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For Fresno Police, Traffic Tickets Should Not Be Priority Over Burglaries

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The Fresno Police Department should rethink its law enforcement priorities, says Sevag Tateosian. (Shutterstock)
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Should we spend more dollars on traffic enforcement or burglaries?

Sevag Tateosian portrait

Sevag Tateosian

Opinion

I’ve always been a fan of law enforcement, so much so that I even graduated from Fresno State with a bachelor’s degree in criminology with the option of Law Enforcement.  During law school, one of my best jobs was at the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office.  As a certified law student, along with my supervising attorney, we argued countless motions defending police officers and their “reasonable suspicion” to make a stop.

As fun as motions were, the pinnacle of my work at the DA’s Office was when my supervising attorney and I tried a case in front of a jury.  We got a guilty verdict, taking a guy off the streets with a high-powered firearm and unknown intentions.

Even though I still trickle blue when I bleed, I’ve moved closer to the other side on certain things.  Let me explain.

On a Monday a few months ago, I was driving east on Belmont Avenue to the 99 Highway so that I could get to my work place in downtown Fresno, a route that I routinely travel.  There, occasionally, I see a motorcycle cop hidden on the side of the cremation facility located there.  Odd place to hide, but hey, who am I to judge a cop who wants to be by smoke from dead bodies in the morning.

On this particular morning I didn’t see the cop but I was driving the speed of traffic with no cars in front of me.  Was I speeding?  Probably.  You can guess what happened next.  I got pulled over. I almost forgot what to do. The last ticket I got from a traffic officer was years ago for “following too closely.”  If you think I am joking, it’s true.  I was apparently “following too closely” that time.

Pulled Over Near Belmont and 99

Anyway, back to my story of being pulled over near Belmont and 99.  The officer approached with bloodshot eyes and was a little nervous.  Odd, I thought.  Had I been the one with the badge and gun, I’d definitely ask for a few field sobriety tests, especially since he said I was traveling 54 mph but showed me a radar at 52 mph.  When I questioned him about this, he began to talk about how the road was angled.

Sorry, it was too early in the morning for me to think about solving algebra problems, but I was impressed.  This officer must have gotten an “A” in math.  The conversation ended with him saying something about letting the judge decide.  Judge?  Do I really have the time to attend court for hours only to hear the judge probably side with the officer?

Am I bitter?  A little.  My problem is not that I got pulled over.  My problem is that across the street from where I was pulled over, there was a young lady walking back and forth wearing extremely revealing clothing, probably a prostitute.   A homeless guy was also camped on public property near her.  I’ve called to report nefarious activity in this area before.  Apparently, these things are ok, but a guy driving to work to support his family on a Monday and driving the speed of traffic with no cars in front of him should be pulled over for speeding. Got it.

It’s not only this incident that has me rethinking law enforcement priorities.

Porch Pirates, Fraud and Fake Checks

During Christmas when my 6-year-old’s Pokémon cards were stolen from my porch and I had the person on camera at the very moment it happened, I was told to “go online” and file my report that way.  Good luck explaining to my kid that daddy needs to pay approximately $300 for driving fast when the scumbag who stole his gift can walk free.

One more thing.  I’m still waiting to be called back about the incident when a con artist tried to defraud my business with a $1,000 gift card and a fake check.

Even when I did my own research and found the culprit, the person walks free and hasn’t paid a dime.  Me, however, I cut the approximate $300 check for speeding.  I guess the priority is to go after the person trying to do the right thing, working several jobs to provide for his family…we must be in California.

About the Author

Sevag Tateosian is host and producer of “San Joaquin Spotlight” on TalkRadio 1550 KXEX and CMAC Comcast Channel 93 and AT&T Channel 99. He and his wife own a Clovis area spa.

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