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Does you agency all you to help a stranded motorist?

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by akapennypincher, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. akapennypincher

    akapennypincher Glock-O-Holic

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    Was coming home the other day, and a guy need a BATTERY JUMP START, parked behind his car is on of Joe's Posse Members. So I stop, jump the guy, and he is on his way for a NEW BATTERY.

    I ask the MCSO Posse guy why he did not help, he say CAN NOT Jump a car in need too much liability????
     
  2. opskmallory

    opskmallory

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    We have jump packs that we can use, and a few of us have and use cables (myself included). We are discouraged form using the cables amidst concerns over using cables because it could potentially damage radio and electronics equipment. I try to not make a habit, but especially this time of year, I'd be inclined to use it rather than making someone wait in the cold for a tow truck or family/friend to come and do it.
     

  3. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    I would think there are few department who encourage jump starting cars. Heck 15yrs ago that was not allowed in one city I rode in. Something about the computers/radio/etc being possibly damaged OR if car owner claims any harm.

    Plus local towing/jump starting businesses get upset. Heck the locksmiths complained so they couldn't do unlocks. (to be honest some of the cars after mid 80s got rather hard to unlock without doing some damage) Esp for person who does not really care/look up new models.
    Couple yrs back (ok dozen plus) we had a lady who lost her lower radiator hose with kids in car 10pm. Older van. So the Officer pushed it with squad to local shop (that he had keys for) We put on the hose/new antifreeze and sent her on the way (well below zero) Small towns you can do that. He even called to the city she was going to and asked them to swing by her house and make sure she made it.

    I lost a upper hose (hired a shop to replace hoses rather then doing it myself) They put hose clamp on barb not hose..... North Dakota Deputy (by Hillsbourgh) (actually a friend of DakotaLawDog) stops. He not only has some antifreeze but he gets some more water to mix it with. Wouldn't take any money so I told him to buy some drinks for me. ;)
     
  4. razdog76

    razdog76 Heavy Mettle

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    I stop at every opportunity, and have a floor jack, four way, tire chocks, and some other hand tools.

    Even if you offer to make a phone call for the motorist, they appreciate it and it makes you look good to the public while you are hunting bad guys; I have found many wanted people that way.

    Although I can change a tire, or help with some other small problem, I cannot do anything the tow service people would do because that is what they get paid to do. And yes, my employer IS NOT going to pay for any batteries/electronics or locks that were fried or risk the cruiser either.

    Tools are great to have because every once in a while they are useful for the cruiser.:cool:
     
  5. blueiron

    blueiron

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    No.

    People will sue for the dumbest things and since most of us had zero training in formal automotive maintenance technology we were not allowed to repair vehicles.
     
  6. op2k

    op2k

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    A lot of guys in my department just tell stranded motorists to call a tow company, or "sorry ma'am, we're not allowed to jump your car/change your tire/etc.". I hate that attitude, and I always ask "What if some cop told said that to your mother or your wife?". They just don't get it. I take every opportunity to change tires for women and elderly folks and do an occcasional jump start even though it's frowned upon.
     
  7. JimBianchi

    JimBianchi Da Da CLM

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    In the winter in the Alaska interior we were required to render a much aid as necessary. We would push, pull, tow, jump, or dig someone out on a regular basis. (I made a few DUI arrests too because of the alcohol smell!)

    We would give rides to anyone walking after it was -20 or lower, if stranded. (A few hardy souls would always refuse the kindness, we assumed they had warrants, drugs or such.)

    I remember one guy broke down going to get firewood from his brothers house. We picked him up, took him to get some wood and took him home and helped unload the wood from our truck. It was a nice way to kill an hour.

    Small town departments are very family friendly.
     
  8. LilCop2002

    LilCop2002

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    It sounds like some of you have your hearts in the right place. It's nice to see that some of you, regardless of policy, use common sense at the risk of your own hind end.

    As a USAF Security Forces member, I couldn't jump people off or do small maintenance things on base. I did, whenever we weren't short manned, dropped my gear in CSC (Central Security Control AKA our dispatch center) and rendered what aid I could.

    Even now, I always try to stop and render aid when the situation allows. If I see someone with a flat in a decent area, I might stop. If there is a flat tire along a lonely stretch of interstate, I will double back if I can't stop immediately.

    Generosity goes a long way and it's been lost in this generation and world today.
     
  9. akapennypincher

    akapennypincher Glock-O-Holic

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    Thanks for the replies...
     
  10. Pinki

    Pinki Kiss My Glock CLM

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    While I think it is admirable for LEOs to stop and help stranded motorists, I think it should be the motorists' responsibility to have a service such as AAA to handle those situations. The better thing would be to wait there and make sure they are ok until the help arrives.
     
  11. 1time

    1time Lifetime Member

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    At least around my area, I would rather buy cables to jump someone rather than wait with them for the three hours AAA takes to get a truck out to them:whistling:
     
  12. Nafterclifen

    Nafterclifen

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    C'mon now, formal training? There is basic automotive information available all over the internet, for free! Why not read up on it and help a fellow citizen in need?

    If an elderly women was walking down the steps and you saw her struggling, are you not going to help her because you haven't received any formal training on physical assistance?
     
