Washington State Patrol aircraft catches several police cars speeding- and does nothing.

I had to make a run to Wenatchee today for work. It was an uneventful drive over highway 2, until I got a couple miles out of Wenatchee. I had been following a police car over the pass from Lynden, which was a little odd considering that’s up in Whatcom county. As we got close to Wenatchee a WSP patrol car came up on my bumper, both the Lynden car and I moved aside for him to pass. It passed me about the time we entered a speed emphasis area of highway 2. I had my scanner so I flipped over to WSP car to car frequency and picked up the aircraft chatter with the ground units.

As I continued on my way past the speed trap “emphasis” I could hear the pilot NOT calling out the speeds of the speeders- asking ground units to confirm if they were patrol cars or not. He said he tracked several patrol cars doing “over 80” in the 60 mph zone, but they stopped none of them. It became clear that all these speeding police cars were on their way to a “drug recognition expert” conference at Lake Chelan. Apparently that’s good enough for WSP, they let them all through without stopping any of them. (They did stop a motorcyclist- but he also was heading to the conference and it sounded like he got a pass too- for 78 mph and cutting off a car).

Check out the video and see for yourself- classic case of “do as I say, not as I do”

© 2014, Bill Gillam. All rights reserved.

30 Responses to Washington State Patrol aircraft catches several police cars speeding- and does nothing.

  1. Bill, can you call me about this WSP not-giving out speeding tickets situation?
    Thank you.
    Dee Riggs
    Reporter, The Wenatchee World
    (509) 664-7147 (desk)
    (509) 630-5054 (cell)

  2. engolf mortenson

    Billy, How many were there..?

  3. Cops are people too. This State cop stole cash and jewelry from a dying man and laughed about it at sentencing. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/07/17/connecticut-trooper-pleads-guilty-to-stealing-from-dying-motorcycle-accident/

  4. Let’s get a FOIA request going on the conference attendees and get some names for these Officer Scofflaws.

  5. Hey Bill, great work. What’s surprising is the fact that the WSP officers were actually concerned about the speed. Here in North Carolina, the Highway Patrol Officers are the worst of the Speeding Law Breakers (as evidenced by the 100’s of dashcam videos that I have posted on youtube.

    In 2010, NC Trooper J.D. Goodnight T-boned a car turning left in front of him while he was racing his car at 125mph. His speed upon impact was just over 95mph, cutting the car in half… killing a 55 year-old Grandmother, an 11 year-old boy, and severely injuring two other children; all coming home from Sunday School. Trooper Goodnight claimed to have been pursuing a speeder, even though there was a witness who saw the entire incident and stated that there was no speeder that he was chasing. I worked in law enforcement for seven years and I would have never considered chasing a traffic violation at those speeds, not if the Public Safety is first priority!

    Thanks Again for your work! R. Carr

  6. KOMO news reports that all the charges against civilians on that stretch of road have been dropped. Did this happen because someone was ashamed of what happened? I doubt it. Did this happen because someone knew those civilians would get the charges dropped anyway, on the basis of selective enforcement? Sure. But the MOST important reason for dropping the charges is that those civilians could go into court, allege discrimination, and force WSP and all the officers at that conference to document all the unticketed violations. And with that information on the record, those uniformed violators– the speeders and the cops who let them go– would have to be prosecuted. So in other words, the criminal justice system is allowing ALL the criminals to go unpunished in order to protect its own.

  7. Mr. Gillam,
    You are my heroe today!

    We should all be treated the same, the speeding laws should applies to all and we should all respect the law. I am appalled at how more and more information about the misconduct of those that supouse to upheld the law, and protect us is coming to light all over the country. The information on your blog, is just one more example of the corruption among some government agencies that is so blatant nowdays. I feel this corruption is so prevalent, I am not sure I can completely trust an officer of the law anymore.

    PS: They better not be stopping you anytime soon. We are ALL watching now.

    • Connie–
      Thanks for the note! Glad you appreciated the video, I’m just glad that others were as upset about what happened as I was.

      Just like the homeland security slogan says- “if you see something, say something”. I’m glad I did!

      Thanks again for posting a comment!

      bill

  8. Just wanted to say “Thank You for having the balls to stand up against an obvious gross abuse of power! Not to mention a safety violation by those who should be an example of safety and standards.” My hat is off to you, good sir, keep up the good work 🙂

    • Thank you! I was pretty annoyed when I figured out what was happening. Glad that others were as upset as I was, and if it wasn’t for the media picking up the story nothing would have come of this whole incident.

      Thanks again!
      bill

  9. Thank you so much for posting this.

  10. I use to drive Hwy 101 out past Shelton where they have the Washington State Patrol Academy. I use to get passed regularly by police from the Washington State Patrol and other agency marked vehicles doing more then the posted speed limit. They NEVER slowed down for the reduced speed limit area though Taylor Town on Hwy 101 as well. Yes, they also would speed when they were headed towards Olympia as they left the Washington State Patrol Academy on Hwy 101 after spending the day there. But they still had their speed traps for the regular motorists. Oh and God forbid it was a day to train the new recruits on how to do traffic stops.

  11. Wow great job. Thanks for taking the time to record this. Most officers are decent people but these ones treat the law with contempt.

  12. Pingback: “Above the Law”? Caravan of Cops Get Free Pass Despite All of Them Being Caught Speeding - Wide Awake America

  13. Hello Mr. Gillam! I ran across this story on KIRO & just had to look you up. Abuse of power has become all too common. Kudos to you for having the courage to keep it real & report the travesty you witnessed. We need to clone YOU!

