This one gets tossed around at coffee breaks on a regular basis and my wife will never see the death of it. Cops like to beat a dead horse even after there is nothing left to beat.
It was a Saturday afternoon and we had numerous cops working a traffic enforcement shift on a heavily traveled main street in one of our county’s cities. It was the first of its kind for us so our shift began with a press briefing at the police department. People from the newspapers took pictures of us and would write a story about the emphasis on speeders and people who did not wear seat belts.
I was partnered with a deputy that writes more tickets than any other deputy in our department. He loves traffic stops and has been able to get drunk drivers off the road, drugs off the street, stolen vehicles recovered, and people with warrants in jail through simple things like having a taillight out or going ten miles over the speed limit. He is a law enforcement bloodhound.
We were parked next to each other in a lot waiting for another vehicle to drive by us without the occupants wearing seat belts, and I saw one. In my vehicle. My wife drove up to where we were in our minivan and was bringing me some sandwiches to scarf down in between traffic stops. My partner looked at me and said, “She doesn’t have a seat belt on.” I looked at my wife in all seriousness and said, “Really?” A surprised look came over her face, clearly not knowing what I was talking about. “We have eight cops looking for people not wearing seat belts within a one mile stretch, and you drive into the hornets nest, knowingly, without one?” I could see the moment of realization wash over her as we started laughing.
My partner asked if I wanted to write her the ticket of if he should take care of it himself.