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Va. deputy criticized for pulling over convoy of N.J. officials
The Associated Press

STAUNTON, Va.- A deputy pulled over a convoy of New Jersey law enforcement officers hurrying home from a Hurricane Katrina relief effort, sparking complaints from a New Jersey sheriff for the "grief" they received.


Augusta County Sheriff Randall D. Fisher defended the deputy, saying he pulled over the emergency vehicles on Interstate 81 after state police received complaints about their driving.

"They were traveling at a high rate of speed, people were being run off the road," Fisher said Thursday. The deputy "was basically asking the guys to cut their (emergency lights), slow down."

Some members of the convoy did not heed the deputy's order to pull over, Fisher said, and the stop initially was adversarial. But he said the New Jersey officers left amid handshakes and back slaps with his deputy.

"We pretty much thought it was the end of the story," Fisher said.

But the same day, New Jersey's Passaic County sheriff, Jerry Speziale, called the Augusta County Sheriff's Office and criticized the deputy's actions.

"If you think that that's not a disgrace, you should take the badge off your shirt and throw it in the garbage," Speziale said in the telephone call, which Fisher played for The Associated Press.

Speziale, who did not immediately return calls from the AP Thursday night, also has publicly criticized the Virginia sheriff's department.

"We had just responded to the greatest natural disaster in the nation's history," Speziale told The Star Ledger of Newark, N.J. "How about giving fellow officers an escort and courtesy instead of some grief?"

Fisher said the deputy extended the professional courtesy of not ticketing the officers even though they were speeding at up 95 mph and, he said, forcing motorists out of the passing lane.

But he also said he could understand their haste: "I'm not defending anyone's actions, but I'm sure they were anxious to get home."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
 

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He probably assumed they were red light rangers. Remember, in NJ law enforcement emergency lights are red and in VA they are blue.
 

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I'm wondering if it was a defense and not just a change at a photo op. Why would he tape the call and play it back for the media......It almost sounds like what started out as a somewhat friendly exchange on the highway is being blown way out of proportion.

:GNANA:
 

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Ever call a police station, if you call on the main line and even if transfered often times the call is recorded.
Unless you are calling on a private or CI line...most of those calls are going though the same switch, the same recording system, etc.

The short version:
Unless you are going TO an emergency there's really no reason to run with lights and sirens...especially WAY the hell out of your jurisdiction.
Ask yourself this, any other police end up in the news media for doing that? No...not that the news dictates what's right or wrong...but I have faith that the officer in question was doing what he thought was right, enforcing the laws in his jurisdiction.
So we have cops form NJ, who just did a good thing, driving like idiots in another state, on their way home, they get told to cool it...no big deal...then their Cheif acts like even more an asshat by pulling that shit? Come on... When police and fire companies came up to NYC after 9/11....they didn't go home sirens a blaring because they wanted to get home fast...what's next pull a detail in Boston for a Red Sox game and sirens and lights running to get home to go to the bathroom?

rscalzo said:
I'm wondering if it was a defense and not just a change at a photo op. Why would he tape the call and play it back for the media......It almost sounds like what started out as a somewhat friendly exchange on the highway is being blown way out of proportion.

:GNANA:
 

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Virginia, relax and honor the badge my good brothers, I guess the job is on the level 24/7, I'm sure your badge will be honored on the east coast!
 

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ratwatcher said:
Virginia, relax and honor the badge my good brothers, I guess the job is on the level 24/7, I'm sure your badge will be honored on the east coast!
Um... Virginia is on the East Coast.
 

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SOT_II, Good point

They had no buisness doing what they were doing, assuming the article is correct.
 
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