Traffic citations, traffic tickets...depending on where you work, they are called different things. But we all know what they are.
They're fines that are given out to the public for some kind of an infraction. Usually we're talking about driving relatedviolations, but not always. Tickets can also be given out to pedestrians or bicyclists who also make some type of violation.
As a cop, part of your job will be to enforce traffic laws. And you will be expected to give out some traffic tickets.
That's the way it is.
Many people think that officers have a "quota" that they have to fill, and that the department gives them a number that they must meet. I've never heard of any department official "policy" in regards to the number that must be given out, but you can believe that you better be issuing out some.
Normally, you are expected to enforce these traffic laws when there is some down time in regards to radio calls. After all,your sergeants are going to want to know what you did during your shift.
If you don't have some way of accounting for yourtime, you'll be in the hot seat.
That doesn't mean that you have to write every single driver up with a traffic ticket. If you see some kind of moving violation, you can always stop the driver, speak to him/her, gauge their attitude and response, and possibly issue them with just a warning.
If you feel that giving them a ticket is warranted, go ahead.
Some officers end up getting themselves into trouble because of the way that they handle themselves when speaking to thesedrivers. Instead of keeping a cool head, they start freaking out at the driver and getting into some kind of argument. This isn'tthe best way to deal with argumentative drivers.
If you've seen an offence, you are within your right to issue traffic tickets. When you walk up to the driver, your goalisn't to win an argument or force your ideas on the driver.
Sure, speak to the guy/girl and give them your thoughts if you like. If they're receptive, great. If they're not, and they're full of attitude, what's the point in arguing and trying to convince them of anything?
They're arguing because they refuse to acknowledge that they did something wrong.
Just issue the ticket. No need to yell and scream or argue with the guy. Keep your cool and give them a ticket. If he wants to, he'll fight it in traffic court.
But if you scream at the guy, and help create a spectacle of the situation, things could become a little hairy.
You never know if the guy is recording you on a cell phone recorder, or if some other citizen happens to be recording the whole thing on a camera from somewhere.
You don't want to become a viral video posted on You Tube.
Here's an example of a cop who kept his cool when he stopped a nut:
Make sure that you write some evidence after you give out the ticket. Citizens have the write to fight a traffic ticket.
It doesn't matter that they committed the offence, they have the right to go into court and contest it. Because of that, it's imperative that you have the incident documented so that if they choose to fight it, you'll have some info that you can use
to refresh your memory during the trial.
Write down what you saw. Also include where you were in relation to the other car, what type of car it was, what color, what plate.
Document as much as you can, but sometimes, it's hard to do. You may issue a ticket, walk back to your cruiser, when all
of a sudden a robbery call comes in.
You're probably going to rush to the call, and you may forget to write down anything about the ticket.
That's the way it goes sometimes. But, do your best. You'll be glad you did when the ticket ends up going to trial.