Holiday tips from Bishop Police

bishoppoliceThe Bishop Police Department would like to take this opportunity to provide our Community with some important safety tips to help everyone have a happy and safe Holiday Season.

Tip#1:  Report Drunk Drivers and avoid alcohol consumption if driving.  BPD and other Public Safety Agencies will be on the lookout for those driving under the influence and we have a no tolerance policy for Drunk Drivers.

Tip#2:  Secure your valuables and don’t leave personal items unattended.  Thefts of items from vehicles and thefts of purses from shopping carts increase dramatically this time of year.  Take your packages inside or lock them in the trunk and don’t leave your purse or personal items unattended while shopping.

Tip#3:  Protect yourself against Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud.  If shopping on-line use only secure sites.  Beware of unsolicited e-mails asking for your personal information such as social security or account numbers.  Pay close attention to your statements and report any suspicious account activity immediately to the bank and local Law Enforcement.  If you have a card that is lost or stolen, report it immediately to the issuing institution.  Local Merchants are also reminded to always ask for identification when accepting credit or debit cards for purchases.  Credit Card Fraud also increases dramatically this time of year.

Tip#4:  Be a good neighbor and a good citizen.  Promptly report any suspicious activity to Law Enforcement.  The Police can’t do it alone.  We need the help of our citizens so please don’t hesitate to call the Police if you observe criminal or suspicious activity.

The men and women of the Bishop Police Department would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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44 Responses to Holiday tips from Bishop Police

  1. JJ December 22, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    I luv the police tips. Call and rat out your friends and neighbors for having a beer on x-mas. Merry x-mas even if we do live in a police state.

    • upthecreek December 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm #



  2. Eamon December 22, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    …..and don’t forget, Happy Hanukkah!

  3. Brother Man December 22, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    And Happy Kwanzaa!

  4. Bobbie Lee Swagger December 22, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Tip#5: If you see a big guy with a white beard in a red suit and pointy hat looking to get into houses via the roof, call 911 pronto.

  5. Amazed in Bishop December 22, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Wait a minute, reporting a drunk driver and having “a beer on x-mas” are two very different things. JJ, obviously, you have not lost a friend or family member to a drunk driver. Well I have and I also witnessed a drunk driver hitting a pedestrian in a cross-walk during the afternoon. All I can say is you had better not drive around me in an intoxicated state because if you are drunk and driving, I will report you to 911.

    • Tourbillon December 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

      The difficulty in conscripting the citizenry to inform on each other is that it assumes we have perfect information. Some drunks may be easy to spot, and if so, dial away if you like, although with all the police presence in the eastern Sierra I’d find it hard to believe that an obvious drunk would escape the attention of the authorities but not yours. Some other drunks, not so easy to spot. There are perfectly sober drivers who drive perfectly awfully – shall we err on the side of safety and when in doubt, rat ’em out, let the police sort them out? Maybe – but is that the kind of culture and society we want? Do we play the informant only when we are absolutely sure, or when we merely suspect?

      • Ken Warner December 23, 2011 at 3:49 am #

        Do we want a society where people who are endangering others are free to do so without any intervention?

        If someone was threatening you with great bodily harm on a busy street, would you want everyone around you to simply turn away and do nothing while you were assaulted and possibly killed?

        If someone looks like they are drunk while they are driving — then report it. It’s not being an informant, its being responsible for you and your fellow citizens and doing what’s best for the greater good.

        • Tourbillon December 26, 2011 at 10:37 am #

          Mr. Warner, political discourse is distorted enough in this country without adding to it on this thread.

          When you call the police to inform on a suspected drunk, you are by definition an informant. When the police erect a checkpoint and remove your freedom to say “I’d rather not”, they are by definition diminishing your freedom regardless of how you personally feel about it. It obviously is your opinion that in these instances, the ignominy of being an informant and the trading of a little liberty for safety are worth it, and you are perfectly entitled to that opinion. You should make that argument. But you are not entitled to deny the reality of observations that checkpoints in fact are a trading of a bit of liberty for safety and that when you dime another driver you are an informant. As they say down South, don’t pee down my back and tell me it’s raining.

