I typed this up back on 12/01/2016 when I was laid off from work, and often drove to the Job Center to look for work and to walk indoor laps when it’s cold out. For some reason I never published it, I only saved it as a draft:
I got pulled over by the KPD this morning in Carol Beach, just after pulling away from the shoulder on 7th Avenue, on my way to the Job Center. Right away I noticed it wasn’t just one, but two squads, so I pulled to the shoulder again, thinking they were going to fly by me on a call, but they didn’t, they were actually pulling me over. I thought quickly about all the possible problems they could have noticed so quickly and nothing clicked. My license is fine, the car is registered, it’s running fine, and even all the bulbs were checked during my last oil change. The officer got out and stood behind my car at a distance, looking around inside my car through the rear window, right hand on the butt of his holstered gun. He said something, but my windows were up, so I couldn’t hear him. I rolled my window down and said “What was that??” He asked me to place both hands on the top of the steering wheel, so I did. Then he approached the driver’s side door and asked why I was parked on the shoulder back there (while still looking around inside me vehicle). I told him I was using my cell phone. He said “OK, that’s fine. Did you happen to see a man walking around in the area, possibly carrying a gun?” I said no, I hadn’t. He said they had a report of a suspicious person in the area. Then he said I was free to go, and thanked me for my cooperation.
I guess they probably thought that maybe I had picked up this suspicious person while I was pulled over, or had seen something. It was a totally justified traffic stop, but it stood to remind me of just how dangerous their jobs really are. I could have been carrying, or doing something illegal and been paranoid, or unstable. You just never know. I certainly don’t think I could ever do that job. I’m glad there are others who can though, and are ready, trained, and willing to protect the rest of us.