Me? Pretty much nothing, but in October of 2011 here is what a state trooper did:
Questions to ask yourself:
Did the trooper do the right thing?
Was it OK for the cop to be speeding?
Did the trooper violate an unwritten law?
Lets be honest with ourselves. It’s a rare person that can say that they have never exceeded the posted speed limit. Very rare. Almost unbelievable.
Driving on a public highway at over 100 mph is dangerous to everyone around you. Even if you are a professional and talented driver. Even if you are an officer of the law involved in a legal pursuit. Police or not, its not smart or lawful to do just because you are a cop and you need to get to your other job on time.
Being a police officer is tough, even if your work is in the best part of town. It can even limit who you can socialize with. Which is why cops tend to hang out with other cops and form some pretty tight bonds. If you have a friend who is a cop there are conversations and stories you would not feel comfortable having with them, or at the very least, certain subjects would put that cop in an awkward position. So they tend to be friends with other cops and as a result they expect to be treated like a “club member” and allowed a lot of slack.
I don’t think the police officer that was stopped for exceeding 120 mph deserved any slack.
I don’t think the trooper deserved any harassment, either:
Sure, I’ve been traveling on highways and seen police cars going at well over the speed limit, clearing the left lane as they are on patrol. I assumed that they had a lot of territory to cover and needed to be observing a lot of traffic, not just being stuck in the middle of it.
I also don’t think that if I was stopped in my civilian car, doing the same speed, that an excuse of being late for work would have helped me much. Chances are I would have been cuffed and lost my license, had to make bail, and faced a lot of court time, and spend a lot of money on insurance.
Now that brother officers have been caught using their access to databases designed for law enforcement to gather information on the trooper that in many cases resulted in harassment – they want to change the penalty from $2500 per incident to $0 because no one made any money off it?!?!?!? Don’t they understand how hypocritical that makes them?
It would be nice if this speeding by a police officer was just a fluke, but research done by the Sun Sentinel shows things quite differently:
All those were average speeds. Well over 100 mph.
Now I know that police talk about their training and the equipment, etc., but let’s be real here. Driving on public highways at those speeds is just asking for something bad to happen. Both for the public and the cops.
I don’t want to keep all the police tied to doing their job only within speed limits either. That’s not realistic. But when they are behaving as if they are a privileged class it demeans their police community. That’s not right, either.