Do on-duty Cops have to follow any laws?

The other day I am sitting in my car, parked on the curb waiting for my daughter to get out of school. And driving towards me, on the other side of the road, is a Cop car. And the Cop is having a conversation on his cellphone. He was laughing it up with whoever was on the phone. Does the cellphone law, while driving, apply to Cops or not. They could always hide behind the ‘cellphone was being used for police related work’ line. But how do we know?

My father dad was a Cop for 14 years. Before his death earlier this year, I ran this by him last year when I saw the same thing, a Cop on a cellphone while driving, and he agreed with me. Police should be required to hand over their cellphone bills to make sure that when they are at work, and driving, that they are not on the phone or it is an abuse of power. Or, they should have specially equipped cellphones to track their so called ‘on the duty’ calls to prevent any misconception. I totally agree with that idea. That way the police department can make sure their men and women are not abusing power.

A month ago I saw another cop break the law. The cop made and illegal turn. I know it was illegal because there was a sign. I was on the other side of the intersection and ended up going to where the cop went after his illegal U-turn; AM/PM. I went in there and found him in line buying some chips and a diet Pepsi. He had to break the law for that? In front of a bunch of kids waiting to cross the street?

Yeah, I know, it is petty. These cops are putting their lives on the line everyday, and no one disputes that. I know it’s a long way from making a u-turn and buying chips to following Charger players for thirty-miles and then gunning them down. But hey, you never know; maybe it starts with the cellphone talking and illegal u-turns and graduates to illegal activity under a freeway off-ramp because of the belief they can’t be caught, and more importantly, shouldn’t be in trouble for breaking ticky-tack laws.

The cop that made the illegal u-turn did it right in front of a junior high school. The kids saw it happen just as I did. What kind of message does this send? Just because these men and women are cops, it should not mean a free ticket to do what they want when they want to. A cop could make a bad driving decision, as surely as a truck driver can, or you and I. But I don’t think hiding behind a badge should give them a free pass.

Then again; who is going to pull them over and give them a ticket?

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Comments

DaniLauder Dec. 8, 2009 @ 9:25 p.m.

Since most of us probably use our phones at work I see no problem with cops using cellphones too. Just my opinion.

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Josh Board Dec. 8, 2009 @ 11:31 p.m.

Really? Cops "gunning down" Chargers. It seems the Chargers are the ones that CONTINIOUSLY break laws and get away with it. Just the other day, another one got off after throwing a champagne bottle at a bar patron (allegedly).

To me, if a cop is working, they can break ANY LAW they want. But the day they run over a kid crossing the street, or cause an accident on their cell phone, they should be jailed and of course, lose their job.

I remember as a teenager, hearing people complain when they saw cops speeding. I was always saying "Really? Are you that insane? A cop is going 85 on the freeway. So what! Maybe they're trying to catch up to something or who knows what.

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RobertScorpio Dec. 9, 2009 @ 8 a.m.

I couldn't disagree more. Cops who break tiny little laws are not setting a good example. Simply because they are cops is not a good enough reason. I am sure Arnold and his wife talk on cellphones while driving, and park in red zones, because they, too, believe they are above the law.

My father was a cop for 14 years. He never did such things, and was his job to crack down on those who did. We need more cracking down.

As for the Charger player and the bottle? As I recall, no charges were pressed, and in this country, we have laws and protocol. If you want the kind justice you seem to be leaning towards, move to Iran. You'd love it there.

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Josh Board Dec. 9, 2009 @ 9:19 a.m.

First off all, how the hell do you know what laws your father broke? Did he come home and say "Hey Scorp...guess what I did today? I made an illegal left turn. Oh, and I went 90 on the I-5." You have no idea what laws he may have broken.

Second, I hated Arnold and Maria, during those recent things. But part of the reason is...well, he was behind that idiotic cell phone law. So they should definitely not break those laws.

And third, what in the world are you talking about regarding "setting an example"? If a cop quickly gets to a crime scene, and needs to park in a red zone, or right in front of a fire hydrant, do you really think people around the area of the shooting are saying "Okay, look at that. Mr. Cop just parks where ever he wants." And they go away from the scene with a bad taste in their mouth about cops. No. A cop just ran into the eye of the storm, where a person has a gun, and if another person is shot, it's most likely going to be the officer that's trying to stop the crime.

Sure, no Chargers are EVER charged. But guess what? I know someone that worked security at House of Blues. Another at On Broadway. And I've heard what Chargers players do. Some pee on the walls and seats, instead of going to the restroom. Others try to bring people in without paying. And they act rude to security that want to search them. The list is long.

I'm guessing no charges were filed on the Charger, because witnesses all had conflicting stories. But seriously...if you use your brain, you can ask yourself...Chargers getting drunk in a bar, and a bottle hits a guy in the head. If the guy said something obnoxious, well...does that still warrant a Charger chucking a bottle? Oh wait...he said it "slipped" out of his hand. Yeah, that's usually how people get hit in the head in bars. Dude, get a clue.

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Altius Jan. 4, 2010 @ 3:16 p.m.

It's really bad PR for cops to be cell phone chatting -- you want to avoid the appearance of double standards whenever possible. But it's also bad policing. They're focus should be on the surroundings, not on a phone conversation.

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