Old 03-02-2009, 10:32 PM   #26
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A Virginia State Trooper waved at me when I was walking over a railroad crossing to get to get on the other side of the tracks once. When I saw him I thought(oh great he's going to stop me) he didn't though. Ive been sitting on top of the cab of my truck trackside while a trooper drove by once. They don't seem to care. I have never had any problems trackside with law enforcement before.

--knocks on wood--

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Old 03-03-2009, 01:04 AM   #27
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Once again, since I don't think I violated any laws or regulations, I deserve an explanation of the actions of their employee(s) (or police officer - whoever it was).
Okay, but what are you not understanding from the posts so far is...the cop was doing his job!!! What's so confusing about that?

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For some people it might be OK if their car gets searched as a result, just in case - might be not a big deal for some people, but not for me.
Well, you do realize that the cops cannot search your car unless you give them permission. All you have to do is say no, and since they don't have probable cause, they can't legally seach your car. That's on you for not knowing that.

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I hope my "overreacting" will help keep the train station employees and engine crews where they belong - withing the guidelines.
I think it's kind of amusing that you're not seeing what could result from your letter. As a railfan, you need the railroad to enjoy your hobby, right? So you need to have a good relationship with those folks, otherwise, they can really ruin the hobby for you. Your letter has a high potential, especially since the intent of the letter is to "keep employees where they belong," to alienate those folks which in turn will make you (and other railfans) the bad guys. See, if you get an employee in trouble, it doesn't go unnoticed with his peers. But, if you want to poke the hornet's nest, don't come whining here when you get stung...
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:16 AM   #28
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Okay, but what are you not understanding from the posts so far is...the cop was doing his job!!! What's so confusing about that?



Well, you do realize that the cops cannot search your car unless you give them permission. All you have to do is say no, and since they don't have probably cause, they can't legally seach your car. That's on you for not knowing that.



I think it's kind of amusing that you're not seeing what could result from your letter. As a railfan, you need the railroad to enjoy your hobby, right? So you need to have a good relationship with those folks, otherwise, they can really ruin the hobby for you. Your letter has a high potential, especially since the intent of the letter is to "keep employees where they belong," to alienate those folks which in turn will make you (and other railfans) the bad guys. See, if you get an employee in trouble, it doesn't go unnoticed with his peers. But, if you want to poke the hornet's nest, don't come whining here when you get stung...

Well done Chris, well done! As a railroader and photographer I play both sides of the fence in this case. However, as I and EVERYONE else has stated here, the cop did absolutely nothing wrong! In fact, you should have thanked him for doing his job.
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:22 AM   #29
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you should have thanked him for doing his job.
I've had cops come to check on me to make sure I wasn't trying to commit suicide. Thanks, guys.

I've had cops come and check after someone called me in for being suspicious. Thanks, guys, for doing your job.

I always view a visit by the smokeys as an opportunity to share the hobby with someone who might not know it exists. Whenever I turn over my ID, I also give them a "railfan business card" which has my name and links to my photos and Yahoo! Groups.

But, whatever...to each his own...
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:40 AM   #30
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I absolutely agree - I was humiliated in a very respectful way.
Beating a dead horse ...

Adjustment: you FELT humiliated WHILE being treated in a very respectful way. This is what I have been reacting to. It is an odd combination. They treated you well, yet you have this emotional response which would normally arise from inappropriate treatment.

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I hope my "overreacting" will help keep the train station employees and engine crews where they belong - withing the guidelines.
I just hope the nature/tone of your "overreaction" is such that the police don't think that they are being falsely accused of overreaction themselves. Inquiring about the law is fine, of course (although, in this case, at least as described by you here, I don't see the issue).
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:18 AM   #31
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With all due respect sir, if one of your students felt the same as you, having been respectfully treated by an authority figure (you) but still felt humiliated would you not suggest them to "get a life" and deal with it, or would you welcome a reprimand from the school board for doing your job to the best of your ability. You sir, need to realize, that this issue lies within you and your psyche.

I for one can never remember a humiliation from any enforcement official in your country, nor in mine. In fact, over the years, I've met five who were avid hobbyists. Mind you, I have met just a few that "irked" me, but upon departure were pleasant enough to present me with a first class reserved admission pass to traffic courts.

Please don't pick up that camera unless you're prepared to see and deal with the world outside of a classroom, where theories are replaced with reality. Your letter may backfire upon you or for that matter, affect others like myself who have been privileged in and around railway property for many years.

Please review this thread, and realize that you stand alone.
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:04 AM   #32
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"It had such a profound affect on me that, as of today, I am still not able to pick up the camera and I am still mortified after the incident."

