A cop just said the above to me. After he handed me a $150 ("Well, the State sets this, not us.") ticket for running a stop sign.
I had asked him, very politely, after he brought the ticket back to me, why, given that I had slowed down at the 4-stop sign intersection, and given that I did put my foot on the brake (though my car never did stop) and given that there was NOBODY anywhere else in the intersection, and given that I had stopped at that intersection EVERY TIME about 50 times a week for the past ten years, given all that, I asked him, did he, or anybody who wears the uniform he wears, EVER consider the possibility of, MAYBE, suggesting to me that, hey, i know there was nobody in the intersection but, hey, you know, guy, you do need to stop. You know...a WARNING. I know they give WARNINGS. And I, the milquetoastiest of drivers, would be the first to be SO GRATEFUL for a WARNING, that I would think sometime, somewhere SOME COP would consider just giving a guy a WARNING just to see what GRATITUDE is like.
But this is what he said when I asked him if they ever just gave warnings in simple, harmless situations like these:
"Well, if I was on patrol, maybe I would. But I'm on traffic detail."
"Oh! So your entire point is to catch me?"
Look, I know the life of a policeman is a dangerous one. I know that I would not be comfortable in a town without a police force. I know the good police do.
A hundred and fifty bucks, not because I did what I did, but because the cop was WAITING for me to do what I did, even though there were no other vehicles anywhere near me, and nobody was in danger.
I think, maybe, a four second conversation with me before writing out the citation would have convinced this guy that I'm not a $150 criminal.
However, I think (and now I get really pissed), this guy was on a training program.
Because as soon as he stopped me, another cruiser drove up behind him and waited until he was finished. When I drove by the same intersection later on my way home, he had stopped another car, and the second cruiser was driving up behind him again.
I hope he got $150 worth of training.
I will get over this.
But the next time I see a police car take a right turn onto Moore from Andrews Street, at the stop sign, without stopping, which happens ALL THE TIME...
Well....Well...I'll be darned angry.
I wish I drank.