By request in /sub/Arizona: IAmA Police Officer in Arizona, AMAA

By request in /r/Arizona: IAmA Police Officer in Arizona, AMAAWhile I did one awhile ago in the regular IAmA subreddit, I was asked to post one in /r/Arizona. So here we are.

I added the "Almost" to it because I will not answer any questions as to my identity, what agency I work for, or a specific area where I work. This is because I can be accused of policy violations if I give the appearance that I am commenting as a representative of my agency. 

And off course, here is my proof

EDIT: WoW. I went to sleep at about 4am last night, and when i woke up there was a flood of new questions and comments. I am not ignoring them, just give me some time and I'll go through and respond the best that I can. 

EDIT: #2: Wow again, I got roflstomped with questions and feedback on this one. I am flattered and am doing the best I can to keep up. If you asked a serious questions and I have not replied yet, I apologize and ask for patience. I will go through all of them over time and answer every serious question that I can. 

EDIT #3: I finally went through everything and answered every serious question I could. If you had a serious question and I missed it, feel free to message me with it again and I'll be happy to answer.

There is one thing I want to say. There is obviously one thread that sticks out, and that is what I am referring to. I got a lot of responses like this, so rather than type the same thing a dozen times I'm going to put it here. A lot of people commented, saying they were sorry that I had to experience that. 

Do not apologize, and do not be sorry that I had to do it. That is just one story of tragedy among many, it just happens to be the worst. I have seen many things in this career which I can only describe as horrors. But do not feel sorry for me having to deal with it. That is why I do this job, and so do many many other Police Officers, EMTs, and Fire Fighters. Someone needs to be there to deal with these things. I do it so you don't have too. I wouldn't have it any other way.
By request in /r/Arizona: IAmA Police Officer in Arizona, AMAA

While I did one awhile ago in the regular IAmA subreddit, I was asked to post one in /sub/arizona. So here we are.

I added the "Almost" to it because I will not answer any questions as to my identity, what agency I work for, or a specific area where I work. This is because I can be accused of policy violations if I give the appearance that I am commenting as a representative of my agency.

And off course, here is my

EDIT: WoW. I went to sleep at about 4am last night, and when i woke up there was a flood of new questions and comments. I am not ignoring them, just give me some time and I'll go through and respond the best that I can.

EDIT: #2: Wow again, I got roflstomped with questions and feedback on this one. I am flattered and am doing the best I can to keep up. If you asked a serious questions and I have not replied yet, I apologize and ask for patience. I will go through all of them over time and answer every serious question that I can.

EDIT #3: I finally went through everything and answered every serious question I could. If you had a serious question and I missed it, feel free to message me with it again and I'll be happy to answer.

There is one thing I want to say. There is obviously one thread that sticks out, and that is what I am referring to. I got a lot of responses like this, so rather than type the same thing a dozen times I'm going to put it here. A lot of people commented, saying they were sorry that I had to experience that.

Do not apologize, and do not be sorry that I had to do it. That is just one story of tragedy among many, it just happens to be the worst. I have seen many things in this career which I can only describe as horrors. But do not feel sorry for me having to deal with it. That is why I do this job, and so do many many other Police Officers, EMTs, and Fire Fighters. Someone needs to be there to deal with these things. I do it so you don't have too. I wouldn't have it any other way.

This is an easy answer. But be warned any who reads, this is a rough one.

I was working graveyard shift, and I got a call of a women flagging down traffic on the highway at about 2am. The reporting people didn't stop, just called it in. They said they did not see a vehicle stopped near her.

I was the closest person, no Highway Patrol in the area. So I respond. When I get there, I find out what happened. She had been trying to get help for almost an hour before I got there. She was driving down the road and she lost a tire. (The tire didn't go flat, it actually flew off. Rim and all.) She lost control of the vehicle, it went off the road, and started rolling uncontrollably. It rolled so far off the Highway you could not see it with street lighting, hence no one seeing the vehicle on its side. After the crash she got out, ran through the desert, had to climb over the barbed wire right-of-way fence, and try to get help. Her phone was tossed from the vehicle, and it was too dark to find.

Well here is where it gets bad. When I pull up, the first thing she says to me is "I can't find my baby." She had an infant child in a car seat in the vehicle. However, the car seat was not installed properly and it was ejected from the vehicle.

So I get my flash light, climb over the fence, and run the 50+ yards until I find the vehicle. I then begin looking through the massive debris field in the pitch blackness. Well I find the car seat, and you can guess what I find. The baby was still in the seat, but long gone. I found a blanket in the debris field and covered the baby up. Then I walked back to tell the mother the news.

When I walk back, she asks me "Did you find him?" I reply "Yes, and I am sorry, but he is gone." On the side of the highway, she fell to her knees and let out a panicked cry/scream which words cannot adequately describe. I knelt down with her and hugged her, while she grabbed onto my jacket and squeezed it in her clenched fists. It took every ounce of my professional demeanor not to burst into tears myself, but I would be lying if I said a few did not fall. I knelt there for several minutes. I didn't know what to say, so just hugged her and rocked back and forth a little bit. She calmed down, I think because she went into emotional shock. I had her sit in in my car with a blanket until the Ambulance got there. She was transported to the hospital, I think precautionary and also because she was alone in the desert after such a tragedy.

I have seen many horrible things in my decade long career. But that is the worst. I still well up a little as I type this. But, I do take a lot of pride knowing that I was there for her when no one else was. If I was able to give her even the smallest shred of comfort in what had to be the worst moment of her life, then it makes all the hardship and frustration this job gives me completely worth it.

You broke my monitor. It is all blurry now.

Reminds me of that story (also on reddit) where a guy pulled over by a car accident and had a complete stranger die in his arms. Like one of the people who also were there said something along the lines that "At least he didn't die alone".