Are you for real? A few questions and an ID check made you mortified??
How thin skinned are you?

If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen ... and find a new hobby!!

Oh.. Have a great day and thanks to all the gum shoes that made me a more responsable railfan.
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:18 PM   #33
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I was taking pictures of Tri-Rail trains in Davie, FL the other day and when I was getting into my car, supposedly a police officer approached me
Could you explain this? Either he was or was not a police officer and if you were in doubt, you should have asked to see ID.
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Anyway, the guy asked me if I am a train fan and asked me for an ID. After he copied my info, he also copied my license tag and took my phone number. Honestly, the whole process made me feel very uncomfortable - I felt like I did something wrong and that I was a criminal.
This has happened to me a few times, too. I don't like it, but it tends to get on my nerves or make me mad instead of feeling "uncomfortable." However, I understand that how I react to any given situation is always up to me, not the other person. So it's not his fault for how you felt.
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IMHO, a terrorist would not be caring around two foot-long cameras and would not be taking pictures with a flash at night in front of two policemen/guards (whatever they are) at the station.
Agreed. In fact, why were you using a flash? You mean the on-camera flash? Did you have a tripd? Just curious.

Here is a thought. If you were using the on camera flash and were not using a tripod, to an astute security officer or LEO, you may not have looked like someone who knew what they were doing -- a rail photographer -- but may have looked like soeone without a lot of knowledge of cameras on recon work.

Just a thought.
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It had such a profound affect on me that, as of today, I am still not able to pick up the camera and I am still mortified after the incident.
With all due respect, that is pure and simple poppy cock. That's you being a drama queen. Let me ask you something. Have you ever been stopped speeding? If so, how long did it take you to get back in the car and drive again?

I'm sure you hate little 16 year old drama queens in your class. Well, you're being the same way. You're basically complaining to someone because "he looked at me funny."

Get over it.


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Old 03-03-2009, 10:38 PM   #34
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I've been "questioned" a few times while taking pictures of both trains non-train subjects, and in these cases I was called in as "suspicious" by non-RR people. It pisses me off that someone walking around with an enormous camera bag in broad daylight alongside a busy street is considered "suspicious" in this day and age... I mean, if you want to charge me with being a geek then go ahead, I find it hard to believe that terrorists on recon missions worry too much about polarizers and grad-ND filters, but this is a whole separate topic...

In my instances, the LEOs have been courteous and after a brief explanation they're on their way. However, I can easily see that having my name, plate, and all personal info taken and put into who knows what database would make me quite uncomfortable. I think it all depends on the location (bad neighborhood, probably more likely to get the whole nine yards from an officer) and the mood/knowledge of the officer. There are many folks out there in all walks of life that truly believe taking pictures of trains is "illegal since 9/11". A printed out sheet of paper with photog's rights on it isn't going to do anything with those folks.

In this instance you were treated respectfully, you weren't doing anything illegal, and now they've already taken your info, so go right on ahead and take your pictures. If it escalates and you are harassed, then it's time to take it to the higher-ups at the police and educate them about your rights, maybe contact media, etc. But in this case I don't think anything was done wrong (by either of you). Don't let this spoil something you enjoy.

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Old 03-03-2009, 10:45 PM   #35
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As I said, if it ended up being someone with ill intentions that took human lives (and said officer responding to the call decided not to bother), for instance, I doubt a law enforcement official in that situation would walk away with a slap on the wrist.
But he/she certainly wouldn't end up in prison. They didn't break any laws. Yes, neglected to do their job, but I highly doubt there's a prison sentence for that.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:30 PM   #36
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But he/she certainly wouldn't end up in prison. They didn't break any laws. Yes, neglected to do their job, but I highly doubt there's a prison sentence for that.
Not doing their job is not the problem, it is the end result that is.

There are different laws for police/fire/EMS vs. civilians, and they all vary by state on top of that. If a civilian "yanks" a victim out of a car prior to EMS arrival and injures them farther because they have a broken neck, etc...in PA, he is covered under The Good Sumaritan Law. If I get there, and do the same thing, I am held liable for negligence because I am trained and know better. If a kid working at a garage hasn't been trained to put a tire on a wheel, and ends up damaging the customer's wheel (done it)...he didn't break any laws. I'm not certified (trained) to intubate a patient. If I do anyway, "because I know how" and chip a tooth or damage the patient's vocal chords, I am held liable because I acted outside my scope of practice, although my intentions were in good nature. If a medic, who is certified to intubate, chips a tooth or damages vocal chords, its just an unfortunate circumstance for the patient. I can even lose my cert. if I do everything correctly, but the wrong person finds out.

