View Poll Results: Do you issue warning tickets?

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  • Yes, we issue them and I agree with it

    39 62.90%
  • Yes, we issue them and I thik it is a waste of time

    6 9.68%
  • No, it is a waste of time

    14 22.58%
  • No, but I would like to see our department start

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Thread: Warning Tickets

  1. #1
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    Warning Tickets

    I have noticed alot of talk about warning tickets in the threads lately.

    How many of you guys/gals issue warning tickets instead of verbal warnings and what do you think about them?
    You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.


  2. #2
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    We're technically not allowed to give verbal warnings, every stop has to have some kind of paper behind it, be it a cite or a written warning.

    Every stop is different, but for the most part, I tend to write more warnings on a normal shift than citations.
    I look at a written warning as good Public Relations, my agency doesn't have a good reputation, so sometimes it's good to let the motoring public know that, in some circumstances, you actually won't get a ticket.
    Last edited by AZLawDawg; 08-28-2006 at 06:03 AM.

  3. #3
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    I love written warnings for equipment and inspection sticker violations. If nothing criminal comes from the stop, then a written warning violation documents the stop. It's also still considered activity to keep the Sgts and Lts happy.

  4. #4
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    We can give verbals. I basically use all three (verbal-written-infractions) in that order. For instance, if I'm starting up speed enforcement in a certain area, I start with verbals. The next day, I move to written warnings. The third day, I go with infractions. (Actually, I should say when I was starting up area enforcement. I don't do much in the way of traffic anymore.)

    I will stop someone for a minor traffic violation and give them a verbal warning. If the stop turns contentious, and I was intending on giving a verbal, I usually give a written warning so I have some form of documentation on the incident.
    "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
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    Good grief, I hope you aren't going to suggest a "written warning form" to go along with all the other stuff I carry and as just something else that I'ld have to get assigned like "overweight citations" and "uniform sommons" are now !!!


    "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

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  6. #6
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    I don't even like giving real tickets. It makes my hand hurt doing all that writing.

    Now if we ever got one of those computers where you can swipe the DL and enter the violation and print out the summons.... Id hammer everybody.

    For a month till I sit in court all day, get 37 continuances, then the bone head judge falls for the "aww shucks, I got it fixed" and dismisses the rest.

    Then I'd come to my senses.
    "Why is common sense so rare?" - Me

    By the way.. They aren't "Clients" or "Customers" they're CRIMINALS... sheesh

  7. #7
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    Never a verbal warning. Always a written warning. If it was good enough to stop, then it's good enough to put in writing.

    Yes, the pen to paper thing gets old, but I am covering my *** and building a case for later if some attorney calls my stops into question. With warnings I have a record of all my traffic stops.

    It also combats complaints. If I issue a warning, I am "proving" to them that I had a legal reason to stop their vehicle.

    BTW, a written warning here is a separate form from out State Citations and our City Ordinance Violations. So including parking tickets I have to carry 4 different forms to cover all the traffic violation bases.

  8. #8
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    I like written warnings. When I was on patrol, we were required to either issue a citation or a written warning on every stop. Nowadays, with the racial profiling data requirements, written warnings are the way to go. They should contain all of the data that one needs to obtain for proper racial profiling and consent search data collection.

    *Written warnings document why you stopped someone

    * They are there to back you up if a motorist complains

    * They explain exactly what the problem was. Like when you stop a woman for a defective "taillight", then she goes home and tells her husband that her brake light is broken. He goes outside and has her step on the brakes. The brake light works. Now he thinks that an officer was just stopping his wife to flirt. With a written warning, he can see that the stop was for a taillight.

    * When writting a warning, it looks like you're writing a real citation. Every motorist that passes you while you're standing there writing, is under the impression that your violator is getting a ticket. It's a small psychological victory, but it works.

    * Written warnings will help you when you end up stopping the same motorist multiple times. Should they complain to a judge or your superiors that you're harrasing them, you'll have a paper trail of how you've cut them a break in the past.


    I also like to let my violator think they are getting a real ticket all the way up to the point where I explain it to them and ask them to sign it. That couple of minutes where they think they're getting a ticket does them a bit of good. Let them kick themselves and let it roll around in their head. It's real fun when they're mouthy with you. I just let them keep spewing as I write my warning. There is no better smackdown for foot-in-mouth disease, after their couple of minutes of **** and vinegar, when you say, "This is just a written warning... it has no fine and there is nothing that will show on your driving record". It humbles them every time.

  9. #9
    zap
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    I"ll likely give 30-40 verbals for every written warning. BUT, when you stop the same guy for the same equipment violation the second time two weeks later...I write the warning and give him 48hours to show up and have the repairs made or I'll send him a cite.
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  10. #10
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    Our written warnings still go into the local files of our computer system. Then, if you run the name, you can see if they have been given breaks before so you can decide to not give them one this time.
    "Socrates was a philosopher. He talked a lot. They killed him." unknown to me.

