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  #131  
Unread 04-16-2017, 03:34 PM
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Default The Day 0255 Almost Died

Mac88chp posted some photos of wrecked SSP 0391 today. Looking at those photos reminded me of a summer evening in Los Banos when 0255 (and me along with it) almost met our end by traffic collision.

It was evening on Interstate 5, about two hours left until sunset, traffic was light, when I observed a motorcycle stopped on the shoulder ahead. As I pulled in behind I noticed the rider had some tools and was working on it. I exited and asked if he needed any assistance; I'd be happy to call for a tow or give him a ride into town (about 25 miles) if that would help. He declined, stating that he had the tools and was sure he could fix it and would be on his way soon.

I returned to 0255 and seat belted in, then was making an entry into my activity log when I looked up into the rear-view mirror and observed a vehicle partially in the right lane approaching, at freeway speed, that had drifted about 3/4 of the way onto the shoulder. The driver was looking to the right and down, was distracted, and apparently had his left hand on the steering wheel so when he turned and looked to the right it caused the wheel to steer slightly to the right and now the vehicle was coming directly at us at freeway speed. I knew that the small, lightweight Mustang did not have enough size and mass to protect me from such an impact. I knew that when it hit it was going to be all over; we were likely both finished. As the errant vehicle approached, I had only enough time to say "Oh, shit!"... and then, miraculously, at the last possible moment in time the driver looked up and saw what was about to happen. I'll never forget the look of surprise and terror on his face as he yanked the steering wheel to the left. The vehicle fishtailed, with the rear end swerving toward us, but the change in direction was just enough so that it didn't hit 0255. The driver overcorrected to the right and his vehicle again went almost sideways, in the other direction. After a few more swerves he got it under control again. I composed myself and immediately chased it down and made a stop. I needed to know why this happened; perhaps this driver was impaired.

He pulled over immediately. As I made contact, the driver was visibly shaking. Frankly, I don't know who was more traumatized; me or him. I said, "We both know what happened back there. Why?" He stammered and began apologizing profusely, stating he had dropped something onto the floor on the right side and was leaning over to pick it up and didn't realize his vehicle had drifted. He was obviously not intoxicated, and his documents checked out, so I told him I didn't think he needed a lecture on paying attention and avoiding distractions; the point had already been made. He then went on his way.

I walked back to 0255, waiting patiently as always, and I thought again about how close we had come. 0255 would have been destroyed, and if I hadn't been killed I probably would wish afterwards I had been. Even if I survived it would have been the end of my career and just about everything else. I needed a large coffee after that so we headed North to the Santa Nella truck stop, contemplating the meaning of life the whole way.
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  #132  
Unread 04-16-2017, 08:25 PM
chp1982 chp1982 is offline
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Close call! I have yet to hear of an officer being seriously injured in an '82. I am waiting on the newspaper article about the 0391 crash to find out what exactly happened.
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  #133  
Unread 04-17-2017, 09:31 AM
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Yikes! I'm glad the driver was able to react in time.
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To everyone out there, wherever you are. Remember, the light at the end of the tunnel may be the police chasing you down in their own Mustang!
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  #134  
Unread 04-17-2017, 09:29 PM
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Yikes, glad you dodged that bullet. I would have also needed a change of undershorts afterwards!
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  #135  
Unread 04-17-2017, 10:05 PM
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That was by far the closest I ever came to being killed by traffic. There were other potential times, but I was out of the vehicle and could see it coming and was able to get out of the way.

CHP trains hard and always emphasizes to be aware of traffic. That's the main reason for the passenger-side approach on freeway car stops.

That evening in Los Banos there was absolutely nothing I could do. I was not exaggerating when I said in the story that I thought it was all over, we were done.
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  #136  
Unread 04-20-2017, 05:07 PM
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Very scary!
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1992 Michigan State Police SSP Mustang #5114
1993 Missouri State Highway Patrol SSP Mustang P641
1993 Missouri State Highway Patrol SSP Mustang P993

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  #137  
Unread 04-30-2017, 05:11 PM
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Default The Jerk (or Our One and Only Citizen Complaint)

