It has been one of those days. You know, we all have them. I’m sitting in front of the computer, trying to think of how to start the article and which questions to write about when I knock over my bottle of water, spilling it on the desk. Luckily, I have the reports I just finished there to soak up the spill before it lands in my lap. Carefully lifting the report, tilting it toward a trash can in a vain attempt to minimize the mess, I watch a trail of water pour right down my pants leg and into my shoes. If it had been anyone else, I would be laughing my butt off at them.

Why me?

This actually is probably the most asked question of any police officer anywhere. Why did I get the speeding ticket and not everyone else who was speeding too? Why’d you stop me when there are murderers, rapists and puppy thieves out there?

It may not seem like it at the time you’re getting your second ticket, but there is no grand conspiracy with all of law enforcement out to get you. We don’t have your picture hanging up on the “Gotta get this guy” wall at the station. We don’t use black unmarked helicopters to spy on you. Oh, and we don’t have a vendetta against red cars either. We give blue cars tickets too.

The usual complaint I get is that everyone else was speeding or there are lots of underage people drinking beer in the streets. Yes, that’s probably true, but it just happened to be you that the officer saw at that moment. You may not be the most egregious violator, but you’re the one we saw, so we stopped you. You are probably the nicest, hardest-working student at UCSB and that ticket is the capper to a really crummy day, but the officer doesn’t know anything about you or your day. His decision to stop you and issue the ticket is based only on what he saw in the previous two minutes or so.

So next time you get stopped and you swear that cop was lying in wait just for you, don’t flip off the unmarked black helicopters circling overhead. Those aren’t ours. That’s just the United Nations secret police and we don’t work with them.

What’s the deal with skateboarding tickets? Skateboarding is not a crime!

Neither is walking! However, if you walk somewhere you’re not supposed to, it becomes a crime. There is nothing wrong with skateboarding. It’s an impressive talent and is pretty fun to watch. On the other hand, if it’s done on planters and benches, it does cause damage. If you look at many of the cement planters around campus you will notice scrapes and broken off chips of concrete. If you figure that it costs about $500 to repair a planter and multiply this by the thousand or so planters around campus, you’re now talking about a lot of money for repairs.

To prevent the damage to the benches and planters, UCSB has some rules and codes that limit skateboarding on campus to just transportation. There is also a code that prohibits skateboarding under the covered walkways. The walkways act like echo chambers and we get complaints from professors that the skateboard noise is disrupting their classes.

It may not seem fair since there’s really no place around here that you can skateboard freely, but on campus you could run the risk of a $100 ticket. Talk about bringing it to a grinding halt.

Ok. That one was pretty pathetic.
Ticked off by a ticket? Party popped by the Patrol? If you got questions, don’t let it eat away at you. Ask questions. E-mail me anytime at or call the Crime Prevention Office at 893-4063.