Sometimes you get a little taste of satisfaction...
Early morning, and almost the end of deep night shift. I'm monitoring the main intersection in town.
I stop a guy in a pickup.
"Sir, I'm Officer G. with the Generic Podunk Po-leece Department, and the reason you were stopped is that you failed to come to a complete stop at the stop sign there."
"Well, I think you're mistaken-- I believe that I stopped back there."
"No sir. I've been watching that intersection for half an hour, and haven't stopped anyone yet, before you. The others stopped, and you didn't. May I see your driver license and proof of financial responsibility, please?"
"Well, I thought that I had..." At this point, I, in a complete fit of Situational Awareness (read-- bored with his argument, looking elsewhere for a second while he blathers), observe a familiar Cadillac come to a complete stop wayyy behind the stop sign, wait 3 seconds, and then slowly motor through the intersection.
"Gotta go," I say, as I shove Mr. Hollywood Stop's license and insurance card back into his hands, and hop back into my car.
I fire up ALL the lights and wigwags, and quickly pass another car to get to all of about, oh... 4 feet off of the Caddy's rear bumper. I radio in the LP, knowing already who it is. It pulls off the road into a driveway, and I block it neatly in, checking out on traffic. I make a quick approach, with my hands clear, my flashlight illuminating the inside of the car, and my right elbow up.
"Good morning. I'm Officer G. with the Generic Podunk Police Department. Sir, the reason that you were stopped is that you have an inoperative tag lamp. May I see your driver license and proof of financial responsibility?"
He provides it.
"Thank you, Mr. S. Bag. You still live in HellHole, Texas?" He does. Or says he does.
"Okay. And who's this with you?"
"Well, ma'am, I'm pleased to meet you. What's your name?" She gives it.
"I'll be right back," I say, as I head back to my car.
I run both names through Dispatch. Hers is clear. His makes bells and whistles go off. Dispatch advises to use caution, because he is a Bad Guy. Not just considered such by nomination among the scientific community, but an honest-to-Gawd, convicted Bad Guy who has visited Index Crimes upon his fellow man.
In all my years on patrol, I've probably stopped 500 cars for no license plate light. Maybe more. I've written hundreds of written warnings for it. I've given quite a few verbal warnings for it. I've happened upon a few people who, due to warrants or intoxication, ended up going to jail pursuant to the stops initiated by that infraction. But I have NEVER, in my entire career as a cop, ever written a citation for "Inoperative Tag Lamp."
Well, there's a first time for everything, isn't there?
See, the first time I ever saw this particular car, I had noticed that his tag lamp was dark back then, too, and I had turned around to attempt to overtake him and inform him of that minor infraction of the Texas Transportation Code, to give him my usual warning. But alas, he did not see fit to stop to receive his warning. In fact, he accelerated to over 110 mph, through winding country roads at night, committing a felony to escape. He wanted to get away more than I wanted to get into a wreck to catch him, and I called off the pursuit.
Since he didn't want to stop to receive my warning, perhaps he would rather have something else. I finish writing, and approach the rear of the car. "Mr. Bag, can you step out, please?" He gets out.
"Sir, this is a citation for Inoperative Tag Lamp..." Blah blah. . . respond by X date at blah location, blah blah, sign here, blah blah not an admission of guilt, blah blah. "You're free to go." He takes his copy and turns on his heel.
"Oh, and S.?" He turns, looking suspicious. And annoyed.
"Thanks for stopping for me," I say. "This time."
"Can I go, now?"
"Sure. Catch you later."
And I will, too.