An police officer I met at martial arts practice told me this. He doesn’t like to arrest people for minor offenses, like driving without a license, “if I catch someone driving without a license, I’ll say, you can call someone who has a license, and I’ll wait here with you, and they can come here and drive you home, and I’ll let you off with a warning.”
He says he know some of these guys make 200 dollars a month, and if he were to write them up, they have to pay for the fine, they’d have to pay to get their car unimpounded, and they be in a lot worse a situation – like having to steal to get by.
They remember him, and they’re greatful. Then, some time later he’ll be going after a really bad guy, and he calls on his people for leads. And he’ll protect his sources. “They don’t need to know how I knew.”
I thought – this is a good cop. He knows the people he is charged with protecting, and knows when to use discretion.