Oh, the little things that matter... :-/

I logged in just to link you to the story (after noticing that the other links weren't it, though the one porkchameleon linked you too was also very sad).

What is as your most heart-breaking/gut-wrenching experience ever since you've joined the force?

I swear my coworkers Always cut onions next to me.

No need to apologize. Its good to remember the bad things too, it gives you an appreciation of life and how quickly everything can be taken away.

I do consider myself a victims advocate. Its very hard on my emotions, but being there for people when they need me to be is part of why I do this job. So its not something that I will, nor should I, forget.

Jesus tell them to stop its hitting me all the way in tejas.

I actually almost had it happen to me just 4 days ago... I was about halfway home on a 3 hour drive that consisted mainly of long, straight, mind-numbingly boring state parkways, when I see something out of the corner of my eye just disappear on the opposite side of the parkway. My subconscious must have known what i couldn't have possibly known consciously, because I just had this feeling of certainty that something horrible had just happened. I immediately pull over onto the shoulder and jump out of my car. I see a faint trail of smoke rising up from the cliff that sits below the other side of the highway. I quickly flip of my sandals and sprint barefoot all the way across this parkway and see something that I'll never forget. I couldn't even make out what I was looking at until I got within 20 feet because of how mangled and utterly destroyed the car was, when I then called 911. I eventually make out what was the windshield area of the car and see a person still in the drivers seat. I was expecting to see a dead body strewn somewhere on the side of the cliff given how gruesome the car and wreckage is, so you can imagine my surprise to see someone actually managed to stay inside the vehicle. I rush down the rocks and to my astonishment he's actually still alive. With blood covering his face and a clearly shattered arm and leg, the guy just sat there, rocking back and forth, moaning in pain. Even if I could get him out of the car I knew you weren't supposed to, so I just stood next to what was left of the window area and just tried keep the blazing sun off of him while trying to calm him down. I told him name, who I was, I'm here to help, he'll be all right - the basic stuff. But what got me was when he said - "I'm gonna die... I'm gonna die". My stomach, throat, and what felt like every organ in my body knotted up. All I could tell him was - No you're not man, you're gonna get outta here. I honestly had no idea.

Eventually the police and ambulance's came, asked my info, then said I could be on my way. As I got back into my car a helicopter dropped down and whisked him off to the hospital. I still don't know if he made it.

Edit: It without a doubt changed my life. This kid was my age (22ish). It could have just as easily been me smashed inside of that car. God knows how many times I've texted a drove, or almost fallen asleep on this long, monotonous drive. What if the conditions were just a little bit different one of those times, just a little more water on the road, just dozing off for 1 more second, on a particularly curvy part of the highway... So much goes comes down to chance. Pure coincidence, or fortune. I was on my way home to meet some friends at a bar that night. I decided to go ahead and follow through with my plans a meet them there to try to get my mind off what I had seen. It felt so weird to be sitting there in that bar. I felt as though I had been a part of that wreck and now, just a couple hours later, I'm sitting in a bar with friends when he is most likely fighting for his life in a hospital bed, all because of some split second chain of events. Truly cherish every moment you can, because you never know where you could have been at that very instant.

Can someone find this story? I'd love to hear, and I'd be very grateful.

Edit: Thanks for your responses, everyone. This is the reddit I love the most.

3 months ago

Link is still purple.

I need to spend less time on Reddit...

Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry to remind you of this experience.

Just--thank you.

Weird. My Ccleaner specifically asks me to close down Chrome so it can dejunkificate it.

I'm in Texas, too.

::Texas hug::

I swear it's not me.

The best thing to do is let us know. If you have a gun in the car and you are pulled over, keep your hands on the steering wheel and politely let the officer know. He'll probably have you step out, secure the weapon, make sure its not stolen, and give it back when he sends you on your way.

Don't take it personal when they secure the weapon during the stop and give it back when its all done. We do that to EVERYONE we contact who is armed.

We DEFINITELY appreciate it if you let us know without us asking. Keep in mind though, if you have a gun in the car and are asked, you HAVE to honestly answer. Part of the new concealed weapons law passed a year ago was a requirement to honestly answer if an officer asks and you are carrying.

Does someone need a hug?

my eyes are sweating. :(

She'd have likely been thrown out long before a car seat. Properly installed, those things are bloody fused to the car. The actual belt would have to be ripped out, and the baby has far too little mass to accomplish that, aside from extreme torques that would have killed the mother in the process.

Damn. As a father of a toddler, I didn't want to read that.

How do you know the seat wasn't installed properly? It seems that a properly installed seat could still get thrown if the car rolled that many times.

I'm suddenly terrified of driving my 8 month old anywhere :(

Also, I can empathize with you.. when my family got news of my sister dying in a car wreck, I held my mother while she bawled on me for 2 hours straight. I teared up and felt immensely sad, but I felt like I shouldn't cry because I wanted to be a rock for my mom. Worst moment of my life by far, and I remember every second of it.

Luckily, my girlfriend, now wife, did the same for me later that evening. I never thought I'd get so much snot and tears on her, but she took it like a champ while I sobbed at least an hour.

Ok. Not the best memory to relive on a work day.. ugh.

I know of no Police Agencies in the state that have "quotas" per se. It is normally entirely up to the discretion of the officer.

However, there is a grey area in between. Some departments do require a certain number of "contacts." IE, traffic stops or calls taken. I have worked for places that did this. They don't require tickets, but do want you to stay active. Basically showing you are not sitting in your car doing nothing for 8 hours.

