HOW TO MAKE A POLICE STOP BETTER WITHOUT CRYING
A traffic officer pulled me over coming down the ramp to the straight stretch to the Portland (PDX) airport.
In the van were my two kids, wife, and a French exchange student late for his plane home.
Classic baby boomer moment with The Man.
Because of my French student, I didn’t want him to see me surrender to authority like France in WWII.
After prompting everyone to keep quiet I used the ticket technique my neighbor explained.
He knew lots about law enforcement. Too much.
Turns out he’d done two stretches in the Oregon State prison along with a boot camp term at the coast.
Because he was a felon he used a method to help officers stay calm when they stopped him.
The short version is keep your hands on the wheel when the officer walks up.
Give short honest answers to each question, turning your head to look him in the eye each time you speak, then returning to eyes forward.
Don’t eye-ball The Man.
When asked for license and registration, make eye contact again and describe what your hand will do to produce your license. Then wait for a command to proceed.
Do the same for registration.
By this time Officer Friendly knows you’ve been in the system.
I performed the routine and the officer walked back to his car to run my info.
Everyone in my car started yelling, asking what the heck I thought I was doing.
The officer came back with a warning and said, “Any other policeman would have given you a ticket for your attitude.”
Once back on the road everyone started yelling again.
I reminded them ‘we’ didn’t get a ticket. My student made his plane after this lesson in Civil Obedience.
What really happened?
Using the felon-in-traffic routine might have tipped the officer off that I was a bad man. He was relieved to find I was just another fat man with family who didn’t slow down fast enough off an exit ramp, instead of a member of the 10 Most Wanted.
End result: A Portland Baby Boomer Academy Award for impersonating an ex-con.