I sent my brother, who is an LEO an email requesting his assistance on the police side of this. I mentioned the cop who had better things to do than respond to the medical call before, but I asked my brother for specific situations where he might just only be suspended versus paying a settlement and/or serve prison time for not responding to a call as I am mixing my EMS knowledge with the LEO side of it and can not provide specific police examples myself.

Again, only speculating, but said officer is dispatched to ABC Bank after hours for a motion alarm. The PD has been dispatched to this bank 4 times in the last week finding false alarms everytime, so the officer wants to get caught up on his reports. He responds 13 minutes after dispatch. In the meantime, the key holder gets to the bank and walks into the middle of a ligit robbery and is shot dead. Is the officer responsible for the key holder's death since he didn't respond when dispatched?

So now same said officer doesn't respond to a suspcious person by the tracks at MP xx just east of the yard. 15 minutes later, he is again dispatched to MP xx, this time for a person hit by train. He gets there and finds a note saying that RP.net won't take any of my shots, and I can't take it anymore. The conductor gives his statement that he called 911 1/2 hour ago while driving to the yard to report for work about this same person near the tracks...
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:09 PM   #37
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...a person hit by train. He gets there and finds a note saying that RP.net won't take any of my shots, and I can't take it anymore.
If everyone who got rejections reacted like that, there would be no one left to post on RP.

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Old 03-04-2009, 06:14 PM   #38
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I have shot Tri Rail many times and never had a problem.I have been questioned a few timnes, if there is a security guard around I usually tell him straight up I am a rail fan.

About 2 weeks ago I was confronted with the "Mouse Police" when photographing the monorails at Walt Disney. Once they looked at my pictures they saw I was indeed a train nut and let me go about what I wanted to do. They were very nice to me.

I always try to wear a railroad related shirt and hat when I railfan it helps I think allows you to be more identified as a railfan. I would think Tri Rail crews would know what railfans are...they wave at me.

Best advice is to get back out there and enjoy the hobby...BUT expect ONCE in a while to be questioned.

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Old 03-04-2009, 06:19 PM   #39
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Best advice is to get back out there and enjoy the hobby...BUT expect ONCE in a while to be questioned.
Agreed and if it is only questioning, I can deal with it. I may not like it, but that's OK. When they start preaching to me ("Things ain't the way they used to be." Or "You might want to find a new hobby.") That's when I have trouble.

I've been lucky. Even though for a while there I seemed to be attracting LEOs and security guards, it never went beyond running my license through the system. Other folks have not been so lucky and those are the ones we need to read up on and worry about. Not this dude being "mortified" and scared to pick up his camera.


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Old 03-05-2009, 06:35 PM   #40
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If everyone who got rejections reacted like that, there would be no one left to post on RP.

- Chris

I wondered if anyone would comment on that. I wrote it because of the anti-RP/anti-screeners threads in the last few weeks. Only sarcasm.
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:44 PM   #41
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I got a reply back from my brother:

Quote:
9 times out of ten you would only be suspended/fired for neglecting to go to ANY call. If there is a call you MUST respond.
I have never heard of anyone doing jail time for failing to respond but there is a shit load of civil cases out there where departments and officers have been sued for not responding.
The dude that felt uncomfortable needs to get over himself..... Lets say that he was a terrorist.. police got the call ... and didnt respond... thousands dead after an explosion of some chemical the train was hauling... who would feel uncomfortable then.
Always better safe than sorry
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:30 PM   #42
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I used to pal around with a CN Cop (before he retired, that is). Great guy, took me ona ride-along once, got into some interesting railfan prohibited areas of a yard.

Once while sitting in my car waiting for a train, a Toronto Cop drove past, stopped and backed-up to my car. I rolled down the window and he asked me if I was photographing deer 'cause "there is a whole bunch of them just down the road!", he was pretty excited and needed to tell someone. I told him I was waiting to shoot a train, but I'd seen them earlier and often in that area.

Oh, and once I was stopped on a ramp onto the 401 (freeway) in Trenton, Ontario, by the Ministry of Natural Resources. They were looking for people fishing without a licence. I told him the only thing I was fishing for were Montreal Locomotives Works locomotives on Canadian Pacific. He laughed and even though I had a large cooler between the two front seats of my van, he wished me happy fishing and have a good day.

