I have mentioned my 100 pound Yellow Lab before. Today was just another day with Miles. In between conversations via email, I took Miles out to his favorite park, which is exactly 20 miles away. It was 18 miles, but I found an alternate route on the freeway which is 2 miles longer, but quicker, and has considerably less crazy lane switching through the interchange in the middle of town.
On the way back home, I passed an Ohio Highway Patrol on the side of the freeway, and he proceeded to move over to my lane and pull me over. As it is, I searched for and switched to that route to avoid congestion, so I keep my spacing. In doing that, I failed to move a lane away from where he was, and he decided to pull me over. (It is now a law in Ohio). So, I grabbed my license and concealed carry permit and held them in one hand before I stopped the car. I put both hands on the wheel both cards visible, as well as my hands.
The Highway patrolman came to the passenger side of the my vehicle. Miles was in the back seat. He motioned for me to put the window down. At that time, I reached for the key to turn the car back on, and lower the passenger side window. He asked for the documents, and I said I was also giving him a concealed carry permit because I had a gun in the footwell right next to him. He seemed almost blasé about that, but listened and understood. Then he explained he was going back to check me out on the wants and warrants system. When he returned, he asked me about my military service, and my time as a police officer. He explained further about the law, and said he was letting me off with a warning. In fact, he practically implied that that was his intent before he went to check me out, and I understood that I was clear if I did not have wants or warrants.
I noticed a significant difference in his level of tension from before I stopped to when he came back with my information. As he was pulling me over, he seemed impatient. It was right at the start of an interchange, and there was considerable traffic. I pulled off an off ramp and stopped there. He had lights on already, but blasted his siren as if to say, hurry up. This was maybe over a period of 10 or 15 seconds. Very short period to become impatient. So this could have gone much worse. I was an entirely different person once he identified me from when he first pulled me over. I also thought his application of the law to pull me over was poor judgment. The density of the traffic did not lend itself to changing lanes to avoid where he was. But, as we do things like that, we want to be perceived as having good intentions. The call was all his, and I knew that.
This could have gone very differently. This particular officer struck me as wanting to get his recount for the end of the month. It was a little off, and totally within the law. Now, as an officer, I never gave warnings. Traffic stops are very dangerous. I pulled drivers over to do business. If it did not necessitate doing business, it did not need a pull over. Also, I have never been a fan of thanks for my service. Marines have “Semper Fidelis”, which is from Marines, for Marines. I like that one. And as our country pulls apart, it seems I am in that population, either in, or formerly of the profession of arms. Sometimes it makes people assume my judgment is poor. Whatever. What do they know? And sometimes it makes people think all I need is a warning. I do accept that.
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