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Old 08-21-2008, 09:21 AM   #1
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Need the help of a police officer!

With the diversity of the members of this forum, I thought this would probably be as good of a place to ask this question as any. I'm sure there is someone in law enforcement out there somewhere that will see this thread.

I live in the metro-Atlanta area and am currently working on a project in the heart of the downtown area. I have seen a number of personal vehicles with a bumper sticker or front tag that has a horizontal blue bar on a field of black. I was told that this was a sign that the owner was a member of a fraternal organization for law enforcement but my web searches have come up dry.

Any body recognize this description and know what the horizontal blue bar on a black field means?
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:29 AM   #2
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The thin blue line and the thin red line represent the "thin line" that protects citizens. It's a way for law enforcement/firefighters to come together and share with each other that they are in a "brotherhood" sort of speak. It's a black sticker with a blue line for law enforcement and a red line for firefighters.
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:46 AM   #3
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The ones I have been seeing are not thin, though. The ones I have been seeing really are, from top to bottom, 1/3 black. 1/3 blue, and 1/3 black.

A friend of mine is the campus architect for Augusta State University in Augusta, GA and once he had to go to a meeting in Atlanta, 120 miles away and asked the Chief of Campus Police if he could borrow his Police car for the trip rather than get one of the Ford Ranger pick-ups out of the motor pool.

He said he was doing about 85 MPH (speed limit 70 MPH) on I-20 when a GA State Patrol car coming from the opposite direction turned on his lights and crossed the median, but as soon as he reached the left hand emergency lane and Fred figured he saw the tag on the front of the Police Chief's plain, brown, Ford Crown Vic, because he turned off his lights and headed back across the median in the direction he was originally headed. The tag on the front of that car (I saw it) was like you described, black with a thin blue line across the middle. The tags and bumper stickers I have been seeing have a thick blue band/bar across the middle. I wondered if they are related or perhaps the thicker bar/band meant something different like State level law enforcement, FBI/GBI or CIA, or something on that order.
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:52 AM   #4
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Yes, the blue stripe on the black tag does signify that the owner is a law enforcement office. Florida used to issue "PO" front tags to LEO's. That was really obvious. I still have one (photo attached).

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Old 08-21-2008, 09:55 AM   #5
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Thanks Brian. I knew if you saw the post you could set me straight. I also knew there were other officers and retired officers here on the forums.
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:57 AM   #6
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I was both a City Police Officer in Florida and a Federal Criminal Investigator. The thickness of the blue line doesn't mean anything. It just depends on who made it.

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Old 08-21-2008, 11:15 AM   #7
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So, is the message here, if you have the right sticker, you can break the law?

Many years ago when I was working in the city attorney's department of a pretty large city, I was told to leave my business card on the dashboard and I would never get a parking ticket. Then someone gave me a sticker that allowed me to park in the city lot reserved for city vehicles and a few inspectors that had to go out on city business. I used the sticker, not the business card. Just to confess I don't have clean hands in this question.

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Old 08-21-2008, 11:23 AM   #8
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So, if I make one of these stickers and put it on my car (not that I would) I might not get speeding tickets... ????

When we lived in NYC the cops never stopped at red lights, just put there lights on and drove through the intersection... Well I probably would too.... No one is perfect....
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:42 AM   #9
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Whoa! I'm sorry, I never meant to suggest that this was a good thing to do...on the contrary. Speeding is speeding and the law is the law. If you speed, you break the law. Same as if you stole something.

Not to say I don't speed on occasion, just letting you know that this would probably be the same as impersonating a law officer--which is also against the law.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:43 AM   #10
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"License to break the law."

Not really. Most Leo's don't really want to write a ticket to the person that may come to back them up in a bad situation or show up in their bright red trucks to give them first aid. In Calif. that courtesy disapeers pretty quick when you get above the level of traffic infraction.
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:07 PM   #11
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In law enforcement circles, the euphemism is "professional courtesy." This is why so many drivers have FOP (Fraternal Order of Police), volunteer firefighter or other EMS related stickers or tags on vehicles. Does this work? In my experience, state troopers are generally the least impressed with the, "Hey, I'm on the job," excuse for doing 90 mph in the 45 mph zone. With local police, I think it's more hit or miss.

Personally, I think if anyone would understand the importance of obeying traffic laws, it would be the people who respond to accidents. Unfortunately, a small number of law enforcement officers tarnish the reputation of the entire professional community by thinking the laws do not apply to them.
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:33 PM   #12
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My wife is a doctor in a small town.... Going in for an emergency, she has been granted some leeway. form the local police (which she has delivered some of there babies) and even some state troopers on the highway... But I think she does drive to fast sometimes and I'm afraid she may hit a deer one night.... Still not an excuse to speed but it is nice to get there to deliver the baby or save someone's life.... We live 20 minutes from the hospital in Delta. I think she made it in 10 min. once... Driving the 89' Jaguar..
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:04 PM   #13
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Jason, your wife ought to consider a career in auto racing! 10 minutes to Delta from Cedaredge—I'm impressed.

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Old 08-21-2008, 01:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purman View Post
So, if I make one of these stickers and put it on my car (not that I would) I might not get speeding tickets... ????

When we lived in NYC the cops never stopped at red lights, just put there lights on and drove through the intersection... Well I probably would too.... No one is perfect....
I don't know how it is now in this day in age of liability and lawsuits, but when I was a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer), we had the "authorization" to exceed posted limits, provide it was "within reason" and "in the execution of duties".

With all the square miles we had to cover in the county, with the officer head count we had, we all had to "speed" to cover ground during our shift. One could argue that this was unjust, while others could argue that the public would be outraged if an area of the county was not covered because the deputies were following speed limits and could not reach an area to patrol before the end of their shift....

Again, "within reason" and "execution of duties" was the key wording here.

I will say that there was one deputy (not me) who tore off the oil pan while speeding "excessively" while "executing" his patrol duties (not en-route to a call). He went over a hill so fast, came crashing down and tore the oil pan right off....

This same deputy was the only LEO I ever knew who received a speeding citation while on duty in a fully marked squad car from the state police. This resulted in a reprimand of the deputy, and written parameters were then issued with definitions of "within reason"....

In the example you state, I have done that in the "execution" of duties where I responded "Code 2", while en route to a call where an immediate threat to life or property was not present, but required that we get there quickly. Example would be a traffic stop where an officer asks for backup, but is suspicious of the situation and wants help to be present, "just in case", etc.

Also to note that if we were exceeding posted speed limits or traffic control devices (signs / lights), which resulted in an accident and/or injury, the officer is usually liable. We can only proceed thru intersections "with caution" only when clear, even with lights and/or sirens.

I must say, LEOs are usually the best or worst drivers, there usually is no inbetween.....
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