I had my first post 9-11 run-in with police this morning....

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I had my first post 9-11 run-in with police this morning....

Postby ST214 » Mon Jul 12, 2004 8:08 pm

I was on my way home from a Where's George gathering(Money tracking website), when the last commuter rail train pulled into the Leominster,MA station at about 1AM. Knowing i had missed a motive power shot at the station, and that i would not make it to IC before he did, i opted for a parking lot which is past the station, but has a nice, clear view. So i get there, grab the camera, and get out and into position, something i have done numerous times in that location before, in both darkness and sunlight. As the train began to throttle up, i see some headlights swinging in from the west(Oposite direction from where i had came from). He had his brights on, so i could not see what it was at first. THen he turned off his headlights, and i realized it was a Leominster Police cruiser. I then refocused my attention on the train, and took the picture as he approached me. His first question was if i was taking pictures of the train. I told him yes, that i was. He then asked if i do this frequently, and i explained that yes, but usually i'm out during the day, or at the ststion at night. I also explained to him that i had missed the train at the station, and figured i could get it from there. He was ok with all of this, and then asked why i was out so late, and i explained that also. He asked if i had anything to drink at the party, and i told him no, i had only drank water, and some Orange Soda. He then looked around the inside of the car thru the windows with the flashlight, and realized the Where's George sign i had in my car, and he asked if i marked a lot of the bills that he saw, and i explained that there was another georger in Lunenburg who has entered many more than me. Luckily, he knew what Where's George was, and i didn't have to explain that(Not sure how to explain that to a Police Officer). He then asked for my liscence, and told me to wait in the car. He ran me, like they do anyone they find at all hours of the night(I hear them constantally run people on the scanner. I'm not opposed to that in any way). He than returned to the car, gave me my liscense, and explained that the reason he stopped to check me out was becaues the railroad had been reporting trespassers in that area, and had asked the police to check out anything suspicious. He then told me i was all set, and to just stay away from the tracks, and i explained that i always keep a safe distance, and that i usually call in trespassers when i see them. He then recieved a call and had to go, and i told him to have a good night, and it was over.

I must admit, he was very polite and professional. He let me take the picture, and then approached me. I know this is a 180 from what most of the incidents i have heard, but if we have to go thru a situation like i did at 1AM this morning sometimes when were out there, than i do not object. The whole incident took less than 5 minutes, and the outcome was favorable. Sir, if you are reading this, i Commend you for being such a gentleman.

Any opinions??

ST214
Hoping for a rebirth of the Screamer fleet.
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Postby fm535 » Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:19 pm

Can we see the late night pics? :wink:
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Postby SnoozerZ49 » Tue Jul 13, 2004 12:49 am

ST214

Nice to hear about your experience. Yes you were inconvenienced but it sounds like you handled yourself well. The security around the commuter rail system has really been tightening up as of late. The other day I had two MBTA patrolmen on one of my trains out to Lowell and back.

Take care,
The Conductor on your train into North Leominster on Sunday night.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Tue Jul 13, 2004 5:31 am

Wow, unlike my WMATA MTPD encounter some few years ago.

Glad you know those officers in Leominster, where you reside, and you only got a verbal warning. Not to mention, the officer didn't make you "delete" those photos.
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Postby SbooX » Tue Jul 13, 2004 12:20 pm

Overall, I think it was a pretty decent and fair run in. You have to admit, taking pictures of trains at 1 AM is a pretty damn weird activity! My only problems are that the cop ran your ID, though I realize this is standard practice in many cases. The other problem that I have is that he asked you if you had been drinking. With the exception of the admittedly weird fascination in trains at 1AM, did you do anything that would lead the officer to believe that you had been drinking? And even if you had been, I'm not aware of any regulation against photographing while intoxicated. (Again though, I realize this is sort of standard practice, I just don't think its right. Furthermore, how many people are going to admit to being tanked?)

So, like I said, overall decent run-in with "the law." How do you think it would have went if you had been Arab though? I'm willing to bet we wouldn't be reading this for at least another day if you were.
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Postby jrc520 » Tue Jul 13, 2004 3:18 pm

"Furthermore, how many people are going to admit to being tanked?" - Well, if you are tanked, I think it will become obvious pretty quickly :wink:
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Postby ST214 » Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:57 pm

The reason i was asked if i had drank anything was because he asked why i was out so late and i told him about the Where's George party in lexington. That's why he asked.

Leominster runs almost anyone they find outside at 1-4AM for some reason. Tends to keep our crime rate here a little lower though.

Also, not only did he let me keep the picture, he stood in front of his car until i turned to talk to him.

I admit, it was scary at first seeing a cruiser pulling in, and having a million scenario;s running thru my head, but i just chilled, and told him the truth, and we both walked(Well, drove) away happy.

You won't be able to see the pics for a few months, and even then, i will have to give it to you. I still run off film!!!!!
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:07 pm

Well ST214, my WMATA MTPD encounter ocurred during daylight hours while snapping photos of the tail trackage north of Greenbelt and 27 days after 9/11, and I only got a verbal warning too, although for an hour, since I also needed to be verified for License and warrants.
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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Wed Jul 14, 2004 9:40 am

i haven't run into any trouble since 9/11 thing happened (knock on wood)
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TRANSIT WATCH, MBTA security

Postby adam » Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:26 pm

Incidentally, I wrote a letter to Joseph C. Carter, the MBTA chief of police, concerning TRANSIT WATCH, MBTA security and the like.

http://www.adamshoop.org/mbta07-13-04.html

Just mailed it a couple days ago, not sure what kind of a response it will elicit.

Adam Shoop
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