How does "professional courtesy" work with cops

I have a buddy who is a California Highway Patrol officer and was stationed in Gilroy for his first assignment out of the academy. They had a woman who drove like an enraged maniac through their jurisdiction every morning and afternoon on her way into (and out of) San Jose. Problem was that she was married to a San Jose city cop. Anyways, the CHP officers pulled her over a couple of times and told her to slow it down but never gave her a ticket. She was, apparently, immediately up in the officer’s face as soon as she was pulled over about how she was married to a cop, they had no right, etc. This went on for awhile until the CHPs evidently got tired of it and gave her a ticket. It was quite the scandal. In fact, the CHP even had a Sergeant come out and give her the ticket because they were anticipating what a mess it would be. Eventually, there were apologies all around but not before there were rumblings of a “ticket war” between Gilroy CHP and San Jose PD.

My husband is a deputy warden in a prison, and he was issued a badge and a wallet to put it in. The wallet has a velvet flap which comes down and drapes over the badge to keep it from rubbing against the leasther.

Hubby has only been pulled over once since he got it. He says he held out his wallet to the cop to show him his ID and the cop flipped up the velvet flap to examine the badge. He let him off with a warning.

My late uncle was a cop in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. They used to display an F.O.P. emblem on their cars to alert another cop who they were. I think too many people got their hands on the emblems, so that it didn’t mean much anymore.

A friend of mine who dated an NYPD officer had a “cop girlfriend” business card in her wallet next to her ID. He gave it to her only after they had been dating for a few months. Since she didn’t drive, I don’t know if it would have gotten her out of any tickets.

Off-topic question: There’s a guy in my neighborhood who walks his Doberman by my house all the time. I assume he’s a cop because he always has an unconcealed, holstered gun strapped to his belt – even when he’s wearing shorts and a tee-shirt. (I live in East LA.) My question for the cops and friends of cops out there: is this normal or even legal?

Believe it or not, open carry like that is usually much more permissible than a concealed carry. I am not sure about California but many states allow open carry most places as long as the gun is legally owned. There are some prohibitions like banks, government buildings and bars but you can carry openly in public and a great many jurisdictions. The problem would be if his t-shirt fell over it and covered it. That can be a big penalty. Concealed carry is allowed is some states as well but tends to be more heavily regulated and often requires a difficult to get permit although some states make that rather easy to get as well.

Well, not a cop, but according to my brother-in-law, the only place he can not carry his weapon, concealed or unconcealed, is the casinos in Atlantic City. Or, at least the only place he knows for sure he can’t carry it. Like I said, he takes it with him everywhere, even when off duty.

I’m not sure if you mean East Los Angeles or eastern Louisiana, and I don’t know the specifics for either. A lot of jurisdictions however (Not within major city limits anywhere in California I’d guess though) do not place any restrictions on unconcealed carry of firearms. I’ve seen gun-check counters in restaurants somewhere in the SouthWest for example, and a lot of regular civilians walk around with holstered guns there.

I don’t know about badges, but they do give out courtesy cards. A friend of mine (who is not a cop) lives in a cop neighborhood in Philly and one of his buddies gave him an FOP Courtesy Card. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Goes over better in the city than it does in the burbs. So the professional courtesy can extend to friends as well.

Of course I have no way of knowing, but I would guess that he is not a cop from the description you give. I have never known a LEO that would carry a gun in plain sight without displaying his badge on his belt right next to the gun, or wearing some other kind of identifying item, like a t-shirt that says Sheriff on it. If you have to draw the gun you want people to know who you are, especially if there is another cop (on or off-duty) around; they can get pretty jumpy when guns start coming out and the easier you are to identify as an officer the better off you are.

I’ve only stopped a few cops in my career. They either hold their wallet so that the badge can be seen, or hand me their department ID along with their driver’s license. I’ve stopped one cop’s wife, who had her husband’s business card taped to the back of her driver’s license.

