This page is for communicating bits and pieces of information about the police force.  To inform you and to quell some myths.  I will try to be as accurate as possible, and I will try not to be biased, however that will be hard.  I just want to let people know what it's like to be a cop, without giving away any professional secretes, at least none that should remain a secret.  I hope you enjoy this page, but keep in mind, I live with a Cop and she is very serious about her job.  She enjoys working with the folks she works with, and she seems to enjoy her job a bit.  If you were wondering if certain things you hear are true, read on;  
             
             
             

Officer Craig Shaw

Lancaster Police Dept.

Lancaster, Texas

 

Killed in the line of duty on June 20th 2010

(Father's Day)

 

You’re in Our Prayers

Lancaster Officer Falls in the Line of Duty

          On Father's day, Lancaster Police Officer Craig Shaw lost his life when he responded to a call of shots fired.  The real sad part of this story is that he was shot and killed by the son of the new Dallas Police Department Chief.  2 fathers lost their lives that day, an innocent bystander was also shot by the same gunman.  The gunman was shot and killed by Lancaster Officers responding to the call with Shaw.

          I have posted this to remind everyone that these officers are people like us, your brother, uncle, father, my wife, aunt, etc.  This is the part of being a Police Officer that I have a hard time with, and if I didn't think my wife was one of the smartest people I know, and one of the most security conscious, I wouldn't be able to sit at home and wait for her to come home every night.  And not a day goes by that I don't think that it could happen to her as with any officer.  She doesn't work for Dallas, thank God, and she works in a city that is small and I hope, safe.  When she worked in Irving, an officer lost his life on a rainy night trying to get to a "shots fired, officer needs backup" which is one of the calls no officer wants to get, but takes serious when he or she does.  He crashed his car on the freeway and they lost track of him and when they found him he was gone.  He had the hero's service as all fallen officers have, they are all hero's!

          Again this week my wife has been wearing a black band across her badge, which is a way for officers to show respect to fallen officers.  It doesn't matter if the officer was from Lancaster, a different city, different county, it doesn't matter.  Marisa works in Pantego, but she is backed up by officers from Arlington, Fort Worth, and Dal Worthington Gardens.

They care about their officers, it's like a huge family.

     
             
             
             
             
 

 

I wish I would have gotten his picture

The other day we were coming off of the freeway and there was a sign for the people on the frontage road "Yield to Ramp".  Traffic was a little slow coming off of the ramp and this truck was pulling in front of us.  I rolled down my window and said, "hey! you're supposed to yield", he looked at me and said "yea, every other car" and drove on.  This tells me that there are more people out there with driver's license who actually do not know the traffic laws than I originally thought.  I guess it's a sign that job security is a definite for Marisa.  I wish I would have taken his picture, I always need a good picture of a dip...

 
         

Cops Love Donuts

Myth

 

          It is not true that all Cops like donuts, in fact most Cops are offended that people think that way.  Although donuts are considered to be a good breakfast snack, and go great with coffee, you don't really see all that many Cops hanging around the local donut shop, except in the movies, and on TV...

     
         
 

 

What is a Speed Trap?

 

 

          A speed trap is a location setup so that you are speeding and don't know it.  A line where the speed limit drops drastically and the sign is not posted where it is easily seen.  A place where if investigated you could prove that no matter what, you would have gotten a ticket outside of going under the speed limit.  There was a place like that, a school zone, that showed a 35 mile speed limit just past the school, however it was still within the school zone.  Everyone thought the sign was an indication that the zone ended.  When one offender took the idea to court, his ticket was not only thrown out, but the city changed the layout of the signs to eliminate the speed trap.

