Why don’t you go arrest “Real Criminals”

Many police officers have had it happen every day. Make a traffic stop and have the driver ask “Why are you wasting time on this BS… Why don’t you go arrest the real criminals.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 2.04.11 PMI have co-workers with various glib comebacks. In most respects I hate the glib comebacks because due to the perception of cops in the current media. Thinking back I likely made some comments to people that I would not make today.

Yesterday marked the anniversary of Oklahoma City Bombing. On April 19, 1995 Tim McVeigh set off a bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people. Only about ninety minutes later McVeigh was pulled over on a traffic stop. The stop was for not having a front license plate. The trooper ended up making a custodial arrest on McVeigh due to a concealed firearm issue.

At the time of the arrest no one knew McVeigh was a suspect. He was just a dude with an equipment violation and that also got caught with a gun hidden. Quickly the investigation identified McVeigh as a suspect and as luck had it he was in jail waiting for his initial hearing.

Think about that for a second. A very mundane equipment violation, no front plate, results in finding a terrorist. Not only that but he was found before we knew he was the terrorist. How quickly people forget that little lesson.

Traffic enforcement not only helps to keep the motoring public safe, it also leads to finding the “real criminals”. There are many wanted criminals found due to traffic stops. Serial killers have been found due to minor violations, including parking enforcement. Think about how many criminals get caught by traffic contacts…

So next time someone is bad mouthing the cops for doing traffic enforcement, remember even a minor violation can lead to a major arrest.