New Year’s Resolutions for Dummies

Every year people make well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions. Typically, by February the resolutions require respiration to stay alive, but they remain on life support.

Nevertheless, here are a few we’d like to see the general public adopt for 2019. If these resolutions were embraced—even for a month—cops might have more time for “real police work.”

  • Don’t stop in the road at a Y intersection to check Google Maps for directions. Pull over!
  • Stop using the handicap placard that belongs to a relative.
  • Merge to the right when you see an emergency vehicle rolling with lights and siren.
Troubleshooting Poor Outcomes

(Photo courtesy Steve Lyon)

  • Avoid driving like a turtle in the fast lane.
  • Quit texting while sitting at a traffic signal and therefore, miss the light as it phases to green.
  • Stop bothering police officers with silly questions while they are conducting a traffic stop or field investigation.
predictive policing programs

(Photo courtesy Chris Yarzab)

  • Blame your own stupidity—not the lack of police presence—when your valuables are taken from your unlocked car with the windows down.
  • Don’t hang up! Wait on the telephone line and apologize to the 911-dispatcher when you meant to dial 411.


  • Peacefully exchange children with your ex, thus avoid calling the police to referee your immaturity. (There are exceptions for the ex who is a rampant maniac. In this case, please continue to allow us to assist.)
  • If there is a “No Soliciting” sign on the front door to a home, don’t ring the doorbell hoping to sell something to the homeowner.
  • Obey the cone and flare patterns at the scene of a major traffic collision.

graveyard cop

  • Stop asking why cops they are not doing “real police work.”
  • If a police officer is seated to eat at a restaurant, please save your legal questions for another time.
  • Keep the telephone numbers for utility providers nearby. The police department does not maintain your water, gas, electrical, sewage, cable TV, or trash service.
  • Please reserve the 911 system for emergencies. Reporting neighborhood kids playing basketball in the street does not constitute an emergency.

Since police officers are citizens too, we thought we’d add a few more pet peeves that bother us off-duty. As a result, we think these would make fantastic New Year’s resolutions as well.

  • Please stop blocking the aisles at Costco while waiting for a small sample of food.
  • Discontinue talking loud while watching a movie at the theater.
  • Keep your partisan political social media comments to yourself, especially when they have nothing to do with the original post.

Thank you for the consideration. Happy New Year!

– Jim McNeff, partner and managing editor, Law Enforcement Today