          • Ken Warner December 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

            So lets imagine a society where your definitions of freedom and “informant” are the norm.

            No checkpoints to catch drunk drivers and if you see a drunk driver weaving down the road — nobody calls the police because they don’t want to be an “informant”.

            And about trading liberty for safety — by your definition, anybody should have the right to board an airplane with a loaded gun and nobody should apply screening measures at the airport to stop people from boarding an airplane with a loaded gun because that would be, “…trading liberty for safety…”

    • o2lvnmmth December 22, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

      personally, I think it should be ‘report unsafe driving’. The reality is, unless you were in the bar and saw the person drinking, you really don’t know if they are driving under the influence of alcohol. But you do know by observance that they are driving unsafely. Also, I don’t care if its alcohol or marijuana or a prescription drug or sleepiness or emotional distress…the effect can be the same, unsafe driving. Let’s get off the alcholol focus and focus on the real danger…unsafe/distracted driving!

  6. JJ December 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    Amazed- I do not believe the police should have the right to pull any one over for no reason at all. I think check points are simple wrong for many reasons. I thought we were free in this country. Safety issues should not be a reason I have to give up my freedom even for a minute. And yes I have lost friends to a lot of things ,including alcohol . Please don’t accuse me of drunk driving when you don’t know a thing about me.

    • Ken Warner December 23, 2011 at 4:08 am #

      We are free. We are also responsible for our actions. The reality is that people drink to the point of intoxication and then get in their cars and drive it in the same traffic where you are driving. If you have had several drinks, you may think you are fine but your reflexes are severely hampered.

      Why is it necessary to explain the simplest concept to you? Nobody has accused you of drunk driving. And when you are forced to drive through a checkpoint — no one is pulling you over for no reason at all, they are looking for intoxicated drivers. That’s not no reason at all.

      It’s because people are irresponsible that check points are necessary. Nobody is taking your freedom from you — they are just making sure that if you are irresponsible you don’t harm others. You are not free to be a danger to those around you. You are not free to be a danger to me. I do not have any sympathy for people who drink and drive and then are caught at a checkpoint and prevented from harming one or more people.

      Do you think that you could explain your childish version of what you think freedom is to someone who has had their child killed by a drunk that would have been prevented from killing that child by a checkpoint? Do you think you could convince them that checkpoints abridged their freedom?

    • Wayne Deja December 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

      “Safety issues should not be a reason to give up my freedom”???….The “freedom”to drink and drive…and the “freedom”to drive wrecklessly endangering everyone else thinking Law Enforcement can’t do anything about it unless they themselves witness it.

      • Benett Kessler December 24, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

        I’m not expressing an opinion on DUI checkpoints, but will comment that I have read arguments from many areas that the checkpoints violate citizens’ rights not to be randomly stopped and examined. I don’t believe anyone is saying we have a right to drink and drive wrecklessly. The great thing about our country is that we can debate our freedoms and keep them alive through active participation.

        • Wayne Deja December 24, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

          I have been stopped at these check points,and NEVER have I felt my rights were being fact have thanked the officers for helping to make the streets safer.Now if I happened to be drunk pulling into a check-point,maybe I wouldn’t have been thanking them….I didn’t feel I was being examined.If you talk with just about any Law Enforcement officer,they will say they can tell if someone is driving impaired almost instantly,just from how a driver reacts to questions,and the sobriety test usually seals the deal….if they are indeed DUI…….Have a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone…..

        • Dan Watson December 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

          The courts have consistently held that DUI checkpoints are constitutional. They do not violate drivers’ rights so long as they are conducted in a manner approved by the courts. Most people do not mind the momentary delay if it reduces the number of impaired drivers on the road. News coverage of checkpoints and on-line conversations such as this one help educate the public of the presence of these checkpoints which hopefully makes people think twice about getting behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs.

