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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default Cops can't bear living like the rest of us

    By ROBERT L. JAMIESON JR.
    P-I COLUMNIST

    Did you hear the one about the Mariner Moose running into a Red Sox player with his ATV?

    The moose got away with it. He had a blue bear sticker on his bumper.

    This joke -- based on the mascot's collision at a Safeco Field game the other day -- could be funny if it didn't underscore such a troubling issue.

    In a Seattle P-I series this week on police misconduct, reporters Eric Nalder and Lewis Kamb showed that officers use stickers depicting a bear to get breaks most of the public doesn't enjoy. Officers put them on their personal cars or hand them out to significant others, family members or friends.

    Driving too fast? Had one brew too many before getting behind the wheel? Got a busted taillight? You could get away with it if an officer sees that you are a member of the bear-sticker brigade, an unofficial club that doesn't advertise.

    "I'm not going to talk about it," said King County sheriff's spokesman John Urquhart when I called Wednesday to ask about the special stickers, which depict the body of a wild bear.

    Urquhart's department was mentioned in a P-I story this week involving sheriff's Deputy Michael Behm, who got pulled over three years ago for drinking and driving. Behm asked the officer who pulled him whether he'd noticed the "bear" -- hint, hint -- on the back window of his truck, according to a police report.

    "I have nothing to say," Urquhart said, in the department's first opportunity to respond since the series ran. "I'm not going to talk, and that's that. Can't help you. Call over to the SPD -- they're a police department, too."

    "We have nothing official to say about this bear thing," Seattle police spokeswoman Debra Brown said Wednesday.

    Another SPD official said something similar a year ago: "Don't know what you're talking about. There are no department bear stickers. If there are, maybe somebody here went to school at Berkeley" -- which has a bear mascot.

    Coincidentally, also last year, a woman pulled into the garage of the P-I building with a green sticker on her car.

    "Oh, that?" she said. "That's my green bear. My husband is a King County sheriff's deputy. They have green bears. The Seattle police have blue bears. The State Patrol has yellow ones. Why do you ask?"

    The bears were out of the bag.

    At least two top law enforcement officials are on the record addressing what the Seattle police and the King County Sheriff's Office suggest is nothing more than a beary tale.

    Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor calls the use of bear stickers "a suggestion that law enforcement people should get special consideration."

    In another instance, during an online discussion with The Olympian in 2005, Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste suggested the stickers have no place on private cars of law enforcement. "I've never had a bear on my car, nor have I ever allowed anyone in my family to put one on their cars," he said.

    I did reach the Seattle Police Officers' Guild Wednesday. Its president, Rich O'Neill, said he knew about the stickers but said, "It isn't a big issue -- there are a few officers with stickers like that."

    The wife of an SPD officer e-mailed the P-I to say her blue bear sticker is a sign of "quiet pride" in her husband's career.

    Maybe so, but former Seattle police Chief Norm Stamper shed a less-than-lustrous light on such quiet pride.

    In Southern California in the late '60s, he recalled, officers put a special sticker on personal cars. Officers were told the decal extended a "professional courtesy" -- you didn't cite colleagues for routine traffic violations; you chauffeured them home if they were driving under the influence.

    Such gestures waned in the '70s, Stamper said, and were practically gone by the early '90s when he left the San Diego police force.

    "This was part of our campaign to let cops know that not only were they not permitted to give or receive special treatment, they were expected to set a higher standard of personal conduct," Stamper wrote me in an e-mail Wednesday.

    As far as Seattle is concerned, Stamper, police chief from 1994 to 2000, said, "I'm sure there were 'bears' to be found, but I don't remember seeing one -- not that I inspected the personal cars of my officers."

    Bear stickers are a sly code known to a select few. They are a fraternal wink-and-nod rife with potential for abuse -- and that erodes public trust.

    And how many criminals slap bear stickers on their cars to try and trick cops?

    These stickers feed a perception of law enforcement being a culture of smug isolation and blind solidarity. When that culture acts above the law, and when professional police courtesy doubles as dubious conduct, the upshot is, well, unbearable.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    I've never had any bear stickers on my car, but I did have an actual "retired" State Patrol vehicle for a while, and I got away with some unbelievable shit in that car, including driving by a freeway speed trap at about 90 MPH as the cops looked up and waved at me.

