1. #1
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    Default Cop pay 3 a.m. visit...

    ...to tell a man his door is unlocked.

    From CNN.com:

    LAKEVILLE, Minnesota (AP) -- A Lakeville man says he feels violated after two police officers woke him up at 3 a.m. to tell him his door was unlocked.

    Their surprise visit was part of a public service campaign to remind residents to secure their homes to prevent thefts. Usually, officers just leave notices on doors.

    But they went further in Troy Molde's case on Thursday. Police entered the house where four children under 7 were having a sleepover, and then went upstairs to Molde's bedroom.

    The officers told Molde his garage door was open, the TV was on, the keys to his truck were left in the ignition and the door to his house was ajar.

    A police spokesman says the intrusion was justified because the officers' initial door knocks went unanswered, and they wanted to make sure nothing was wrong.

    He says the kids inside -- Molde's two sons and two nephews -- were afraid to wake their dad, so the officers went upstairs.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Interesting idea by the police department. I don't know if I would feel violated in this situation. I'm sure that guy got startled when he woke up to find the cops in his bedroom, but thats a heck of a lot better than waking up to some sicko raping those kids and then killing them all (I know, I know, worst case scenario, what if...what if....). And sometimes getting a little flustered by some stranger(s) waking you up in the middle in the night will be all the reminder you need to look your doors in the future.

    The only problem I have with this campaign is this: What if the find an unlocked door, go in, find a meth lab, and then arrest the guys. Would the court have to let them go because they did not have "probable cause" to enter the house and do a "search"?

    I think the concept is a good idea, seems like a bigger version of the security guys at our hospital making rounds in the parking lot and letting you know if your car is unlocked.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    ...to tell a man his door is unlocked.

    From CNN.com:

    LAKEVILLE, Minnesota (AP) -- A Lakeville man says he feels violated after two police officers woke him up at 3 a.m. to tell him his door was unlocked.

    Their surprise visit was part of a public service campaign to remind residents to secure their homes to prevent thefts. Usually, officers just leave notices on doors.

    But they went further in Troy Molde's case on Thursday. Police entered the house where four children under 7 were having a sleepover, and then went upstairs to Molde's bedroom.

    The officers told Molde his garage door was open, the TV was on, the keys to his truck were left in the ignition and the door to his house was ajar.

    A police spokesman says the intrusion was justified because the officers' initial door knocks went unanswered, and they wanted to make sure nothing was wrong.

    He says the kids inside -- Molde's two sons and two nephews -- were afraid to wake their dad, so the officers went upstairs.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Interesting idea by the police department. I don't know if I would feel violated in this situation. I'm sure that guy got startled when he woke up to find the cops in his bedroom, but thats a heck of a lot better than waking up to some sicko raping those kids and then killing them all (I know, I know, worst case scenario, what if...what if....). And sometimes getting a little flustered by some stranger(s) waking you up in the middle in the night will be all the reminder you need to look your doors in the future.

    The only problem I have with this campaign is this: What if the find an unlocked door, go in, find a meth lab, and then arrest the guys. Would the court have to let them go because they did not have "probable cause" to enter the house and do a "search"?

    I think the concept is a good idea, seems like a bigger version of the security guys at our hospital making rounds in the parking lot and letting you know if your car is unlocked.
    Great question. Short answer is...it would be admissable under the Plain View Doctrine. As long as the officers had probable cause to enter (they do if they find a situaton such as described above. They don't if they have to manufacture the circumstances. For example, if they are investigating drug activity and happen to find an "open door" or "hear someone yelling for help", they will probably lose), they can lawfully seize evidence of a crime that is in plain view. Plain view would be described as being out in the open and nothing had to be moved or opened to see it.

    The smartest thing the PD could do is to publicize this incident. That would validate the program's intent.

    BTW, you have to wonder about a guy who has seven-yoa over for a sleepover and doesn't secure his house. Not too bright.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    So from a "drug-situation" point-of-view they would be okay then? Would this situation qualify as a wellfare check, and since they did not have to force entry anything found would be in plain view?