I've not had a bad experience, but in all fairness, I don't often shoot in urban areas and often I think the cops assume I'm photographing trees or birds or something. So long as I'm not (caught) speeding, they really don't care if you exist 'round here!
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:47 PM   #43
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I realize I'm coming into this discussion rather late... but that never stops me.
I think something else might be involved here. I was bringing a recent immigrant from a former 'eastern block' country down to a govermental office for some routine paperwork. As we drove through our relatively small city I became aware of his being very, very anxious. A police car had pulled in back of us. For me, who cares - for him and his previousl life, it could be serious. When he saw a motorcycle officer who had pulled over a car I was asked if that person would be arrested. Again, for me, of course not, unless they did something really stupid. For my guest, he was afraid for the driver. So I stopped and when the officer was finished I asked him to come over and speak to my guest (having briefly warned him of the situation). He strutted over in his jack-boots and leather jacket and hat and gave my guest the biggest smile and said ' Welcome'. My guest was petrified. But the officer merely and quietly said... 'you aren't over there anymore. We aren't them. You're safe now." And it helped.

Some of us have backgrounds for whom 'authority' can be threatening. The words I've read here have been helpful to him I hope. I just want to mention that there may be more going on than WE can see. Then again, I might be totally wrong here, but it's a thought.

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Old 03-09-2009, 08:45 PM   #44
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I realize I'm coming into this discussion rather late... but that never stops me.
I think something else might be involved here. I was bringing a recent immigrant from a former 'eastern block' country down to a govermental office for some routine paperwork. As we drove through our relatively small city I became aware of his being very, very anxious. A police car had pulled in back of us. For me, who cares - for him and his previousl life, it could be serious. When he saw a motorcycle officer who had pulled over a car I was asked if that person would be arrested. Again, for me, of course not, unless they did something really stupid. For my guest, he was afraid for the driver. So I stopped and when the officer was finished I asked him to come over and speak to my guest (having briefly warned him of the situation). He strutted over in his jack-boots and leather jacket and hat and gave my guest the biggest smile and said ' Welcome'. My guest was petrified. But the officer merely and quietly said... 'you aren't over there anymore. We aren't them. You're safe now." And it helped.
Great story.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:53 PM   #45
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Get your buddy some "CHiPs" DVDs stat. Well, then he might think all bike cops are like John and Ponch...
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:13 PM   #46
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Get your buddy some "CHiPs" DVDs stat. Well, then he might think all bike cops are like John and Ponch...
Not to make you feel old, Chris, but I'm betting there's a whole bunch of posters who don't get the reference.

- Chris (who is not interested in buying lakefront property in Arkansas from Ponch)
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:16 PM   #47
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Get your buddy some "CHiPs" DVDs stat. Well, then he might think all bike cops are like John and Ponch...
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Not to make you feel old, Chris, but I'm betting there's a whole bunch of posters who don't get the reference.

- Chris (who is not interested in buying lakefront property in Arkansas from Ponch)
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:37 AM   #48
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I realize I'm coming into this discussion rather late... but that never stops me.
I think something else might be involved here. I was bringing a recent immigrant from a former 'eastern block' country down to a govermental office for some routine paperwork. As we drove through our relatively small city I became aware of his being very, very anxious. A police car had pulled in back of us. For me, who cares - for him and his previousl life, it could be serious. When he saw a motorcycle officer who had pulled over a car I was asked if that person would be arrested. Again, for me, of course not, unless they did something really stupid. For my guest, he was afraid for the driver. So I stopped and when the officer was finished I asked him to come over and speak to my guest (having briefly warned him of the situation). He strutted over in his jack-boots and leather jacket and hat and gave my guest the biggest smile and said ' Welcome'. My guest was petrified. But the officer merely and quietly said... 'you aren't over there anymore. We aren't them. You're safe now." And it helped.

Some of us have backgrounds for whom 'authority' can be threatening. The words I've read here have been helpful to him I hope. I just want to mention that there may be more going on than WE can see. Then again, I might be totally wrong here, but it's a thought.

Allen
You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, Allen! Thank you! I'm glad to come across a very educated person... Unfortunately, I found very few educated people so far... Nothing personal...
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:22 PM   #49
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You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, Allen! Thank you! I'm glad to come across a very educated person... Unfortunately, I found very few educated people so far... Nothing personal...
Well.... IF you are a person that has come to the USA from a country that was ruled with an Iron Fist, I could see the concern! IF you are and IF you are terrified of authority figures, I appologize to you then! BTW, I am educated, I went to Choo- Choo U!!
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:46 PM   #50
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Hmmmm...I consider myself a "very educated person" but since I disagree with your point of view, that means I'm dumb? Fail...
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