Some departments, or some special units within departments, are encouraged to write more tickets. No set numbers, but the bosses want them writing tickets. This is biggest in Motorcycle Units, because their job is to do traffic enforcement. If you get pulled over by a motorcycle cop, you probably aren't getting a warning. Highway Patrol is similar, because they mostly do traffic enforcement. But a regular city or county patrol officer, its entirely up to the officers discretion.

The final grey area is special grant funded details. Grants from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS.) If it is a special detail funded by GOHS (Like DUI Task Forces) or officers/units using equipment bought with GOHS Funds; GOHS wants to see tickets come from that. Mainly to show that the money they are giving the agencies is being used and not put to waste. Again, no set quotas, but they want numbers. Especially with seat belt tickets.

For me, I'm lucky in that my bosses only want me staying active, and don't want lots of tickets necessarily. They are happy if I write lots of written warnings, as long as I am staying busy. So I am able to give written warnings to fluff my numbers, and only write tickets when I think its appropriate.

I think Joe WAS good for MCSO. Emphasis on was. He did a lot of good things for that agency in his first 2 or 3 terms. However, he has since become a major liability. He wants to play politics and grand stand, while ignoring major law enforcement problems in his department (IE the sex abuse case issue.) And that is costing the county taxpayers a lot of money.

I definitely think his time is long past and its time for him to go. I would love to see Sheriff's given term limits, maybe 2 or 3 terms. But these Sheriff's who have been in officer longer their their new recruits have been alive is a major hurdle to those departments advancing. Both Arpaio and Dupnik in Pima are two guys I think really need to retire.

I actually was working a crappy fast food job in high school, and found a local summer program that allows college students to work for our police department in a civilian job during summers and winter breaks. It was better than fast food, so I took it. It perked my interest.

In college I couldn't decide on a major, and remembered that summer job and thought "I could do this for a living." So I majored in Criminal Justice and got a student job at the Campus PD. It really didn't interest me until I started doing it, and found I really enjoyed it.

Copyright stuff won't really hurt it. Some departments do ask that in background checks, but if you are honest it won't disqualify you. Now if its something you download that you could go to JAIL for, then yes it will (Child Porn as an example.) But if you just downloaded a few mp3s or a few anime shows, it shouldn't hurt. As long as she in honest when asked. Lying about anything in a background will disqualify you.

Thats a nice way to load a question. Even despite that, I will answer it.

I identify as caucasion, as that is how I was raised and my overall appearce. However, if you want to get into details, I am a mutt. I am a registered member of a native american tribe due to my ancestry, but I wasn't raised with that culture so I do not identify with it.

That being said, my wife is hispanic. Her grand mother immigrated to the United States from a small village in central mexico.

Heres the thing that you will have a hard time understanding. SB 1070 is not about race. My grand mother in law is an immigrant, but she immigrated legally. She followed the law and came over the right way. Both she, and my wife, agree with SB 1070. It is not anti-immigration, it is anti ILLEGAL immigration. There is a major difference.

Because a crime is committed predominately by one race in a certain region, it does not make is racist to enforce it. While the vast majority of illegal immigrants in Arizona are hispanic, not all are. I have turned over a skinny white kid from New Zealand to INS because he was here on an expired student visa. I have checked the passports of Asian's from Korea and Caucasians from Germany.

It is not politicans blaming crime on illegal immigrants. It IS actually a major problem. I will cite personal experience, and not political talking points. 2 months ago I ws involved in a case where a local business knowingly employing many of those hard working "law abiding" members of the community you cite. None of them had criminal records. But guess what, all 50 of them. Every one. Was using a stolen social security number. Thats 50 victims whos credit was ruined, who will go through years of hardship, because 50 of those hard working members of the communities you cite.

A more violent example. In my beat we were having several beatings done in a community of illegal aliens. All being done by the same person. All we had was a name and a description. Guess what? because he is undocumented, we had NO way of identifying him. No finger prints, no birth certificate, no drivers license. Nothing. No address, no vehicle plates, no way to even determine who he was. So we were powerless. It wasnt until he stabbed two people, and an officer was close enough to catch him running from the scene, that we were finally able to catch him. After weeks of problems with him.

Or may favorite, the two illegal aliens I caught traffic a pound of methamphetamine towards vegas. They had no identification, and no finger print records. To this day, after all possible checks, I still have NO idea who they really are. All I had was the names and birthdays they gave. I'm sure they can be trusted right? Guess what. As soon as they get out of jail, be is release or deportation, all they have to do is give a different name next time they are stopped and they will never be held accountable. Will continue to traffic meth through this state, with a fresh start each time because we have no way of finding out who they really are.

I do encounter many of the REAL hard working, law-abiding, members of our communities you cite. Legal immigrants. Those who follow the law, have INS cards, don't have to steal and victimize from strangers to get work. I am happy to see them here and wish them the best of success in the futures they are building for themselves and their families.

How do I feel when I call Border Patrol and break up families? I don't feel bad, because they made the decision to sneak into the country and break the law as their first act here, as oppsed to following immigration regulations and coming over the right way. And its not fair to all those hard working immigrants who DID come over legally and followed the law.

That being said, I would like to see immigration reform that makes it easier for hard working immigrants to come over legally, but also secures the border. Sad thing is, The Immigration Reform pushed by George W Bush and Ted Kenneedy in 2006 did just that. But it was killed by partisan politics on both sides.

I can only speak for myself. I'm not PRO-marijuana. But if it were legalized and regulated like alcohol, I would be ok with that and might actually vote for it.

That being said, I am adamantly against the current medical marijuana laws. They are nothing more than using sick people as a way to trick voters into approving back door legalization. I have encountered of dozens medical marijuana card holders (mostly from California, but AZ ones are starting to pop up) Only ONE has been anything but a late teens / early 20s person in perfect health. That one who may have actually needed it was growing it and selling it to teenagers around town.