 

          If an officer is sitting around a corner where known speeders are present, that is not considered a speed trap, it is considered "you got caught".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Speed Traps

 

          It is not legal to setup a speed trap to catch speeders, however some officers do find a place where it is hard to maintain the speed limit like the bottom of a hill, then sit at the one spot they cannot be seen by oncoming motorists.  It is hard to prove that where you got the ticket was a speed trap.  Some officers pick the bottom of a hill, I'm always seeing a motor cop sitting on a main road outside my neighborhood.  Radar in hand, he sits at the bottom of a small hill in a 30 mile speed limit.  He is there 2 or 3 days a week, I know he gets a lot of speeders there, but I wouldn't call it a trap.

 

 

   

 

 

Get a Ticket for 1 Mile Over

Myth

 

 

          It is not true that Cops will pull you over and write you a ticket for 1 mile over the speed limit.  They are not going to waste their time on people who maintain a consistent speed near the limit, in fact most officers won't ticket you until you have exceeded 10 miles over.  All officers will ticket you for going 20 over, and feel good about it if that is all you get.

 

Keep in mind, you can be pulled over for any speed exceeding the limit, however the closer you are to the actual speed limit, the less chance of that.  But officers are not just looking for speeders, they are mainly looking for illicit behavior, drugs, weapons, etc.  So they will take the opportunity to pull you over, no matter what the offense is.

 
   

Radar vs. Laser

 

Radar is the Most Accurate

Myth

 

          While Radar is fairly accurate, in most cases it will not detect a single car's speed unless traffic is very slow.  Today, an officer will rely on Laser to be able to zero in on a single vehicle in heavy traffic.  Radar is mostly used in low traffic areas, and in most vehicles, the Police vehicle must be facing you, or facing the same direction as you.  If you come over a hill and see an officer using Radar or Laser, don't hit the brakes, it won't do any good, maintain a constant speed, if you were speeding, they got you when you crested the hill.

 

 

 
     

 

Laser vs. Radar

 

 

 
  Radar Gun (Hand Held)      

Laser (LIDAR) Gun (Hand Held)

 
     

     
 

Avoiding a Citation

True

 

          The best way to avoid a citation is to follow the law, but you can't be perfect all of the time.  Once in awhile, we do something stupid, hopefully it doesn't cause an accident, or as they call it here in Texas, a "Wreck".   And once in awhile we do that stupid thing in front of an officer, like speed down a roadway only to find an officer pointing some unfair device at you, suddenly he pulls out, the lights go on and you're busted.

 

          At this point you will not be able to talk your way out of a citation.  The best thing to do is admit fault; whatever you do, don't lie.  Be friendly and polite, treat the officer like you would want to be treated in the same situation, he or she is just doing their job, it's nothing personal.  Often, (depending on the officer), they may let you off with a warning.  Most officers are not on a quota, in fact it is illegal for officers to be given a quota for writing tickets.  If you argue with the officer, especially if you are rude, chances are good that you will get the highest possible fine.  Relax and go with the flow, and remember, if you are real obnoxious, you can actually be arrested and taken to jail for obstruction or another offence.

 

In most Cities, Whether to Write a Citation or not is at the Officer's Discretion

 
             
         

 

 

COPS Official Web Site

          Check out the Web Site for COPS.COM, the Web Site for the TV show.  Check out the information about 2 new shows, Jail and Street Patrol, both are about the men and women of law enforcement, doing what they do best, every day so you and I can stay safe and be free from threats and crimes against us.  Click the logo to the right to visit their Site...

 
         
         
 

Alcohol and Cars don't mix

Don't Drink and Drive

 

 

Don't Drink and Drive

True

 

          Something you will not be able to get out of no matter how polite you are is a DUI arrest.  In most cases you will be arrested, you vehicle will be towed, you will be placed in a drunk tank and you will pay about $10,000.00 in fines.

 

          Texas has one of the worst alcohol related traffic accident and deaths in the United States.  Texas is one of a few States that don't allow a sobriety check point, therefore an officer or a citizen has to whiteness erratic driving.  A citizen can call 911 and report a possible drunk driver.  The police will respond quickly because it is very important to remove all drunk drivers from the roadway before they cause a deadly accident.