    And I know that the drug-thing is not the intented point of this program. I do think that it is smart to publicize this incident. They should use his statement of "I feel violated" and really push how much more violated he coud have felt if he was robbed or worse. Even if they have to scrap this program because of this incident, I think it will remind a lot of people in that town to check their doors.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    So from a "drug-situation" point-of-view they would be okay then? Would this situation qualify as a wellfare check, and since they did not have to force entry anything found would be in plain view?

    And I know that the drug-thing is not the intented point of this program. I do think that it is smart to publicize this incident. They should use his statement of "I feel violated" and really push how much more violated he coud have felt if he was robbed or worse. Even if they have to scrap this program because of this incident, I think it will remind a lot of people in that town to check their doors.
    It's difficult to give a blanket answer, as every situation is different. But plain view is not simply being in the house. Generally, you can't open drawers, look under seat cushions, open a briefcase, etc.

    Also generally speaking, the "plain view" evidence will be left where it is )if safe) and used as probable cause to obtain a search warrant. Unless there are exigent circumstances, you are ALWAYS better off with a warrant.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Isn't that a bit dangerous? I don't know about Lakeville, MN, but there are a lot of places where they would have been lucky the owner didn't hear them come in and have a gun on them; or worse, actually firing at what they thought was an intruder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    Isn't that a bit dangerous? I don't know about Lakeville, MN, but there are a lot of places where they would have been lucky the owner didn't hear them come in and have a gun on them; or worse, actually firing at what they thought was an intruder.
    Ya no kidding. Especially if it had happened around here. Not sure how of the local area news a lot of you guys catch, but there have been several shootings in this past 3 weeks - WAY TOO MANY in my mind, but then this is DC. I've lost count of the number of fatalities.

    In any case, I'm agreeing with 22's point about the adult occupants responding with firearms. I suspect that if a similar situation were to happen locally it would likely not be a very pretty scene for anyone concerned. Although, on the other hand, doors left open in the middle of the night would be pretty much non-existant here too, so I guess thats the trade off.
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    I was gonna say those guys would be LUCKY if I didn't come out of a dead sleep to see a couple guys I don't recognize and not catch a couple .44spl rounds...
    I'm kinda paranoid like that anyway... lol
    FF/EMT

    The opinions in the above post do not reflect those of my department... Hell they don't even necessarily reflect my own opinion.

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    Am I the only one who thinks that police shouldn't have the power to just walk into anybody's house any time they fell like it. Sure maybe if a crime is being committed but just to walk into a guys bedroom to tell him his door is unlocked. If a mans castle isn't sacred anymore, what is? People leave their doors unlocked all over the country. Is that a crime?

    I believe whatever I do in my house (including keeping my lights on and my doors unlocked) is no one elses business as long as I am not harming anyone or committing a crime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scrapper View Post
    Am I the only one who thinks that police shouldn't have the power to just walk into anybody's house any time they fell like it. Sure maybe if a crime is being committed but just to walk into a guys bedroom to tell him his door is unlocked. If a mans castle isn't sacred anymore, what is? People leave their doors unlocked all over the country. Is that a crime?

    I believe whatever I do in my house (including keeping my lights on and my doors unlocked) is no one elses business as long as I am not harming anyone or committing a crime.

    Whoa, back down scrappy. The police DO NOT have the right to walk into any premises anytime they feel like it. The US COnstitution says so. They have the right to enter your castle under certain circumstances. You are miscjaraterizing the reason they entered the house.

    All you gunslingers should take a step back, too. It would be a horrible thing if you put rounds into your kids' chest. Remember, in this case, the police announced their presence multiple times and got no response. The kids also were "afraid to wake" dad up. I'll bet he was a piece of work to begin with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrapper View Post
    Am I the only one who thinks that police shouldn't have the power to just walk into anybody's house any time they fell like it. Sure maybe if a crime is being committed but just to walk into a guys bedroom to tell him his door is unlocked. If a mans castle isn't sacred anymore, what is? People leave their doors unlocked all over the country. Is that a crime?

    I believe whatever I do in my house (including keeping my lights on and my doors unlocked) is no one elses business as long as I am not harming anyone or committing a crime.
    The problem is that your castle is only as sacred as you make it. If the cops can walk in, then anybody can walk in. That is the point of the program. It appears that normally they just leave a note on your door, the article is not really clear about why they entered the house during this incident. The point is to look your door.

