Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I'm two months away from completing my probationary period. I missed a court date a few weeks ago which is a big no-no in my department. It was for a ticket I wrote to a woman driving on a suspended license. Her charges were dismissed and I wasted the city prosecutor's time.

I received a written reprimand for the missed court date which was prepared just in time for my patrol car collision investigation to be completed. I was found at fault (as expected) but having two infractions a month apart put me into a higher level on the discipline chart. I was assured by my Sergeant my reprimand was a minor deal but I still regret having had it at all.
As we were taught in the academy, one must perservere and take responsibility for one's actions. All of our disciplinary memos written in the Academy ended with, "I will correct this behavior in the future. I have no excuse."

This would be a deserving lesson to teach to our kids at an earlier age. Too often, kids are allowed to make excuses or blame others for their own wrongdoings. What a different world it would be if we all learned to fess up and accept responsibility for our actions. There's few things more irritating than pulling over a driver and have to hear to all the lame excuses and flat out lies.

Here's a tip for anyone getting pulled over by the police: Admit your wrong, show regret (but don't overdo it with apologizing), remain calm and be prepared to accept a ticket. This will get you out of the ticket more times than not. Flattery, pleading/crying, aggressiveness, and argumentative behavior will usually work against you.

Speaking of pulling over, the other week I witnessed some of the worst driving yet. It was afternoon and I was driving normal speed down a major road. Drivers in front of me were changing lanes, stopping unexpectantly, and pulling over to both sides of the road. After a mile or so of this I realized I left my overhead red and blue lights on from the previous car I had pulled over. I had written a ticket and re-entered normal traffic with my lights on. I can only imagine what other drivers were thinking when they saw me coming down the street at 35 mph with lights on but no siren blaring.


At November 23, 2006 6:58 AM, Blogger Dirk_Star said...

Focus, Gary-san!

Best police work still inside...

At November 23, 2006 9:27 PM, Anonymous gamma said...

Well, Gary, We learn by our mistakes...Keep on moving forward, and watch your "overhead". Be safe.

At November 24, 2006 7:54 AM, Anonymous Ronda said...

Welcome to the world of people who make mistakes. As your sister, I know that you are a true perfectionist, therefore, being reprimanded eats away at you. While the rest of us know exactly how it feels, and deal with it on a regular basis. You are a great officer. Keep Safe.
We love you.
The Hamaker Family

At November 25, 2006 9:06 AM, Blogger Goddess said...

I found this post really interesting and I'm glad you included it. I think most citizens get the feeling that cops are perfect and spend all their time handing out crap, just to ruin their days. They don't realize you guys have to take just as much crap on your end of the job.

At November 27, 2006 1:45 PM, Blogger Jason said...

That's a good ending to explination letters, however they should begin with;

"Dear Chief, no one was more surprised than I when the following occurred."

At April 17, 2009 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Admit your wrong, show regret (but don't overdo it with apologizing), remain calm and be prepared to accept a ticket.
Nice tip. But this is a police tip. A lawyer tip, worth his salt will tell you to "keep thy mouth shut"
Your advice is self serving. I say let the courts decide and continue to tell people to keep the yacker in the packer.


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