Tonight was a first for me...pulled over about an hour ago by a Florida County Sheriff.
The wife and I were coming home from a small staff party and I was crusing on a two-lane road, and probably doing 15 over the limit. I know the road and there were no headlights in either direction. I'm very careful about watching ahead and my mirrors.
I had the radar dectector on...you know, those contraptions that let you know that you may be getting a ticket?
Well, as I was cruising along, I notice some headlights way, way behind me...just two little dots in the dark. I also see that they are quickly gaining on my position, so I back off and the lights had to still be 3/4 - 1 mile behind me...but they were quickly gaining. When I could actually see the headlights REALLY gaining, I was at the posted limit, but one can never be sure about what high tech equipment LE are using these days.
A couple of minutes later, I get the 'light treatment', almost reminded me of Christmas, but I wasn't expecting to see Santa.
I pull over to the side of the road and the LEO stays about 30 yards back...Mmmmm, that seemed strange. I waited about 2-3 minutes and then I hear a voice on the loud speaker to exit my vehicle and walk back to the front of the crusier, and I was told to stand in the lights.
I was standing there with my driver's license and CCW permit in hand...standing with my hand high and wondering, "What the heck?".
Then the officer exits his vehicle and stays in the dark shadows. I hand him my info, he looks at it and he says, "Sir, do you have a weapon on you now and if so, where is it?"
I answered, "I'm a legally armed Floridian, and my Glock is on my right hip."
He then says, "Sir, that's fine, just don't reach for, or touch the weapon."
I replied, "Yes sir, not a problem."
He then says, "I do appreciate you telling me about the weapon, sir."
I replied, "I know that it's not required by law, but I consider it a courtesy."
He then says, "Sir, the reason I stopped you tonight is because your license plate light is out."
I'm thinking, "Mmmmm, that's strange, you were so far back from me that you couldn't see my car, yet alone my plate." But I'm ready to go with that one.
He says, "It took me a bit to catch up with you, but when I closed in on you, you didn't appear to be speeding...I don't have radar with me."
I'm thinking..."OK, OK, I'm good with that one. I'm glad he had the cruiser without radar."
Then he asks me what weapon I carry, I told him a Glock, and I asked him about his weapon...he replied that he had a Glock also.
He wanted to know where I worked (all this time I believe that he was checking for warrants), I shared my present job as a high school teacher in the area. He asked how long I had been there...yada, yada, yada.
He then loosened up a great deal and was quite friendly.
I told him that I didn't realize my plate light was out, but that I would get it fixed immediately. He said that he was only giving me a verbal warning about the plate, but he would note it on the computer in case I was stopped in the next few days, the next cop would know about this stop.
I was very comfortable with the way this LEO approached the situation.
I was a bit confused about him staying so far behind me and asking over the speaker to walk back to his car lights. But, no radar, to ticket, no hassle...I was fine with that 'trio'.
The wife said that he was probably 'trolling' for drunks...:yup
Well that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.