 

Save someone's life, Don't Drink and Drive!

 
             
             
 

Did you Know?

 

          Most police officers are human beings who have lives outside the job.  They have families and friends, and they look at things like most people, logically.  They understand that the World would be a more dangerous place without the laws we have.  They agree that some of the laws on the books don't make sense, and that some punishments don't match the crime, but they believe in the Justice System, it's all we have, and it's way better than in other countries.  They believe if you do something illegal you should pay the price.  I believe that Police Officers have it worse than most people, in that if they commit a minor crime, it could cost them their job, where for you and me, well it might cause the boss to look at you a little different.  One thing I have noticed since being involved in the Police Department, it is like an extended family, where they all look out for each other.  They all think the same way, protect the innocent, bring down the bad guy.  I think it's kind of funny the way the ACLU and other equal rights and racial equality associations will stand behind an illegal emigrant even though they are criminals for being here illegally.  In any other country, it would be an illegal act to protect someone who commits a crime, and then again, it's common to have people blowing each other up in other countries.  The Police Officer is our friend, our family, our neighbor, our protector.  Treat them with respect, and they will treat you with respect.  They are not out to get you, unless you are a criminal.  They are not out to get the average citizen, the fact is that criminals hide among average citizens, so sometimes they may have to bother you to keep you safe.  And remember if you are drinking and driving, they are protecting others and you against yourself.

 

Say "Thanks" to the next Police Officer you see...

             
             
 

Move Over or Slow Down

True

 

          In the State of Texas, when you approach an emergency vehicle with lights on, if you are in the lane next to them, as you approach you must either slow down to half the speed limit, or move over one lane.  You can get a citation for passing an emergency vehicle going too fast.  Most tragic accidents on the freeways here in Texas are due to people not paying attention to emergency vehicles on the side of the road, mostly working accidents, rarely giving tickets.  Most Cops are not comfortable being on the side of the freeway, due to these accidents.  Most of these types of accidents are from drunk drivers, they say the flashing lights cause a drunk to head straight to them.  Have you noticed that sometimes they park a Fire Truck at an angle, before an accident site?  That is for protection.  So please cut them some slack and move over.  Give them room to do their job.

   
         

A Fire Truck is parked behind the accident to block traffic to keep the workers safe.

 
              The fines for passing an accident scene going too fast in the lane next to the accident are steep.  Many accident scenes have additional police officers watching out for speeders going past the scene, so do yourself a favor as well as our first responders and move away from the lane that they are in.  Slow down also, it won't hurt to go a little slower while passing the scene.  Keep in mind there are stiff fines for speeding through construction zones too.

PLEASE ABIDE - MOVE ASIDE

 

 

 
             
             
             
             
 

Cop

 

 

Copper

 
             
             
 

COP is a Slang for Police Officer

True

 

          In the past calling a Police Officer a Cop was not good.  It was almost considered to be as bad as pig.  But today, most Police Officers don't mind being called a cop.  In fact it is becoming an indication of someone who is brave and strong.  The word Cop stands for many things, like Current Operating Procedure, and Circle of Protection, and we all have heard of Constable on Patrol, and in some cities like Irving, COP means Community Oriented Policing.  I believe it was the TV show COPS that gave it a good name, and made officers think better of the term.  There are still some police officers that don't like to be called a cop, but many don't care, it's easier to say than police officer, and it basically means the same thing.  What do you think of when you hear the word Cop?  I think of my wife!