          • Ken Warner December 24, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

            Exactly so. There is no strict, uncrossable dividing line between law enforcement and the public. We are all responsible in some small way for the health and safety of those around us. Cooperation with the idea and intent of checkpoints is simply all of us working together to make our community safer for everybody.

        • Ken Warner December 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

          One can make such arguments but they are hollow strawman arguments.

          Going though a checkpoint that is strategically placed specifically to catch drunk drivers is not anywhere near random. And really how intrusive is it to say, “Hello Officer”?

          How would you consider the same argument valid if applied to a border crossing? Or the Agriculture Inspection Station on 395 near Topaz Lake? Or being asked for your fishing license by the DFG? Or proof that you paid your camp space fee? These AND the checkpoint queries are all part of our complicated society.

          If you have a better way to run a community with 350 million people all with various ways to endanger others, what is it?

        • STEVEN December 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

          Well said. Thats all I’m trying to do Benett. Merry Christmas Ol Friend.

    • charlesojones December 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

      Driving is a priviledge, not a right.

      • JJ December 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

        O.K., you walk to work.

    • upthecreek December 26, 2011 at 9:05 pm #



      • Tim December 27, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

        upthecreek, I should have you talk to my family members who grew up in east germany before the end of the cold war. You’d probably enjoy the story about my uncle who the police picked up one day and was never seen again. So before you start calling the US (or even Canada for that matter) a police state, come back down to reality and realize that you are speaking foolishly.

  7. JJ December 23, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    I have heard that police must witness you breaking the law and can not pull you over on hearsay. So why do they encourage it? I guess there are special rules for just say no fans.

    • True Blue December 25, 2011 at 11:26 am #

      JJ, once the Police receive a report of a driver that may be intoxicated they are obligated to investigate. If the reporting person gives their name they become a witness which provides probable cause to stop the suspect vehicle. Otherwise, they can follow the vehicle and look for probable cause. If the suspect vehicle has a minor mechanical violation such as a license plate light out, the vehicle can be stopped and if the officer smells alcohol then a DUI investigation can be done even though there is no erratic driving. If the driver has any indication of alcohol comsumption, the officer will determine if the person should be arrested through field sobriety tests that have been scientifically proven and are accepted in court.

      DUI is one of a few misdemeanor crimes in California where an officer can make an arrest without observing the crime. (Two other examples are domestic violence and violation of a restraining order) Hearsay evidence can be used for probable cause both in DUI cases and to obtain search warrants. The suspect can later challange the probable cause in a motion to suppress and a 1538.5 hearing will take place in front of a judge. The judge will determine if there was sufficient probable cause.

      In other misdemeanor crimes, if a citizen observed a crime (or was a victim) they can make a citizen’s arrest by signing a citizens arrest form and place the person under arrest in front of the officer. This must be done at the time of the initial contact by law enforcement. The most common example of this is misdemeanor assault or battery where the officer arrives after the incident.

      On felony crimes an officer can make an arrest on probable cause alone.

  8. Desco December 23, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.”
    ― Aristophanes

  9. JaneE December 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    A few years back I had occasion to call 911 for an impaired driver in the middle of the afternoon. He ran into the back of the car behind me, which then hit mine. The road was only 2 lanes because of construction, so we moved to the nearest parking lot to exchange information. In the parking lot, he managed to center punch 2 parked cars on opposite sides of the aisle, drive down a landscaped embankment and flatten a sapling, then drive back up and jump the sidewalk halfway to the building. When we got to him he was out of his car, using a walker, and still managed to fall down. He did not seem drunk, but he was obviously impaired. They called paramedics to take him to the hospital. It turned out he did have a high amount of alcohol in his system, and was charged with DUI. Whatever the reason, he had no business being behind the wheel. Fortunately no one was hurt by his actions, except possibly him. All unsafe drivers should be reported.