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    Somehow, somewhere..... there should be a record made of every stop made by every police officer in the entire USA. It's not that hard to do.

    Because...... (and T150, you might recall this) ..... a trooper stops a girl in Waynesboro, Virginia. He only issues her a verbal warning for reckless driving. The trooper was only passing through Waynesboro and didn't want to have to come back for court in Waynesboro had he actually written her a ticket. The girl's father calls Waynesboro Police Department to find out who stopped his daughter and discuss the reckless driving. The Waynesboro Police Department tells the father none of their officers stopped her, and they write up a report for police impersonation. The trooper saw the news of the "police impersonator" and called the Waynesboro Police Department to tell them it was him who did indeed had stopped the girl. In other words, a major cluster fug based on assumption by the Waynesboro Police Department. The right hand not knowing what the left hand had done. Lack of communication between law enforcement agencies.

    Some Tom, Dick or Harry could have been arrested and convicted of this "police impersonation" when it was a real state trooper who had performed the traffic stop. All Tom, Dick or Harry had to do was be similar in appearance to the trooper in question.

    It was almost as hilarious as the sexual assault victim in the Route 29 north cases picking out a real state trooper in a lineup as the person who victimized her. The trooper's picture was only used as a filler in the lineup.


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    Quote Originally Posted by scratch13
    Our written warnings still go into the local files of our computer system. Then, if you run the name, you can see if they have been given breaks before so you can decide to not give them one this time.

    Ditto. Paper for everyone! If you are going to complain, then I will give you something to complain about. Afterall, it is always the ones you cut a break to that call and cry!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHERIFF
    The right hand not knowing what the left hand had done. Lack of communication between law enforcement agencies.
    If the Trooper ran her plate, anyone with access to a terminal should've seen the recent query and by whom. If they're in the same state, that is.

    However, the verbal warning was for reckless driving, and there was no crash or ticket written, right? So why did WPD entertain the notion of an impersonator? How did it spiral into that BS?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Out of the Blue
    Nowadays, with the racial profiling data requirements, written warnings are the way to go. They should contain all of the data that one needs to obtain for proper racial profiling and consent search data collection.
    Refering to the racial profiling...we have to fill out an extra (racial profiling) sticker that we put on back of all citations, repair orders and warnings that we turn in. The sticker asks for: the duration of the stop, the zip code, whether it's a citation/repair order/warning, the reason for the stop, if a vehicle search or pat down was done, if any contraband was recovered, if the person was arrested, if the vehicle was impounded, the beat of the stop, the reporting area of the stop, the age, race and gender of the person, and the county that they reside in. That's it though.
    Needless to say, we don't write that many tickets...

  15. #15
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    Racial profiling is rather difficult to do on moving vehicles especially on the interstate and definitely at night. There is very little reason to add more paperwork to us other than for political dancing.
    "Socrates was a philosopher. He talked a lot. They killed him." unknown to me.

    "Evil prevails when good men do nothing."

  16. #16
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    All of our warnings are verbal. As for racial profiling we have to provide dispatch with a dispo regarding race, age, sex, cited or ticket etc for each traffic stop
    This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

  17. #17
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    All of our warning are verbal only. Couldnt write a warning if I wanted. But we do have a lengthy form to fill out on all the data for age, race, reason, search, why, and etc.....

    AZ LAW DOG, you answered a question I have always wondered. I got stopped for going 3 miles over the speed limit (seriously) on the 40 and the AZ trooper gave me a written warning, after repeatedly asking why I was going so fast. I didnt even know what to say. Then he told me that "we take these things a lot more serious here then you guys do in LA." But I guess he didnt have a choice with the written ticket part, always wondered that.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SinePari
    However, the verbal warning was for reckless driving, and there was no crash or ticket written, right? So why did WPD entertain the notion of an impersonator? How did it spiral into that BS?
    I guess because the Waynesboro Police Department records indicated none of their officers had stopped the girl. Why in the Wide World of Blue Lights they didn't think to ask the Virginia State Police is beyond me if they were going to initiate a police impersonator investigation.

    Several years ago a Virginia State Police arson investigator left his home after being called out and had to travel through 3 counties to get to his destination. While passing through Albemarle County, a local county police officer spotted him in his unmarked car speeding with blue lights. The county officer didn't recognize the car and called it in to his dispatch as his now being in pursuit of a police impersonator. He never could catch up to the arson investigator. I called the Appomattox area dispatch and told them they might want to notify Albemarle County it was indeed one of their unmarked cars on a call.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by zap
    I"ll likely give 30-40 verbals for every written warning. BUT, when you stop the same guy for the same equipment violation the second time two weeks later...I write the warning and give him 48hours to show up and have the repairs made or I'll send him a cite.
    If I ever see the same person twice committing another violation after I have already let them go two weeks earlier it is open season for every type of violation I can write for. If they don't get the clue the first time there is no way Im going to give another warning...even if it is written. We can do verbal warnings and we also have written warnings that are only kept by our department. I use those rarely because if I've stopped you it means it was a good enough violation that you need a ticket.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHERIFF
    Somehow, somewhere..... there should be a record made of every stop made by every police officer in the entire USA. It's not that hard to do.

