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View Full Version : 9/17/06 - BK



moose135
09-17-2006, 07:22 PM
Headed out for some JFK spotting, with landings on 31R. Drove through Costco, but since it was about Noon, and I was looking for lunch, I went to BK. I went it, picked up some lunch, and sat out in the parking lot - I made sure to keep the bag & soda in plain view the whole time I was standing out shooting.

After about 45 minutes, I noticed some guy giving me a funny look as he drove out. About 10 minutes later, I see a Nassau County PD car waiting to make the turn into the lot, and I know he is heading my way.

He parked next to me, and after getting out smiled and said "You must be the suspicious guy taking pictures". I said, "Yes, that's me". He said they had gotten a call, and he had just been over checking out someone at Costco. I offered him my ID without his asking, and he asked if I was a hobbyist, and how long I had been doing this. I explained I've been doing this for years, told him I was a former USAF pilot. He recorded my info (and pointed to the other guy's info in his notepad - I remember seeing someone out front near Costco, I don't remember his name, but he was the newbie who was with us when we were stopped by PAPD over at Cargo last month)

About that time a second NCPD car pulls up, with a female officer, and we continued the conversation. They explained there was no problem, but that they had to check me out (I said I appreciated that, that I would be upset if they didn't make sure I was harmless). The first officer went back to his car to call in to a superior, and I had a little chat with the female officer. She said she used to have the post in the area, and had been called to check photographers in the past, so she was familiar with what we were doing, and we talked a little about aviation and my work at Newsday. Again, she said they just needed to check me out. I said I was fine with that, just that there were other times where it had been implied that this was illegal, or somehow not allowed after 9/11 (and I also mentioned that I had never heard that from NCPD) She said "Well, we're not going to tell you that because there's nothing illegal about it."

The first officer came back, said he had spoken with someone at the precinct, who said it there wasn't a problem and left it up to them what they wanted to do. They said I was free to stay and asked if I was - I told them I would probably be there about another hour, and he said that way if they got another call, they would know it was me.

I showed them an NYCA postcard, and he mentioned the guy at Costco said there were Internet sites that listed Costco as a good spotter location, which I agreed with. The first officer joked "This is a great spot to take pictures, but it's also a good spot if you have shoulder-launched missile!" I said "That's why it's good to have guys like us out there, watching what is going on and acting as another set of eyes in the area."

Before leaving, he asked if he could look in my trunk - made it clear that I was under no obligation to let him, but it would "put us at ease". Given how well the encounter was going, and how he asked, I had no problem letting him look. They then wished me a good afternoon, and spent about 5 minutes near their cars, talking. Finally with a wave they drove off. I ended up spending about another hour there, until JFK switched runways.

This is how all such encounters should go - the officers were professional, made it clear that they were responding to a call and had to confirm that I wasn't a threat, and never tried to intimidate me by implying I was doing something illegal. We all remained polite, even friendly, throughout the encounter, and I left with a good feeling about how NCPD deals with the public, and I hope they left with a good feeling about how spotters act toward law enforcement.

Iberia A340-600
09-17-2006, 07:44 PM
I was worried when I saw the BK next to September 17th because I have never had a cop come check me out there.

I'm glad everything went well and you handled the situation supremly Moose!

Mellyrose
09-17-2006, 08:14 PM
Gordon...I think we all got worried with the BK title!

Phew....good job Moose. Handled it as well as anyone could've. :)

PhilDernerJr
09-17-2006, 08:14 PM
Man, a GREAT encounter. So happy to see police doing their job, while being professional, respectful, and SMART. As good as it gets. I should send them flowers!! :)

Great job representing us, Moose!

Midnight Mike
09-17-2006, 08:39 PM
Excellent news! It what I said before, the more Police are familar with the activites of Spotters, the more these type of incidents will decrease.

Moose

Sounds like you played it cool as well, nicely done...

moose135
09-17-2006, 08:48 PM
Moose

Sounds like you played it cool as well, nicely done...

Thanks, I'm getting to be an old pro at these :)

Futterman
09-17-2006, 09:18 PM
I showed them an NYCA postcard, and he mentioned the guy at Costco said there were Internet sites that listed Costco as a good spotter location, which I agreed with. The first officer joked "This is a great spot to take pictures, but it's also a good spot if you have shoulder-launched missile!" I said "That's why it's good to have guys like us out there, watching what is going on and acting as another set of eyes in the area."

I'm going to give you a big bear hug next time we meet, just for this. :)

Well done!!

Brian

jran225
09-17-2006, 09:28 PM
Great job Moose!! This is how every such encounter should be handled! :)

Greets,
-Omar S. :)