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Old February 16th, 2010, 02:26 PM   #1
Steve-in-Petoskey
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if this were you or me.....

TRAVERSE CITY -- An off-duty Traverse City police officer who crashed and burned his personal vehicle walked away unharmed and legally unscathed, even though he was driving with an expired license plate.
Traverse City officer Joseph L. Soffredine failed to make a turn on Cedar Run Road just west of Harris Road on Feb. 7 about 3:20 a.m. Soffredine is the son of Ralph Soffredine, a city commissioner and former Traverse City police chief.
A report written by Grand Traverse Sheriff's Department deputies said Soffredine, 38, was headed west toward his home in his 2004 Dodge Durango when he hit a patch of ice, lost control, and struck several small trees.
Deputies did not ask Soffredine to submit to field sobriety or preliminary breath tests for alcohol. They apparently did not check his license plates, which expired July 31, 2009, according to Michigan Secretary of State records.
Sheriff deputies Robert Sillers and Mark Noffke responded to the accident, as did members of the Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department. Metro Chief Pat Parker said it appears the Durango overheated and caught fire in the engine compartment when Soffredine tried to free the vehicle.
Undersheriff Nathan Alger defended the deputies' decision not to ticket Soffredine for the crash or ask him to take sobriety tests.
"We don't give tickets to everyone involved in an accident, at-fault or otherwise," Alger said. "That's up to the officer's discretion."
The police report cited icy conditions, but June and Terry Martin, who live near the incident scene, said the road was clear when Soffredine crashed onto their property.
The National Weather Service in Gaylord said Feb. 5 had just a trace of snow, while Feb. 6 and Feb. 7 were cold and sunny.
"I wasn't there, so I don't know what the conditions of the road were," Alger said. "I'll take the police report at face value."
But Alger acknowledged concern when a reporter informed him of Soffredine's expired plates.
"This information is problematic and troubling," Alger said. "Those officers should have run the plate that evening, and if they didn't, I don't know why not. Unfortunately, a Record-Eagle reporter is the one telling me this. I'm going to be talking to the officers ... ."
"My assumption is they didn't run it because he is a police officer and they assumed it would be up-to-date," Alger said. "On Monday, they'll be instructed to investigate the registration and make sure the vehicle was insured."
Soffredine did not return messages left on his voice mail.
Soffredine could face a civil infraction of $100 if the sheriff's department decides to cite him for failing to register his vehicle.
He may also face discipline from his employer.
"We expect our police officers to adhere to the traffic laws like everybody else," Traverse City Police Capt. Steve Morgan said. "As for discipline ... I'll be talking to the chief about it when he gets back Monday."


http://www.record-eagle.com/local/lo...044001028.html


here is what the cops are saying


http://gtcopwatch.org/forum/index.ph...c=2062.new#new

Last edited by Steve-in-Petoskey; February 16th, 2010 at 02:30 PM.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 02:31 PM   #2
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Wow!!
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Old February 16th, 2010, 02:32 PM   #3
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Old February 16th, 2010, 02:32 PM   #4
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Not surprised
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Old February 16th, 2010, 02:34 PM   #5
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I hope they drove his ass home.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 02:41 PM   #6
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Old February 16th, 2010, 02:48 PM   #7
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Old February 16th, 2010, 02:51 PM   #8
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Sure, people bitch about it when they let a cop go without ticketing him for his expired registration, but when an officer lets you off the hook for YOUR transgression, by giving you a warning rather than a ticket.....somehow that isn't news worthy.

Every job has it's perks.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:00 PM   #9
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cops seem to thik their above the law thats bullsh*t
i've never got warning or???
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:02 PM   #10
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cops seem to thik their above the law thats bullsh*t
Other than the license plate, what did he do that was illegal?
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:03 PM   #11
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Other than the license plate, what did he do that was illegal?
He went over the white line.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:03 PM   #12
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Other than the license plate, what did he do that was illegal?
Illegal wheeling on private property.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SweetLeah View Post
Sure, people bitch about it when they let a cop go without ticketing him for his expired registration, but when an officer lets you off the hook for YOUR transgression, by giving you a warning rather than a ticket.....somehow that isn't news worthy.

Every job has it's perks.
Very true, and I have no issue with the expired plate at all, but if you or I crashed at 3:20 in the morning, regardless of the conditions, we'd be required to submit to a breathalyzer. It seems suspicious that he caught his vehicle on fire trying to drive away from the accident? Did I read that right? I'm pretty certain I would have been checked for alchohol if for no other reason than the time of the accident. I'm sure one of you officers will jump in and correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:09 PM   #14
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Very true, and I have no issue with the expired plate at all, but if you or I crashed at 3:20 in the morning, regardless of the conditions, we'd be required to submit to a breathalyzer. It seems suspicious that he caught his vehicle on fire trying to drive away from the accident? Did I read that right? I'm pretty certain I would have been checked for alchohol if for no other reason than the time of the accident. I'm sure one of you officers will jump in and correct me if I'm wrong.
Only if they suspected it: i.e. breath, slurred speech, stumbling, etc. Maybe the guy works nights like a lot of other cops.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:14 PM   #15
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Very true, and I have no issue with the expired plate at all, but if you or I crashed at 3:20 in the morning, regardless of the conditions, we'd be required to submit to a breathalyzer. It seems suspicious that he caught his vehicle on fire trying to drive away from the accident? Did I read that right? I'm pretty certain I would have been checked for alchohol if for no other reason than the time of the accident. I'm sure one of you officers will jump in and correct me if I'm wrong.
I agree that more than likely you or I would have to submit to a field sobriety test of some sort and it's awfully strange that no further action was taken after the car fire.

In many cases, officers are simply criminals on the proper side of the law.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #16
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It also needs to be noticed that this story is written by the record eagle. They pick and prod at anything that does not fit their agenda and makes their town look anything less than paradise. While the incident may have a few issues that need to be reviewed, I do not believe a thing I read in the record eagle until I have backed it up with other sources.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #17
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I agree that more than likely you or I would have to submit to a field sobriety test of some sort and it's awfully strange that no further action was taken after the car fire.

In many cases, officers are simply criminals on the proper side of the law.
Sure. And it can just as easily be argued that with all that they have to deal with, they deserve a few perks like this one. I can see both sides. Either way, glad it was not me driving.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:17 PM   #18
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Only if they suspected it: i.e. breath, slurred speech, stumbling, etc. Maybe the guy works nights like a lot of other cops.
I think the hopped up personality that anyone would display as a result of the adrenaline rush the body provides in a stressful situation, like a car accident, would be enough cause for any officer to ask for a sobriety test.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:41 PM   #19
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I wish I could drive around for 7 months on expired tags. But I can't even make it a week. FTP.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetLeah View Post
Sure, people bitch about it when they let a cop go without ticketing him for his expired registration, but when an officer lets you off the hook for YOUR transgression, by giving you a warning rather than a ticket.....somehow that isn't news worthy.

Every job has it's perks.
ill refrain from ripping this post. my snide comments have been removed.

Last edited by joe_jeep; February 16th, 2010 at 04:24 PM.
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