View Full Version : Stopped at the Cargo area

2005-07-23, 10:16 AM
Figured I'd post a nicer story about being stopped by the police while spotting. Yesterday I spent some time down at the cargo area at JFK and was there for about an hour and along comes a NYPD patrol car on a routine patrol. We all know that someone with a camera near an active runway more then likely is going to be questioned if they see you. So I'm outside my car with my camera and they pass by, I'm thinking to myself "oh I'm sure there going to swing around" and sure enough they do.

So now I'm thinking hmmm what kind of stop will this be, good or bad? So they pull up ask me "what are you doing". So I know in the past if you exhibit a great deal of enthusiasm it goes along way to diffuse any possible tension that might bubble up. So I'm like "OMG you can't believe the action today, I'm getting some great pictures” They asked me what do you do with them? I told them personal use and I post the pics on a few websites. I even say to them "oh let me give you my id", he says to me "nah no need, I believe you, hope you get some good pics" he says goodbye and drives away. So rather then being a total jackass like SCPD he was professional friendly and used good judgment. I think the key was being as enthusiastic and friendly about what I love to do.

2005-07-23, 02:30 PM
I love hearing great stories like this. Out of all the jurisdictions I've encountered, I've always felt that the NYPD was the most professional and understanding.

The Cargo Area has always been a tough one when it comes to enthusiasm. But I think it's obviously getting better, and the people that see us in there are getting used to us.

This encounter is a big leap, I think.

Good post Tommy!

2005-07-24, 12:40 AM
tommy, nick and i have spent time there and been watched by PAPD cops frequently. as long as you don't look like you're doing somethign wring then they won't bother you, too much...

2005-07-24, 12:37 PM
Nice work, Tommy. As Phil said, the cargo areas have always been hit/miss in terms of being able to stay there, but it seems to be becoming yet another regular spot.

Granted, despite all the enthusiasm and courtesy you showed, the "type" of cop definitely plays a big role. The one you delt with obviously had a lot of compassion and common sense, but others are gung-ho about their job to the extent that they are convinced that ANYONE doing ANYTHING is a threat.

This time around though, there was a mutual understanding that worked for the better. Always nice.


2005-08-08, 05:28 PM
the SAME thing happened to me when I was at the DHL cargo area watching the a/c come in via the canarsie approach for like two hours undisturbed then , like 2-3 minutes after that a security guard that works in a gate that lets the trucks onto the cargo apron walked out of his booth and said to me and my bro," Can I see your Port Authority I.D. passes" . . . and he was being a dumas b/c he knew two 16 yearolds did not have any ID cards, then he said DHL owned the property we were on and how it was private and stuff so we had to walk away.
Another time while I was outside of TWA's old terminal watching Jet Blues A320's taxi in (some on 1 engine) a guy who was finished loading an animal in the cargo hold pulled over and said "you can't be here" and he asked me to leave (and I did), and guess what this was after being asked to leave the employee parking lot of terminal #4 (I think? ,it has been a while now ) because I was watching a Noerthwest DC-9 pull in.