    But that car's long gone, so maybe I better look into these stickers.....



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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    Not totally on topic, but related. I do a lot of job fairs recruiting, and I remember eating lunch at one college fair with a recruiter for a police department up in Vermont somewhere. Just some small town PD. He said they have a very difficult time hiring - plenty of applicants, but few that pass the lie detector. What jumped out at me was he said they ask about intentions, like would you ever use your badge to get out of trouble, etc.

    That's almost impossible to pass, I'd think. Whether I'd do it or not, I'd be likely to WANT to, and probably be lying if I said no to that.

    So they either have one of the most upstanding PD's ever, or one of the worst, with a bunch of guys good enough at being scumbags to pass lie detectors! Wish I'd have thought of that one when I was sitting there with the guy.

  4. #4
    The Frantic Antic TopTimi's Avatar
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    Mmmm...As a FireFighter/Paramedic, I display my logo with pride on my vehicles. I know that my brother in another state would never do such a thing. He states..."Why would I want to bring attention to myself that I'm a cop? Enough folks hate us already, they don't need to pick my car out as different of others...Target" I can feel for him. Folks generaly like firefighters, not cops. If you're a cop and get pulled over, you can always flash a badge and request professional courtesy. However, that does not mean shit depending on the dept you're dealing with. mmmmmmm

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopTimi View Post
    Mmmm...As a FireFighter/Paramedic, I display my logo with pride on my vehicles. I know that my brother in another state would never do such a thing. He states..."Why would I want to bring attention to myself that I'm a cop? Enough folks hate us already, they don't need to pick my car out as different of others...Target" I can feel for him. Folks generaly like firefighters, not cops. If you're a cop and get pulled over, you can always flash a badge and request professional courtesy. However, that does not mean shit depending on the dept you're dealing with. mmmmmmm
    Dunno about that Tim. Remember that local black officer (or was he higher up?) that wound up getting into a tussle with a pair of cops that pulled him over up-state? So much for respect, as I recall they pulled him over for D.W.B. (driving while black).
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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  6. #6
    Eruption
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    Yeah I can definitely say I've got no problem showing off my paramedic sticker but to advertise myself as a cop....nah not this guy

  7. #7
    Sinner's Swing! twonabomber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopTimi View Post
    He states..."Why would I want to bring attention to myself that I'm a cop? Enough folks hate us already, they don't need to pick my car out as different of others...Target"
    my stepfather is a retired cop. when he was still working, i asked him if it was true that an FOP sticker helps when getting pulled over. he said no, and that if you want your car vandalized, the FOP sticker is the best way for that to happen.
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  8. #8
    Hang 'Em High RRMB's Avatar
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    05.21.17 @ 06:42 PM
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    I unintentionally found out the easiest way around getting hassled at Weigh Stations; no matter the state. See if you can guess what it is?!!??




    All it is, is a tribute to my brother and dad. Never meant it to be more than that. When I get asked, I tell them why it's on the grill of FrankenTruck. They shake my hand and tell me "Have a nice day." And off I go.
    "Jesus, that fucker just crawled out of his hen house that was destroyed by the Alabama tornados. Fucking 280mph plus winds sucked the gleam off this bitch and passed it on to a bird in Rhoad Island." - Hurricane Halen 5/3/11 (about my birthday chicken from seenbad)

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  9. #9
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    What an interesting story...

