Ask a Cop – March 2012

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Illustration: Sean Hennefer

Dear Cop,
Within the last few months one of your “brethren” moved into my building. At first, when I saw the cop car parked in the lot I figured he was staking out the building—maybe there had been some sort of domestic violence issue or a bum hanging out near the elevators. But the car hasn’t left and it is parked in the lot every evening. Sometimes it feels okay to have a cop as a neighbor, but most of the time, when I pull into my parking lot, I get freaked out that I might be committing some sort of crime, or worse, that there has been a clerical error and I might get arrested for a speeding ticket that was paid off years ago, but never made it into their system.
If a cop is my neighbor, and he gets to drive his cop car home every day from work, could he potentially arrest me or someone else in my building, even if he is off-duty? Do things like this ever occur? Or are you just going to tell me to quit being so paranoid, put down the bong and chill the fuck out.
Neighbor of a Cop

That was me, neighbor! You should’ve introduced yourself.
Sweetie, please, don’t put the bong down. The remedy for you is MORE BONG, not less (You ever toked a purple pyramid?). I heard once that “Paranoia can destroy-ya!” But, I digress. Let’s start by me answering your questions:

1. Yes, the copper can arrest you, your friends or your bums, even if they’re off duty.

2. Yes, things like that happen to me all the time, especially since I live in an apartment complex with bums and wife beaters.

Everyone knows that cops make a shit load of money—you’ve seen my bling bling and bitchin’ BMW. So, why would a cop live in a piece-of-shit apartment complex that houses bums and wife beaters? Well, out of the goodness of my heart, duh. I want to live, breathe and mingle with the citizens I serve. What better way to do so than to worry all night about someone defacing my roller, just plain screwing with it, tagging graffiti on my front door, shitting in a bag on my doorstep and ringing the bell, etc. All cops love this, especially when it affects their kids.

Or, maybe the cop gets a break on his rent, and all he has to do is check the clubhouse doors and complex gates to make sure they’re locked. I do this even though I make a million-dollar salary—what a saint I am. The banging on my door in the middle of the night by beaten wives and disenfranchised bums I handle as a bonus YEAH!

Sorry, I apologize—no sarcasm, cops don’t take you to jail for unpaid traffic tickets. That’s what Highway Patrol troopers are for. I’m sorry, but I just got a raise for the first time in five years. I’m moving to that cool trailer in the park up the street that you’ve been eyeing. So, sorry for you, but I’m a movin’ on up to the East Side! No more domestics and bums for me.