do time” sticker? **Again, if there is sufficient reason to search, I do not care what stickers are on their car. They will not even be given consideration.

**Ever found drugs in a car with either of those stickers?**LOL! Yes. Last summer I was interning with the Tampa Police Department. We stopped a vehicle for an expired tag I think. May have been some minor violation… Anyway, turned out the driver had a suspended license for unpaid tickets or something like that.(75% of the drivers in the inner city have a suspended license). He knew it was suspended so this is a criminal offense. We do not take them to jail, but technically they are “under arrest” while we write up the affidavit and release them on their own recognisence. Since he is arrested, he gets searched. YOu guessed it, there were drugs on him and in his car. Afterwards I pointed out how to the officer how funny it was that this guy had about a dozen stickers on his car. DARE. PAL. FOP. Support your Troopers. Hugs not Drugs. Pretty much everything you named and more. The officer responded with, “Oh yeah? I didn’t even notice”

**Bad Cop, No Donut!" sticker?**Doesn’t matter. It is all in good humor. The guys with those stickers talk like they are all hard, but you should see how they start kissing ass when they are pulled over.

BTW, my roommate doesn’t write tickets. Neither will I. I mean, unless it is something really serious or the person is a total dickhead who doesn’t care what he did. (This is an unofficial answer since according to the Standard Operating Percedures: Attitude of the driver should not effect your decision to write a ticket.) But we all know it does!

OK, here’s a question. How am I supposed to file a complaint for police brutality against a police officer on riot duty who illegally hides his or her badge?

matt, Why didn’t you just go home like they wanted?

Anyway, if he did overstep his bounds and he was trying to hide his badge so you would not report him then get a good look at his face, hair, body type. Mustache? Balding? Haircut? Hair color? Fat (probably! :slight_smile: )? Tall? Short?
Also, make note of any stripes on his sleeves or any medals or pins on his shirt.

If you write a complaint that says, At 1900hrs at the corner of 1st Ave and Main St. I was repeatedly kicked and beaten by an officer. He tried to hide his badge number and name. He was about 6ft tall and fat. He had a mustache and was bald. There was one blue stripe on his sleeve and he had a red cross medal and a “pistol master” award pin. Also, he wore a pin with the initials FTO (field training officer).

This will REALLY narrow it down!!!

You said it was a riot. If he was in riot gear, with the helmet and tactical uniform, it would be very difficult. Try to get as much detail next time.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Those of us who are just trying to get through life often have simple or sometimes silly question to ask about cops and it’s better to get the Straight Dope than to guess.

So while you are at it, can I ask a few too? Is there really a “quota” for traffic tickets for HP and city police? And how can a policeman tell how fast you are going when he is going the opposite direction?

If you have time: Are you training for high speed pursuits as has always been done, or is an alternative method being introduced?

Disclaimer: No Bear (and Roomie!), I am not a crazed driver. In fact I have a very good drivers record, thanks. But I’ve heard people talk about quotas, and seen enough instances of the wild u-turn on the freeway to catch a speeder to be interested.

I’m not a cop but I play one on TV.

Bear_Nenno, you sick, perverted bastard (re: goatse) please correct me if I’m wrong.

Aenea, there’s generally two ways for them to tell. 1st is Vascar, which is time over distance. They start you at marker #1, and time you until marker #2. This tells them how fast you’re going, regardless. You MUST know the exact distance between the two. This usually isn’t done while the officer is driving.

Method 2 is radar. I believe (again, Bear, correct me) that the radar is wired into the speedo cable so that it knows the vehicles’ speed. The radar unit times how long it takes the signal to bounce back, subtracts the speed of the vehicle, and math-uh-matates up an answer from there. It does not say who’s speeding or where, it just tells what the object’s speed is. Who or what is going that speed is up for the ossifer to decide.

If there’s moderate traffic, and you notice a cop turn around, slip into a traffic stream and blend. The cop never did know exactly who was speeding, likely he would decide that after he turned around. If you blend, he won’t notice you as much, and your chance to be cited is cut dramatically.

There’s also pacing, air radar, and a few others, but these two are really the only that apply if an officer is moving, and in an opposite direction as your vehicle.

Check out and

I am a crazed driver.


