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Don't Ticket the Bigwigs

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Don't Ticket the Bigwigs

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
April 28, 2008

I was reminded today of an exciting time in Denver, when I lived downtown at Brooks Towers, which was an apartment building right smack downtown. It was quite cool, because my office was catty-corner across the street in the Central Bank building.

Walking home from Larimer Square one night, there were so many Mercedes Benzes, Lincolns, limousines and Cadillacs parked on the sidewalk in front of a restaurant popular with the bigwigs in Denver that it was necessary to walk in the street to pass by. When I got home, I called the Denver PD and requested tickets on the illegally parked cars.

My balcony overlooked the street, and I watched the area patrol car drive by and saw the officers wave at the valet. Ah-ha! That's what I thought.

So the next night I called again. And the next night - a Friday - I called again. This time I had the scanner on and heard one of the officers in the patrol car say, "Is that same guy calling? We can't write tickets there. The captain told us not to write tickets there."

A couple of weeks later, the beat cops were in the building to investigate a burglary and they stopped by to say hello. I invited them in, and one asked if he could step out on the balcony. "See? I told you he could see from here," he said to his partner. The other cop asked if he could look around, and he spotted my scanner. "See? I told you he had a scanner." They also told me that they'd caught a lot of heat about that radio transmission!

They told me that they couldn't write tickets unless I called, so I started calling every night. And every night they wrote tickets.

I must have gotten busy during one week and didn't call. When I was walking on Larimer Square one night, I heard a horn and turned around. The beat car was pulling to the curb, and the driver - smiling - asked where I'd been for a week. "Start calling us again. We need to write some tickets over there."

When I arrived home one afternoon, the doorman asked if I were in some kind of trouble, because two detectives had stopped by to question him about me. The next day I called the district captain and really blistered him about sending the detectives to check out a law-abiding citizen who was only asking the police to do their job. I was ready to sic one of the TV stations on him, but then I moved.

Sometimes people ask me if I don't like cops. I do like cops. I especially like the ones who obey the laws themselves and really live the motto "To protect and to serve."


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