  10. Amazed in Bishop December 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    JJ, While you believe that the police do not have the right to pull anyone over for no reason at all, I believe that I have the right to get around town (walking, biking, or driving) without having to negotiate around impaired drivers. For me, it is all about safety. I am not even talking about check points but if I were, and if they get impaired drivers off of the rode then I am all for it. I have nothing to hide. And yes, I do not know a thing about you other than the opinions that you have expressed here. I certainly did not mean it to sound like I was accusing you personally of drinking and driving. It was meant in general terms that could apply to any person or persons that is/are driving impaired and just to reiterate my point, if I see it, I will report it.

  11. JJ December 24, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    I still don’t think I should be pulled over and questioned for no reason at all. Where do they draw the line?

    • Wayne Deja December 25, 2011 at 8:58 am #

      JJ……The line is drawn when EVERYBODY obeys the laws on the highway…when nobody speeds, nobody drives reckless,when nobody drinks and drives.When everyone uses common sense on the highway……which will be never.

    • True Blue December 25, 2011 at 11:36 am #

      JJ, the police cannot pull you over for no reason at all. They must have some type of reasonable suspicion to stop and detain you. This is a very low legal threshold.

      If you feel that you have been stopped without probable cause, it is a violation of your fourth amendment rights. You should file a complaint.

      If an officer asks you if he can talk to you and you say yes and stop to talk to the officer, that is not a stop it is encounter that you have consented to. You have the right to say no, and continue on your way. If you have not done anything wrong, I would reccomend that you stop talk to the officer. At any time you can ask the officer if you are being detained and if not, simply walk away.

      • Wayne Deja December 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

        True Blue……Are you sure about that?…Anytime I have been pulled over,which,thankfully,has been rare,the first thing the officer had to say to me wasn’t “can I talk to you?”..It’s usually,at least with me,”Can I see your license and registration”…and then followed by why he had pulled me over.If I didn’t agree with what he said I had done wrong,,and didn’t continue the dialog,and just drove off, I think I’d soon look in my rear-view mirror and see a caravan of CHP and Sheriff’s vehicles with red blue lights flashing….and maybe a news helicopter above me.Before you tell anyone to do what you say to do,I suggest you read the DMV handbook about when you are lit up by a Law Enforcement officer.I don’t have one in front of me(a DMV handbook),but I think it says something like if you get a ticket for what an officer is citing you for and you don’t agree with it,you still got to sign the ticket,which isn’t an admission of guilt,but agreeing to show up in court if you plan to contest the citation…..I might be wrong about that but don’t think so….I do know it doesn’t say if your pulled over and don’t think you did anything wrong,you can refuse to talk to the officer and just drive off….Chief Watson…… me with this!!!..So we all know what would happen to anyone that takes True Blue’s advise….

        • Dan Watson December 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

          Wayne – Good question. What I believe True Blue is saying is that if an officer wants to talk to you and doesn’t have probable cause to detain you, you are not required to talk or even remain. If you are pulled over for a traffic violation, the officer has probable cause to detain. If you do not stop, or leave before the matter is resolved, your description of what will occur is fairly accurate. If you flee, you will be facing more than charges for the traffic violation. It could be either evading arrest or resisting an officer. You are correct that when you sign a citation, you are not admitting guilt. The citation is merely your promise to appear in court or pay the fine. If you refuse to sign the citation, you will be arrested for the traffic violation. I hope that clarifies this for you.

          • Wayne Deja December 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

            Chief Watson……Thanks for the clarification……Since the topic on this story was more or less geared towards DUI check-points and traffic arrests and stops,I just kind of figured True Blue’s comment was directed to that…..not if Law Enforcement happened to come knocking on your front door asking questions…Thanks for the reply …Merry Christmas and have a Happy and safe New Year.

        • True Blue December 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

          Wayne, I should have clarified that I was speaking about a contact on the street as a pedestrian and an officer asks to speak to you. The courts have ruled that as soon as the red lights come on and they are directed at you, it is a detention and you cannot leave until the officer is done with you if you are in a vehicle or on foot. Red Lights = Detention. Sorry about the misunderstanding, I should have made it more clear.