Generally, I despise “professional courtesy”. I think that these officers should show me the courtesy of obeying the law in my jurisdiction and not put me in the position of having to give them a break (or not).

Fortunately, each of the above situations involved minor violations, ones where I would likely give any citizen a break on a good day.

In 19 years, I’ve only identified myself once when stopped (for a headlight out). That was only because I would have had to expose the gun on my hip when I reached for my wallet, and that sort of surprise tends to upset the other officer.

Two of my sisters and one brother were LAPD officers. The sisters both married officers as well. Mom carried a picture of her with the 5 of them in uniform. She NEVER got a ticket. This was '60s-70s in LA. (That’s Los Angeles in this instance.)

I was stopped for speeding once (20+ over on an empty road). Mentioned my PD family. Got a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. And a warning.

In California, AFAIK, you need a CCW permit to carry openly if you live in a county with a population of more than 200,000. However, cities and counties may have different regs. That is the State’s take.

I had a buddy that was a cop. His wife had a much easier way. On the back of her driver’s license was taped a typed piece of paper. It said:

My husband is a firefighter. They, too, get professional courtesy from police officers.

We have, what I call, “get out of jail free” stickers on our cars. They are IAFF union stickers. They aren’t readily available.You can only get them from a union rep. There are look-alikes available, but, an officer could tell the difference.

The sticker doesn’t mean we would never be stopped. When we have been, the cop asks straight out if he’s a FF.
The one time I was stopped, the cop asked what I did for a living. I told him, then babbled on about my husband working a 24 hour shift, which prompted him to ask what hubby did. Once it was established, he sent me on my way.

I also have a half size firefighter badge that, except for size, is identical to hubby’s. I don’t carry it, though.

CA last I heard separarates “open carry” , “loaded carry” , and “concealed carry” as separate issues. Open carry IIRC is legal for pretty much anyone anytime, but expect to be hassled. IF you want to carry exposed and loaded, you need a Board of Equalization permit of some kind like security guards, armored truck crews, etc.

Last I heard its easier to get a CCW than the open loaded carry permits. Just about any business owner that runs deposits can get a CCW with fairly minimal greif.

Heck I was just pondering that there are tons of “professional courtesy” type things out there, its just a matter of the cost. A ticket is easily a couple hundred dollars in fines. I have recieved things like OEM install disks from guys in other PC shops that I would have had to pay $100-$150 each for if I had to go buy the stuff myself. If a typical customer asked, I doubt you would ever see someone hand them over unless they were having a very good day and nobody else was looking.

That is not correct, as far as my reading of the laws goes, but i could be wrong. has a plethora of information. there is no ‘loaded carry’ - if its a concealed weapon, its a concealed weapon. And as I said, that site lists the section of the code where it mentions needing a CCW to open carry in a county with >200K people.

I’ve been in law enforcement for over 20 years. I’ve badged my way out a few times, but that was years ago when I was young. It’s been a hell of a long time since I’ve gotten pulled over. I give the same advice to new officers that I follow: GROW UP! We should not be violating the law.

The courtesy doesn’t apply to family members around here. Both my wife & kids have gotten tickets even though the officers knew who they were. One time an officer called me up and said “sorry…but, well…you know.” Yeah, I know!CLICK:mad:

Also, I know of very few state troopers that give coutesy. In fact, I know of 2 officers that got tickets for speeding from troopers WHILE ON DUTY IN MARKED SQUAD CARS!
I’m not kidding! One of them was a sheriffs deputy on his way to the State Patrol headquarters for an in-service training session!

Forgive me if I’m not reading your post right. Are you saying that you discourage junior officers from engaging in the practice, but you got angry when your wife and kids got tickets?

Sure I did. It’s my insurance that went up. I didn’t say they didn’t deserve the ticket, but don’t call me up and blow smoke up my ass. Just do your job and leave it at that.