    What are you gonna say when the bad guys entered his house and raped and killed the kids because he left the door unlocked? I don't think that "If a mans castle is not sacred anymore, what is?" would cut it in that scenario...
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    It appears that normally they just leave a note on your door, the article is not really clear about why they entered the house during this incident
    Why not just leave another note like others? Are lights on and a door ajar enough to give them the right to enter? Or is there another reason they felt it was necessary to enter. Thats what I would like to know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by resQengine View Post
    Why not just leave another note like others? Are lights on and a door ajar enough to give them the right to enter? Or is there another reason they felt it was necessary to enter. Thats what I would like to know.
    Rereading the original article, I could see how not only an unlocked door, but an unlocked door that was "ajar" at 3 am, with an open garage door, and a vehicle with keys in the ignition would seem kind of weird to the cops.

    Did someone force open the door and is burglarizing the house? Did they open the garage and got the car ready so that when they are done gathering up their loot they can jump in the car and steal it too?

    After rereading the article I really come away with a feeling that the cops saw an open door in the middle of the night and were making sure nothing fishy is going on, and that they were not trying to see whose balls they could bust for leaving their door unlocked.
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    I guess to kind of clarify my thoughts a little better:

    The big question is this: What was going through the heads of the cops at the time?

    If it was: "Door open at 3am, looks like someone might be trying to take off with the car, lets make sure nobody is burglarizing the house!" then I don't have a single problem with them going in to make sure the people who are living there are safe.

    if it was: "Look, an unlocked open door, I love that new program that lets us bust peoples balls for this kind of stuff. Lets teach those people a lesson!" then they are very wrong for doing so.

    I am going to guess they were going in for the first reason....
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    The big question is this: What was going through the heads of the cops at the time?

    If it was: "Door open at 3am, looks like someone might be trying to take off with the car, lets make sure nobody is burglarizing the house!" then I don't have a single problem with them going in to make sure the people who are living there are safe.

    if it was: "Look, an unlocked open door, I love that new program that lets us bust peoples balls for this kind of stuff. Lets teach those people a lesson!" then they are very wrong for doing so.

    I am going to guess they were going in for the first reason....
    Agreed. I guess that is what I was trying to say. I just want more facts.

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    I would hope that if this happened to me, that the cops would make plenty of noise coming up the stairs - otherwise they'd have a hell of a fright when I jumped naked out of my bed! Though some of the local fuzz-ettes might laugh...

    Back to serious. I personally wouldn't have much of an issue, they would have to have a good reason, but if so would be welcome. After all, I can legally enter any house if I have reason to believe that there may be a fire that is threatening life. It all comes down to was the reason for entering reasonable? The situation quoted seems reasonable to me.
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    Remember one thing. 99.9% of all cops are not out there to bust balls. They are there for the same reason you are...to help people.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by resQengine View Post
    Why not just leave another note like others? Are lights on and a door ajar enough to give them the right to enter? Or is there another reason they felt it was necessary to enter. Thats what I would like to know.
    Yeah that would be good. Just leave a note because you didn't want to scare anyone. Then a few days later when nobody has heard from them and you do a well fare check find everyone dead. That would go over real well.

    One half would be mad because you walked in on them while they were asleep. The other half would chastise you for NOT checking on them.

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    I really have a problem with this situation, and had it happened to me I would likely feel like my rights were violated as well.

    What law was being broken by the keys being in the ignition, the garage door being open, the door being unlocked and ajar, and the tv being on? None. Are you required by law to answer the door when someone knocks? No. So why in this case did the LEOs feel it was their duty to enter when they readily admit that typically they just leave a note? Since the admitted reason for the policy is to prevent thefts could they have determined that there was some criminal act going on without entering the residence by simply sitting outside and watching the residence for a little while? Yes.

    IMO they overstepped their bounds in this case.

    Remember one thing. 99.9% of all cops are not out there to bust balls.
    While I agree that the majority of LEO's are out there for the right reasons I'll respectfully disagree that the percentage is that high. I had too much time wasted in my younger days waiting on a drug dog to come sniff around my vehicle after I refused to allow an officer to search my vehicle during a stop for a minor traffic violation. Of course, their time was just as wasted since the dog can't find what was never there in the first place. I guess I was a victim of profiling and didn't know it because I was a young male with long hair.

