Yeah, that's the ticket.

Let's talk about parking tickets, shall we?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Don't egg me on

Well, fellow citizens, I was having a pretty good day up until late this afternoon. I had just taken my vehicle to the car wash that we use and then decided to go check out a trouble spot that I am aware of in my beat. Who knew it would be more trouble than I bargained for? I got to the street and what did I find? One in the red zone on one side and another by the hydrant on the other side. Jackpot! So, I parked in the middle lane (we can do this), put my flashers and overhead lights on, and got out - carefully. I cited the one in the red, then I cross the wide boulevard to go over to cite the one by the hydrant. I'm looking down to get the plate when I hear: Booossshhh!

I look up to discover that someone has thrown an egg at my vehicle striking the windshield on the left side. Fortunately we drive looking out on the right side. But I mean, I had just gone to the car wash! I couldn't believe it! I did not see who threw the potential chicken as they must have done it from a car and sped off. I was more bummed than pissed. I also realized it could have been worse in a couple of ways:
Way 1 - they could have thrown it at me!
Way 2 - they could have thrown a rock.

One of the cops later told me, "Good thing it wasn't a bullet." I hadn't thought of that. Thanks.

The windshield washer and wipers were fairly ineffective, so back to the car wash I went. They cleaned it up all right, however, the inside of the vehicle smelled like cooked eggs the rest of the day. Not pleasant really.

This is the first time this has happened to me in all the time I've been on this job. Is it any wonder I'm ready to retire?


Friday, November 25, 2011

Whaddya Know?

There are two things that drive me, Officer X, completely nuts when I’m out there writing tickets. Let’s say I catch somebody in a red zone (I wish you people would stop feeding my pet peeve already! He’s big enough as it is). When I pull up along side them to chase them out (which is not what I prefer to do but hey, Lieutenant’s orders) and I say to them “You can’t stop in the red (I respectfully leave out the word - asshole)” they will say one of two things in response. (No. Guess again. No. Okay, let me tell you.) They will say either, “I know.” To which I will generally say “You know but you did it anyway?” leaving out the word I’d love to scream, or they say “Oh, I didn’t know.” Really? You didn’t know? You have a driver’s license but you didn’t know that you can’t stop, stand or park in the friggin’ red? Wow, you really are an asshole then aren’t ya? Red means NO pretty much everywhere in the universe except maybe Mars. Is that where you’re from?

Sometimes I’ll ask them if they indeed have a driver’s license. Hey, you never know. When they start to say something again, I usually just chase them out with sharp words and mean looks (It’s fun. Try it sometime.) because I really do not want to hear their mealy-mouthed excuses.

The red can be stopped in if it’s an emergency. An emergency. A real one. Not something you decide is an emergency. The list is endless of what people think is an emergency so I’ll spare you. Sometimes, if I can remember and I am not crabby from not having eaten, I’ll ask the person if they are having car trouble. If they say yes then my whole demeanor changes. I actually do want to be helpful to people who can use my help. After all, with my trusty police-issued radio, I can summon policemen, firemen, ambulances, you name it. Well, ice cream men maybe not. But if they are not having car trouble and are just being stupid, then I go crazy behind my phony smile. I tell you, it’s tough on my back teeth. I’m grinding them down to nubs.

So please, if I ask you about being stopped in the red or any other of the dozens of parking infractions that you are doing or about to be doing, don’t say “I know” or “I didn’t know.” It makes me insane. Ya know?


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Another turkey move

People, people, people. Come on. Oh, pardon me, hello citizens. Today I'd like to discuss a bone-headed move by one of you in my little town. You know who you are and if it's not you, then don't do this okay?

I was doing my 8AM sweeper route and came across a car (a Benz, no less) in the sweeper zone that had no rear plate. Or so I thought. This is a drag because it means I have to get out of my vehicle. It's cold, I was listening to something interesting on the radio, why piss me off?

Okay, so I get out to read the VIN (vehicle identification number - to say "VIN number" is redundant and I won't do it), and what do I discover? He or she had left the front plate on the car. I went around to the back and found that she (turns out it was a woman's car. Still it could have been a male driver. Who knows how relationships go these days and what with our community property laws in California, you know...) had put a dealer plate OVER her rear plate to cover up the fact that it was more than six months out of date. Tsk, tsk, tsk. If you're not going to register your car, don't park it illegally in some other way! Duh!

So, the final verdict was this: I cited her for the sweeper violation. I cited her for the expired tags, AND I cited her for covering her plate. Three for the price of one! I know this sounds harsh but really I could have towed her car away and as you know, that can run into big money.

So this Thanksgiving, I hope she was thankful that I was so nice to her. But I'm betting she was not.

Digest this (and your turkey) well.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

You're a 10 (code)

As promised, my dear citizens, here are the 10 codes used by our local force (and also by us. We can’t use force). I probably shouldn't be publishing these because they are after all, codes. But, if Julian Assange can do it, what the hey.

10-1 = Receiving Poorly (This does not refer to your favorite football team)

10-2 = Receiving OK (Good hands)

10-4 = Check; OK (Well, we all know this one from the CB craze in the 80’s, which we’d just as soon forget, or if you’re old enough, from Broderick Crawford in Highway Patrol. I do not remember this.)

10-5 = Relay (I have no friggin’ idea what this means and I’ve never heard anyone say this on the radio. Maybe in a race.)

10-6 = Busy (Could be busy doing anything so don’t bother me now. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)

10-7 = Out Of Service (This restaurant stinks. Let’s go eat somewhere else)

10-8 = In Service (I’m available for calls. Said reluctantly by most PCO’s.)

10-9 = Repeat, Conditions Bad (I couldn’t hear you with the rock station in my vehicle turned up so high)

10-10 = Out of Service, Subject to Call (Huh? I thought I was out of service. What the -?)

10-13 = Weather Condition (People usually just say it’s raining)

10-14 = Escort (And she’s better be over 18)

10-15 = Suspect in Custody (Thankfully, we’d never say this.)

10-16 = Pick Up Prisoner @ ______ (We never pick anyone up [unless they’re over 18])

10-17 = Pick Up Papers (You slob)

10-19 = Return to Station (And I mean it. Don’t make me ask again. Sometimes we say this if we are, you know, going back to the station. It’s nice there)

10-20 = What is Your Location (Honestly, some people are so nosy)

10-21 = Call __________ by Phone (Not unless you tell me who!)

10-22 = Disregard (Fuggedaboudit!)

10-23 = Stand by (No one EVER says 10-23. It’s easier just to say Stand By. How silly to make a code for this)

10-28 = Full Registration (No, not at a hotel. We say this to get the info on a car we might be citing, like whether it’s registered or not [That year tab looks fake to me])

10-29 = Check for Wanted (In other words, can you see if this vehicle is stolen? If so, I’m outta here)

10-33 = Emergency Information (I’d never say this. I’d be too busy screaming)

10-35 = Confidential Information (I guess I’d better not tell you what this means)

10-36 = Time Check (Look at your watch you lazy bastard!)

10-42 = Officer @ Home (Yep, and that’s where I’m stayin’)

10-97 = Arrived @ Scene (Hey man, I’m always on the scene baby)

10-98 = Completed Last Detail (Not the movie with Jack Nicholson. It means I’m done with what you just had me do…and now I’m going back home. Quit bothering me)

That’s all of them. Aren’t you glad you now know all this? I expect every one of you to commit these to memory. Heaven knows I can’t.

10-7 (I think)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another Fun Little Story

I gave a sidewalk ticket today (my least favorite as you know). After I was done, of course the whole family came out of the house (the man first). He comes over waving the ticket and speaking in an accent I think was from Uranus or somewhere. He says, “Why did you give us a ticket?” I patiently explained that his SUV was parked too far over the sidewalk. “But this is my private property!” No sir, I explained again patiently, the property lines starts after the sidewalk. Then the wife (whose car it was) chimes in. “What does it say in the vehicle code?” Such erudition for a troglodyte. I explained again somewhat less patiently what the code was. Her husband looked back at her and her sister? His sister? He said something in Uranian and they quickly shut up. I guess he said I’ll handle this bastard or something equally wonderful. He throws the ticket into my vehicle and says, “You cannot give us a ticket!” I take the ticket and say “I’ll just mail it to you then.” He says, “No! You cannot mail it. You cannot mail it!” (Yes, we can) So I figured, okay, and just got out of my vehicle and put the damned thing back on his wife’s windshield. Now he’s really getting worked up. “I’m going to sue you! What is your name?” I wouldn’t say even though it’s stitched on my shirt in a nifty patch over my breast pocket. Then he bellows, “You will remember this day! You will remember this day!” Well, I guess so. I’m writing about it. But honestly, I’d just as soon forget it.