If "medical" marijuana was FDA approved, you got a prescription from a legit doctor, and filled it at CVS or Walgreens; then I would be all for it. But the current laws are specifically designed to be abused.

If the voters want legal marijuana, then by all means vote for it. But they should know what they are voting for, and not be tricked into voting on a law they think is for the sick but is actually for college students who want their recreational pot.

And people wonder why I stop at every car accident. Even with what little I know, I still manage to help every time.


Your grandmother immigrated during a time in which people could actually immigrate legally without having substantial roadblocks. I hope you understand that shit.

I'll explain to you the law, which will scare you more, then its practical application which may put your mind at ease.

The law is not "illegal to drive with a BAC at 0.08." The law is that it is illegal to drive when you are "Impaired in the slightest degree." The law assumes that everyone is impaired to the slightest degree when you BAC is above a 0.08. The law assumes everyone is NOT impaired with a BAC below 0.05. That means you MAY be impaired and can be arrested if your BAC is above a 0.05 but below a 0.08.

That being said, I know of no officers who would arrest a person if they know their BAC is below a 0.08 (assuming there is a breath test before the arrest) and I have never seen a prosecutor pursue charges on someone who was arrested by the tests came back after the arrest and showed a BAC below 0.08.

We decide to arrest by judging impairment. That's what those Field Sobriety tests do. They are not pass/fail. When you do them, we look for specific indicators of impairment. Each test has a certain number if indicators, specific actions, we look for. Each ones builds probable cause for impairment.

A big one is the eye test (Horizontal Gaze Nysgatmus) Unlike the walk and turn and the one leg stand, it is entirely involuntary actions we gauge (the way your eyes react to the test, it cannot be consciously controlled.) Portable Breath tests help to, but they cannot be the sole determining factor.

Here's a little math than can help you. This is all for the AVERAGE PERSON (meaning it varies a bit based on a persons size and weight.)

One drink (Which means 12oz of beer, 4 oz of wine, or 1 oz of liquor) adds about 0.015% BAC to the Average person. Also, the average person burns off approximately 0.015% per hour. So you burn 1 drink per hour about. Food does NOT affect BAC, it only affects how fast your body absorbs it.

If you are good at algebra, here is the equation. N = (number of drinks) H = (hours since you started drinking) and BAC = (Approximate Blood alcohol concentration)

(0.015 x N) - (0.015 x H) = BAC

So, lets say you drink 6 cans of beer in 2 hours. You would use this equation (0.015x6)-(0.015x2). So your BAC would be about 0.06%

Use that basic estimate. If the number puts you close, or above 0.08; then be safe and call a cab.

Just remember that ONE DRINK means 12 ounces (1 normal can) of beer, 4 ounces (1 restaurant glass of wine,) or 1 oz (1 normal shot) of liquor. Red Solo Cups are great because they have these amounts measured by the lines in the cup. But if you drink a 40oz beer, that is NOT 1 drink. It is 3 1/3 drinks.

EDIT: I do want to clarify something. This is a rough ESTIMATE. It is not exact, because those numbers go up and down depending on the person. A thin 100 pound person will get a little bit more BAC from that One drink than a 300 pound person would. Don't do this equation and say "Oh look, I'm a 0.075, I'm below the limit so I can drive." It is an estimate. So if you are close, play it safe and get a cab.

I personally think I am very fair. I am polite and courteous (unless someone gives me a reason not to be.) I have had people thank me for writing them tickets, and even a few when taking them to jail.

I definitely take my ethics and my integrity seriously. As an example. I arrested a guy once. A week later I arrested his girlfriend. When I arrested her, she told me her boyfriend had hidden some dope in the back of my car when I arrested him.

Well, I always search my car after an arrest. However, due to what she said, I took the entire seat out. And low and behold, I found some dope there. It was in a little crevice in the seat I hadn't noticed before.

Now here's the thing. Did HE hide it there? Or did SHE hide it there, and try to pin it on him. (I arrested her after they got into a fight, so she was pissed at him.) I don't know.

I know damn well I could have testified in court that I searched every cranny after I arrested him, and I KNEW she had to be the one to put it there. And they would have believed me, over a drug addict girl with a long criminal record. I could have pinned it on her very easily.

But I didn't know. I made sure that was clear in my report. Getting a dope charge on someone, even if they really are a drug addict, is NOT worth my Integrity. Even if I would have gotten away with it, that is a line I will never cross. I pride myself on honesty and integrity. When I did an interview with her defense attorney, the attorney actually thanked me for my honesty.

And believe it or not, most cops are like this. I hate the ones that are not and give us a bad name and am happy to see when they are held accountable.

It truly was just a natural impulse, I don't deserve praise for following through with that. However, on the drive back afterwards I started remembering the circumstances of my own wreck - almost 4 years ago. I spun off a small highway, through a wooden fence and into a ditch. It wasn't too bad, my car was totaled, but not one of those clear-cut situations - my car was just cheap. But as I sat there in my car on theside of the road, in shock at what had just happened, no less than 30 cars drove by, offering nothing more than their apathetic rubber necking. Obviously it had just happened and no assistance was anywhere near the scene and not one goddamn person stopped. I truly didn't understand how inhuman this fact was until 4 days ago. Stop your damn car.

You CANNOT power through a properly applied taser. It is impossible. It is not pain compliance, it disrupts the central nervous system and prevents muscular control. When tasers are ineffective, it is generally because both probes did not strike the target properly.

As far as wtf moments, one of my favorites was a couple who called because there was a newspaper on their front lawn. But they didn't have a subscription, so they thought it was suspicious so they called the police.

