I got the opportunity to ride out with the Sergeant on deep nights yesterday. (I’m still in training as a cadet). The first two hours were extremely slow, we couldn’t even get a traffic stop. But that gave me some time to pick his brain on various topics relating to policing and our department.
First traffic stop of the night — No headlight. Serge walks up to the vehicle and the kid (20) immediately tells him that he got a warning for this same violation yesterday and just hasn’t had time to take care of it yet, but he needed to go get some tea. (It’s about 1 am at this point…tea?)
Serge wants to double check his story with our local records and also run his ID through the MDT (mobile data terminal) in the Tahoe to see if he has any warrants for his arrest. He comes back clean. Serge is back out with him to give him a verbal warning, again, and to suggest that he go get tea during the daytime until he can find the time in his busy schedule to fix his headlight.
In the middle of Serge’s warning, the kid sticks out his hand with a hand-written note asking Serge to sign it. While serge was in the Tahoe, apparently the kid had written up a permission slip to go get some tea without a headlight. Complete with blanks for the Serge’s name, the date, signature.
It was classic.
Serge didn’t sign his permission slip.
About an hour later, dispatch calls in a Suspicious Persons report at an apartment complex nearby. Another officer is routed to the call and the Serge wants to let them handle it so they can learn. He tells me that if the suspects flee, I am free to get out of the car and get in a foot pursuit, just stay on the radio and tell the other officers where they’re going. (Sweet.)
The other officer calls Serge over in a few minutes for a supervisor’s advice. We roll up and they have 5 college kids dressed in all black with black masks (removed at this point), and an impressive assortment of samurai weapons. Nunchucks, bow staff, throwing star, samurai sword, etc. As soon as Serge sees the weapons he says, “No question. Hook ’em up.”
Apparently the kids were on their way to a friends house to play “ninja”.
One kid, 19, claims ownership of all the weapons so he is the only one arrested. Rough night for him, he is charged with a 3rd degree felony that comes with a 2-10 year prison stint and up to a $10,000 fine in our state. All the officer’s felt bad for him, but you can’t just let a felony walk, someone has to go to jail for it.
Moral of the story, you can’t get a permission slip to break the law and don’t play “ninja”.