    I'll also disagree based on the chickens**** equipment violation ticket I received for a defective taillight after the hour I spent handcuffed in the rear seat of a patrol car at a revenue generation...I mean DL....checkpoint in a backwater town because these small town officers didn't know state law.
    I was on the way back to our hunt club from a tract of land we had in the next county over. As my standard practice, and completely legal per South Carolina code of law I had my sidearm in it's holster on my belt. When I entered the town I drove up on a checkpoint the local three man PD had set up. When the officer approached my vehicle I advised him that I was returning from hunting and had my sidearm on to avoid a potentially lethal situation if he discovered it by accident. He draws down on me, yells for the other two officers who also draw down on me, they ask me to step out of the vehicle, make me lay down in the middle of the road, cuff me and tell me I am under arrest for improperly carrying a handgun. I advise them that per SC law I am legal because I am returning from hunting, that's why I am in camo and have a fourwheeler with a climbing stand strapped to the front rack. I am then placed in the rear of a patrol car, and a wrecker is called to tow my vehicle. Luckily before the wrecker arrives a deputy sheriff pulls up and when asked why I was being arrested. Thankfully he did know the law and I was freed. While two officers reloaded the cased rifle, cooler, and other equipment they had removed while searching my vehicle the third officer kept walking around my vehicle. Finally I guess he got his small victory that night because he stroked out a ticket for a defective taillight. I got mine the next week when a conversation with a family friend led to me being placed in touch with a friend of theirs, the town magistrate. He inquired if I was available for the court date, and by chance I had already planned on being at the hunt club that week. He assured me that if I showed up for court it would be taken care of, so I did. It sure felt great when he ordered all three officers to apologize to me in front of everybody in that courtroom as he threw out the ticket, saying he felt I had endured enough anguish that night and any fine would be too much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LFDLT10 View Post
    I really have a problem with this situation, and had it happened to me I would likely feel like my rights were violated as well.

    What law was being broken by the keys being in the ignition, the garage door being open, the door being unlocked and ajar, and the tv being on? None. Are you required by law to answer the door when someone knocks? No. So why in this case did the LEOs feel it was their duty to enter when they readily admit that typically they just leave a note? Since the admitted reason for the policy is to prevent thefts could they have determined that there was some criminal act going on without entering the residence by simply sitting outside and watching the residence for a little while? Yes.

    IMO they overstepped their bounds in this case.


    While I agree that the majority of LEO's are out there for the right reasons I'll respectfully disagree that the percentage is that high. I had too much time wasted in my younger days waiting on a drug dog to come sniff around my vehicle after I refused to allow an officer to search my vehicle during a stop for a minor traffic violation. Of course, their time was just as wasted since the dog can't find what was never there in the first place. I guess I was a victim of profiling and didn't know it because I was a young male with long hair.

    I'll also disagree based on the chickens**** equipment violation ticket I received for a defective taillight after the hour I spent handcuffed in the rear seat of a patrol car at a revenue generation...I mean DL....checkpoint in a backwater town because these small town officers didn't know state law.
    I was on the way back to our hunt club from a tract of land we had in the next county over. As my standard practice, and completely legal per South Carolina code of law I had my sidearm in it's holster on my belt. When I entered the town I drove up on a checkpoint the local three man PD had set up. When the officer approached my vehicle I advised him that I was returning from hunting and had my sidearm on to avoid a potentially lethal situation if he discovered it by accident. He draws down on me, yells for the other two officers who also draw down on me, they ask me to step out of the vehicle, make me lay down in the middle of the road, cuff me and tell me I am under arrest for improperly carrying a handgun. I advise them that per SC law I am legal because I am returning from hunting, that's why I am in camo and have a fourwheeler with a climbing stand strapped to the front rack. I am then placed in the rear of a patrol car, and a wrecker is called to tow my vehicle. Luckily before the wrecker arrives a deputy sheriff pulls up and when asked why I was being arrested. Thankfully he did know the law and I was freed. While two officers reloaded the cased rifle, cooler, and other equipment they had removed while searching my vehicle the third officer kept walking around my vehicle. Finally I guess he got his small victory that night because he stroked out a ticket for a defective taillight. I got mine the next week when a conversation with a family friend led to me being placed in touch with a friend of theirs, the town magistrate. He inquired if I was available for the court date, and by chance I had already planned on being at the hunt club that week. He assured me that if I showed up for court it would be taken care of, so I did. It sure felt great when he ordered all three officers to apologize to me in front of everybody in that courtroom as he threw out the ticket, saying he felt I had endured enough anguish that night and any fine would be too much.
    No law was broken. No one said there was.

