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On dealing with the police, and surveying

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Nate The Surveyor
(@nate-the-surveyor)
5,000+ posts Member

I have been doing a bit of office work. I often put "Lehto's Law" on in the background, while I work. (It's a YouTube attorney, with interesting stuff).

I feel I should give him credit, for this that I learned. The Police. 

When you are working in an area, Atv's, GPS base, truck, etc, and you see any cops, go talk with them. Explain your presence. Explain your activity. Client name. 

The cops have a general responsibility to "keep the peace". Help them do it.

Imagine the little old hostile lady, calls the police on you. She is nosey, suspicious, and has time, and does not see so good. Complains about "hoodlums on motorcycles".

Now, imagine you went by the police station, gave them a brief of your survey area, activities, scope, and time. Now the 'ole lady calls the sheriff". Sheriff says: "it's ok Mrs Burnley, I know about them, they are surveyors. You helped him handle Mrs Burnley. 

Cops don't like to be made into idiots. Help them. They will appreciate it. And you will have less trouble.

Recently, I saw a cop, near my work area. I pulled up, lowered my window, and gave him my brief. He appreciated it. If I needed him to come turn on his lights, for a few minutes, so I could get a shot in the intersection, he'd do it.

Make the cops your friends and allies. Don't leave them out. They appreciate being included. And being in the know, instead of "left in the dark". Help them do their job. The constitution is great. But making friends out of the cops is better.

Nate

Quote
Topic starter Posted : September 6, 2021 5:20 am
jflamm, Jp7191, Mark O and 11 people liked
paden cash
(@paden-cash)
10,000+ posts Supporter

I've always considered surveyors as "professional trespassers".  Especially in today's times we walk a fine line.  An approaching truck might mean a friendly conversation...or it might mean someone is going to lower a barrel at you.  Around here the rural county deputies keep a pretty good eye on things in a professional manner.  After all these years they all pretty much know my truck and my face.  I have no problem with them.

LEO's in populated areas are usually less familiar and understanding.  Every once in a while I get visited during a pin finding mission down some back alley.  Usually a quick explanation does the trick.  I try to be quick and simplistic in an effort to not offend anyone's comprehension level...but it does happens occasionally inadvertently...

If that does happen all I can say is "bless their hearts"....  😉 

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Posted : September 6, 2021 8:13 am
holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

Will never forget the first time a city cop rolled up to chat with me.  Without pointing, he informed me that the little old lady across the street had become quite concerned.  He was used to it.  She became quite concerned on a regular basis.

The last time a city cop rolled up I was asking him to keep the lunatic away from me.  Again, calls to that fellow's neighborhood were quite common.  I didn't call him, my client did.

This week I will be invading the "zone" where the client's neighbor is well-known by the city cops.  She wreaks havoc on a regular basis.  My presence will probably involve inviting an officer to stop by to keep her detained while I set my bar and then drive a steel post about three feet into the ground as a guard stake.  I know she is a widow, but, I don't know her age other than she has lived in the house for about 20 years.  Recently, she was caught on camera gathering every bit of trash from the street gutter for some distance, then flinging it into the front yard of my client.

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Posted : September 6, 2021 8:33 am

paden cash
(@paden-cash)
10,000+ posts Supporter

Neighborhood busy bodies are the spice of life sometimes. 

I was measuring up a vacant residence once.  While I was in between the houses a voice spoke from a window next door, "I've called the police".  I said nothing and kept sketching in the FB.  She finally asked, "What are you doing?"

I told her since the house was vacant I was measuring it to see if it would fit in the back of my truck.  She called me a smart-ass.  As always I thanked her for the compliment.

The police just did a drive-by and no doubt saw the name on the truck and the equipment.  I'm pretty sure they talked with the busy body often.