I took 0327 out for a drive today to shake off the rust and the experience of being behind the wheel of an 82 SSP again brought back many memories, including the time 0255 and I stopped a speeder who attempted to assault me, later filed a complaint, and ultimately was thwarted by state-of-the-art technology that was way ahead of its time in light of the body camera debates and deployments we are seeing today. How’s that for an intro?
It was just after noon, a sunny day, 0255 and I were working on the East side of the Los Banos area, rolling Westbound on State Route 152 about 20 miles East of Los Banos, when we observed a high roller pass by heading Eastbound. A “high roller” is a speeder moving greatly in excess of the speed limit; there is no exact definition but 30-40 mph or more is about right.
We accelerated to the next cross road and made a U turn, then went after him. He apparently had not seen us as he passed by because he continued at high speed; I had to peg 0255 at the top end (~117 mph) to overtake the vehicle and it still took 4 or 5 miles. I had only a visual estimate but between 90 and 95 was about right. He slowed and took the exit ramp to another State highway and I was on him; made the stop on a wide gravel shoulder area and walked up to make contact on the driver’s side.
The driver was an older, very large (heavy) man. It was strange; instead of just rolling the window down he opened the driver’s door about halfway and turned to face me as I approached. My cheerful “Good Afternoon” was answered with a string of obscenities: What is my problem, why the hell am I stopping him, etc., ad nauseum. I immediately reached down to my belt and turned on my microcassete tape recorder, state-of-the-art technology at the time, to capture the audio of this event. I let him run his mouth until he seemed to be temporarily finished, then asked for and got his registration and license. I walked back to 0255 and wrote out the citation. I returned and, standing in the open V of the door, handed it to him. A few more curses; I explained to him that he did have to sign the cite, if he wanted to contest it he could do so in court. To my surprise he did sign. I was thinking this was too easy, but then things took a turn for the worse. He pointed to some open space in the body of the citation and said “I’m going to write right here that you’re a goddammed liar!” I told him that the citation was an official court document and that he could not do that. He replied “Oh, yes I am!” I said “No, you’re not!” and reached down to remove the cite book and my pen out of his hands. He held on to them and a brief struggle ensued. I yanked them free and stepped back. Enraged, he shouted another string of obscenities as he turned even more in my direction and attempted to kick me with his right leg, coming across the front of his body and past his left leg. It was ridiculous, he was slow, and I simply stepped out of the way and watched as his foot flailed in the air.
Technically, he had assaulted me, and I could have arrested him. But he simply wasn’t worth it. If I arrested him I’d have to wrestle with him and he’d probably have a heart attack then I’d have to do CPR or explain why I didn’t. I had the signed cite. I tore off his copy of the citation, dropped it into his lap, and walked back to 0255. I could hear him shouting all the way back to 0255.
I didn’t think anything more about it until about 3 weeks later; my Sergeant told me “we needed to talk”. “Mr. Smith”, it seemed (the name is changed to protect the guilty) had come into the office and filed a citizens complaint against me. This was the high-roller from a few weeks back. Mr. Smith had already provided his version of the narrative: He was minding his own business, driving at the speed limit, when for no reason I stopped him. To make matters worse, when he protested that he had done nothing wrong and I gave him the ticket anyway, I physically assaulted him, then threatened him.
I told the Sergeant my side, then produced the audio tape of the incident. I had captured the entire event. He took the tape and said he’d get back to me.
A few days later the Sergeant gave me back the tape. He said he had listened to it carefully, then contacted Mr. Smith and asked him to come back in. At that meeting he asked Mr. Smith to go over his version again, then asked some questions. Mr. Smith, apparently emboldened and thinking he had me on the ropes, laid the BS on even thicker. When he was finished it almost sounded as though for no reason I had practically beaten and left him for dead along the roadway. The Sergeant played the tape for Mr. Smith’s benefit. Mr. Smith’s normally-red face turned ashen. Then, as the Sgt. told me, he essentially threw Smith out of the office. I never heard anything about it again, and the complaint was classified “Unfounded” which is CHP’s way of saying it was BS. But I was sure glad I had that microcassette recorder. It saved me a lot of trouble. In today’s society body cams are essential imo.
That was the one and only citizen complaint I ever received in my 5 years with CHP.
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  #138  
Unread 05-04-2017, 06:26 PM
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Holy cow! It's great you had that "technology"! Love the stories.
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1992 Michigan State Police SSP Mustang #5114
1993 Missouri State Highway Patrol SSP Mustang P641
1993 Missouri State Highway Patrol SSP Mustang P993

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  #139  
Unread 05-04-2017, 07:19 PM
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Yes, it was a glimpse into the future and as primitive as it was comparison to today, it did its job and saved me that time.

But there was at least one other technology in use, at least experimental, way before that. I was looking at the website CHP Radio Systems and was impressed by the CHP's experimental "dash cam" from the late 1930's shown in the pic below. I applaud their willingness to apply new technology, but no wonder this never saw deployment.

I could just imagine stopping the high roller, then telling him "Hold on, I gotta go start the dash cam".

Then knowing that I have a limited amount of cam time, perhaps telling him "Hurry up and get all of your cursing done because we're about out of film" (assuming it had audio). Or even "If you're going to do anything crazy, like try to kick me, could you hurry up? There's only 90 seconds of film left!" LOL
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Movie01.jpg (100.9 KB, 24 views)
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  #140  
Unread 05-05-2017, 08:11 AM
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Unmrkd Unmrkd is offline
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Smile Time Travel

That was quite an innovation for that time. Looking at all the interior - the "Safety" features we enjoy just were not there. Can you imagine a roll over with no belts or bags??? WOW!

I do like that uniform and man oh man what a hat.
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'89 FHP Unit # 435 (Deceased)
'89 FHP Unit # 1526 Troop H (Madison)SOLD 12/3/13
'89 SCHP Marked Unit # 2-12-80 SOLD 6/21/15
'88 SCHP Unmarked Unit # 2-12-23 SOLD 9/3/12
'90 MSHP Marked Unit # P-162 Plate # 642-HP SOLD 12/17/11
'88 MSHP Marked Unit # P-162 Plate # 642
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