  13. OXCOPS

    OXCOPS

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    We couldn't do much of anything, but I would stop as often as I could. I especially tried to stop on the highways for no other reason that using my car as a shield while someone changed a tire, etc.

    In some cases, if the shift was slow enough, we could give someone a ride up the street to a safe location to wait for family, etc. Our tows were usually on scene in 10 minutes, so we usually just waited at the car.

    Even though I am out of LE these days, I still try to stop if I see someone in urgent need. Just a few weeks ago, we got hit with a nice little blizzard. Slide offs and accidents were a dime a dozen. I saw an older lady standing by her car that had slid off the highway. She was stuck and her cell phone died. I let her sit in my truck to warm up and use my phone to call AAA. DPS and the SO stopped by to check for injuries, but couldn't stay due to other accidents. Tow truck ETA was 90 minutes. So, I offered her a ride to the HUGE truck stop a couple miles up the road, where she could wait indoors.
     
  14. Officer X

    Officer X

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    Does you agency all you to help a stranded motorist?:dunno:

    As far as jumping a battery, no. Liability reasons.

    The chief was also looking into getting our new patrol cars without pushbars in the front. We've had at least two stranded motorists that I'm aware of consent to have their cars pushed out of the road to a safe area to wait for their own tow and then put in claims to the town to pay for bumper damage. No way they're going to let us use jumper cables.
     
  15. OXCOPS

    OXCOPS

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    Cause thats not how the legal system works. When a cop gets sued, they want to see documented training records, etc. Saying, "I read about it one on the internet" would be the equivalent to defending yourself against botched traffic stop based on what you saw on COPS.

    Besides, cops are people. People make mistakes. We used to offer lock out services. Had one officer that had done it for years. Even drove a tow truck for a buddy as a second job. He went to unlock a newer car one day and the tool broke off inside the door. It damaged the window motor when the driver tried to lower the window for some reason. Guess who got stuck with the bill for that one? The city.

    People will try to find fault in anything you do because the city has deep pockets and is fairly quick to pay out on lawsuit settlements.
     
  16. LilCop2002

    LilCop2002

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    It should be the motorists' responsibility to get their own assistance. It sucks that people don't have a service to come help them, but some people don't realize that some plans are super cheap. Hell, through USAA, I pay $12/year for my Roadside Service per vehicle.

    I don't think it should be forced upon an officer to stop nor to sit there and wait, but if they have the time and the kindness to do it, I would appreciate it.

    Hell, I sent an email to a LEO's supervisor because of his demeanor and willingness to help when he stopped to help me change a friend's tire just north of San Antonio, TX.

    Sometimes it does help to be able to just get them back on the road. Thankfully, USAA has only taken up to an hour to get someone to me no matter where I've been. (I don't break down often but when I do breakdown, I usually do it big.)
     
  17. CAcop

    CAcop

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    The only thing we do is block traffic and call for a tow. I used to push people out of the way with my push bumpers but I know what would happen if I did and the motorist claimed damage. We do not even have jumper cables in the car to jump other squad cars. We don't have spre tires, we have a 24 hr tire service for flats for our cars.

    To be honest most of the time we are too busy to even stop to help. If we did we would never get anything done or people would wait even longer for us for service. The city would have to hire at lest 25% more officers if not close to 50% more to give people the level of service that includes "AAA with a badge" service. They don't want to spend the money and so they don't get that service.

    All of you who look down on agencies or officers who don't offer roadside assistance need to take a look at the workload first before you point fingers and look down your noses.
     
  18. blueiron

    blueiron

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    You obviously have never worked in government and you know nothing of my employer.

    We could do nothing significant without being certified on a piece of equipment. A firearm, a radar unit, a motorcycle, an ATV, etc. We didn't get the training by sitting around and looking at their internet either. We had to attend formal classes and undergo testing.

    We were not ASE certified in anything and with the proliferation of computer controlled vehicles, drive by wire systems, $2,000 wheels, and other expensive auto components; the brass said no more after an officer fried a Mercedes Benz CLK doing a jumpstart incorrectly. He got two days off without pay for that one.

    Cars today are no longer your granddad's 1952 Ford truck.

    Your analogy is flawed as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  19. LilCop2002

    LilCop2002

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    I hope that none of my posts came across as though I look down my nose at those officers and agencies who don't offer assistance. I don't expect it in the slightest bit nor does anyone that I know. We do, however, sincerely appreciate it when you all have the time to stop and do stop.
     
  20. razdog76

    razdog76 Heavy Mettle

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    Once I make contact, nobody can refuse... I "have to" get their info for the CR. I ask their name, and then casually ask for ID, so I can see if there was some BS.:supergrin:

    It isn't what you do it is how you do it.

    In addition, people cannot always be sure where the car is going to stop, and while policy prohibits me from using my car to push them off of the roadway unless it was an emergency I have no problem pushing it myself off of the roadway.

    Why sit with somebody for a tow service to change a tire, when I have all of the stuff for them to do it, or if they are unable I can do it start to finish in less than 13 minutes?

    In addition to clearing the call more efficiently, I made a total stranger happy... atta boy letters come in handy sometimes.