CA Police Decoy is All Kinds of Wrong

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
ca police decoy is all kinds of wrong

Let's start with the basics. It's not really a good idea to park a dummy cop– I mean a REAL dummy cop– in a genuine police car to scare motorists into slowing down. It may be effective, but once motorists realize the cop isn't real two things will happen. First, they'll be pissed off at being "fooled"– which does nothing for respect for the law. Second, they'll begin thinking real cops may be dummies (REAL dummies), and speed past. Looking closer at this story [via the San Mateo Daily News], it gets worse and worserer. In this case, the cops are allowing a civilian named Anna Kuhre to position the inflatable cop. Training schmaining. What about road safety? And get this: they allow Kuhre to pick-up the squad car from the station and drive it to its new location. Background check my ass. Why in the world would you risk unauthorized use of a police car? And again, what's the impact on safety of the general public thinking that cop cars are being driven by neighborhood busy-bodies? What if a criminal caps her ass? Oh wait, did I mention that Kurhe is the first member of a planned Neighborhood Traffic Corps, complete with radar guns (will the resulting "warnings" go to insurance companies?). Hey! Here's an idea: let the police do the policing. And if you really want to make a stink about all this, it's clearly a case of racial discrimination! [thanks to David Holzman for the tip]

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  • ZoomZoom ZoomZoom on Jul 29, 2008
    8rings : Driving down 460 in VA a few years ago I pass a Trooper in the median and notice that he is slumped over the steering wheel. After debating with my conscience, I turn around, stop, walk up to the car and knock on the window, thinking that he is having a medical problem I am about to call 911, then I realize it is a dummy…. At least they could sit them upright!! Also a point to make. What if, by your good Samaritanism, you were to be struck and killed by another motorist, or carjacked, or shot at? After all, who knows the neighborhood? Could your wife sue the britches off of the city or county? In this case, I would hope she'd at least try to...

  • Scorched Earth Scorched Earth on Jul 29, 2008

    ZoomZoom: Robert, I’m with you 100%. I think this may even be illegal/unconstitutional. The cops should do the policing. What part of the constitution does this not uphold? Or what law? I agree with all the points Dynamic88 laid's a fairly clever program for understaffed/over-cruiser-ed precints. The only substantial worry here is that the legitimacy of roadside cruisers will fade, but as long as there is a significant concentration of manned roadside cruisers that will NOT happen.

  • Johnny ro Johnny ro on Jul 29, 2008

    They do this all over Mass but they use live cops as dummies, getting paid overtime plus on off duty details. Donuts, cell phone, newspaper, the whole works, including newspaper over tipped back face while napping. Or, cop swaaying back and forth on feet peering down into construction site,blabbing with workers. In Mass, people do not seem to care about taxes.

  • Capeplates Capeplates on Jul 30, 2008

    They tried a similar scheme in the Uk with dummy cut out police cars place at strategic, highly visible points on motorways. They didn't succeed - the dummies were stolen