That's the hardest part of losing a sibling. You spend all your time and energy trying to make sure your parents are as okay as they can be, you forget to mourn yourself. When my brother passed in a motorcycle accident, I did everything I could. I notified his friends, filed insurance, called his work. Anything I could so my parents didn't have to. Then I was also breast feeding my 4 month old and trying to help my 19 month old understand where his Uncie Joe went. It will be eight years this month and somedays it hurts like it was yesterday. It is a painful place to be, but I'm positive your mom appreciated it.

You made a difference either way. Sometimes the comfort of having someone there with you can give people the strength to pull through.

true, but I'd much rather deal with a messed up car seat than the death of my child.

Armed citizens, what do you like to see/ look for to keep an interaction going smooth?

Feels good bro.

Yes, I have considered that. But being that illegitimate cardholders are so widespread, it shows that the laws are designed for the illegitimate ones. When so many healthy 20 somethings have them, there is a problem. As I said, if it was prescribed like actual medication, filled at a CVS, and FDA regulated; I would be ok with it. But that's not happening.

But last time I filled a prescription at CVS, I don't remember being able to chose flavors like Jamaican Explosion, or Bahama Kablowee, or whatever absurd strains you get to choose. Nor can I get Doxicycolone in Honey, or some Vicodin brownies.

The laws are not designed to help the sick, they are designed to backdoor legalize for recreation. As I said, if voters want to legalize it, then by all means do it. But let the voters know what they are voting for.

As for laws I do not personally agree with and still enforce, yes. I actually do not agree with adult seat belt laws. Should you wear your seat belt? Yes. Is it MUCH safer to? Yes. Should the Government force an adult to? I do not believe so. They are risking no one else but themselves, and if an adult wants to risk their own life then that's their business. Now children, I absolutely agree with laws forcing them to be buckled in. But adults, no.

But, I write seat belt tickets. It is my job. I do not get to pick and choose which laws I enforce and which I don't based on my own personal morals. Nor should I. There are 700,000 police officers nation wide. If we were allowed to enforce our personal morals, and not the law, then you would have 700,000 different rule sets out there. I can use discretion where the law and department policy allows me to. But otherwise, I must and do follow and enforce the law; whether I personally agree with them or not.

Is it possible? Yes. Would I do it? No. I, and most police, value our integrity far more than getting a bust. And the consequences are even more severe. If I were to lie about something like that, I would be fired and decertified at the least and possibly criminally prosecuted. That's not worth getting a little bit of weed off someone.

If someone was to do this once, you can bet they would do it over and over again. Eventually if a supervisor were to notice a lot of vehicle searches where the officer said he smelled marijuana, but found nothing, red flags are going to get raised. If and when an internal investigation is initiated, they can put us on a polygraph. We fail, we are done. Anything in the investigation shows we are lying, we are done.

Now, can I lie to you and say "I smell the weed, hand it over." Yes I can. If it works and you hand over weed, it is legit and a legal arrest. However, I CANNOT lie in court or to a supervisor and say "I smelled weed, and that was my probable cause for a search without consent." That is fruit of the poisonous tree, 4th amendment violation, and a lawsuit and termination waiting to happen.

We can try and trick people into voluntarily giving up evidence or confession, making them believe we know more than we really do. But we cannot lie about justification for searches or arrests in court or in our reports.

As a mother who has lost a child, thank you. You were perfect. No one should have those ghosts.


That's a tough one. The best way I can explain is to know your area, know what the police uniforms and patches look like, so that way you will know them when you see them. Unfortunately, there are a lot of rent a cops and security guards out there that look like cops to the untrained eye and may want to pretend to be one.

If you are really nervous about a stop, and think the person may not be a real cop, immediately call 911. If you don't have a cell phone with you, turn on your flashes and slow roll until you are in a well lit and public place. Tell 911 you are getting pulled over and you are not sure its a real cop; and give them your location, a quick description of your car and your license plate (memorize your license plates people.)

The 911 dispatch should immediately know if it is legit, because that officer should have called out the stop, location, and license plate to that same dispatch. If it is NOT a real cop, they will be able to find out within a few minutes, and you can damn well bet they will send the real ones to your location, and they will get there fast. We don't take kindly to people who impersonate police and pull people over.

The story is the same nearly every time;

"thank you for stopping. So many others passed before you stopped"

The hiring process was long and had some tough parts. The physical tests were not to bad. But a long background investigation, a polygraph exam, psychological testing (a 2000 question written and an interview with a shrink.) All in all it takes about 4 to 6 months. The nice thing is, once you graduate from an academy and get 2 years under your belt, it is a LOT easier to go to other agencies in the state.

I have often asked myself if I would change careers if given a chance. The overall answer is no. However, I definitely go through phases where I am frustrated and think I would. However I will not do this my entire life. I am putting in my 20, retiring, and will move on to do something else.

Upvote for "dejunkificate."

Run Ccleaner. Clear your history. And delete your cache. :)

Judging by your response, it wouldn't have matter how he had replied to your initial loaded question. You already had your mind made up on the subject.

He gave you a very well written and thought out answer in regard to the issue you brought up, and you more or less ignored the whole of it focusing on the miniscule point of his use of the term "illegal alien", which whether you like it or not, is proper and correct in this discussion.

It's all well and good that you have your conspiracy theories, but trying to trap a man into saying something to back them up with a multidimensional question is pretty douchey, especially when you're so far off base.

Me too. These are the stories I think of when ignorant people make generalized, contemptuous statements about police. So many cops do so much good, but it is the few that abuse the badge that get all the recognition. I wish more people realized this.

I agree with KillerOs13, you made a difference. So many people are apathetic completely and wouldn't have even gotten that "feeling" about what they saw out of the corner of their eye. You're very alert and empathetic to have gone over and did what you could. I'm really thankful for people like you.

Given that he was the only witness and the person who called 911, I'd say he made all the difference.

