On March 24, I was pulled over by Trooper R.S. Crawford for a broken headlight.
The circumstances were complex, as my license had been suspended when I forgot to take care of a ticket. I had paid the ticket and extra fees, and after a miscommunication with the Alachua Clerk of Court, I believed there were no additional fees to be paid, and that my license would be reinstated. Unfortunately, I was not aware of an additional license reinstatement fee (past the $110 I paid over the original cost of the ticket), so I unknowingly was driving on a suspended license.
Thankfully, Trooper Crawford was very understanding, professional, and courteous about the situation, and issued me a citation for
*unknowingly* operating a vehicle while DL suspended. Even though he could have ignored my ignorance and charged me with a more serious offense, I feel he operated with excellent judgment, and deeply appreciate it.
To further complicate matters, I was returning from Harry Beckwith's Gun Range, and was transporting my unloaded firearm in a securely encased container in accordance with Florida law. When Trooper Crawford saw my range targets, he asked me about any firearms. I disclosed the location of the firearm, and he took possession of the firearm for the duration of the stop, returning it to me after the stop was over. The possession of weapons, even perfectly legal possession, can be a difficult and stressful point for officers in such a dangerous profession, but Trooper Crawford was courteous and professional.
Officers of the law are so commonly criticized over even the smallest of infractions. The news is often ready to pounce on any misdeed by the occasional bad apple, but the thousands of officers going about their duty with courtesy and professionalism are rarely noted for all the hard work they do.