Hang it Up

January 26, 2009 by The Constant Complainer

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This may sound like a bizarre question, but I’d really like an answer to it.  Why is it that whenever I drive past a police officer, they are driving while talking on their cell phone?

It never fails – every single time I pass an officer on the road, they are on their cell phone.  It doesn’t matter if it is sunny, raining or snowing.  It doesn’t matter if I’m driving down my street or on the highway.  It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing – I pass them and they are on the phone.

This presents a number of problems for me.  And I’d love for a police officer to comment on this post and clear things up.  In the meantime, here’s how I have analyzed things.

Let me start by saying that I have nothing but respect for police officers.  I value the job they do and appreciate them keeping my city safe.  But I can’t help but wonder why they are always on their cell phones when I drive past them.  First, I’m sure they have a radio in their car and on their person, where the dispatcher is able to communicate directly with them.  I assume that is how they are notified of pending calls that require their assistance.  So whom are they talking to on their cell phones?  Other officers?  Family members?  Friends?  It seems to me that maybe they should be watching what is going on around them during their patrol.  I mean, they wouldn’t want to miss a call on their radio.  Also, I realize the likelihood of them actually seeing a criminal act (taking place as they drive by) is low, but I’m sure it happens.  But they can’t see it if they are distracted by their phones.

Seriously everyone, I’ve wondered about this for so long, that it has become like a game to me.  I drive by a cop and I can’t wait to look and see if he/she is on their cell phone.  And they always are!  It never fails.  100% of the time!  Who in the heck are all these cops talking to?

Of course, this is not one of my most serious complaints, but because of the reasons mentioned above, I do think police officers should be safer when they are driving their patrol cars and not be on their phones.  That is the same suggestion made to drivers all across the county (and enforced legally in some cities).

Any derogatory comments about police officers in response to this will not be posted.  That’s not what this post is about.  I’m just wondering, from a safety and security standpoint, if there shouldn’t be a rule against cops using their cell phones all the time while on duty.  I assume they are on their personal phones.  Shouldn’t they be more worried about what’s going on around them in their community?

This is an age-old question of mine.  If you can answer it, I’ll sleep better night – literally…

All Posts / Family/Lifestyle / General Moaning / Law and Order Cell Phone Safety / Cell Phones / Police Officers / Using a Cell Phone While Driving /


  1. Mike says:

    Isn’t it obvious what they’re doing? They’re clearly working their second job as tech support for Dell.

    Seriously though, I think they just get bored driving around for 8 hours or more. You would too. Yes it’s not a great excuse and I’m sure is against company policy, but I’ll bet it’s the answer. They’re just bored. Nothing really happens in Elyria during the daytime hours. Those cops have got to be extremely bored. Most kids are in school during that time and the ones that aren’t are probably still sleeping off the trouble they got into the previous night…and gearing up for another wild night.

    That’s my best guess, they’re just simply bored. I do have a friend who’s a police officer and I’ll ask him what the deal is. I know that he has his personal XM radio in his squad car, and that he talks on the phone quite a bit.

  2. Tristan says:

    I think there are a number of bad apples in the EPD. You always notice them on the phone, I always notice that they cannot bother to follow basic traffic laws. Speeding in residential zones, rolling through stop signs, and the common act of toggling the flashers to get through a red traffic light.

    I think an officer on duty should be granted a handsome level of respect, but when his actions don’t justify that, he brings the respect of the badge down with him.

  3. Mike says:

    Tristan, I can picture you running down the road yelling “Citizen’s arrest….citizen’s arrest”.

    I don’t think that being a “Bad apple” or not is relevant to phone usage while on duty. I’m sure some of the cops the CC has seen on their cell phones were actually good cops. If I were making a list of what makes a good cop and what makes a bad cop, cell phone usage would not make my list of criteria one way or the other.

  4. NeoConDon says:

    If the cell phones are being used to perform their job, it’s okay. An occasional call isn’t a big deal either…as long as they practice what the preach and pull over.

    Cops also aren’t required to wear seat belts. Isn’t that great? Our rights are violated and we’re forced to wear them, but they are not.

  5. Tristan says:

    “Click it or ticket”–who knew tyranny could be so smarmy.

  6. NeoConDon says:

    I’m with you Tristan. I crack up every time I see one of those stupid commercials.

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