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Author Topic: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?  (Read 1353 times)

OCGuy81

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If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« on: January 21, 2022, 12:49:45 PM »

Nothing worse than having a cop behind you.

If you have an officer behind you, what’re the odds he’s running your plates?
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Terry Shea

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2022, 03:50:39 PM »

I wouldn't be concerned about it unless you have a reason to be concerned about it.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2022, 04:33:00 PM »

Probably just trying to get somewhere.
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hbelkins

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2022, 04:43:34 PM »

True story: When I was a newspaper editor in Estill County, Ky., we had a scanner that would pick up Kentucky State Police frequencies before KSP switched over to digital. One day I heard the dispatcher reply back that the truck was registered to Billy B. Elkins of Beattyville, DOB 12/12/30, registration valid until December of whatever year that was, no warrants, etc. That was my dad, so my ears perked up. When I saw him that weekend, I asked him if he had gone anywhere that week. Yes, he'd gone to Winchester, and he wanted to know why I asked. So I told him. A state trooper had gotten behind him on the Mountain Parkway in Clark County (like Estill, within the Richmond KSP post area) and had run his plate, possibly because he couldn't make out the date on the registration sticker and was checking to see if the registration was current.
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kalvado

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2022, 04:47:03 PM »

I assume it is 100% these days, with all automatic readers, text recognition, and datalinks readily available. They don't need to be behind you, once you see patrol car - you're probably checked. 
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OCGuy81

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2022, 04:57:48 PM »

I wouldn't be concerned about it unless you have a reason to be concerned about it.

True. I don’t, but more curiosity as I’ve been guilty in the past of letting my registration expire (though usually no more than a month or so!)
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tolbs17

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2022, 09:16:40 PM »

For me, I would say he's trying to inspect you guys if you are driving with a license plate letting you know that you are driving with a wrong one, which means you might be driving a stolen vehicle
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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2022, 09:21:28 PM »

@thread title (and reply #6): If a cop is behind you, how do you know it's a he?
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tolbs17

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2022, 09:24:33 PM »

@thread title (and reply #6): If a cop is behind you, how do you know it's a he?
Because most of the cops I know are guys.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2022, 09:44:00 PM »

@thread title (and reply #6): If a cop is behind you, how do you know it's a he?
Because most of the cops I know are guys.

Probably at least a third of Police Officers I know are women. In fact I’m losing one of my female investigators to the Police Academy next month. 
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oscar

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2022, 09:59:33 PM »

As noted above, s/he might be behind you for other reasons.

In Wyoming, a cop was lurking close behind me, occasionally turning on his radar, but making no move to pull me over. Turned out he was hiding behind my full-size pickup truck with a camper shell, to catch oncoming traffic by surprise. Sure enough, after a few minutes of this he did a quick U-turn behind me, to pull over the victim he had just clocked in the oncoming lane.
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jeffandnicole

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Are you paranoid much?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2022, 10:03:53 PM »

So...

If a cop is sitting and waiting for someone to speed by, that's a trap.

If a cop is driving along, naturally he'll often be behind someone. That's a trap.

Maybe we should just rename this thread...Are you paranoid much?
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dlsterner

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2022, 10:11:00 PM »

Nothing worse than having a cop behind you.

Sure there is.

Having a cop behind you with their light bar flashing (and you know it's for you).  :)

OCGuy81

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2022, 10:05:19 AM »

Nothing worse than having a cop behind you.

Sure there is.

Having a cop behind you with their light bar flashing (and you know it's for you).  :)

Touché
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webny99

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2022, 11:55:26 AM »

If you have an officer behind you, what’re the odds he’s running your plates?

If you're in the middle of nowhere near the Canadian border, probably about 100%.
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bwana39

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2022, 12:10:12 PM »

Nothing worse than having a cop behind you.

If you have an officer behind you, what’re the odds he’s running your plates?

The Texarkana (TX) police sit in the left turn lane (median) and run practically every plate that goes by at times.  With the digital scanners, they run bunches of plates and hardly have any interaction with the process.
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epzik8

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2022, 01:30:22 PM »

Um, very slim???
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SEWIGuy

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2022, 02:06:33 PM »

Nothing worse than having a cop behind you.

If you have an officer behind you, what’re the odds he’s running your plates?

The Texarkana (TX) police sit in the left turn lane (median) and run practically every plate that goes by at times.  With the digital scanners, they run bunches of plates and hardly have any interaction with the process.


That seems terribly inappropriate to me.
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Scott5114

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2022, 03:07:26 PM »

So...

If a cop is sitting and waiting for someone to speed by, that's a trap.

If a cop is driving along, naturally he'll often be behind someone. That's a trap.

Maybe we should just rename this thread...Are you paranoid much?

I think it speaks to the level of distrust in the law enforcement system from the general public. Generally, the traffic enforcement we want the police to focus on (stopping reckless/hazardous behavior like drunk driving, tailgating, road rage, failure to yield, etc. and ensuring smooth traffic flow by addressing things like left-lane blocking) are not the things they actually focus on (speeding, minor defects like burned out bulbs, coming up with pretexts to search for drugs). This leads to the suspicion that the police are not actually acting in the best interests of the public, but pursuing their own agenda, and thus any police action is seen through that lens of suspicion.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2022, 03:09:50 PM by Scott5114 »
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SEWIGuy

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2022, 03:14:59 PM »

So...

If a cop is sitting and waiting for someone to speed by, that's a trap.

If a cop is driving along, naturally he'll often be behind someone. That's a trap.

Maybe we should just rename this thread...Are you paranoid much?

I think it speaks to the level of distrust in the law enforcement system from the general public. Generally, the traffic enforcement we want the police to focus on (stopping reckless/hazardous behavior like drunk driving, tailgating, road rage, failure to yield, etc. and ensuring smooth traffic flow by addressing things like left-lane blocking) are not the things they actually focus on (speeding, minor defects like burned out bulbs, coming up with pretexts to search for drugs). This leads to the suspicion that the police are not actually acting in the best interests of the public, but pursuing their own agenda, and thus any police action is seen through that lens of suspicion.


Exactly.  I don't have an extensive driving record at all.  Two speeding tickets in 35 years of driving.  So a couple of years ago when I was pulled over for going 8 over on a street with no traffic, and enduring a lecture about my dangerous speed and the cop acting like he was doing me a big favor for only giving me a warning, let's just say that it set my trust factor back quite a bit. 
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kalvado

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2022, 03:54:06 PM »

Well, we know what the first rule of policing is. Public safety has to be the second... Distant second.
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1995hoo

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2022, 08:02:27 AM »

@thread title (and reply #6): If a cop is behind you, how do you know it's a he?

Traditional English-language "generic masculine."
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Road Hog

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2022, 01:34:15 PM »

Cops don't even have to be present to run your plates. There are license plate loggers everywhere and a database that logs hundreds of billions of plates. In a criminal case they can tie your vehicle to a location at a specific time.
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vdeane

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Re: If a cop is behind you, is he running your plates?
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2022, 02:59:18 PM »

Cops don't even have to be present to run your plates. There are license plate loggers everywhere and a database that logs hundreds of billions of plates. In a criminal case they can tie your vehicle to a location at a specific time.
In fact, I would expect that one day we would be using AI to identify potential criminals from that data.  I'm actually kinda surprised that we don't hear about such already, even.
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