    Because...... (and T150, you might recall this) ..... a trooper stops a girl in Waynesboro, Virginia. He only issues her a verbal warning for reckless driving. The trooper was only passing through Waynesboro and didn't want to have to come back for court in Waynesboro had he actually written her a ticket. The girl's father calls Waynesboro Police Department to find out who stopped his daughter and discuss the reckless driving. The Waynesboro Police Department tells the father none of their officers stopped her, and they write up a report for police impersonation. The trooper saw the news of the "police impersonator" and called the Waynesboro Police Department to tell them it was him who did indeed had stopped the girl. In other words, a major cluster fug based on assumption by the Waynesboro Police Department. The right hand not knowing what the left hand had done. Lack of communication between law enforcement agencies.

    Some Tom, Dick or Harry could have been arrested and convicted of this "police impersonation" when it was a real state trooper who had performed the traffic stop. All Tom, Dick or Harry had to do was be similar in appearance to the trooper in question.
    The trooper writing a warning or a ticket would not have changed that story as our tickets aren't logged onto any list that is accessable to any outside agency, or for that part .... even our own unless someone has the ticket to read from. I fail to see how the trooper writing a warning that maybe gets turned in a week later with his reports and which is only viewed by his supervisor would have prevented the occurrence you describe.
    "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHERIFF
    I guess because the Waynesboro Police Department records indicated none of their officers had stopped the girl. Why in the Wide World of Blue Lights they didn't think to ask the Virginia State Police is beyond me if they were going to initiate a police impersonator investigation.

    Several years ago a Virginia State Police arson investigator left his home after being called out and had to travel through 3 counties to get to his destination. While passing through Albemarle County, a local county police officer spotted him in his unmarked car speeding with blue lights. The county officer didn't recognize the car and called it in to his dispatch as his now being in pursuit of a police impersonator. He never could catch up to the arson investigator. I called the Appomattox area dispatch and told them they might want to notify Albemarle County it was indeed one of their unmarked cars on a call.
    Well, all of these stories seem like people trying to create an atmosphere of distrust or territorial ****ings. A car running with lights on, and the officer thinks he's in pursuit of an impersonator? WTF? Are you guys paraniod down there or what? You gotta be making this stuff up.

    Some car comes zipping by me, what do I care? It's usually one of many MSP cars either marked or unmarked. There are so many units with different vehicles and I don't know all 2400 sworn officers. But not once do I think it's an impersonator.
    Last edited by SinePari; 08-29-2006 at 06:49 AM.

  22. #22
    Oh no, it's da Po-Po
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    Another reason I like written warnings are that they go in our local system. When I stop someone the dispatch can tell me what the warning was for. If it was a verbal, then all I get is "verbal warning" with no indication of what the violation was for.

    And yes, if I stop someone a second time for the same violation as the warning, they get popped.

  23. #23
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    Here is something to think about. People here and everywhere I guess are making a big deal about whether or not to trust if in a specific situation they are being confronted by the police. There are a few legit times where I could understand. Few though. How about when there are some guys sneaking around in your back yard wearing uniforms late at night? Do you confront them as if they are bad guys? Now what if they are kicking in your door? Shoot them first even though they are wearing police uniforms?

    Some on this thread may believe that they have a better grasp of this because they were accused of doing something and maybe they were not in the wrong. However, that is very extreme case and the fake police situation in general is very rare. Using it as a crutch to not stop is a stretch.
    "Socrates was a philosopher. He talked a lot. They killed him." unknown to me.

    "Evil prevails when good men do nothing."

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by trader2773
    Refering to the racial profiling...we have to fill out an extra (racial profiling) sticker that we put on back of all citations, repair orders and warnings that we turn in. The sticker asks for: the duration of the stop, the zip code, whether it's a citation/repair order/warning, the reason for the stop, if a vehicle search or pat down was done, if any contraband was recovered, if the person was arrested, if the vehicle was impounded, the beat of the stop, the reporting area of the stop, the age, race and gender of the person, and the county that they reside in. That's it though.
    The State of Texas requires us to get most of that info on every traffic stop. It's all incorporated onto the face of citations and warnings. The info has to be compiled every year, by every agency, then sent to the state so they can do an annual report.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Out of the Blue
    The State of Texas requires us to get most of that info on every traffic stop. It's all incorporated onto the face of citations and warnings. The info has to be compiled every year, by every agency, then sent to the state so they can do an annual report.
    90% of the info on the sticker is a repeat of what is already on the citation...like the race, gender, infraction, etc...that's why it seems so pointless to us.

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