    A guy I work with a while back was saying he should have another guy that works with us that makes decals to make him one of the police bears to put on his truck so he doesn't get pulled over... I guess the cat is out of the bag now...
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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    fuckin cops. Here in Houston, as I'm sure in most other cities, there's this rabid propaganda machine whose only responsibility is fueling fascist like support for "the blue." Here we are supposed to "back the blue" and in exchange we get stickers for our car. The more stickers you get, the less tickets you get. Whatever. I don't have or want any stickers. The hipocracy of the Houston police is beyond description. From little things like their ticket quotas which they deny the existence of, to the way the run through red lights and speed, to the way they harass people, to the way they shoot innocent people, to the way they invade people's homes. Fuck 'em. The saddest thing is that 9/11 has created a situation where if you say anything about the cops you're somehow unamerican or unpatriotic because you have no respect for these cherished and altruistic "first responders." Fuck 'em. Cops, by and large, are cops because they were failures in other aspects of life. Not quite bad enough to end up as mall patrol but nowhere near good enough to make it in the military or FBI etc. By and large they were the kids that were picked on and marginalized in school and had a chip on their shoulder. They wanted to get even with the bullies so now they badges and guns and spend their entire day making life miserable for the people they perceive to embody the spirit of their school yard antagonists. You also have a great deal of racists who want nothing more than to go take care of dem beaners and coloured fellers. I have no support whatsoever for the police. I've met a couple of guys who were cops who were cool cats, I have a cousin who is one and it's not like I'm going to spit on their face or anything. I just don't have any respect for their chosen profession.

    The preceding has been brought to you in part by a slew of personal experiences with HPD and is now over.

    On the the Ahh Yeah Beautiful Girl thread!
    Last edited by broken9500; 08.11.07 at 06:27 AM.

  11. #11
    Hang 'Em High RRMB's Avatar
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    05.21.17 @ 06:42 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by broken9500 View Post
    fuckin cops. Here in Houston, as I'm sure in most other cities, there's this rabid propaganda machine whose only responsibility is fueling fascist like support for "the blue." Here we are supposed to "back the blue" and in exchange we get stickers for our car. The more stickers you get, the less tickets you get. Whatever. I don't have or want any stickers.
    Where you'd get an idea that these stickers stop you from getting tickets is almost laughable. It's like a few post up, the FOP stickers or "Proud Supporter" stickers don't stop you from getting pulled over. My example is an extreme rarity...and it only gets me through the DOT Bears. I have yet to be pulled over, but if I get pulled over for speeding; I'll guarrantee it won't mean anything.

    The hipocracy of the Houston police is beyond description. From little things like their ticket quotas which they deny the existence of
    It's against federal law to have ticket quotas. If you look at the way ticket trends run, there is never a rhyme or reason behind it. You WILL see traffic stings; but those are run for safety purposes. As a truck driver, I know when to expect acrackdown on us. If there has been a rash of truck related incidents in a traffic corridor; we can expect a crackdown. It's the same with cars; if there has been a lot of incidents, expect a crackdown.

    to the way the run through red lights and speed
    It could very well be they are running silent to a call. If they get to an intersection, flip on the lights, get through the intersection and they go off again; the are running silent.

    the way they harass people,
    Care to give any examples?? That's a very broad and vague statement.

    way they shoot innocent people
    Again...very broad and vague.

    way they invade people's homes.
    I'm guessing you're talking about when they execute a search warrant on the wrong house, based on credible intel? It happens from time to time; and the people that have it happen to them get VERY public apologies and any damage done during the entry process is repaired or replaced out of the city/county coffers.

    Fuck 'em. The saddest thing is that 9/11 has created a situation where if you say anything about the cops you're somehow unamerican or unpatriotic because you have no respect for these cherished and altruistic "first responders."

    There was an initial surge in "rah-rah" pom-pom waving immediately following 9/11; but within a few months, it gradually tapered off and now we're back to where we were before 9/11; as is evident by your post. You seem to be the kind of person that will bitch a storm about the cops doing things you don't like; then bitch when they don't help you right when you need it.

    Fuck 'em. Cops, by and large, are cops because they were failures in other aspects of life. Not quite bad enough to end up as mall patrol but nowhere near good enough to make it in the military or FBI etc.
    So, by your definition, my dad was a failure in all aspects of his life. Even though he has never been fired from a job before being a State Trooper and was Honorably Discharged from the Army. Successfully passed at 4 FBI sponsored training classes over 25 years, that he needed for his job. Was continually awarded and received commendations from the ISP for his services. Was the local head of dignitary security when the President or any other high profile dignitary would be in our area. Yup...he was the complete failure.

