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Unread 02-02-2008, 10:55 PM   #1
cherokee99spt
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Anyone in Law Enforcement?

Sooo today I was driving to firestone to pick up someone who was getting work done on their car and as I was turning about to get into the "suicide lane" to turn into this strip mall, I notice a Jeep Wrangler had prematurely gotten into this lane and I was forced to cut it off to certain extent. This Wrangler proceeded to follow me to my parking spot. I get on my cell phone to call the person I was picking up to let them know I was there and I get a tap on my window by this man. He was wearing a bright yellow jacket that said "NJ Fire State Police" (or at least those 4 words in some order) and told me I cut him off and blah blah blah (he was very loud in abusive throughout this whole ordeal, but I mostly just sat there and took it assuming there was nothing he could do). He also told me to get off my cell phone. I told him I only got on my cell phone after I parked my car and he said "oh yea, do you want me to write you up for that". I told him "I don't think you legally can" and he stormed off back to his Wrangler. As he drove away I wrote his license plate number down on a random receipt I had laying in my Jeep.

Now my questions are
1) What are fire policemen exactly?
2) He was obviously off duty so he couldn't write a ticket correct?
3) Is this legal for someone to confront and yell at someone like this, when they were in the wrong in the first place?

Thanks for your help, I would possibly like to contact some form of law enforcement to make a complaint, hopefully where this guy works. I don't know if having his license plate number will help or not.

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Unread 02-03-2008, 01:24 AM   #2
Brandon_YJ
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Sounds like yet another power hungry/drunk cop (or security guard or fire marshall or what-have you) to me.
I'd call the police and report and possible "impersonation of an official" or whatever term is used in your parts. Then let them sort it out. Make sure you perform a followup call, or two or three, until you are satisfied with the result.
If it is an actual police/safety officer then you *could* go ahead and give them the full story and request that this officer be educated (assuming he was in the wrong).
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Unread 02-03-2008, 01:29 AM   #3
Brandon_YJ
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The reason my post sounds the way it sounds (bitter and hateful) is because I was in a situation somewhat like yours when I was about 19 or 20. I had pulled up to a bowling alley and was sitting in my car waiting for a sound to go off and the next thing I knew a guy was standing outside my window. He flashed a badge and started yelling at me for this or that. Once I realized there was no way this guy was a cop (way too heavy and driving a POS Pontiac T1000) I hopped out of my car and let him have it (verbally).
After many threats of sodomy and other forms of bodily harm the truth came out... he was nothing more than some campus security guy at the University of Kentucky and I had pissed him off because he was waiting to turn left (east) onto the street I was traveling (east) and he had to wait for me (he felt I was going to slow and he misjudged how long he had to wait).
What a turd.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 08:24 AM   #4
R.T.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherokee99spt View Post
Now my questions are
1) What are fire policemen exactly?
2) He was obviously off duty so he couldn't write a ticket correct?
3) Is this legal for someone to confront and yell at someone like this, when they were in the wrong in the first place?

Thanks for your help, I would possibly like to contact some form of law enforcement to make a complaint, hopefully where this guy works. I don't know if having his license plate number will help or not.

Maybe I can help.

1.) In many states the investigators of the State Fire Marshal's office are in fact State Police Officers who conduct fire investigations. (don't know about Jersey).

2.) Not likely (but possibly). Most likely a matter of policy, not lawful authority.

3.) It's not illegal to confront someone. How/what happens during that confrontation may make it illegal.

Should you report it? As long as what you say is factually accurate (he drove on the shoulder to enter the turn lane early), then yes, you should. Call the NJ State Police and ask to speak to someone in their "Office of Professional Standards"

If however, you actually precipitated the whole thing by trying to merge (dipping) into the turn lane after he had a lawfully established the right-of-way (I'm not saying you did, just sometimes when we are mad we tailor the facts a little). Then let it go.

I would like to suggest to you and everyone else reading this posting, to think carefully about the decisions you make on the roadway. Even if you have the right-away, is it worth forcing the issue. Is taking that turn lane worth an accident, a beating, or getting shot? Couldn't you just think, wow, what a dumb *** and go to the next corner and turn around? At the time you cut that guy off (legally or not) did you think it was going to end the way it did? You never know what people are willing to do and traffic lane dominance is not worth it. Some may question your manhood for not taking a lane that was rightfully yours, while others will question your intelligence for doing exactly that!

I am not passing judgment on anyone, I'm just offering some observations and opinion.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 08:38 AM   #5
Canfourjeep
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Back thirty years.