    But a police officers only job is not to enforce the law. It is also to protect the public. That is why you have officers who specialize in Crime Prevention. That is why you have officers on foot patrol at 3 AM shaking doors in the business district.

    I can tell you from absolute first-hand knowledge that the actual percentage is probably higher than 99.99%.

    As for your other problems, I never said that there weren't incompetent officers out there. Sounds like you hit three of them, although my guess is that you hit one of them and the other two didn't have any idea what was going on.

    As for your drug dog issue, you didn't have to wait. If they had probable cause to detain you, they could lock you up. If not, they cannot restrict your liberty. I would bet that they had PC to detain you.

    And lastly, do you have any idea how unethical it was for that magistrate to speak to you? In NJ, it would be illegal for you to make that contact. You or your friend was simply trying to influence the outcome of a proceeding. The judge should have recused himself right after he spoke to you because he could not be objective. He could be in ethical hot water, and if I was one of those cops, he would have been. This is not a story I would go around telling very often.
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    No law was broken. No one said there was.

    But a police officers only job is not to enforce the law. It is also to protect the public. That is why you have officers who specialize in Crime Prevention. That is why you have officers on foot patrol at 3 AM shaking doors in the business district.
    So law enforcement can have its cake and eat it too.
    When it suits their purposes it's their job to protect you, but when they fail to protect you it's not their job.

    I can tell you from absolute first-hand knowledge that the actual percentage is probably higher than 99.99%.
    I work for the largest law enforcement agency in South Carolina, so I have a ton of first hand experience as well. Again, while I agree that the majority of law enforcement officers do it for the right reason, it's not even close to 90%

    As for your drug dog issue, you didn't have to wait. If they had probable cause to detain you, they could lock you up. If not, they cannot restrict your liberty. I would bet that they had PC to detain you.
    So as a 16-20 year old kid I'm just going to drive off from a traffic stop? Yeah right.

    The only time I have even held illegal narcotics was in the performance of my job, so you lost that bet. The only PC they had was I was a young male and my style of dress and hair style fit a profile.

    And lastly, do you have any idea how unethical it was for that magistrate to speak to you? In NJ, it would be illegal for you to make that contact. You or your friend was simply trying to influence the outcome of a proceeding. The judge should have recused himself right after he spoke to you because he could not be objective. He could be in ethical hot water, and if I was one of those cops, he would have been. This is not a story I would go around telling very often.
    I guess it's my good luck I live in a state where we do things different. I'm sure in NJ I would have had to pay the ticket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LFDLT10 View Post
    So law enforcement can have its cake and eat it too.
    When it suits their purposes it's their job to protect you, but when they fail to protect you it's not their job.


    I work for the largest law enforcement agency in South Carolina, so I have a ton of first hand experience as well. Again, while I agree that the majority of law enforcement officers do it for the right reason, it's not even close to 90%


    So as a 16-20 year old kid I'm just going to drive off from a traffic stop? Yeah right.

    The only time I have even held illegal narcotics was in the performance of my job, so you lost that bet. The only PC they had was I was a young male and my style of dress and hair style fit a profile.


    I guess it's my good luck I live in a state where we do things different. I'm sure in NJ I would have had to pay the ticket.
    So you're telling me (I think) that you are a cop and you have this much of an anti-cop attitude?

    So law enforcement can have its cake and eat it too.
    When it suits their purposes it's their job to protect you, but when they fail to protect you it's not their job.
    First of all, LE does not "have their cake and eat it, too". Their job is to protect the citizens and to enforce the law. I see no contradiction and I was always able to do both with no conflict.

    Again, while I agree that the majority of law enforcement officers do it for the right reason, it's not even close to 90%
    You're right. It's much higher.

    I guess it's my good luck I live in a state where we do things different. I'm sure in NJ I would have had to pay the ticket

    You don't get it, do you. You used someone to illegally influence the outcome of a traffic case. That is against the law. The judge also broke the law by doing it. It doesn't matter if you are in SC, NJ or Mars. It is wrong.
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    George....He must be part of that other .01% of law enforcement....he must be one hell of a cop!