Just tell him to bend over and take it like a man.

Good on you for helping your fellow man. I was a paramedic and understand all too well the chill that comes with someone telling you they are going to die. I have never had someone calmly tell me they are going to die and then not.

To be fair, the whole onions thing is stupid as hell. It doesn't annoy me as much as the person above but I can definitely see where they're coming from.

What originally made you want to become immersed in law enforcement? A while back, I met a gal who wanted was on the path of becoming a police officer. She had told me that she's trying not to go on in-the-gray-area streaming websites (we were talking about Japanese animation and different shows). Does going on those sites or your past "download history", I guess, affect your chances in becoming a law enforcement officer?

Yes I can. Under certain circumstances. First, off course, is consent. You give me consent, then I can search.

The second is probable cause. For example, if a Canine Alerts to the vehicle, that gives me probable cause to search it. Or, if I smell marijuana, thats the same as a dog alerting. There are other ways to develop probable cause, but those are the main ones. Probable cause is defined as "Any set of facts and/or circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe a crime has been committed."

The third way is if I am impounding or towing the vehicle. In that case, I can perform an inventory search.

But, if you say no, I have no probable cause, and I'm not towing it; there is nothing I can do but send you on your way.

I agree this was tough. I have a 5 week old and before he was born we went to the local police station and got a lesson on how to install the seat . The officer that taught us said that they didn't get many people in to actually learn how to put the seats in correctly. I actually learned some stuff about their installation that I never would have known. Installed correctly a grown man should be able to push and pull on it with all his might and it shouldn't budge.

LATCH clips help, but they do not automatically ensure proper installation. A poorly installed set with LATCH is far more dangerous than a properly installed seat without.

Many police stations will install a seat for you and show you the right way to have it. It should be rigid both left-right and front-back. RIGID.

Thanks for this! I have so much respect for first responders because there really isn't any way to prepare yourself for the sheer violence and emotional turmoil. I work alongside several different security companies that employ off-duty officers and such and the stories you hear are quite shocking. For instance one of the officers I see a lot is a FDLE FTO (Florida Dept. Law Enforcement Field Training Officer) and he was recently the first responder to a head on collision in a very small county. A man had been drinking (open containers in back seat) and smoking joints, drove on the wrong side of a county road and hit a car head on. In the car was a young couple that had recently been married. When he arrived the young male driver was still alive calling out to wake his wife who lay crushed/dead in the passenger seat. His hand was still wrapped around hers, begging the officer to help her. It was impossible to get either out, and 15 minutes later before the EMT/Fire dept. arrived the man succumbed to his injuries.

All the drunk driver would say is "I'm a good guy, I'm a good guy, I swear, I didn't have that much to drink!" The officer was so angry that he had to call his pastor so he wouldn't do something foolish to this man. The drunks in car accidents seem to make it out alive, while the innocent aren't as lucky. This man was looking at up to 40 years in prison.

Go and find someone who can verify that you are installing your child seat correctly. Seriously. Hardly anyone does because it seems so simple that you can feel stupid for asking, but a surprising number of people don't do it right. These new systems are supposed to be foolproof, but they aren't.

It's better to feel like an idiot for an hour than to potentially live with crushing regret for the rest of your life.

I don't remember who to ask, but I would start by going to the fire station and asking them. They have the emotional scars from seeing what happens when it's done wrong and my bet is that they will be so happy to see someone actually ASKING that will bend over backwards to help you make sure you are doing it right. Either they will help or they will point you to someone who does.

Everytime I get choked up after reading a story like this, I immediately look for those onion jokes afterwards to make me smile a little, so don't nobody stop nothing!

Ask yourself: If you had a sad story and you told it here on reddit, aren't you doing something wrong if an onion comment afterwards makes your story cheaper in your own eyes?

...well if he doesn't want one...


This is why I can never be a police officer. I'd have shot him.

anyone who lives in an urban area. anyone.

I think it was in this thread:

I dug through first few dozen entries, but didn't find it. The story made it to the frontpage, though.

Fair warning: very hard to read (even if they are made up, it's still pretty gut wrenching at times).

I know that scream. I won't go into details about how.

It's somewhere between a wolf cry, but with a much more crass bass. ... pretty much all vovel sounds. "o" and "u" in an odd mix.

It's from the gut. And its pierceing. It haunts you. I will bet you anything you can recall that scream in your head with near perfect recall.

Being the one that lets out that cry, does not make it any less freightning.

You did the right thing. Im sure you don't doubt it. But it never hurts to get it verified.

Is it entirely up to the officer to give a warning vs a ticket?

Do you have a quota for giving out tickets?

I made friends with a local cop at a gas station last night. At first he was eyeing us down (2 twenty something dudes on sport bikes) but after we came out of the store he started talking bikes with us, and we realized he's a good ass dude. Not all police are out to get you.

That last sentence gave me chills. That's terrifying.

Sir, you are an officer of the law and a complete gentlemen. I hope more cops try to strive to be like you so that it can un-sully the reputation of the police force. Because of the experiences I have had, I am forced to tell my children that while you should be able to trust a cop, if you have a choice between asking for help from a cop or a fireman, choose the fireman.

I say this because where I grew up, it seemed there were very few actual good cops.

I hope this awful story does not cause you to lose sleep because you did all you could and more than most. There is no doubt parts of your job are extremely tough and you are very underpaid. So, thank you for the sacrifice.

While not specifically defined, brass knuckles and generally considered by the courts to be a deadly weapon. They are not prohibited, so all concealed weapons laws that apply to guns apply to them. It is legal to have them under state law, but all the deadly weapon rules apply.

However, keep in mine, that is STATE law. Some cities do have City Laws banning them, Phoenix is one of them. So if you live in a city, make sure your city laws do not specifically ban them.

