Police professional courtesy? Does it still exist? There was a time in the 70’s, 80’s until about 1993 when police officers would extend “professional courtesy” to fellow Police Officers and their families, Doctors, Firefighters, Teachers, D.A.’s, Judges and Nurses. Meaning, if one of them was pulled over let’s say for going a bit over the speed limit or failing to use their turn signal the officer would extend “professional courtesy” and not give a ticket. But, what happened? Well, personally I believe it all started to change after the “Rodney King” incident in where police officers were ridiculed by the public and police were poised with testifying against one another to save their own soul. Personally, I don’t believe the L.A.P.D. officers in the Rodney King incident were guilty of racism, regardless, this article is about extending “professional courtesy” and I will try to keep focus here. You see my friends once society turned against the police and all the race baiters jumped on board everything changed across America. Police Officers found themselves second guessing themselves and were held to answer by their respective agencies over the most mundane things during their tour. The fact remains, to be clear, police officers are given a wide range of discretion in police work and do not have to issue a citation if they don’t want to, or on the other hand they can issue a citation if they want to.
Over the years, I’ve heard some officers say their departments have ordered them to cite police officers if they are stopped for a traffic violation and they have no choice. Although, some departments may make such orders, it is highly illegal and they cannot make such an order if challenged. Moreover, nothing has changed as far as discretion as it is only an infraction at best. Now then, let’s say its a misdemeanor! Well, again the officer has the discretion to arrest for a misdemeanor, there is nothing in any law, in any state within the union that states an officer shall arrest for a misdemeanor. Of course, there may be a law in where a report shall be generated but this does not mean an officer shall arrest for a misdemeanor crime. So, let’s talk about an officer who goes out to dinner and has a glass of wine and once he/she leaves the restaurant he/she is pulled over for a traffic violation. Does the officer have to arrest the off-duty officer for D.U.I.? The answer is NO. However, people may argue the point, but the caveat is the crime is a misdemeanor and the officer does not have to arrest as they have the power to use their own discretion. The officer is only required to arrest if in fact it is a felony. But, wait! What does society think about “professional courtesy?” Well, of course there are those who believe it is unfair etc… but really we know the truth….if you’re a police officer you know the average John Doe citizen is set free everyday and chances are were not given a citation and or arrested for a misdemeanor. The police let people free with a warning everyday all across America!
Even the most die hard rouge officer out there who would give their own mother a ticket has let people go without citing them or arresting them! People may say, well the police never gave me a break and every time I was stopped I got a ticket. Although this may be true, statistically it is not as if you were to pretend for a moment if a police officer makes 5 traffic stops per shift and only 4 people received a citation then of course that leaves one person who did not which is based on the officer’s discretion. But wait, if you calculate 5 traffic stops per shift for a period of five days of work, then that would be 5 people who did not receive citations based on 4 people receiving citations with one receiving no citation. So then, you can clearly see by this example many people are extended “professional courtesy.” Plus, it is not every day you pull over a cop or any of the people I mentioned earlier which may only happen once a year. So please don’t get to hyped up here, it’s not like the police are extending “professional courtesy” all day long to their buddies & family etc… this is simply not the case. On another note, look at it this way, police officers have a tough job and they don’t want to issue citations to professionals, however, sometimes it just has to happen for whatever reason. My point here, is I am hearing more and more everyday in where police officers are issuing one another tickets for stupid stuff like as if there were a war between departments. The worst of the worst is the California Highway Patrol, not that they all give cops tickets but there are many who will and have. What is strange, is if you pull them over because they too VIOLATE TRAFFIC LAWS then they expect “professional courtesy.” Well, that doesn’t fair to well in the police community. For years, I believed the C.H.P. had something to prove because they’re not really looked at as “cops” to most agencies, but rather Traffic Safety Officers who only give tickets and work car crashes.
I have personal friends who are C.H.P. officers and they’re super cool but they too will tell you they have idiots on their department who love to give cops tickets. My C.H.P. friends shake their heads from left to right calling them morons and tell me most of their own C.H.P. buddies don’t care for them. . You see my friends, society really doesn’t expect police to start a war of giving each other tickets. I want to say those of you who are still active, just remember my friends if you give that doctor or nurse a ticket for something stupid…..God forbid you could end up in the emergency room with that same doctor or nurse leaning over you! If you’re going to give that teacher a ticket don’t get pissed off when your kid is failing and you get called into their principal officer…do not expect any return “professional courtesy.” Oh, so you will give a firefighter a ticket….well don’t expect that same “professional courtesy” when your kid is popping fireworks off in the front yard and a firefighter rolls by and gives out tickets! Anyway, you get my point we all should obey the law….but NOBODY is perfect…..if it were a perfect world then things would be different…so use your head!