We need to go back thirty years when a cop was off duty he was a citizen only.
At least in Texas he had no authority and as a citizen had the same rights.
The world is overrun with cops. We need about 50 % less and actually enforce the law.
Off duty should have no rights.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 09:23 AM   #6
blynyrd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherokee99spt View Post
Now my questions are
1) What are fire policemen exactly?
2) He was obviously off duty so he couldn't write a ticket correct?
3) Is this legal for someone to confront and yell at someone like this, when they were in the wrong in the first place?

.
IDK about Jersey
But in NY where I grew up A "Fire Policeman" is an indiviual, sometimes a volunteer, (like my grandfather who volunteered for over 50 years as a fire ploiceman) who mostly directs traffic out of harms way around a fire or traffic accident. Their "powers" are little and limited to traffic control near the scene. In truth way more "fire" and way less "police"
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Unread 02-03-2008, 09:42 AM   #7
Chris_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canfourjeep View Post
We need to go back thirty years when a cop was off duty he was a citizen only.
At least in Texas he had no authority and as a citizen had the same rights.
The world is overrun with cops. We need about 50 % less and actually enforce the law.
Off duty should have no rights.
Sure about that? I've handed out tickets while "off the clock". Just get the info and stick it in the mail when you get back. Not a big deal. Texas makes no distinction in duty status regarding the powers of a commissioned officer. If you are out of your jurisdiction, then as far as traffic goes, you have the same authority as any other citizen does, but most officers know the system far better, and can easily get a ticket filed against someone. State commissioned officers can issue traffic tickets on or off the clock anywhere in the state.

Fire (arson) investigators in Texas are commissioned peace officers and would have the authority to issue a citation for a traffic violation. Do they? No. Is it ever wise for an officer to confront a traffic violator off duty? No. Do they have the legal authority to do so? Yes.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 09:53 AM   #8
cherokee99spt
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I agree with most of you that I probably should have just let him go eventhough he was in fact doing the illegal thing, because it's just not worth it. I don't think I'm going to pursue this any further, I'll just let it go. It just upsets me how people get exceedingly power hungry especially when facing a teen like myself. I understand some of the time teen drivers are not the best but I'm sure that if I was a 40 year old man I would not have been confronted.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 11:09 AM   #9
gtowngirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canfourjeep View Post
We need to go back thirty years when a cop was off duty he was a citizen only.
At least in Texas he had no authority and as a citizen had the same rights.
The world is overrun with cops. We need about 50 % less and actually enforce the law.
Off duty should have no rights.

A police officer is a police officer 24 hours a day. If your vehicle was parked somewhere and an off duty police officer (with jurisdiction there) witnessed someone breaking into or causing damage to your vehicle, would you want him to act as a police officer and attempt to catch the guy, or as Joe citizen that will usually drive on by, because they don't want to get involved. Perhaps your girlfriend or mother were being attacked, and an off duty police officer (no jurisdiction) witnessed it....would you want the bad guy to get away?

Sure there are power hungry cops out there...but there are also the ones that will "protect and serve" the right way, 24 / 7.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 11:17 AM   #10
TJforlife
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Originally Posted by pj7 View Post
... he was nothing more than some campus security guy at the University of Kentucky and I had pissed him off because he was waiting to turn left (east) onto the street I was traveling (east) and he had to wait for me (he felt I was going to slow and he misjudged how long he had to wait).
What a turd.
Here in Illinois your measly campus cops have state police jurisdiction. Something to think about. Either way, it sounds like these guys were very unproffesional. If you are going to be an jerk and fly off the handle, you should not bring your job into it if your'e off duty. There are these guys in all workforces......usually the kissass guys that think they are someone because of thier title or position. When in reality, they are absolutely nothing w/out that title. This type of individual is typically spineless. I have worked for the government for 18 yrs and see it everyday.
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Unread 02-03-2008, 01:55 PM   #11
Canfourjeep
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Off duty

I would guarantee that thirty years ago an off duty police could not do any more than a citizen. My uncle was a deputy sheriff and he did not have off duty authority. Also the Highway Patrol could not write you a ticket unless it was on a major highway. I was ticketed several times and the judge threw all out because of jurisdiction. Of course that was 30 years ago and it should still be the same to stop anyone from bullying and someone thinking they are the boss.
Just an opinion

Terrorist have ruined our way of life and all the new laws and tripple the police has made us a military type country.
Wish we could go back 30 years.
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