ASK A COP — Why do police officers always keep their cars running?

Published 1:13 pm Monday, October 25, 2021

Nancy from Port Arthur asks: Could you provide some information on why police officers continually run their units even while they are not actually in the unit while on duty?

Answer: Marked police units are equipped with computers and other equipment that must be accessible to police officers during their tour of duty that won’t be available once they’re shut down. It takes several minutes for an officer to restart the computer and apps that are necessary for the officer to have immediately available for the safety of the officers and citizens. Throughout our shift, classified information/messages and photographs are shared between dispatchers, supervisors and officers, but if I turn off the police unit, the computer will be turned off, as well, and the important information will not be received.

Keep in mind that ALL of our marked police units are equipped with dashboard cameras. If the unit is off, the recording is stopped. It’s our policy to record ALL encounters we have during our tour of duty. So It’s necessary that police officers to keep their units running to aid the officers as they are protecting your community.

Lance from Nederland asks: I have a question regarding bicycle usage/non usage on the roadway. I am aware someone walking on the roadway is supposed to walk facing the traffic and someone on a bicycle must ride the same direction as the vehicle flow. What is the law if a person is walking and pushing a bicycle, because if someone’s car is disabled they must continue to follow the rules of the road.

Answer: A bicycle is a vehicle, according to the Texas Transportation Code, but not a motor vehicle, so I must say that a person who pushes a bicycle is no longer a bicyclist but a pedestrian and must follow the law of the Texas Transportation Code for pedestrians. If they operate the bicycle, they must go with the flow of traffic but if, for whatever reason, the rider decides to push the bicycle he becomes a pedestrian and must walk facing the flow of traffic.

Kalvin from Groves asks: I’m 23 years old and I’ve been a licensed driver since I was 16 years old. I’m in the market for a new vehicle and love sport cars in bright colors. I must admit I have a love for fast cars. I seem to get stopped quite often by law enforcement, but my concern is I’m leaning to believe it’s because of the color of my car that attracts police attention. I’ve had yellow and red sport cars in the past. Is there a color on a vehicle that’s less attractive to police officers than others?

Answer: The question you present is an ole myth or wives’ tale about law enforcement officers targeting motorists who operate shiny or colorful cars. To answer your question, “YES,” law enforcement officers are attracted to the color of the vehicle that is committing a CRIME in their presence, like speeding or disregarding traffic signals. It’s nothing wrong with being in love with sport cars, as long as you drive your sports car within the posted speed limit on the roadway.

Let’s not be so eager to point fingers and start taking personal responsibility for our driving habits. Being stopped by law enforcement has nothing to do with the color of your vehicle and everything to do with how you are operating said vehicle. I encourage you to buy whatever color vehicle you desire, just adhere to the state of Texas Transportation Code and you should be fine. If you see me on the road, stop and let me check out your new car!

Join Me, Officer Rickey Antoine and Stephen Buzzard Boots Mosley, Lelo mouth of Hwy 69/73 Washington & Tejas Lil Man Morning Star for Ask A Cop live on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tune in via the Internet at ksapthebreeze.org. Call in a question live at 409-982-0247. You can ask a question via text at 409-748-6106. Email questions to rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov, call 409-983-8673 for voice mail or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can “Ask A Cop.”