How does "professional courtesy" work with cops

Say an off-duty cop is pulled over for speeding. Of course, unless he is travelling at an insane rate of speed, the other cop will exercise professional courtesy and not cite him. How does this work? When the highway cop walks up to the driver’s door, does the driver just hold up his badge and say “howyadoin”? Does the badge-flashing come after the “license and registration”?
Also, how common is this with cops from different areas? Say a California Highway Patrol Officer is on vacation in Florida, and gets pulled over? How about a podunk county sheriff?

My father is a police officer. Growing up, whenever he would get pulled over, he would keep his badge and license in the same wallet to be sure it would get noticed; this typically initiated the “cop conversation” of where ya from, what department, what kind of work do you do, etc.

95% of the time he was always excused, they’d often trade departmental badges (a lot seem to enjoy collecting them) and part ways.

This is not flat across the board though; I have witnessed my father recieving a ticket from an officer who knew my dad was also an officer, his speeding wasn’t excessive. The guy was just really strict.

Most of the time they’re buddies, though. I think the job calls for it. I could never do what my dad does for a living.

Not only that, but spouses of cops get a special badge that says “police wife” or some such. I was dating a cop’s wife for a while (Don’t tell ME I don’t live dangerously!) and she showed it to me and told me that it always got her out of tickets.

It’s a flag shaped sticker with a black background and a blue stripe through the middle, often found on the bumpers of vehicles. It means you are in direct relation to a police officer.

Badge as in “we don’t need no stinkin badges!” badge? Or shoulder patches?

My brother is a police officer and my father was a deputized guy with a real badge as well even though he never actually did anything. Many have wallets that hold a badge visible when you open the fold. A typical encounter would be “Good day officer. I am sure this can’t be a big problem but let me get you my license. The darn badge always gets in the way you know. These darn badges. You must have the same problem when you are off duty”…

My little brother tells me that they even cover they professional courtesy thing in class and encourage it.

Haha! Oh yeah, I meant the patches…On their shoulders and such.

Those “thin blue line” stickers can’t be for real, right? Would a cop really say “Hmm, well, these people have a sticker! I won’t pull them over.”

They’re easily available on eBay, and I wouldn’t picture getting driving immunity being that easy.

I am not aware of any jurisdiction that hands out badges to anyone who is not law enforcement. There may be some places that will give you/let you buy a bumper or window sticker that implies a connection to law enforcement – and the jurisdictions I have worked with don’t even do that anymore, it’s too easily abused – but they are certainly not issuing any family badges. I will be very surprised if anyone can point to any place in the U.S. that does this. I don’t know the age of the poster who talked about her father “trading badges,” but that is not done anymore either, to my knowledge. They will and do trade patches (shoulder patches) but a badge is issued by the department and each officer gets one, which she/he is expected to either display (patrol officer) or keep in a place where it can be easily produced (plains-clothes, excepting of course under-cover work, where badges are not carried for obvious reasons). Losing your badge is a serious matter, since a person who finds it could misuse it.

Buddy of mine used to be Chief Sheriff of Saskatchewan – which basically meant he was a bureaucrat who looked after the guys who foreclosed on people and suchlike – no significant law enforcement role in Canada. However, he did have a big honkin’ badge for some reason.

Got pulled over by a State Trooper in Montana, who asked a bunch of standard questions, including occupation. Buddy stated “Chief Sheriff of Saskatchewan”, and showed his badge to confirm.

State Trooper pulled himself up straight, saluted, and waved my buddy on.

I agree. I have never seen the departments issuing the thin blue line stickers, he simply bought it from a police mag and anyone could buy it. Anyone could also buy a very legitimate looking Officer’s Badge.

I used to have a thin blue sticker and I was always asked if my father or someone was involved in police.

As for “trading badges” I mistakenly wrote badges instead of “patches”, which I thought was still fairly common, but it has been a while since I’ve been driving around with my father enough to be pulled over and see this.

Did they used to actually trade “badges”?

Yeah. They do. It said “Police wife” on it. I asked where she got it. Her husband got it for her through the department, not through some 3rd party company. Now, she did get this about 10 years ago, so I don’t know if this is an ongoing thing. But, she does have it.

TRUE-My sister is married to a deputy and she has a little mini badge that she carries next to her drivers license. She has never gotten a ticket.

I can only reiterate that I’ve never heard or seen such a thing and I would be highly suprirsed if anyone could point me to a jurisidiction where this is or was done. The only thing I can think of is that maybe it would be some sort of “joke” plastic badge, like you’d maybe get at a party store, identifying you as a “police wife”?

MESSY, I don’t think many departments even trade or give away patches anymore; there’s just too much concern they could be misused.

Well, how mini are we talking? A lot of jurisidictions do give out pins; that’s the doo-dad of the minute that seems to have replaced the shoulder patch.

Be surprised. Like I said, my sister has one. It is a smaller version of a police badge, and it says something like “spouse” or “family” on it. I see it all of the time. I have seen it with some of her friends also. BTW, this is in South Florida, near Ft Lauderdale area. I am sure it is different in some areas.

I had a good friend in college whose step-dad was a Captain the the Fire Dept. He had a prominant FD ID card on the other side of his wallet from his driver’s licence. My friend was in the car when he was pulled over and the dialogue went like, “Mr. C____, you should be as aware as anyone that you were driving too fast. Please be more safe in the future. Have a nice day.”

My friend, his brother and his mom had these special stickers that they put in the back windows of their car that indicated that they were friends of the fire dept. I’m not sure that it did any good.

I have another very good friend whose father was a CHP Captain. He’s long retired but when she was in High School she was pulled over and when the cop saw her last name he asked, “any relation?” She said, “my dad,” and got off with a warning. She said that if her dad had found out about the incident he would have been furious.

My brother-in-law (my sister’s husband) is a police officer in New Jersey. They do indeed have mini badges (pin - sized that you can insert in your wallet) that say ‘Family Member.’ She doesn’t have one, according to her he’d need to buy one at one of the police supply stores for $25. Instead she just shows her PBA card and lets any officer know she is married to a police officer. She also has a ticket book in her car that she can just throw up on her dash as sort of a ‘sign’ that she is related to a cop. She’s never gotten a ticket.
To answer the OP:
When my brother-in-law is pulled over the first thing he must say to an officer is that he is an off-duty officer and has his gun in his car (he brings it with him everywhere, even off-duty.) Then present his badge, etc. A safety precaution for both of them, should the officer see the gun and get excited/nervous/etc. without knowing he is speaking to another officer.

Bolding mine.

Wow, that last bit there has really caused my respect for the police dept to plummet. They actually encourage new officers to let each other get away with breaking the law? That disgusts me to no end.

The rationalization that I have heard for this is that police officers are trained to drive fast, hence they’re not a hazard while speeding. Yeah, I know, :rolleyes: .

I’m a Probation Officer and my wallet has a cover over my badge so under normal circumstances people don’t see it. But if the situation calls for it I just flip the wallet open a bit differently and the badge is right there. I’ve had this job for 10 years and I’ve only been pulled over twice: once the cop was a guy that I know real well anyway, and when he realized who I was he just joked about me making him leave his great hiding spot and walked away; the other time the guy saw my badge, engaged in a little friendly chat, and let me go. Some of my co-workers with lead feet get pulled over a lot, and I would guess they get a ticket maybe 1 out of 20 times. My chief just got one from a State Trooper who could not have cared less who he was.