          Thanks for bringing it up.

          • Wayne Deja December 25, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

            True Blue…Hey,no problem …..When I saw your post,I kind of saw the dark side to what you might have been saying…probably based on what some of the other posters were saying about constitutional rights being violated and what not with DUI check-points and civilian 911 calls with suspected drunk drivers.But one question left….just out of curiosity..if an officer does approach you on the street,with your last post,isn’t that also a type of detention?…and different than if they come by a residence to make communication?..say,if a crime was committed in the area,and Law Enforcement happened to see you in the area?If that were the case,probably not a good idea to walk away from the officers,right?

          • True Blue December 26, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

            Wayne, this is another excellent question by you. It depends on what words the officer uses with you. The courts have ruled that it is not so much what the officer says but what a reasonable person would think when they hear them. Here are three examples:

            1. Hi, can I talk to you?

            2. Hi, I need to talk to you.

            3. Stop! I need to talk to you!

            In my opinion #1 would be a request for a consensual encounter. #2 could go either way. #3 would be a detention.

            Other factors could tip the scales such as time of day or location. Such as if it was broad daylight in front of the Bishop City Park or at 2:30 A.M. behind a business.

            My advice would be to always talk to officers who want to talk to you if you have not done anything wrong. They are human beings and you could make it a positive encounter that could help you out in the future.

            Having said that, there are unwritten rules. For instance, I know of a young man who lives in Bishop who has been stopped four times by the Bishop Police Department. The last time they searched his vehicle for unknown contraband. The boy is a college student and very active in his church (as is his whole family) and has never been involved in any type of criminal activity. The probable cause for the last stop was failure to use his turn signal! How many times does that happen each day and no one gets stopped? As a college student he owns an older car. He has no idea why the officer wanted to search his car but he gave consent to search. He believes it is because he drives an old car.

            It may have to do with the fact he was driving while BIB (Black In Bishop). You see his family is one of the only black families in Bishop. They are educated, in college and or working. His older sister is in medical school. The other interesting fact is that they are legal immigrants from Africa. They will become good Americans some day. In his country you would never say no to the police. He could have refused consent to search. Then the unwritten rule would kick in. If you consent to a search and the officer does not find anything, a citation is not issued. If you refuse consent, they get a ticket. Not using a turn indicator is a moving violation which would increase his insurance rates and result in a fine. Standing on principal is a fine idea, but there can be consequences.

          • Rob December 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

            People that don’t want to talk to law enforcement have something to hide and are probably on the other side of the law in some aspect of their life.

            If you’re on the right side of the law, law enforcement works for you.

  12. Rex Allen December 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Benett & Wayne: Are you two talking of driving RECKLESSLY, or WRECKLESSLY? One is bad, the other desirable, and they are often mutually exclusive.

    Also, what is the difference between requiring that a driver demonstrate the proper skills in a driving test and requiring demonstration of ability to use those skills in a sobriety test?

    • Benett Kessler December 24, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

      Dear Rex,
      Good to hear from you. I am unabashedly wrong about the spelling. It should be reckless. I have never administered a sobriety test, so I can’t say how driving skills are tested. I understand from anecdotal tales that officers try to test sobriety (not driving skills) by asking you to touch your nose from wide spread arms and to walk a straight line. May none of us have to find out about this first hand!

  13. JJ December 26, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    True Blue- you sound like you know the law and are likely correct. But I still feel as though I am being pulled over for no reason at all every time I drive thru a DUI check point. Is being pulled into a check point not the same as being pulled over for no reason?

    • Ken Warner December 26, 2011 at 10:57 am #

      I guess at this point no rational arguments would change your mind. So I guess you will just have to continue feeling put upon.

  14. JJ December 26, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Ken you ever hear two wrongs don’t make it right?


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