Cop Tales are true stories as told by law enforcement officers from all over the country. The stories are told in the first person. The actual officer’s initials follow each story.

Sadie Hawkins dance

In case you didn’t know, a Sadie Hawkins Dance is when the girl asks the boy to a dance. One year, my daughter wanted to ask her boyfriend so she asked me if a highway patrolman would stop him on his way home from school. I asked another officer if he would do her the favor.

One day, after school, the officer met my daughter and I and took her in his patrol car. When the boy drove away from the school, the officer waited for him to turn down a side street, then put on all of his emergency lights and siren. The boy pulled to the right shoulder in a panic. The officer told him he stopped him for driving too fast near a school zone. He then asked him to exit his vehicle and step onto the sidewalk. He was very nervous as he did as instructed.

Once he got onto the sidewalk, my daughter exited the back seat of the car with a poster and balloons and asked him to the dance. He was excited about her asking him, but his heartbeat took awhile to calm down. Six years later, that boy became a highway patrolman and married my daughter the very next day.

- BS

Read at your own risk

Working the graveyard shift in a remote county area on the highway patrol doesn’t give you many healthy options for a good meal. Truck stops, fast food, and the occasional hot dog from the local gas station are your only choices. After ingesting one of those “meals,” my graveyard partner and I received a call near the farthest reaches of the county of a crash where the car rolled over.

We started responding to the crash when something I had ingested did not agree with me. Suffice it to say, I was in trouble. There were no bathrooms anywhere near us. Twenty minutes later, we arrived on scene and, after determining the crash to be a non-injury crash, I ran to the trunk of the patrol car and grabbed a roll of toilet paper. I ran past the perimeter fence into the darkness of an open field where I proceeded to “take care of business” in the most primitive of ways.

Soon after, the fire department arrived and used the large spot lamps on their truck to illuminate the scene, which unfortunately included me. I used my jacket in a feeble attempt to conceal myself. What I hadn’t realized in my haste was that I was right next to a herd of cows and a very large bull in the field. The bull was not too happy with my presence. I immediately cleaned up and sprinted back over the fence where I was met by my partner and firemen. Of course, they were all laughing hysterically.

- AG

Will you marry me?

While I was sitting in a highway patrol briefing, the sergeant entered and advised that a man at the front counter wanted to propose to his girlfriend, but wanted a highway patrolman to stop him and play a joke on his girlfriend. I volunteered for the task. I went to the front counter and spoke to the young man as we set up our plan for an upcoming date. I told him I would be at a four-way stop sign at a certain time. I told him to completely stop at the sign, but I would pull him over and say he did not come to a complete stop. We would proceed from there.

On the selected date, I made a traffic stop on his car, obtained his license and registration and went back to my patrol car. I reapproached his window and asked him to go with me to my vehicle. I then placed him in handcuffs. His girlfriend attempted to get out of the car a couple of times to ask what I was doing with him.

I allowed her to exit and I asked her how well she knew him. I then explained that I ran his license and he had a long rap sheet. I told her I couldn’t tell her about all his convictions, but did he carry large amounts of drugs and weapons in his vehicle. She was very upset and asked what was going to happen to him. I told her I was taking him to jail, but she could talk to him first.

She walked up to him and he apologized to her. He then asked her if she would take the box out of his shirt pocket. She reached in, removed the ring box and asked what she should do with it. He told her to open it. When she opened it, he asked her if she would marry him. She was very confused and was worried about his long rap sheet. He asked her three times before she finally replied.

She said, “Yes, but how do I get you out of jail?” He then told her it was just a set-up and he wasn’t really in trouble. I released him from the handcuffs and allowed them to celebrate. Thirty years later, the husband located me on Facebook and advised they were still happily married.

- SN

Brian Smith served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and retired as an assistant chief with the California Highway Patrol. He resides in Bakersfield. If you have a personal “Cop Tale” to share, please contact Smith at

(2) comments

All Star

Now when I pay my yearly DMV tags I'll feel better that the money, which helps fund the CHP, is used to allow officers to play around while on duty to help citizens propose to their future spouses and ask fellow school students to a dance.


Allstar, you know that they are just everyday people, why don't you just lighten up and enjoy a good laugh ! Everyone has some fun on their job, so don't be a prick.

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