A true sheepdog. Those ones are the kind that stay with you.

Yesterday was my mom's birthday, so I gave her a call and told her I'll be coming down to visit her on Friday.

She wasn't as cheery as she generally was, so I asked what was bothering her. She had patient that came in, a toddler who was run over by a car. Story goes, the mom of the toddler was leaving her home to run errands and I guess the toddler followed the mom out into the garage. The mom didn't notice the toddler at all, and when she began to back away..she noticed a bump.

Flash forward to the ER, there was nothing my mother or other doctors could do. As my mom said, the heart breaking scream brought almost everyone to tears...

25+years in the ER and Trauma. Usually my mom is very head strong about heartbreaking news, but what happened really got to her, and on her birthday...

There is no law about the flames, although you do need a properly installed muffler. If you have a muffler that is damaged or installed in a way that it does not block noise, then you can get a ticket for that.

That is definitely a good approach. I always get nervous when I stop a car at night and can't see into the back seat. I just imagine a shot gun getting pointed at me through that window. The way you said is a great way to do it. When you do things you don't legally have too, to be more cooperative and make things safer for us, it definitely is appreciated by the VAST majority of us.

personally its not so much a problem of admitting they are crying it's more of lightening the mood

Agreed. People mistake their stoic readiness for meanness.

They have not made their way to our area yet, at least not to a point where they are a noticeable problem. So no, I dealt with them. Spice spread really quick, but since it was banned its become much rarer.

I personally have a hard time believing its worse than meth. I deal with meth a lot and see how that shit destroys people so quickly. But don't have enough bath salt experience to say for sure.

Or may favorite, the two illegal aliens I caught traffic a pound of methamphetamine towards vegas. They had no identification, and no finger print records. To this day, after all possible checks, I still have NO idea who they really are. All I had was the names and birthdays they gave. I'm sure they can be trusted right? Guess what. As soon as they get out of jail, be is release or deportation, all they have to do is give a different name next time they are stopped and they will never be held accountable. Will continue to traffic meth through this state, with a fresh start each time because we have no way of finding out who they really are.

So you didn't fingerprint them or take mug shots?

You're the kind of cop that I am aiming to be. Thank you for showing people that not all cops are bad guys. :)

How do you feel about sheriff Joe? My brother in law that is an officer here does not like him because the way he treats officers or something along those lines.

Depends what you mean by arrested. To book a juvenile into juvenile detention, it has to be a serious and violent offense. Normally I give them a juvenile referral (basically a ticket sending juveniles to juvenile probation) and leave them with their parents. That's technically an arrest, but not what you think about as an "in custody" arrest.

The thing to remember is that we are all just people, and come in all shapes and colors. I have worked with stereotypical cops who are ex-military high-in-tight hair hard asses. I have worked with cops who are nerds who talk about WoW and computers with me. I have worked with cops who have tramp stamp tattoos and love make up and hair styling when they are off duty. Just like everyone else, we come in all shapes and types.

Plenty of guys I do not like personally and would not want to have a beer with. Others who I consider dear friends.

I personally think the shining light of what we should be is someone who can be a warrior when needed, but is compassionate and understanding when needed as well. Someone who understands we are public servants, and takes pride is giving back and making the community a better place. Someone who does not let interdepartmental feuds and anger towards their chief/sheriff lesser how hard they work for the citizens. People who hold their Integrity to the highest level.

I do think we have a lot of cops like this. I think I act this way, but I am a bit bias as to my own performance. Fortunately, despite what reddit thinks, true dishonesty and corruption is not tolerated. Out of the hundreds I have worked with, I only know of 4 cops who I would call corrupt and criminal. And all 4 were held accountable when caught, fired, and prosecuted.

I think law enforcement can definitely get better, but it is a good shape. Its not perfect, and a lot of the old dogs retiring and newer people taking over will move it forward a lot in the years to come.

There is no state law against it, but some cities might have a city ordinance against it.

This. Use your LATCH anchors, people. Or better yet, don't live in a place wher eyou have to take the highway everywhere.

Vehicular accidents are the leading cause of death in children.

One time I lost a wheel a month after getting brake work done on a 1993 Ford Explorer.

I was driving home from college on a bunch of winding, 55mph roads. Every 10 miles or so, I'd feel a huge BUMP - like I was running over railroad tracks - the only thing is that I was on smooth road.

I had to get home, so I pushed on. About 2 miles from my house, in a slow section of town, it went. The tire shot out and went onto an empty sidewalk (very grateful for this) and then hit some poor guy's clunker of a pickup. He put it in his bed and drove to me with it, and gave it back.

I thanked him, and offered to pay for the damage. He told me there was no need (his truck was in pretty bad shape).

My mechanic didn't tighten the lug nuts down all the way BUT I should have definitely checked into it at the first sign of trouble. I could have been responsible for someone else's death (or my own).

Whats funny is that, I have a substantial distrust for the criminal justice system as well. But for the opposite reasons you do. I think the system is weighed far more towards the rights of suspect than the rights of victims. To many times I have had to explain to scared crime victims that the person who victimized them posted bond and is getting released. All I can say to protect them is to call us back if the bad guy returns. That doesn't give them much comfort. To many times I have seen repeat offenders get slap after slap on the wrist, only to go back out and hurt others all over again.

I think the wrongful conviction rate is very low. Considering how many people I know were guilty who I have been released, because the jury believed a hired gun "expert" witness as opposed to a state lab tech; makes it very hard to believe that wrongful convictions are anything but very rare in the modern day in age.

I don't think I can quantify an acceptable rate of false conviction. You really can't ethically throw an "acceptable" number on that. The correct number should be 0, but perfection in any system is nor reasonable or possible.

