1. #1
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    What is your take on this: Bonaroo Music Festival = revenue for some departments:

    Here is the deal:
    There is a HUGE music festival (80K+ people) who flock to Manchester, TN each June for Bonaroo (google it if not familiar). A lot of the people attending it pass through my JD, and a certain department in my JD targets it aggressively as a revenue source. Now there is nothing wrong with monitoring the traffic and making sure all is going OK, or stopping cars if they are doing something that allows you to legally stop them, but it has gotten to the point where if a car of young people with an out-of-state tag comes through, it it stopped, and often without much (or any) articulate-able PC. So the car is stopped, a K9 is close, and the car is sniffed. Every one of them. Lets say some head confesses to simple possession of pot- he is arrested. When the defendant comes back to court, he is given an offer- plead guilty, pay a big fine to the XXX P.D. Drug Fund, and charges are dismissed.
    This is like a traffic stop every 3 minutes for the next three days, whereas normally, this department stops 10 cars a day. Oh, and the guys working it are all investigators and out-of-area K9 officers "training" their dogs. And everyone in the car is checked via NCIC.
    Now I am not soft, nor a liberal. Actually I am quiet conservative. But....
    ...if you can't get them correctly (read: legally), you should let them go. Just listening to the radio this week makes me cringe.
    I only hope one day a good lawyer with a lesson to teach fights it and gives these officers a good constitutional spanking.
    This goes on in several other locations as well.
    What do you think?
    I am curious to see what some of you younger officers think.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by swat_op506 View Post
    u When the defendant comes back to court, he is given an offer- plead guilty, pay a big fine to the XXX P.D. Drug Fund, and charges are dismissed.
    That in it's self is highly illegal. ...........................We had an incident in my area like that a while back and it bit a judge in the arse REAL bad AS well as the department that had the "special fund"


    My county has 3 events a year that bring in ungodly numbers of bikers..............(google j&p cycles hill climb) Then the cycle place has an open house in July................last year over 3 days there were 15,000 people who drove in....

    Our traffic guys have a field day but only stop the idiots......This last weekend there were 5 arrests and a bunch of tickets.......................
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



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    Sounds like the agency in question has some issues. These quite often start at the top. Perhaps a call to your state Attorney General might be in order.

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    I was also thinking about a call to the AG's office.

    I am not a young officer, but I do spend a lot of time stopping cars for traffic offenses in the pursuit of finding dope or other offenses to arrest for. I do not suspect this dept would have a hard time legally stopping cars for traffic violations, since about every moving car is violating a traffic law. However, if they are just stopping them without any cause, that pizzes me off because it affects the reputation of those who do it legit.

    I personally have no problem lining patrol cars up and stopping vehicles for moving violations and then trying for dope or whatever else. That is where the odds are. When I go fishing, I go to the hot spot and drop as many lines as I legally can to catch the fish.
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    AG's Office is useful for all kinds of things....from keeping certain corporation's activities in line to keeping certain "public servant's" activities in line.

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    I don't see it the way you're implying. Our drug arrests at the airport go up a little bit when Bonnaroo is in town as well. It is well known among these communities that Bonnaroo brings a crap ton of drugs. Why is it surprising or as your suggesting "unnecessary," that the local agencies step up drug interdiction during this festival? I don't see a problem with it. The concert can be great without a bunch of people running around high on every drug imaginable. We both know that it only requires RS to conduct a traffic stop, not PC. We also know that most inderdiction stops arise from traffic offenses ranging from following too close to speeding to seat belt violations. If the agency you're referring to is making a justified stop and they have dogs with them, specifically during Bonnaroo weekend where drugs are more prevalent, to me it's common sense that enforcement is stepped up and the dogs are used more often. Dog sniffs are perfectly legal on any (and every) stop and a dog that indicates is rightful PC to search. The highest court in the land has indicated this.

    How about an agency that sets up RADAR on a stretch of highway where they expect Cannonballers? Is it wrong that they nail them for speeding at 95mph because they likely get a boost in funding from the speeding tickets? I don't think so. Sounds like sound enforcement to keep everyone else on the roads safe.

    Same concept here. I don't want people drugged up running around Manchester, TN or anywhere else. My parents live up in Sewanee and I hope they can travel through that stretch of I-24 without having to worry about getting nailed by someone jacked up leaving the event. It also saves the RNs and/or EMT's working the event from getting slammed with drug overdoses when they could be helping someone else that truly deserves medical attention.