    I guess, by your thinking, me being a former Marine and reserve cop at one time means I'm a failure too. Y'know, because I only chose to VOLUNTEER my time; instead of committing full-time to it. I chose to do it out of the pride of helping out a department already stretched too thin. I was already invested in my job too far to up and move on...so I volunteered...at my own cost and time.

    By and large they were the kids that were picked on and marginalized in school and had a chip on their shoulder. They wanted to get even with the bullies so now they badges and guns and spend their entire day making life miserable for the people they perceive to embody the spirit of their school yard antagonists.
    By that line of thinking, EVERYBODY should be cops then. We all got picked on at one time or another. Some people fought back others didn't. All the ones I knew of that didn't fight back, ended up being successful businessmen and are now THEIR BOSSES. The ones that became cops are the ones that used to defend your ass when people would try to pick on someone.


    You also have a great deal of racists who want nothing more than to go take care of dem beaners and coloured fellers. I have no support whatsoever for the police.
    While there are racist cops/bad apples out there; they are a small, small fraction of the entire force. They also get weeded out and don't last long on the streets before they are run out of the department by "attrition." It seems all arrestees are minorities; but statistically; they are. Not all blacks, hispanics, orientals, etc. are criminals.

    Until you start getting equal pay for ALL races across the board; there is going to be a HUGE socio-economic line that has a majority of the crime being committed in the areas that are populated by minorities. Not to mention trying to stop the genocide occurring at heart-stoppjng rates in these neighborhoods. Over 70% of all crime is inner-race crime. That's why it ALWAYS seems to be "rascism" by cops.

    I've met a couple of guys who were cops who were cool cats, I have a cousin who is one and it's not like I'm going to spit on their face or anything. I just don't have any respect for their chosen profession.
    Ummm, I hate to tell you something...YOU JUST DID SPIT in all their faces; your cousin included. You see it's a funny thing, being a cop, it's not just a chosen profession; it becomes your life and who you are. You are no longer a guy or woman who happens to be a cop. You are a cop 24/7/365.

    The preceding has been brought to you in part by a slew of personal experiences with HPD and is now over.

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh; so it IS personal. Maybe you were "wrong place, wrong time." Or maybe you were the "right person; at the wrong time...in your life at that moment." Irregardless; until your life is on the line ALL the time; and you have to shop in other towns, just to have some solitude; away from all the daily BS of the job. You will NEVER understand the life.

    On the the Ahh Yeah Beautiful Girl thread!
    At least there is something in your rant, I CAN agree with.
    Last edited by RRMB; 08.11.07 at 12:12 PM.
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  12. #12
    Baluchitherium sisca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broken9500 View Post
    I have no support whatsoever for the police.
    yeah? remember that when some thug jacks your car, or breaks into your house, robs your wife......

    pathetic.

    it takes balls to become a cop, and they put their lives on the line every time they go out on patrol and pull someone over. they never know if theyre coming home alive due to to the possibility of some crackhead/ drug runner/ wanted felon blowing their head off because they were pulled over during a traffic stop. i dare you to put yourself in their shoes. but, i have a sneaking suspicion that you couldnt last a day.
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    Originally posted by FORD
    History tells us that oppressive nations build walls to keep people IN, not out.
    (See "Berlin Wall" and "Likud Israel" for examples) FORD- when i told him i'd build a wall between the US and Mexico.

    then ill build it from the mexican side. -my reply.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk
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    Not a doubt in my mind that there are some noble people who really do "put their life on the line every day." Not a doubt in my mind that there is such a thing as a good cop. But this is one of the rare situations where I really think the vast majority do not fit this description.

    And it's not just my individual personal experiences that have shaped my perspective, it's also a lifetime of watching the way HPD operates. And as for feeling different if my wife gets robbed, car gets broken into etc etc...my house was broken into, my wife was assaulted and my car was vandalized...took the cops 3 hours to respond and we lived less than 5 minutes from the court house, the precint station and county jail. We also lived ten minutes from a luby's and a great taqueria, where at any given moment there are at least half a dozen cops....but i guess they have their priorities. I'm BEGGING for an opportunity to rave about an experience with a police officer in Houston. I'd eat every serving of humble pie you put in front of me.

 

 

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