 
             

             
 

Racial Profiling

Myth

 

          What does "Racial Profiling" mean?  It means that a person is detained because of his race, and not because of other factors.  But if other factors are in place, it is no longer racial profiling, in other words, if an officer pulls over more blacks than whites, and he is in a dominantly black neighborhood, he is not picking them because they are black.  If several illegal Mexicans are arrested at an apartment complex, they were arrested because it was known that illegal's hang out there, not that Mexicans hang out there.  Racial profiling is just another tool that the ACLU and other racial equality associations use to keep officers from doing a good job.  Want to know why crime is rampant in this country?  Because we have the right to speak out against the police officers, making them think twice before arresting someone for fear of legal hassles.  I remember one story about 2 illegal immigrants from South America who robbed a house, as they ran out of the house and across a neighbors lawn, he shot them both, killing them.  The Black and Mexican groups both protested.  No whites protested.  Why?

Do you care that other countries racial profile to catch terrorists?

   
             
 

There is a New Bad Guy Out There

True - Very True

 

          Crime is on the rise in all cities in the U.S. and especially Dallas and surrounding cities.  We are seeing a more aggressive criminal willing to bet their own life to steal money, copper, or other valuable metals, or material items that can be resold for money.  So brazen that they swarm a convenient store, hook up a chain to the ATM machine, and rip it out of the store front while people watch.  Drive down the street with the ATM sticking out of the back of the truck, a stolen truck at that.  They are using real guns more often, and willing to shoot.  There was a story on the news lately where a young man walked into a convenient store and shot the clerk in the head, killing her and then wasn't able to get any cash so he just left.  And just the other day, 2 guys went into a jewelry store in a local mall, at 11:00 AM and robbed the place, taking out the guard, breaking displays and pulling jewelry out of the display cases and leaving.  All while several people were watching.  If that is not a new kind of bad guy, I don't know what is.

 

 
     
 

Willing to do the bad stuff in the middle of the day, we need to be more aware!

 
             
             
             
   

CSI is Real

True and false

 

          Crime scene investigations, or CSI is a real department within most Police Departments.  Small cities have only one or 2 persons in that capacity, and in some very small towns, the CSI person is also a working Patrol Officer.  The false part is that many of the things they can do on the TV shows, CSI, CSI Miami and CSI New York, are not completely real.  Many people already know that DNA is not ran within a few hours or even in a couple of days.  Even in very large departments, DNA matching is very time consuming.  Finger prints is another falsity.  They can take a print and digitize it, and then run it through a database, but it isn't as fast as taking a photograph, pop it into your computer and wa-la.  If this were the case many more criminals would be caught than actually are.  Finger prints can't be lifted form just any surface either, the surface must be smooth and not porous.  Rough or porous surfaces don't collect the oils required to leave a print.  Although we can't do things as fast as they do on TV, the technology has improved 150% since 10 years ago.  It is even easier now to make sure the guy you arrested, is the guilty person, especially in rape cases, and cases where DNA was left at the scene.

 
             
             
             
 

Jail is Not So Bad

True

 

          Jail is not so bad if you work there, but it sucks big time if you are an inmate.  The feeling of being locked up, wondering what's going on outside, will anyone come to visit.  I guess it's not as bad as prison would be.  Being locked up knowing you will not be free to go where you want for a few to several years or even forever.  Oh my God, I wouldn't want that feeling.  That's why I try to do everything I can to stay out.  Jail is not a comfortable place to be and it's that way on purpose.  Cement floors, toilets out in the open, hard bunks, lights on all the time, noisy, smelly, and full of mean people.  Most of the people in jail are criminals, a few are minor criminals, and a very few just screwed up.  They should have a special cell for the ones that just made a mistake, first time offenders, not the criminal type, you know who they are.  Let the rest live together, they deserve it.  But I believe we should treat these people who just screwed up for the first time a little different.  After all they don't really belong there now do they?

   
             
             
             
 

Officers need to know how to shoot

Very True

 

          Accuracy and safety are the 2 things trained when officers go to the range to qualify.  They need to qualify every year, and to do so they go through a strict set of procedures and are judged on accuracy and safety.  Things like field loading, firing accurately, dropping the magazine, inserting another magazine, and get off 3 more shots before the time limit is over.  It's not easy, but who wants someone carrying a gun that isn't safety conscious and accurate at shooting it.  There is a lot more of a chance that an officer will have to discharge their weapon than you if you were to carry a concealed weapon in the worst part of town.  Officers also go to the range on a regular basis, going through some of the same training procedures that they do during their professional training.  Marisa shoots both a 40 Cal. S&W and a 40 Cal. Glock 23.  Her service weapon is the S&W, department issue.