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    <-Young Officer. I can understand your point about it being an easy pop for the officers. But i would guess that it's the same concept as waiting outside of the projects for out of county/state tags to come out since most of the time they are there to buy dope, and stopping them. Or sitting outside of the bar at closing time waiting for that quick DUI to stagger out. Obviously its well known that bonaroo brings in a lot of dope and this department is capitalizing on it with aggressive enforcement. As long as they are not doing anything illegal and have RS to stop the car in the first place, id say their good. AFAIK K9 can walk around and sniff virtually any car they want from the outside per SCOTUS. If the point you are trying to make is that the department is making "easy" stops/arrest due to the nature of the concert but IMO its the same as the examples i listed earlier.
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    <-Young aspiring to be an officer that works event security.

    I have worked 2 major events similar to Bonaroo (Jamboree in the Hills, and All Good Festival) and have seen the respective departments react very differently. At JITH the local department is a very active part of the planning process and they bring in additional officers to help with the crowd. They bring in specialized patrols(equine, etc) and all around just enjoy the crowd and provide a guest friendly service that keeps the revenue coming back year to year since 1977.

    Last year at All Good they local department was not pleased that the festival was going to be in their town and they set up a drug checkpoint to the only road into the venue where they searched every car. This year All Good moved to a different site in Ohio to avoid this problem.

    Coming from Event Security and Management and soon to move into the officer side I see these kinds of events as get through them let them enjoy it just as long as they are behaving let them be. Any department shouldn't be jamming people up because of one of these shows for a source of income. The smart thing to do is to partner up with the venue and enjoy the revenue for years to come.

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    Coming from Event Security and Management and soon to move into the officer side I see these kinds of events as get through them let them enjoy it just as long as they are behaving let them be. Any department shouldn't be jamming people up because of one of these shows for a source of income. The smart thing to do is to partner up with the venue and enjoy the revenue for years to come.
    So in other words let the drugs flow freely among the young crowds and who cares what happens. After all, it's all about having a good time. I don't think so....
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SgtScott31 View Post
    So in other words let the drugs flow freely among the young crowds and who cares what happens. After all, it's all about having a good time. I don't think so....
    Yea, these music festivals are loaded with drugs. However, what the OP has mentioned isn't unheard for agencies in the south. It's just how it is sometimes. Don't do anything illegal and it won't be a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duqjeep2010 View Post
    <-Young aspiring to be an officer that works event security.

    I have worked 2 major events similar to Bonaroo (Jamboree in the Hills, and All Good Festival) and have seen the respective departments react very differently. At JITH the local department is a very active part of the planning process and they bring in additional officers to help with the crowd. They bring in specialized patrols(equine, etc) and all around just enjoy the crowd and provide a guest friendly service that keeps the revenue coming back year to year since 1977.

    Last year at All Good they local department was not pleased that the festival was going to be in their town and they set up a drug checkpoint to the only road into the venue where they searched every car. This year All Good moved to a different site in Ohio to avoid this problem.

    Coming from Event Security and Management and soon to move into the officer side I see these kinds of events as get through them let them enjoy it just as long as they are behaving let them be. Any department shouldn't be jamming people up because of one of these shows for a source of income. The smart thing to do is to partner up with the venue and enjoy the revenue for years to come.
    cant have a drug checkpoint. Atleast if you are referring to a roadblock on a public road.

  12. #12
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    So the court is offering the fine options or it it the PD?

    I know 100% the PD can not do this. But if it is the courts then i am not sure about that.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SgtScott31 View Post
    I don't see it the way you're implying. Our drug arrests at the airport go up a little bit when Bonnaroo is in town as well. It is well known among these communities that Bonnaroo brings a crap ton of drugs. Why is it surprising or as your suggesting "unnecessary," that the local agencies step up drug interdiction during this festival? I don't see a problem with it. The concert can be great without a bunch of people running around high on every drug imaginable. We both know that it only requires RS to conduct a traffic stop, not PC. We also know that most inderdiction stops arise from traffic offenses ranging from following too close to speeding to seat belt violations. If the agency you're referring to is making a justified stop and they have dogs with them, specifically during Bonnaroo weekend where drugs are more prevalent, to me it's common sense that enforcement is stepped up and the dogs are used more often. Dog sniffs are perfectly legal on any (and every) stop and a dog that indicates is rightful PC to search. The highest court in the land has indicated this.

    How about an agency that sets up RADAR on a stretch of highway where they expect Cannonballers? Is it wrong that they nail them for speeding at 95mph because they likely get a boost in funding from the speeding tickets? I don't think so. Sounds like sound enforcement to keep everyone else on the roads safe.

    Same concept here. I don't want people drugged up running around Manchester, TN or anywhere else. My parents live up in Sewanee and I hope they can travel through that stretch of I-24 without having to worry about getting nailed by someone jacked up leaving the event. It also saves the RNs and/or EMT's working the event from getting slammed with drug overdoses when they could be helping someone else that truly deserves medical attention.

