First Traffic Stop


(My attorney has assured me that the statute of limitations have passed.)


A long time ago in a distant land . . .


I spent a year as a Metro Transit Officer in Washington, DC.  Then I spent time as a Deputy Sheriff in the Land That Time Forgot.  Calvert County, Maryland.  It has gotten bigger and more modern since I left; in fact just last year they got streetlights.

After a year in DC, I left to become a Deputy Sheriff. I had to take some extra training as when I was with the Metro Police I road the subway, in Calvert I’d be in a car, or, as they like to call it a MOP, Mobile Observation Platform.  Once I had completed my intense training of driving around, finding the good places to eat, sleep and hide from the general public, I was cut loose.  On my own, pounding my meat, I mean, cruising the street.

Well there I was in my Mobile Observation Platform, on Rt. 4, looking for speeders.  Now there are several ways to do this, for the big boys, there’s radar, for others VASCAR, but for me there was pacing.  Pacing is when the deputy, me, follows a speeding vehicle for about 2/10ths of a mile, pacing their speed.

After pacing a blue 2 door Chevy for 2/10ths of a mile I activated my emergency equipment, lights and siren for those of you not familiar with cops.  The vehicle pulled over to the shoulder of the road, I got out of my Mobile Observation Platform, and things went bad.

Ever notice how life becomes slow motion at times? 

There I was exiting my vehicle, watching the locked door slowly click shut.  No big deal you say.  However, we would keep our cars running during a traffic stop.  Hoping that the door hadn’t completely closed, I walked up to the driver of the Chevy.

Hello, I’m Deputy Parks of the yada-yada-yada, you were traveling at yada-yada-yada, license and registration please.  I slowly walked back to my car, this was the moment of truth, my defining moment as a deputy, Shit! It’s locked.

What to do?  Call for assistance? Let the entire county know I’d locked myself out of my car?  Be fodder for harassment for the rest of my career?  What would Inspector Clueso do?

I calmly walked back to the driver of the Chevy.

“Ma’am there is a sight problem.  I need you to drive me to Headquarters.”

Fortunately, the station was only a minute away.  I snuck into the station, grabbed the extra set of keys, snuck out the door and had the lady drive me back to my deserted car; on the side of the road, with the lights still flashing.

I unlocked my car, gave her my thanks, swore her to secrecy, and a warning always make sure she exited her car with the keys.