Background: In December a highway patrol officer pulled me over and ticketed me for illegal window tint. My response was, “Was this your dream in the academy to give people tickets for window tint…if you ever want to see some action I can put in a good word for you in West Valley, you know the place you guys never enter unless there is 3 of you. But I understand if you say no people don’t join highway to be real cops.” He then warned me for verbal abuse of an officer to which I replied there is no such statute in the state of Utah and I would love it if he put that on my ticket so I could show a judge how incompetent he was. He then gave me the ticket and said a few nice words to me.
Present Day: So I was trying to enjoy my Saturday night with my little brother. We had just gone bowling with a bunch of people and he wanted to get an ice cream. We couldn’t find a place that was open so we ended up at McDonalds. He got ice cream and we headed home.
As I pulled into the Carriage Cove parking lot I notice a car right on my tail. I hesitated to park thinking I was being followed. But before I could even start to turn out of the parking lot police lights went on. I pulled into a parking spot and got the appropriate things for the cop. I know how much they like that. He came to my window and got the information and proceeded to tell me I was going 50 in a 40 to which I replied the speed limit is 45 on State until you get to the hill. He said he would check. The afore mentioned story then popped in my head. I then realized I had just received a letter in the mail informing me a warrant had been issued for my window tint ticket.
My mail has not been coming to me so it was quite a surprise when I received it. I called the courts and they gave me a 30 day extension. However I know the system and I knew that warrant would still show as being active. Now in West Valley people had small warrants like this all the time. If we arrested everyone that had a small warrant there the whole city would be in jail. I know Provo cops so I thought they might really take me in. My little brother was sitting next to me and I knew I would have to do some talking to get out of this and if it didn’t work I would be taken away in cuffs. I didn’t want him to see that so I told him to go inside.
My suspicions were right. It only takes 5 minutes to do a ticket and less if there isn’t one issued. Ten minutes passed and I started to get nervous. I knew if another car pulled up I was in big trouble. Officers always arrest with a back up officer for safety. I called a cop buddy of mine and told him to scan Provo dispatch. A few seconds later things got worse, much worse. Another unit pulled up and I could tell it was a supervisor just by the way he walked. Before you take someone to jail a supervisor has to approve it. Things were looking bad.
Just then my buddy called me and said dude you are in trouble they said they are going 10-82 with you. That means you are going to jail. He then said some bad things about bored Provo cops. Both officers approached and asked me to step out of my car. He started to say stuff that cops always say when they are eying you for weapons. Just useless stuff like its cold out here tonight isn’t it. That’s when I stopped him and said listen I know what’s about to happen. To which he said what’s that? I said well you called for backup and I can tell that this is your supervisor. I know you need booking approval to take me to jail and that’s why he is here. He looked surprised and then asked me how many times I had been to jail. I told him about 5 times a week for well over a year. He looked confused and said that’s more than I have been and I take people there at least once a week.
I then told him I had talked to the court already about the warrant I know he found. I told him I got a 30 day extension. He then said well it’s still in my computer and you either need to pay now or by law I have to take you to jail and that since I was so use to going to jail it shouldn’t be anything new for me. I told him I wasn’t lying and that the only reason I had been to jail so much was because I was a police officer in west valley back in the day and we arrested a lot of people. At that moment his face changed and his supervisor lightened up. I told him I know the law and that it doesn’t state I have to go to jail for such a small warrant. I told him I didn’t have $180 dollars on me to pay it. I informed him that I recently applied to a few agencies and that if I got booked into jail it could do some bad things for me. Then something good happened. He told me to get back in my car. When I was a cop about to arrest a person I would never let them back in their car knowing they might go to jail. That’s when people can get a gun and shoot you.
A few minutes passed and he came back to my car. He told me he had some friends in West Valley and that it must have been horrifying working up there after the stories they told him. He told me a lot of them left because they had gotten that “one call.” That’s the title given to a call an officer takes that they can’t forget. The call that makes them question the job and makes them rethink everything. It’s the call that replays over and over again in your head randomly every day of your life or wakes you in the night during the most peaceful dream. It’s usually a call with dead children, suicide or times when your life is almost taken. I knew some of those officers so we talked about them.
He then asked why I quit. I told him like his friends said there was some bad things I saw that effected me. I told him I thought I had that “one call” a few times. Then one day, my final day of work as a police officer I really did get that call that I couldn’t forget no matter how much I wanted to. It was best for me to quit. Not only for me, but my family, and rethink some things. He then asked me if I had proof of being a cop before. Thank goodness I kept my badge and my police I.D. I showed it to him and he was satisfied. He then gave me his card, told me to meet him Sunday night at the Provo Police Department to pay the fine and to have a good night. What a nice guy and what a good night.