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Author Topic: What Would The Cop Do?  (Read 6725 times)

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  • Cub
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What Would The Cop Do?
« on: December 18, 2014, 02:38:53 PM »

I am writing a novel that isn't really a crime novel or mystery, but one in which the protagonist has two encounters with a cop. Here's the setup. An artist friend of his has a studio in an old unoccupied warehouse. A chain-link fence surrounds the warehouse, with a gate that is locked. The protagonist goes to the warehouse to see his friend, but the gate is secured and locked. He grabs a hold of it and shakes it. A cop pulls up and tells him that the building is unoccupied. He also demands some ID and checks to see if there are any outstanding warrants for the protagonist. There aren't. However, the cop is still suspicious that the protagonist is up to something, so he says, "Don't let me see you around here again."

A few days later, the protagonist is desperate to see his friend. He's standing outside of the warehouse with both hands on the fence, shaking it and calling for her. He's so emotionally distraught that he doesn't notice the same cop pulling up behind him. The cop is now convinced that he's definitely up to something. What would are the police procedures to follow in such a case? The protagonist is feeling paranoid because he has a gun in his waistband, though the cop doesn't see this. If the encounter gets to the point where the cop wants to pat him down, he's going to take off running. I was going to have the cop chase him, but a friend tells me that a cop is not allowed to leave his car like that. So, what would the cop likely do?


  • Cub
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Re: What Would The Cop Do?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2014, 01:54:58 AM »

The easiest way around it would be to have two cops, even if only one is the same guy each time. I'd be surprised if there are many police departments these days where cops travel solo anyway, especially in a city.

I think the policy of not leaving the car unattended would depend on location too.

Old Bill

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Re: What Would The Cop Do?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2014, 03:14:12 PM »

A lot would depend on the situation with the protag. Why couldn't he just explain the circumstances to the cop. Is the gun illegal? Why run when they already have seen his ID. If he has credible evidence that his friend is in trouble and may still be in the building (is she?), then the cop might be able to access the building via his department's procedures.

Good luck with your story.

Old Bill

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Re: What Would The Cop Do?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2014, 11:52:02 AM »

I wouldn't just dismiss the guy the first time, even after an ID check (and filling out an FI - field interview - card).

"Why are you here? That building is closed up. Been closed for 2 years now."

"Going to meet a friend? Oh. What makes you think she's here? You sure you've got the right address?"

"Got a phone number? We can try to call her to make sure you've got the right address."

"OK, there's no answer on that line, so it's time for you to mosey."

And then if I had nothing pressing, I'd stay parked right there for a bit to make sure he leaves.

The second time I see him, I might radio in "I'll be out at Smith Brothers. Someone banging on the gate. May be that same male from two days ago."

Does the guy run as soon as I get out of the car? If I can chase him down in the first couple hundred feet, I'll do it on foot. If not, I'll chase him in the car as far as I can, yelling on the radio for backup while I do.

Depending on where the gun is, a cop may notice it before your guy is expecting him to. Is it a concealed carry state? Even so, most states require you to notify an officer that you're carrying, and if you don't, they can arrest you. If nothing else, when the cop notices it, he'll be asking for the ID and permit. Different cops will handle the gun differently. Some will prone you out at gunpoint. Some will just tell you not to touch it. Some will ask you to surrender it to them for the duration of the stop.

What do you need or want to happen?

Sometimes it takes therapy to put the past behind you. Other times, it takes a 20 gallon trash bag and a couple of cinder blocks.
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