**Is there really a “quota” for traffic tickets for HP and city police? ** No. Although no one will believe me anyway. There is no quota. There are officers like my roommate and me that do not like writing tickets. I would rather be doing something else. If I see someone roll through a stop sign of something, I will pull them over and see what I can’t stumble into so to speak. He could have a warrant, could be drugs or weapons or dead prostitutes in the back or something. You never know. But as long as he isnt a total dick, or unless he did something dangerous, I do not see the reason to write one. I will let the other officers take care of tickets.

These officers do not get yelled at for not writing tickets. Now, if ALL their stats start dropping, like few arrests and tickets and everything else, Compared To Others on his Squad, then he will get lectured, and possible action will be taken against him. (ie, more training, termination, etc). If your squad mates are making a half dozen arrests a night and you are making 1 a week, it looks like you are slacking. But if no one on the squad is making many arrests or writing many tickets, it looks like there is a low crime rate for that area, so noone is in trouble. 'Course when the crime reports come in and there were 500 burglaries in a zone where the squad made 6 arrests in a month… everyone gets fired :slight_smile:
Also, there are traffic squads, usually on motorcycles that almost do nothing else but write tickets. THough there is no set amount of tickets they must write, they will get kicked off the squad if they drop too low. Because it will look like they are sitting around doing nothing all day.
Anyway, no quota, just encouragement to go out and get things done. Cops who make a lot of arrests can go months without writing a single ticket! It has been since January for my roommate.

**? And how can a policeman tell how fast you are going when he is going the opposite direction? **I believe this was asked in GQ. I do not know the exact science behind the radar and everything like that but I know the radar units can tell you: How fast you are going. How fast another car in front of you is going. How fast the car behind you is going. How fast a car going the opposite direction is going. Maybe they teach the specifics in the Radar Certification class. I am not sure. Some people in GQ were talking about it being hooked up to the speedomoter and subtracting or adding the speed from that. This may be true in some cases, but there are radar units that are portable. That just get mounted on the dashboard and plugged into the cigarette lighter. These units only face the front so it cannot tell anything about a car behind the officer. But, even though they are only plugged into the lighter, they can still tell how fast a moving suspect is, and how fast the police car is going. There are seperate outpu displays for both. You dont want cops trying to do the math. That would be scary. I think these send one signal to the road in front of the car to find the speed of the police car, and another to find the speed of the target car. I am not sure. The permanently mounted radar guns are much better. Those police cars have them pointed in both directions so they can get cars coming and going.
**If you have time: Are you training for high speed pursuits as has always been done, or is an alternative method being introduced?**I am not sure how it has always been done, but I can tell you a little about what we were taught. In academy we went through a week and a half of just driving. Learning to maneuver at high speeds and control skids and turn correctly and such. Man, the skid pad was really fun. It was a slick driving pad with sprinklers all around it and the Instructor kept putting liquid soap all over it to keep it really slippery. They had cones set up and we had to weave through the cones while keeping the back tires ‘peeling out’. They we took the cones away and learned to correct skids and stuff.
There were several pursuit coarses. In none of them did we actually chase a car, we just had to get through the coarse in a certain time limit without making driving errors.
More things are taught during Field Training, when the officer is new and riding with his FTO. This is when we learn strategies and how to go ahead of another pursuit and stop traffic at intersections and stuff.
Most of the more specific techniques, like the PIT, where an officer hits the rear corner of the suspect’s car and makes it spin out, are taught later to selected experienced officers. They sign up for in-service training and then get certified for that technique. So not every officer is allowed to do it. Only the ones trained to.
This is how it is here in Florida. Things may be different elsewhere. (It seems like in L.A. they just run into everyone and crash into things for the fun of it. :slight_smile: )

Ok… I hope I helped. Man, I kinda got carried away there and wrote a little too much.

**Who or what is going that speed is up for the ossifer to decide.**Correct. I rode with a radar certified officer a few times. He says that he actually has to estimate to speed of the vehicle first. Then he gets the actual speed from the radar. I think this has to do with some court room technicality or something. So in court he would say"I saw the vehicle going south. From my training and experience, I estimated the car to be going approximately 65mph. I then used my radar and determined he was traveling at 67mph, 12mph over the limit… bla bla bla" I am not sure what is up with that. To me, sitting on the side of the road doing paperwork with the radar gun on should be fine. When a speeding car goes by, the radar gun will alert the officer audibly. When there are a bunch of cars coming, the speed display will change a bunch but it seems to always stop at the highest number, so the car passing the others is the one being zapped.

