Re: Illegal Stop / Search
The link does NOT say the officer's response was delayed because he was off running license plates. The officer was delayed because staffing was low. This is a problem that will become more chronic in upcoming years. In my state 24 hour patrols are in jeopardy, and many cities and counties have cut out responses to many/most minor, or non-priority calls.
The officer certainly can move on if he or she wishes ... but, then, most the motoring public gets miffed when they know THEY have to pay their registration, but the other guy doesn't.
Come on cops should use there judgment. if its 1 person driving the car that seems okay and they run pates that comes back expired and the person have no warrants then just move on and dont pull the person over. Waste of 20 minute stop time for a $50 ticket.
When San Jose PD announced a couple of years ago that they would not longer regularly stop and cite expired registrations for under 6 months (when they became impoundable) it created a firestorm of angry letters from law-abiding vehicle owners.
You are certainly free to petition your city council to encourage the police department to adopt a non-citation policy. I doubt it will succeed, but you can encourage them to enact such a policy.
And sometimes it is. The little stuff is how we find the big stuff.
Cops should use there best judgment. some stuff is so minor it isnt worth pulling over..
More criminal activity and suspects are uncovered on traffic stops than by any other means. Traffic stops are also a potentially dangerous activity for officers, so it is not something they should undertake lightly. It is something that is done because (a) it has an impact on both crime and on collision/safety statistics, and, (b) it is what the public expects from law enforcement.
And many cops do. Some officers use minor stuff as a tool (a reason) to stop suspicious cars and ignore those they do not believe are DUI drivers. criminals of another stripe, or otherwise suspicious. Others like to use their discretionary time enforcing the Vehicle Code and make stops based on the law. That officer can choose to cite or not at their discretion.
Now I know stops provide some good results out of it such as drugs etc, but come on, you know or have that hunch. Some cars cops should just pass up. Just isnt worth it
A Nor Cal Police Sergeant
"Make mine a double mocha ...
... and a croissant!"
Walk humbly with your God
-- Courageous, by Casting Crowns