  14. Hey Bill, great catch! Several months ago I was driving on Hwy 2 between Spokane and Wenatchee visiting the Alcoa plant. I was driving through a host of little towns and kept to the posted limits. On a long-long stretch of Hwy where there were no cars in sight other than a car about 2 miles coming towards me and I was going 70. Turned out the other car coming towards me was a WSP who upon passing me, turned around and gave me a ticket for going 9 miles over the speed limit. The officer told me the posted limit was 60 and I said ” where’? He said about 5 miles back. He gave me a ticket!

    • George,
      Yeah WSP works that highway pretty hard. Sorry to hear you got a ticket!

      Next time just tell them you are going to a training confernece!

      See you next time you are up this way.

      Bill

  15. Sir: Just wanted to say kudos to you for this top-notch example of “people’s journalism”. Overzealous policing and blatantly unfair law enforcement practices has been a pet issue of mine for the past few years. I love it when crooked law enforcement is exposed.

    Unfortunately, “professional courtesy”, as they refer to it in the law enforcement community, is a deeply-rooted part of law enforcement culture. Immunity from traffic tickets is an expectation, and any “brother”
    who dares to write a citation on another risks ostracism and alienation from the “brotherhood”. Officers will defend this perq of the job by saying that other professions enjoy perqs, and this is their perq. But to me, that’s a false analogy. If I work at Safeway, I may get a discount on my groceries. That’s a fair perq. But I don’t get to steal stuff. Moreover, they’ll say “I may need that officer to have my back in the future, so I better not cite him or her”. Well, how pathetic that cooperation from a co-worker is predicated on overlooking illegal behavior.

    Anyway, great work and great to see this story getting national attention!

    • Andrew,
      Thanks for the comment! I’m with you on the perq thing- getting a discount on ammo, or other LEO only deals is okay by me. Doing 86 in a 60 to get to a conference is not really part of the deal in my opinion. Based on all the feedback I have received it appears the vast majority of the public feel the same.
      Bill

  16. Lori.pacchiano@gmail.com

    I have found the only people who don’t like police are the ones who have been in trouble. I could car less if the police speed. Maybe the next time someone is breaking into your house they will take their time. I’m so sick of police bashing these people risk their lives to keep our communities safe. This story is so ridiculous !

    • Lori,
      Who said anything about not liking the police? I’ve been in law enforcement myself, and have been in some form of public service for 20+ years.

      The point of this was to show that officers not on patrol, not responding to a call and not in their own district were doing 25+ MPH over the limit- not getting a ticket while the public was issued tickets for 10+ mph in the same area. There is no excuse for it- if I were in a dept vehicle doing that I would expect to be ticketed.

      Interesting that you think my home should be burglerized for sharing this incident.

      Bill

    • You do realize they are not on their way to an emergency situation in this video, correct? Or did you not actually watch the video?

      Also, the next time someone is breaking into your house, Lori, I highly doubt that the police will go 86 MPH to rush to the scene.

  17. So, it’s ok with you if they are speeding to a meeting, pushing people out of their way, and doing 25% over the posted speed limit? It’s fortunate nobody was hurt as a result of their negligent driving.
    Take the jackboot off your neck long enough to realize that if they are answering a call, they will have their lights and siren on to alert traffic.
    Bill, what is the car-to-car frequency?

  18. I am impressed with your reporting, but wonder why no one cited the statue which the officers speeding ALL violated. I posted the text below and it is written in plain language clearly stating the circumstances when emergency vehicles are allowed to exceed the speed limits. Note that in ANY case where they are exceeding the speed limits lights and sirens are REQUIRED and all actions must not put others at risk.

    We have an almost identical law in Virginia, which is obeyed by the police about the same was as it is in Washington. Sad that they consider some things perqs when the law specifically denies them this “perq” and they know it, and they are caught doing it, and no one does anything about it.

    RCW 46.61.035
    Authorized emergency vehicles.

    (1) The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or when in the pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law or when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm, may exercise the privileges set forth in this section, but subject to the conditions herein stated.

    (2) The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle may:

    (a) Park or stand, irrespective of the provisions of this chapter;

    (b) Proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation;

    (c) Exceed the maximum speed limits so long as he or she does not endanger life or property;

    (d) Disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions.

    (3) The exemptions herein granted to an authorized emergency vehicle shall apply only when such vehicle is making use of visual signals meeting the requirements of RCW 46.37.190, except that: (a) An authorized emergency vehicle operated as a police vehicle need not be equipped with or display a red light visible from in front of the vehicle; (b) authorized emergency vehicles shall use audible signals when necessary to warn others of the emergency nature of the situation but in no case shall they be required to use audible signals while parked or standing.

    (4) The foregoing provisions shall not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons, nor shall such provisions protect the driver from the consequences of his or her reckless disregard for the safety of others.

    [2010 c 8 § 9066; 1969 c 23 § 1; 1965 ex.s. c 155 § 6.]

  19. Bill, thanks for your efforts. I received a letter in the mail today notifying me that my ticket was dropped. The officer asked where I was going and I told him it was a conference for work, but it looks like I needed to say I was headed to the drug recognition conference or that my significant other was a patrol officer to get out of that one… He did graciously drop it to 5mph over.. But that was probably after he wrote warnings to others who were quicker on their feet… I share your frustration to say the least.

    Thanks again,
    Brad

  20. All I can say with significant experience, is:

    “PLEASE DON’T JUDGE THE TROOPERS UNTIL YOU HAVE WALKED IN THEIR SHOES.
    (AS A STATE TROOPER!)
    In otherwords, please don’t bash these sworn Troops
    because if you drive SR-2 one of them just may be the first responder that saves your hide if you are involved in an accident!!
    Enuf said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *