Tuesday, July 10, 2012

how not to pull someone over

i don't tell many stories here, but sometimes i encounter something that bares closer scrutiny.

a couple weeks ago i was walking from the office to the bus stop when i passed what appeared to be some kind of law enforcement officer (judging by the uniform he was wearing) pulling over another vehicle. the officer had already exited his vehicle, trained some kind of tripod mounted equipment on the suspect vehicle, and was approaching the suspect vehicle as i came on the scene. the officer opened the passenger side door and leaned into the vehicle, apparently searching it, while the suspect driver remained in the driver's seat.

now, that alone seems a little strange to me after having seen plenty of cop shows; but it gets better, because you see the officer's own vehicle had it's windows rolled down and it's trunk wide open while he was half inside the suspect vehicle, distracted by the task at hand, and no doubt his view of his own vehicle would have been obscured even if he had been keeping an eye on it. imagine for a moment what kind of mischief i, or some other passer-by, could have gotten into with such unfettered access to an officer's vehicle and all it contains. the officer was in no position to see me, let alone stop me. it's a good thing i'm such an honest citizen or something much worse could have happened.

those in a position of authority often have special privileges including the ability to carry and use equipment that the average person doesn't have. what they must also realize is that with that comes special responsibility to maintain control over such equipment at all times. of course, if i was instead witnessing the filming of some ultra-low-budget crime drama, i think similar principles still apply.