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Posted : September 6, 2021 8:53 am
Glenn Breysacher, FL/GA, 350RocketMike and 4 people liked
Skeeter1996
(@skeeter1996)
1,000+ posts Member

I was pulled up in a ditch just about to get out and look for a property pin. Two cars with the County's finest slide in the ditch. One in front of me and one behind me. The GPS was sitting on the hood of the truck. The Officer in front got out and started walking up to my window. I imagine his partner behind me had his gun pointed at my head. The Officer at my window said "We had a report of a drunk driver". I said "I probably am driving like I'm drink, but I won't be drunk till 7 o'clock". He told me to have a nice day, got in his car and he and his backup drove off. That wasy excitement for that job

 

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Posted : September 6, 2021 10:28 am
Brad Ott liked
holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

Made a call to the city cops once to ask about having someone come out to watch me finish my job as the neighbor next door was a raving lunatic that kept yelling at and threatening me.  I learned he was a big blowhard who had never touched anyone regardless of his intimidating actions.  So, I went along merrily ignoring him.  I did get his attention when I reached in the vehicle and pulled out a short-handled, single-bit axe that was great for driving bars.  He retreated to his front porch rather quickly, but never shut up.  He didn't even own the adjoining land as he was a renter.

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Posted : September 6, 2021 11:43 am

paden cash
(@paden-cash)
10,000+ posts Supporter

If I'm busy and don't notice the local constable roll up on me, I'm generally an amicable fella.   Sometimes I catch them sneaking around from a far hill or driving by slowly to nab a tag number.  That makes me playful.

"Mornin' officer." (no reply)

"What are you doing?"  ...wait for it..(my favorite reply)...

"Oh not much.  What are you doin' ?"

Sometimes I tell them I'm doing the same thing they're doing...working.   Why this provokes an angered response for some officers is beyond me.  More than once I've mentioned they could work on their people skills a little.  I realize this never helps the situation but it sure makes me feel happy.  I did tell one deputy he needed to get more fiber in his diet....

 

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Posted : September 6, 2021 12:05 pm
FL/GA, Glenn Breysacher, James Vianna and 1 people liked
holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

@paden-cash

Had a county mountie roll up once and he was assuming I was the escapee they were looking for.  I must have knocked the surveyor in the head so I could pretend to be him, with no helper or vehicle in sight.  My helper had just driven off to give me a shot a full mile distant, perpendicularly to the view of the mountie.  That was a rather tense conversation for a bit. 

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Posted : September 6, 2021 12:19 pm
paden cash
(@paden-cash)
10,000+ posts Supporter
Posted by: @holy-cow

@paden-cash

...That was a rather tense conversation for a bit. 

A few years ago my dog woke me up about 3AM and needed to go out.  We went out the front door because the light was better. 

I'm standing in the yard in my jammies and slippers while the dog is dropping a deuce and suddenly two patrol cars come from opposite directions.  The block the street on either side of my place, jump out and start yelling at me to get my hands up.  The dog continued with her business.

Long story short there was a prowler in the 'hood.  I had stepped out in the yard at a most inopportune time.

The cops biggest problem was that I had no ID on me.  I asked them if either one of them carried ID in their jammies.  I was saved when another officer spied the culprit a block over hopping a fence.  With no apology the two were off and gone in a heart beat. 

I had no idea that watching your dog dump in your own yard with no ID was such a serious infraction.

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Posted : September 6, 2021 1:41 pm
Stephen Ward, FL/GA, RADAR and 3 people liked

Bill93
(@bill93)
5,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @paden-cash

Any encounter with the law is potentially serious, especially if you didn't call them in.  There are good cops, but generally the profession doesn't attract the nicest and gentlest folk.

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Posted : September 6, 2021 1:59 pm
MightyMoe
(@mightymoe)
5,000+ posts Supporter

We do a lot of location work on the busy streets between 2 and 6 am. Tell the police you are there and they usually park and hang out as we work. 