 

 

 

 

             
             

Officers do get to feel what getting tased is like

         
             

     

 

Do Officers realize how the Taser feels?

YES!

 

          Officers only use the OC spray or the taser when things get out of hand, and the perpetrator isn't threatening with a weapon. When the perpetrator is trying to get away or fighting the officers with his hands, feet, etc.  The decision to use the OC spray or taser is based only on how the situation is going, is it getting out of hand.  Officers have to take classes on the use of the taser and OC spray (Oleoresin Capsaicin) which includes being tased and sprayed with the OC.  They must be certified in the use of each one independently of the other.  Most officers would prefer to be tased rather than be OC sprayed.

 
       

Hand Held Taser Weapon

 

Click above to View an actual test 

     

 

 
             
             
     

 

Due to the severe pain experienced when getting sprayed with OC, we do not have any video available, nor do we have any photos.  But I can tell you this, if you were to see a video or picture of one of these officers getting sprayed with OC Spray, you would cry.

We'll just leave it at that!

 
     

OC  Spray

     
             
             
 

 
 

NOTE: I did not link the Site for fear of having the fake Scanner attach to my Web Site

 
             
             
 

RateMyCop.com is a Great Idea

False

 

          Have you heard of the Web Site, "RateMyCop.com"?  Some people think it's a good idea, I don't.  The site let's you enter information about police officers, whether you know them or not.  And because your comments are anonymous, no one knows who wrote the comment.  And you can enter good or bad, false information or whatever, and no one can do anything about it.  You can make false claims about a police officer you don't even know.  What this does is make this site full of potential bogus information.  You don't know if what you are reading is true or not.  Someone can slam an officer for giving them a ticket that they had coming.  Of course there are a lot of positive comments too, however one other little tid bit that most people don't even think about, it is not a safe practice to announce who is a police officer.  Some officers want to go under cover at some point in their career and this could effect that.  Be careful if you are going to check it out, I went there to check it out after hearing about it on the local news, I was looking for entries for a few local agencies, and when I got there, I had this fake scan taking control of my browser, wanting me to download a program to eliminate spyware on my computer.  Well my Symantec product squelched that, and I notified the Web Site of the problem, however if you aren't running a good Antivirus program, or if you don't have good security settings on your browser, don't attempt it.  And if you do go there and enter something about your local police officer, make sure what you say is true, even though you are entering information anonymously, you have to live with it, you know you wrote it.

 

Do you really think this is a good idea?

 
             
             
 

I have warrants from the city of Dallas

but if I just stay away from Dallas I don't have to worry about them

 

Ignorance is a blessing!

 
             
  That is kind of true, for Dallas, but not something I would bet on.  If you have active warrants for your arrest, take care of them no matter where they are from.  Dallas will sometimes not confirm the warrants if they are minor traffic citations, however if they are for more serious crimes, Dallas will confirm, and no matter where you are, the police can see if warrants are tied to the owner of the vehicle before they actually pull you over, and once they do pull you over, they can run you and find any outstanding warrants on you.  Your chances of Dallas not confirming are slim, do you really want to take the chance.  They won't just go away, in fact they actually grow.     
             
 

If you have active warrants and don't want to get caught, stay home!

     
             
 

I thought I only had two

  On a ride along with my wife, we came across a white female who had 4 warrants out of Dallas, Marisa said that Dallas probably wouldn't confirm on them but they did.  The lady said she thought she only had 2 warrants, however because she was sited for failure to appear on both original warrants, she now had 4 and at $200 a piece, she did not get out of jail free.