My father was a police officer for over 30 years in Miami, Florida. He was on duty one evening and had only a couple of hours left of his shift, so he parked off of a quiet street, set his radar detector, and proceeded to work on paperwork. Just as he was about to call it a night, a car went speeding by at about 30 mph over the speed limit. He hit the sirens and went after it. My dad was able to finally catch the speeder and pulled him over. He cautiously approached the car and said to the gentleman, “I’ve been waiting here for hours just for you.”
The guy responded, “Officer, I got here is fast as I could, I swear!” Needless to say, they both burst into laughter. My dad let him off with a warning.
My dad loved to tell stories of some of his encounters on the road as a police officer. My favorites were always the ones that involved both humor and honesty. And one day, I had a story to tell him.
My partner and I had just pulled onto an off ramp, and by the time we reached the light, blaring lights and screeching sirens indicated to us that we had to pull over. Two officers approached my Toyota truck with guns drawn and ordered us to exit the vehicle. They cuffed us and then separated us. We were told that we were being detained because we were driving a stolen vehicle.
I immediately explained that it was my vehicle and I had a registration in the glove box to prove it. They said that my license plates were not registered to this vehicle. I said, “I know. My husband and I are in the middle of a divorce. I went and got the truck out of the shop and I put the plates from my car on the truck, so if he happened to pass me here in town, he wouldn’t know it was our truck, because the plates were different. I was told I couldn’t do that. I asked why not? They are both my vehicles. I just took the plates off one of my vehicles and placed them on the other of my vehicles.
At this point, the officer went over to my partner and asked, “Is she serious?” .” (Yes, this really is why I switched the tags and I really did believe, at the time, that I had done nothing wrong, and certainly not illegal!)
I was sitting on the short, concrete wall, and when the officer returned to me, I was swinging my legs and smiling.
He just looked at me and I said, “This is so cool!”
He raised his eyebrows and said, “Excuse me?”
“My dad was a cop for 30 years and now I know firsthand some of what he did. I can’t wait to tell him about this!”
Once again, he went over to my partner and asked if I was really serious. She simply said, “Unfortunately, yes…” and cringed as she was she we would be arrested and thrown in jail. But much to her surprise, the cops told us that it was 5 o’clock, time for shift change, and no way were they going to write the things I said into a report. They told us to go straight home and park the truck until it was properly tagged.
My honesty was naïve and the humor was not intended, but I did escape a slew of tickets. If you tell the truth and keep a sense of humor you could save yourself a lot of legal trouble!