The best way I can answer that is that all those who work for the state (Police/Prosecution) must be held to the highest ethical standards and face severe consequences if they are found to act in bad faith. If a cop lies on the stand, or a prosecutor withholds evidence that an exonerate an innocent person, they must be held accountable tot he strictest of standards.

The main problem with Criminal Justice is that it is not, and can not, be based on stats and numbers. You can't pump data into an equation and have it spit out a probability for guilt. It is based on human interpretation. In the end, it is a jury of 12 people who decide that. And yes, 12 people can be wrong. But until a better way can be found or computers advance so much that they can judge that sort of thing, there is no other way to do it.

I am new to the state. Is it illegal to use a cell phone while driving here?

Thanks for being brave enough to wear a badge.

It bothers me when I see stuff like that. I come from an area where the reason traffic stops during an accident is because so many people have pulled over to help out, not because of rubbernecking. So when I travel and see this stuff, I get infuriated and want to start making people stop to help.

I thought those lights were only on during rush hour? That's a tough one, because that's the realm of highway patrol. I would bet if you do it during rush hour and cause a hazard, you're going to get stopped. If the highway is empty and its not a hazard, I personally wouldn't stop for it. Although if you have a Highway Patrolman fishing in the area, he might.

Never have a problem telling an officer I have a weapon in the vehicle. No problems here with an officer securing my weapon during a regular traffic stop, I'm glad you have a SOP for securing weapons.

How was the hiring process? If you could change your career, would you?

You are right that every agency can be completely different. They all have their own culture. Its basically a mindset and a demeanor that is put in the officers by the administrators and the city/county governments who manage their funds.

If that culture is old and set in, it can be very hard to change it. Even with a new Chief. If you have a Department that has serious corruption issues (its rare, but it happens) then you have a corrupt city government that allows it.

I would not want to work for DPS. Don't get me wrong, their job is important. But they pretty much just write tickets and handle vehicle collisions. They do very little criminal investigation, and that's the part of the job I love.

You will likely get a more "robot" type officer from a big city department. Those guys get micromanaged much more. Sheriff's Deputies usually have much more freedom, and therefore can me much more human in how they apply the law.

If officers from one particular agency acts a certain way, the blame lies squarely on the Chiefs and the City Governments that appoint them. Scottsdale is how they are because that's what their Chief and City Council want. Other agencies notice this too. There was a running joke in our circles about Gilbert PD's Motor Units being ridiculously aggressive. To the point where, in multi-agency training, the instructors would joke about letting everyone else leave before the Gilbert Motors so everyone could get home safely. Although recently Gilbert replaced their entire Motor Unit, so that has gotten better.

An agency's Reputation is normally deserved if it is very widespread. Either because that's how they REALLY are, or they are not that way but have done nothing to change that reputation. Some places (especially uppity suburbs) like their officers having the hard ass reputation.

When I was about 11 -12 (a long time ago), a teenager in my far northern and very snowy town was saved by a guy stopping his car on the highway to get out and "look for something", because he suspected an accident had happened and there might be a victim around.

What made him suspect it was just one thing: He passed a single boot on the side of the road.

The driver that hit the kid (a guy about my age) took off and didn't call anyone, so the kid would have frozen to death with a leg pointing backwards on the other side of the snowbanks (you can't see over and above them when you're in a car) if it wasn't for that guy that stopped at the boot.

So I stop for boots. Never was in a accident despite a lot of time on the roads. Never saw a serious one either.

But hey, be careful out there.

Oh yes, I know they are in Arizona. Remember it is a big state. But in the particular area I am in, it hasn't hit yet. At least not noticeably yet. I fully expect it to work its way here eventually.

Reddit seems pro-marijuana. What is your stance? Is it shared by most in your agency?

If the wheel isn't properly fitted to the axle, the nuts holding it on can loosen to the point where the vibration of the wheel will shear them off. The reason people are taught to tighten opposing nuts when putting wheels on is to properly tension the wheel so that this doesn't happen.

There's a special place in heaven for you.

Just for your own knowledge as someone who may be first on a bad accident scene again (and I apologize if I missed a comment saying you're no longer out there), if an mvc has fatalities, anyone in the same compartment as the decedent meets trauma alert criteria in most places and should be taken to the nearest appropriate facility. Same for anyone in a rollover, as there may have been enough physics involved to create a shearing force great enough to tear the aorta.

People might feel fine initially but could quickly shit the bed, and you seem like someone who'd just as soon not see that happen to anyone, and would advise them accordingly.

God bless you and thanks for all you do.

This reminds me of two stories my mom told me about my biological father. He was a cop and he's always been one of those cold callous cops that you see on reddit being a corrupt cop but there were twice he lost his nerve. One time there was a house fire and he responds. He's the first on the scene and the woman is outside yelling her baby is inside. He ran into the burning house half a dozen times having to come out after some minutes just to get some oxygen as the house was pretty much engulfed. He's running all around, up the stairs, finally finds the baby and brings it out. Not breathing and he immediately begins CPR. HIs uniform has melted in some places he looks like he just went running around inside a fire because he essentially was. Hairs were singed and everything. He was finally able to save the baby though and he got a huge reward and all that for it.

THe one that haunted him the most and he absolutely refused to talk about is when he showed up first on scene to a baby that had found the pool. He started CPR and just couldn't bring it back. He kept trying for 20 minutes until the ambulance showed up and when they said it's too late he forced them to keep going for another 10. Unfortunately it was to no avail. Mom said he immediately just went to his boss and told him he wanted the rest of the shift off. He came home, cried for hours in the bathroom then hugged both me and my brother until we almost popped in half (all this is according to my mom, i was only about 3). He was permanently traumatized by it and will never discuss it, ever.