10 Things I’ve Learned from Live PD

10. Never tell the cop you had “just 2”: The police deal with drunk people all the time, and I’m pretty sure they know what an inebriated person looks/feels/sounds/smells like (I don’t think they taste them…). I’d say about 80% of the situations on Live PD are drunk people, and when the police officer asks how many they’ve had tonight, every single one of them says they had, “Just 2”. Don’t say that, because it’s an automatic tip off that you should not be driving/riding your bike/dancing in the middle of the street, or whatever you are doing.

(and, on that note, apparently everyone who gets stopped in these situations is also just driving around the corner to their grandparent/ex wife/friend’s house, so they were actually REALLY close when they got pulled over)

9. What a “Sovereign Citizen” is: A sovereign citizen is an anti-government extremist who believes he/she is exempt from the laws of the United States. Therefore, they believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments, or law enforcement. On Live PD, the Sovereign Citizens are usually driving around in unregistered vehicles/ATV’s with skull and crossbones on the grill/bikes and other equipment rigged around the vehicle.

….I didn’t even know this group of people existed, nor did I realize there were tent communities of homeless people in Florida that have created their own governing body and laws…

8. If you have an expired license plate, you are probably carrying meth: My personal philosophy is that the roads are a gift and privilege; although a portion of my tax dollars do go to the roads, I did not personally lay down the tar nor do I personally work on the up keep (and, I always have the option to walk or horse and buggy it if I don’t like the laws of the road). So, when I don’t follow the laws of the road (like speeding, or having an expired license plate), then I shouldn’t be too surprised or defensive when I get pulled over. It is when I try to argue with the cop, or there is something else fishy, that it ends poorly for me. And, according to Live PD, it seems that anyone who is driving with an expired license plate must be carrying meth.

7. Everyone is just “borrowing a car”: When the car is pulled over for the expired license plate, and the police search the car, it’s always a surprise to the driver when the officer finds drug paraphernalia/weapons/ammunition, etc. Apparently the driver of the car just borrowed it from a friend, and had absolutely NO knowledge of those illegal things being in the trunk/glove compartment/under the driver’s seat. Of course, they end up going to jail anyways, and then the attorneys will work out the logistics of who the contraband actually belongs to, but apparently no one ever knows where it came from.

6. It would not be fun to be chased down by a police dog: Well, the first lesson I’ve learned in this is that you should never run from the cops; you always seem to be caught somehow. Last weekend, there was a routine traffic stop, and the passenger jumped out of the car and started running (which automatically tips off to the police that he is doing something he should not be doing). To the viewers, the cop said, “It’s usually difficult to find someone who is traveling on foot, unless they are dumb enough to be walking in the middle of the street”. Lo and behold, he turns the corner, and the passenger is walking right there. He takes off, and eventually, the police send the police dog after him. Now, mind you, these are dogs that are trained every day to stop criminals in their actions, and when the dog finally finds the guy and attacks him, well, that just doesn’t seem like it will look pretty tomorrow…

5. If you think someone is suffering a drug overdose, rub the sternum to check for consciousness: According to my EMT friend, it used to be that you would just poke their eyeballs to check for consciousness (for obvious reasons, that isn’t the standard procedure anymore). So instead, if you need to check for consciousness, you can just grate your knuckles over their sternum to check for a reaction. If they pop up, you are in luck; if they don’t pop up, it might be time to find a Narcan kit…

(and, if you are in this situation, you need to be completely honest; the police want to save your life, and if you don’t give honest information, then they might stick you with something that is not going to be helpful).

4. You never actually know what your neighbors are up to: Or, even your own children for that matter–people live secret lives and are very good at covering up their illegal activity. In one episode of Live PD, the police showed up to arrest a 21 year old for sexual exploitation of a minor and his mom (supposedly) was dumbfounded–she had NO idea what he was doing on his computer in her basement (although he willingly allowed himself to get arrested, so he very well knew what was going on). People are always surprised when they find out their neighbors are part of a gang, or were cooking meth, or have seven wives hiding in the back room. When you think about it, our interaction with other people (our neighbors, our co-workers, etc.) can be very limited, so it is very easy for them to hide their secret lives (although, according to Live PD, your interactions with you EX-es are VERY ample and involved–you know EVERYTHING that that situation).

3. When you are engaging in illegal activity, make sure that you are wearing clothes and shoes for when you go to jail: How many people get carted off to jail on Live PD in their basketball shorts that are three sizes too big and no shoes? Or, woman who get handcuffed while in their bra and t-shirt that apparently a moth had a fest on? I’ve personally never been to jail before, but I can’t imagine it’s a very warm, cozy, welcoming place; I can’t imagine being held in that jail cell in that attire. So, if you are engaging in suspicious activity, and you think there is a possibility that you might go to jail tonight, it might be wise to at least be wearing some jail appropriate clothes.

2. If you cooperate, things will likely end better for you: It is when you don’t cooperate, refuse to get out of your car, wave your cellphone around on Facebook LIVE to broadcast to your homies and scream at the police that things don’t end well for you. Not only have you agitated the cop, but you have created a longer list of potential charges, AND extended the time all of this takes. Let’s say you get pulled over for a simple traffic infraction, like not stopping at a stop sign. The cop comes to your window, you compliantly give your information over, they check for warrants, write you a ticket, and send you on your way; this maybe takes 5 minutes. Now, in the other scenario, let’s say you get pulled over, start causing a ruckus, refuse to give your information, the police officer has to call for backups, they have to physically remove you from your car, you get sent to jail, probably don’t reach your original destination that day–now you have created a situation for yourself and extended the minor traffic infraction WAY longer than it needed to be.

1. Police officers have difficult jobs: I think one of the missions of Live PD is to showcase what the job is actually like–police officers have to deal with some really unique, dangerous, and contentious situations, everywhere from delivering arrest warrants to potential gang members to busting meth operations to custody and domestic dispute battles to helping a bachelorette party safely bicycle across the street to a bar to giving a stranded girl $5 for gas. They must remain calm but vigilant, they must not only play the part of the law enforcer, but also that of a counselor, and do it all with a straight face. We hear so many stories, bashing police officers (which, not to say that doesn’t happen), but if anything, Live PD has made me appreciate the role they play in our community. They’ve done some really compassionate and altruistic things (like the old lady last week who was drunk grocery shopping–rather than giving her a DUI, they arrested her for public intoxication, because they knew that was a less devastating charge, or reminding the college kids to keep their blinds closed if they are going to be engaging in underage activities). Everyday, they must show up to work and wonder what kind of exciting situation they will be walking into…

(Featured Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRK8D5R–iY)
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