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Posted : September 6, 2021 3:00 pm
holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

@paden-cash 

Over 20 years ago we were making slow progress on finding some existing survey bars in a typical older part of a city with a population around 7000.  We were tracking the tape and looking about every so far per the plat from about 1890.  Suddenly, we saw several deputies, a city cop, a highway patrol officer and the county process server all quietly encircle a house across the street.  I think there were a couple more in the alley.  We decided it might be safer to be somewhere else.  Learned later from the sheriff they were merely attempting to serve a warrant on a really bad dude who was skilled at avoiding them.  It turned out he was not there although 'someone' had reported seeing him there earlier.

Had he been there, it probably would have been rather noisy for awhile.  We were looking for some big trees to get behind, just in case.

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Posted : September 6, 2021 3:13 pm

Richard Imrie
(@richard-imrie)
1,000+ posts Member

Bearing in mind that this is a different world down here, a couple of years ago I was up in the interior having a walk with the dogs and while I was away the passenger door window was smashed and things stolen out of the ute - a hunting day-pack, a pair of gaiters, and a dash cam. The tool of smashing was left in the wagon, it was a nearly spherical boulder about 3" in diameter. I reported it to the Police and to cut a long story short, after about 4 hours of statements and taking them to the site, I concluded that I was wasting my time. However, as I left, one of the CID called me back and asked if he could have the rock. Me thinking they were going to do some CSI trickery on it, I gladly gave it to them. Never heard a word after that.

However, a couple of weeks later, a gas station up the road was raided by half a dozen assailants, arriving in a vehicle, and carrying machetes. The Police had been tipped off and arrived just after the robbers had entered the store. The whole thing was captured on CCTV, which was almost instantaneously shared on social media, and one of the local staff showed me it on their smartphone. Down here the Police are not armed, and when they arrived at the robbery, 6 of them burst out of the cop car (a ute) and started hurling stuff at the robbers vehicle, smashing the windows, and I leapt up and screamed "hey, that's my f.....g my rock!".

ReplyQuote
Posted : September 6, 2021 4:58 pm
FL/GA, Glenn Breysacher, Peter Lothian and 5 people liked
350RocketMike
(@350rocketmike)
200+ posts Member
Posted by: @nate-the-surveyor

I have been doing a bit of office work. I often put "Lehto's Law" on in the background, while I work. (It's a YouTube attorney, with interesting stuff).

I feel I should give him credit, for this that I learned. The Police. 

When you are working in an area, Atv's, GPS base, truck, etc, and you see any cops, go talk with them. Explain your presence. Explain your activity. Client name. 

The cops have a general responsibility to "keep the peace". Help them do it.

Imagine the little old hostile lady, calls the police on you. She is nosey, suspicious, and has time, and does not see so good. Complains about "hoodlums on motorcycles".

Now, imagine you went by the police station, gave them a brief of your survey area, activities, scope, and time. Now the 'ole lady calls the sheriff". Sheriff says: "it's ok Mrs Burnley, I know about them, they are surveyors. You helped him handle Mrs Burnley. 

Cops don't like to be made into idiots. Help them. They will appreciate it. And you will have less trouble.

Recently, I saw a cop, near my work area. I pulled up, lowered my window, and gave him my brief. He appreciated it. If I needed him to come turn on his lights, for a few minutes, so I could get a shot in the intersection, he'd do it.

Make the cops your friends and allies. Don't leave them out. They appreciate being included. And being in the know, instead of "left in the dark". Help them do their job. The constitution is great. But making friends out of the cops is better.

Nate

I've never had to involve police in my job, but I definitely agree with these statements. If I saw them nearby and suspected someone might give me a hard time I would likely go tell them what was going on. 

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Posted : September 6, 2021 5:11 pm
paden cash
(@paden-cash)
10,000+ posts Supporter
Posted by: @bill93
Posted by: @paden-cash

Any encounter with the law is potentially serious...

An encounter with police should NEVER be potentially serious.  The populous is supposed to be the protected.  Reacting to a law enforcement officer with fear has been fatal for a good number of innocent citizens. 

The use of deadly force because of mistrust is a complete failure of the entire system.    

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Posted : September 6, 2021 8:39 pm
Lurker, Stephen Ward, FL/GA and 1 people liked

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