So here I am, sitting in my cruiser in Massachusetts, blocking off a road while I wait for the electric company to come out and take care of a mess caused by a fallen tree.
I’ve got a Dunkin coffee. I’ve got a podcast on the radio. Not a bad morning… except, of course, for the morons out there.
The road is clearly closed. Like… you can see not just my car, but a big ass branch and wires across the road.
And I’ve had no fewer than 14 people roll up to me in the last hour and ask the inevitable question: “Is this road closed?”
“Does your car fly?” I want to ask them.
But alas, my department believes in pandering to “feelings”. And so I give them a pity smile, shrug my shoulders and respond, “beats me, ma’am. I’m just the dumb cop they told to sit here and block off the road.”
She drives off, looking confused. I turn the volume back up. I sit back and enjoy my coffee. And I let my mind wander to the growing list I have of the absolute dumbest things you can possibly say to a cop.
“I pay your salary.”
I’ve noticed that the famous “salary” line is most often used by people who are clearly unemployed. Last week, it was dropped on me by the kid I pulled over with the “RESIST” bumper stickers all over his car.
He made sure to let me know right away that I was wasting his time and that I have a job because of him.
I made sure to let HIM know right away that chances are, he didn’t pay my salary. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even pay his registration.
He explained that he wasn’t employed right now and couldn’t afford the registration fees, much less another ticket. He also let me know his parents would be sure to file a formal complaint with the department when “I tell them how this ass treated me”.
Like I said, kid, you don’t pay my salary. You don’t even pay for your own gas.
“I didn’t do it!”
We get this call for an alarm overnight at a department store in the area. Two of us roll up to this jamoke LITERALLY leaving the store with a shopping cart full of stuff.
The store, mind you, was closed for the night.
Get this – the guy literally tried to tell us that he was driving by and caught a guy breaking and entering. The shopping cart full of stuff? The guy he stopped had run off, and he wanted to make sure to hang onto it to give it back to the store the next day.
Yes, he was drunk. But he didn’t do it, damnit. It absolutely wasn’t him.
“Can I get your name and badge number?”
People actually think this is the magic pass. You pull them over for going 85 in a 55, and they act all indignant. How DARE I disturb them on their way to work!
Yes, you can have my name and badge number. No, it’s not going to help you. And now I’m DEFINITELY not giving you a break.
“How many people have you shot?”
This is sort of a sensitive topic for me – along with many others. Some officers have been in some really tough situations. We’ve lost brothers and sisters. Others served overseas before entering into a world of law enforcement.
We don’t want to talk about it. We don’t want to think about it. And we don’t want you thinking of the difficult things we’ve had to do… because we’d like to forget about them ourselves. Focus on the positive and we’ll do the same.
“Take that badge off and I’ll kick your ass.”
God, you have no idea how much I want to take you up on that invitation. There’s nothing I’d like better than to throw on a pair of jeans and beat the shit out of you with a pillowcase full of bars of soap.
I can literally envision myself punching you in the throat. And it makes me happy.
Unfortunately for me and fortunately for you, the difference between the two of us is that while we both have thoughts of going to blows… one of us is level headed and professional enough to be able to walk away.
“Don’t you have anything better to do?”
So I pull over this guy the other day for passing on the right, riding a guy’s butt and blowing a red light. He has the nerve to drop that little line on me.
Yes, I have lots of better things to do. Unfortunately, some idiot decided to break the law in a school zone and could have run a kid over. Now I need to be dealing with him instead of responding to another call.
This goes along with the line: “Why don’t you arrest real criminals instead of harassing me?”
Newsflash: you became a “real criminal” when you broke the law.
“I know the chief.”
Cool. So do I. And if you really know the old man, you should know that when you complain to him that I arrested you for hitting your wife, he’s going to make sure the book is absolutely thrown at you.
Chief is an incredible guy. He’s lenient. He’s respectful. But he also has zero tolerance for breaking the law….and even less tolerance for wife beaters.
“Do you know who I am?”
Yes. You’re “that woman”. Every. Single. Time.
I don’t care that low education voters put you in office because you promised free tuition for everyone (hint: there’s no such thing as free).
The fact that you just played the “do you know who I am?” card means that I’m going to go after you with everything I have… because you are not a good person. You abuse your position in this city and are undeserving of the title.
“My dad is a LAWYER!!! I’ll have your JOB!!!”
Man, I wish you could have my job. You’d hate it though You have to deal with these little snot nosed brats driving daddy’s BMW every day.
Kid, I hate to clue you, but I know your dad. He’s a real estate attorney. So unless you need security detail to close on that condo in P-Town, I’m pretty sure dad and I aren’t going to be having a legit conversation any time soon. Except, of course, when I run into him at the bar again after he’s had a few and complaining to everyone about what a failure his unemployed bum of a son is.
“I’m not operating, I’m traveling.”
See, I’d really like to ticket you for “travelingunder the influence”. Unfortunately, they use these pesky words like “operating” to describe other things you are doing. Like driving that car while hammered.
Yes, I understand that while you’re walking that line, you’re not “operating” your vehicle. But I pulled you over because you were “traveling” all over the road.
You’re so smashed right now that if I were to test your blood alcohol level, I’d probably get drunk just by conducting the test. So let’s not fool ourselves. You’re going to spend a night in a fancy bed and breakfast… called a jail cell.
Final Words of Advice
We’re cops. We’re not perfect. But we’re also not stupid. Don’t treat us like we are, and chances are we’ll go a little easier on you.
Then again, maybe I am just a dumb cop. After all, they did tell me to just sit here in a car outside this road and not let people drive down it.