BTW, I am talking a road where there is just a few cars or at night when 1 or 2 pass every now and then. The radar guns do not work well in traffic. Now, the LASER guns… those are a different story. I think they are ALL hand held though.

Also, one of the funniest things was that when the car was not moving but was still ON, the radar would read like 25mph. Because the FAN BLADE under the hood was setting it off.

FWIW, no, I have to assess the driver/passenger/tactical situation first. Bumper stickers are opinions, and like assholes, everyone has one. In dark or low-viz, this requires more of my attention. I have a set standard of personal values and beliefs, bumper stickers slogans either detract or inflame personal feelings, this is not good for getting an objective view on the traffic stop. I try not to get on an emotional level because you can lose a situation easily then. My martial arts background helps me a lot with this. That Zen shit is cool.

I’ve also found drugs/contraband in vehicles with “State Troopers Support Fund” or “DARE”. A touch ironic, but I can see why someone would do it. It may take a cop or trooper off-guard and you may get away with just a speeding ticket instead of felony transport and distribution. You can get those stickers anywhere here in Florida.

matt: I don’t really know how to go about voicing a police complaint in Canada. I would assume that there would be a citizen’s grievance procedure or something to that effect. WAG, it’s not like Canada has a completely alien system of checks and procedures, as opposed to us 'Merikans. Well, hearing Expos baseball on radio, en Francais is kinda disturbing. “le papillon” for “knuckleball”? :smiley:

aenea: God’s honest truth, no ticket quotas in my county. I have returned after end of watch with no tickets written and no negative comments from the supervisor. Of course one instance was when my son got a hold of my citation book and drew Crayola dinosaurs all over the entire thing. I didn’t know about it until I was an hour into shift. It was a pretty free day for drivers on my patrol leg that day. :smiley:

On the question of high speed pursuit-- the situation has to warrant the chase because of risk to public and the officer. I’m not going to high-speed over just any violation. I can always log the tag number. One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t always catch the offenders. You just pull back and hope for a rematch somewhere down the line. I’m not trying to get on Fox’s Great Police Chases, I just want to get home safely to my wife and kids.

Bumper stickers may affect some cop’s attitude on tickets, so I won’t speak for all my brothers and sisters. It really doesn’t affect me, unless it’s real funny. I like the Darwinfish/Other Fish logos.

Bear: What department/agency are you trying to get on?

Because I don’t enjoy being forced to give up peaceful political protest which is permitted me by my charter of rights.

Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind.

Actually, I didn’t say it was a riot; I said the police were on riot duty, which given the mindset of Montreal cops is not necessarily, or even usually, the same.


Wow, I did not know you were a cop in Florida.

I am trying to get own with Tampa Police Department. My Roommate works for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. I just turned 21 a week ago so I have been getting resistance everywhere I apply. Wherever I start off at, I really want to end up working for Tampa. I interned there last summer and I loved it!! I have a Reserve application on file with them. The guy in charge of Reserves is on vacation right now, so I have to wait for my second interview…

Where are you at? You guys hiring? I will relocate if I have to :). I have two years left on my certification… I’m sure I will be hired by then, but I’m getting a little nervous.

Bear_Nenno, there is a thing called a “G-Tech” that you can plug into your lighter that will tell you your speed, your skidpad numbers, your acceleration, your 0-whatever speed, your braking distance, your whatever-0 speed, and so on and so on. I believe it uses a solid of some sort, an electrical charge, and a dampening fluid of some sort, with alot of math and junk to figure this all out. It’s just a little box with an LCD that plugs into your lighter outlet. I would figure that the portable police radar unit has something like this inside it for calculating the officer’s speed.

Again, most of these questions about traffic can be answered at and


The Santa Clara County Correction dept (ie County Jail) is understaffed and they always need folks*. SJPD is also hiring, I beleive. So is Border patrol (Se habla?). But if you do get an offer from the Corrections office, remember that that rather large salary does not go to far when rents are $1500 and Houses are $500K.

*the Jail Guards are sorta/kinda cops, they do have guns & badges, but since the Sheriff hires heavily from the Jail, it is pretty easy to get into “real” police work. (I am talking Calif).

Bumping since Bluepony is online right now, and I cannot email him…


EMail me at