    I wanted to comment that here in Wisconsin, and most other states have something similar, is a law called the "Community Caretaker" law. This is the "protect" part of serve and protect. This law says an officer of the law has the duty to investigate to make sure things are ok for the common good of the land. Let me explain a bit.

    In this case, officers found lights on, garage door open, a door ajar, keys in a vehicle with no one around, almost as if someone might have just ran away. Not the norm at 3am. It is their duty to explore this to make sure they did not interupt a burglary in progress or some other crime that just occured. They could have investigated and found a pile of bodies in the living room with Ted Bundy standing over them. It is their duty to investigate to see if indeed everything is ok and it was an honest mistake.

    Same thing applies when I would be out walking around at 4am trying to stay awake some nights pulling doors in a strip mall. If I found a door that was unlocked, it was my duty to go in and make sure things were ok inside. I would be considered derelict of my duty if I just reached in, locked the door and closed it again. I had to investigate to see if someone vandalized, stole things or if the punk making minimum wage just forgot to lock the door when he closed up shop.

    While an officer is in this mode of "Community Caretaker" and observes something "in plain view" like a crack pipe, rape in progress, or something that is laying out that is illegal, everything he/she sees and finds can be enforced and arrestable. Like George says, plain view does not include opening drawers, moving furniture or opening closets, you would need a warrant for such a search, UNLESS..... it was a search incident to an arrest, which is another lesson for another day. (I arrest you for drunk driving, now I get to search your car.)

    Hope this helps to explain it a bit better. Those officers had a duty to investigate instead of just leaving a note.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    George....He must be part of that other .01% of law enforcement....he must be one hell of a cop!

    I wanted to comment that here in Wisconsin, and most other states have something similar, is a law called the "Community Caretaker" law. This is the "protect" part of serve and protect. This law says an officer of the law has the duty to investigate to make sure things are ok for the common good of the land. Let me explain a bit.

    In this case, officers found lights on, garage door open, a door ajar, keys in a vehicle with no one around, almost as if someone might have just ran away. Not the norm at 3am. It is their duty to explore this to make sure they did not interupt a burglary in progress or some other crime that just occured. They could have investigated and found a pile of bodies in the living room with Ted Bundy standing over them. It is their duty to investigate to see if indeed everything is ok and it was an honest mistake.

    Same thing applies when I would be out walking around at 4am trying to stay awake some nights pulling doors in a strip mall. If I found a door that was unlocked, it was my duty to go in and make sure things were ok inside. I would be considered derelict of my duty if I just reached in, locked the door and closed it again. I had to investigate to see if someone vandalized, stole things or if the punk making minimum wage just forgot to lock the door when he closed up shop.

    While an officer is in this mode of "Community Caretaker" and observes something "in plain view" like a crack pipe, rape in progress, or something that is laying out that is illegal, everything he/she sees and finds can be enforced and arrestable. Like George says, plain view does not include opening drawers, moving furniture or opening closets, you would need a warrant for such a search, UNLESS..... it was a search incident to an arrest, which is another lesson for another day. (I arrest you for drunk driving, now I get to search your car.)

    Hope this helps to explain it a bit better. Those officers had a duty to investigate instead of just leaving a note.
    Very interesting.

    The alternate scenario here is, they find this situation at 3 AM, knock on the door, HO comes to the door and tells the officers that it is OK, he is going fishing. The officers say thanks and move on.

    It takes a whole day to explain search incidental to arrest to an academy class, can you imagine doing it here? Especially with some of the experts we have here.

    Jason, what do you think about the judge that is discussed above?
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    IMHO, I think the homeowner is lucky to live in a community where LE has a program like this. In any major city in Canada, finding a house open, with garage door up at 3 AM would not be a normal situation. i think the officers acted well within their rights and moreso, showed a high level of concern and duty to the citizens they were hired to protect. I think a lot of LE would have walked away leaving a note, not out of lack of concern, but of concern that some knucklehead liberal politico would bust their chops about illgal entry. Well done gentlemen!

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    So you're telling me (I think) that you are a cop
    ...or the janitor...
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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