    My 02.
    Scott- I agree 100%
    BUT in this case, I have seen with my own eyes, vehicles stopped without even reasonable suspicion (unless a car of young people who look like hippies offers RS). I even heard one officer tell another over the radio "10-4, I think I saw him touch the line" in order to get the other officer to stop the car.
    Re-stating my original main point- If you can't get 'em legally, you should let them go. The ends should not justify the means.
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    Why stop a car without RS or PC? What are you going to say if you end up getting dope out of it? Lie in the report? That makes every officer in the nation look bad.

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    If officers are in fact stopping cars illegally, they should be crapped on. That behavior is intolerable at any level.

    Not every baddie can be caught all the time. Sometimes you gotta let them motor on. Just part of the game and the way s#!t is.

    I would not tolerate this nonsense, and would put the officer on the beach for a day or two.

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    As someone who went to Bonnaroo for five straight years, before it got a overcrowded, I didn't mind getting pulled over on the way down there. And I got pulled over every single trip. Once an officer came to my window and asked for all my info. I gave it to him and then asked politely why he pulled me over. He got kind of flustered and said because when I saw him I applied the brakes as if I was speeding. I said okay, even though I had the cruise control on the whole trip. I even complied when he asked to search my van. My approach has always been if I am not doing anything illegal then I have nothing to hide.

    It does seem kind of obsessive but there are more than enough drugs floating around for it to be worthwhile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leotheleo View Post
    As someone who went to Bonnaroo for five straight years, before it got a overcrowded, I didn't mind getting pulled over on the way down there. And I got pulled over every single trip. Once an officer came to my window and asked for all my info. I gave it to him and then asked politely why he pulled me over. He got kind of flustered and said because when I saw him I applied the brakes as if I was speeding. I said okay, even though I had the cruise control on the whole trip. I even complied when he asked to search my van. My approach has always been if I am not doing anything illegal then I have nothing to hide.

    It does seem kind of obsessive but there are more than enough drugs floating around for it to be worthwhile.
    Wait, so you weren't even speeding? You had cruise control on at a speed that I assume was speed limit friendly, and you were stopped for applying your brakes? That sounds like a BS stop, and even if you are in the clear and your mind is at ease for knowingly not violating any laws, you were targeted unjustifiably. I wouldn't be ok with that at all. Obviously you did good in your compliance, but I probably would make a phone call after the fact, as some users here are suggesting might not be a bad idea.
    Last edited by Ignite; 06-11-2012 at 09:10 PM.

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    An interesting thought I just had - my department does something similar to this.

    I work at a university PD. When we make traffic stops for ordinary traffic violations, we usually give the student a "university citation" in lieu of a uniform state traffic ticket.

    The "university citation" is nothing more than an administrative fine that goes to the PD to support our budget (a percentage of it anyway). The ticket does not go on the student's driving record since it is not actually a ticket. The fine goes on their bursar account and is added to the next semester's tuition.

    Using the same logic, it's not much different than the OP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by headonstraight View Post
    An interesting thought I just had - my department does something similar to this.

    I work at a university PD. When we make traffic stops for ordinary traffic violations, we usually give the student a "university citation" in lieu of a uniform state traffic ticket.

    The "university citation" is nothing more than an administrative fine that goes to the PD to support our budget (a percentage of it anyway). The ticket does not go on the student's driving record since it is not actually a ticket. The fine goes on their bursar account and is added to the next semester's tuition.

    Using the same logic, it's not much different than the OP.
    Except that you're making valid traffic stops. Unless the OP is leaving out details, the cops working Bonnaroo are stopping for nothing, or at the least under very questionable PC.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by swat_op506 View Post
    Scott- I agree 100%
    BUT in this case, I have seen with my own eyes, vehicles stopped without even reasonable suspicion (unless a car of young people who look like hippies offers RS). I even heard one officer tell another over the radio "10-4, I think I saw him touch the line" in order to get the other officer to stop the car.
    Re-stating my original main point- If you can't get 'em legally, you should let them go. The ends should not justify the means.
    It's unfortunate, but not surprising with a smaller LE agency and some of the people they may hire at $10 - $12 per hour. It will eventually catch up to them.
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    I don't see anything wrong with setting up on the interstate to catch people transporting illegal contraband on the highways. Where this goes wrong is if Officers are making stops without a legal reason and the courts offering to let offenders pay an inflated fine to keep the violation off their record. I'm all for catching the people who are out breaking the law but only if we do it the right way. Why bother going through all the trouble of catching a criminal, writing the reports and filing all the other paperwork if we're going to have the case thrown out because we didn't make a legal stop?

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