Sunday, August 14, 2011


Everyone I know who has worked as a cop for more than a year has left a ticket book on the roof of the patrol car and drove away. Or their clipboard or some other piece of police gear. It is easy to get distracted and since we work outside our vehicles it is easy to leave a bit of gear on the vehicle and drive off. There can be a serious downside to leaving gear on the vehicle. If there are confidential documents on your clipboard and they fall into the wrong hands that is very serious. If tickets have been written and then are lost alongside the road someplace, then they will never be processed.

If a rifle is left on the truck lid of a patrol car and a criminal or child get the weapon; innocent people could be killed. At the very least a patrol rifle often costs over a thousand dollars and that is a big investment to lose. In this particular incident, the officer was unlucky enough to have photographs of the patrol rifle being flashed all over the Internet.

The officer deserves to be punished for what happened. Failing to put the rifle away where it belongs is a very bad mistake. It was not inherently evil. This deserves a few days off and a nasty note in the officers file. It should not be a career killer, but it should slow down this officer’s career. The discipline should not be influenced by the Internet photo, which is not relevant. This incident showed incompetence, not evil; that’s what the SGT Says.


*Goddess* said...

I remember when I was watching the second season of The Academy. Some of the recruits left their car unlocked and the instructors "stole" the guns out of their car. Then they played a 'wait & see' game to see if the recruits would be honest and 'fess up about the missing guns. I can only imagine the fear that would go through you in "real life" when you realize your gun is missing.

Bunkermeister said...

Police have to do the right thing, even when it is stressful. We all make mistakes, but not admitting them only compounds the problem.

Bob G. said...

Even as a civvie, I'm REAL particular when it comes to stowing my "stuff" the house OR in the car.

When you get squared away..THEN you can breathe easier, but never before.

An yes, brain farts in OR out of uniform NEED to be addressed.

We had an off-duty officer use a restroom (big-box store) and left his pistol in there.

He went back for it, but it had already been TURNED into mgt. (REAL lucky for HIM).

He got a couple days off W/O pay to consider his actions.
(Bet he doesn't do it in the future.)

Good post and comments.

Roll safe.

Bunkermeister said...

Female officers often lose their gun in the restroom, that whole can't use the urinal thing. I generally recommend only going at the station if you can.