Four officers from the San Bernardino Police Department went undercover by posing as panhandlers and waited on California highway off ramps for distracted drivers that might be breaking the law.
And boy howdy, did it work.
From the New York Daily News:
“The four-hour operation led to 50 total vehicle stops, including 33 for cell phone violations, 15 seat belt violations and five cars impounded because the drivers were either unlicensed or driving on suspended licenses.”
Though they were undercover, the officers held signs that very plainly said that they were police officers looking for traffic violators.
I appreciate that signs not only add to the panhandling disguise, but also rubs salt in the wounds of the people who fell for it. It punishes people for breaking the law, AND for ignoring the needy.
This is probably the rudest sting operation I’ve ever heard of, but as with most undercover jobs, there’s a moral to it.
“During this detail, our undercover officers walked up to the windows of many vehicles unnoticed by the drivers that were either talking or texting on their cell phones. Those calls and messages can wait until you arrive at your destination and are not worth risking the life of yourself or those around you while driving.”
So whenever you’re out driving, please don’t text or talk on the phone. Yeah, it’s against the law and you could get a ticket, but it’s also downright dangerous. Seatbelts are important, too. Wear those suckers.
How do you feel about this? Do you think it’s insulting to the homeless community to take advantage of the fact that everybody ignores them? Or is it a stroke of genius by the SBPD? Share your thoughts below!