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.