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Deputy Speeding Discussed at ACONA Meeting

Several residents at a Tuesday meeting said they have seen deputies driving fast without their lights and sirens on. Have you had the same experience?

Several audience members at a Tuesday meeting of the Altadena Coalition of Neighborhood Associations meeting said they had witnessed Altadena deputies driving at high speeds or running stop signs even while not using their flashers or sirens.

The issue was raised during an open Q & A session with Altadena Sheriff's Station Capt. John Benedict.

Resident Ericka Lozano-Buhl and her husband Greg raised the issue when recounting a time they had gotten stuck in front of a deputy's car on a narrow street where other cars were parked, blocking them from easily driving.  The deputy driving the car had clearly wanted to pass them, they said, and after they manged to pull over, the car sped off without its lights on.

Another speaker said that a deputy drove past him so fast that his car rattled, and another said that he frequently sees deputies speeding and running signs nearby the Altadena station.

Benedict said that sometimes deputies need to respond to an urgent call that has not yet been confirmed as an emergency and in those circumstances, could rush to the scene without their lights on.

He also said that if deputies are speeding or running through stop signs just on their way to and from the station and not to a specific call, that would be a problem.

We are curious, readers, if you have had any similar experiences - have you seen Sheriff's deputies driving fast or committing traffic violations? Please tell us about your experiences in the comments section and vote in the poll below.

Ericka June 27, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Just to clarify - the street we were on had other cars parked, not other deputies. ;) But other than that, correct. We really appreciated Captain Benedict taking the time to come out and listen; we realize if he wasn't aware of the issue, he couldn't address it.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Thanks Ericka, I misunderstood that. I'll change it above.
Lisa Hastings June 27, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Really? I think some people have way too much free time and not enough other things to worry about
Revvell June 27, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Next complaint ~ how come we keep hearing sirens all day long? Can't they drive w/out using sirens?
Laura Monteros June 27, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I followed one B&W all the way up and across Altadena Drive to Lake once. He was tailgating the car in front of me, right up almost against the bumper. Believe me, I left plenty of braking room. The driver was not speeding and the B&W didn't have lights on, but naturally I wondered if the had commited an infraction. Must not have, because when the B&W finally passed him, it just sped off. I gotta tell you, I would have pulled over in that situation, but I would also have been frightened at the intimidation the danger posed by the B&W.
Lorraine Pozniak June 27, 2012 at 08:29 PM
I was out driving with a friend about a week ago, and was approaching an intersection with a four-way stop. I saw a police car approaching to my right. Even though I got to the intersection first, and made my full stop, I waited for the police car to pass. I'm glad I did, because he didn't stop, at all. He barely slowed down. My friend commented, "Wow, that wasn't even a California Rolling Stop." To which I replied, "I knew he was going to do that. That's why I waited."
Hobart Smedley June 27, 2012 at 11:38 PM
I agree the police should obey all the traffic laws like everyone else....but, they do need to get to someplaces alittle bit faster than some of us going to the corner store. They respond to back up their partners and yes... citizens in distress. I have talked to some of them and their policies don't always let drive with lights and sirens on unless its a life or death situation. I say pull over and let them get to where they need to go... it might be your house or your neighbor that needs help.
Ericka June 28, 2012 at 01:44 AM
We have enough time to participate in community meetings and try to improve the safety and quality of life in our neighborhood, not just criticize people from behind a keyboard.
Lisa Hastings June 28, 2012 at 02:35 AM
No kidding. Geesh!
Lisa Hastings June 28, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Dear Ericka, you obviously know nothing about me and what my community involvement is! On the other hand, your complaint about Sheriff''s vehicles seems a bit unreasonable as most people would want the Sheriff to respond quickly to calls for help from the community! Do you think that maybe there is a reason they don't use their sirens sometimes?
Lisa Hastings June 28, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Danger? I don't think so. Maybe the vehicle matched the description of one associated with a suspect or maybe it matched the description of a stolen vehicle. Maybe the Sheriff wanted to stay close and run the license plates or stay close enough to see who was in the vehicle or stay close enough in case the Sheriff didn't want the vehicle to get away or ....
Ericka June 28, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Considering 15 people say they've seen deputies speeding or committing a traffic violation, I'd say we're not alone. Wanting sheriff's deputies to respond quickly and not wanting them to tailgate, run stop signs, or speed *back* to the station are not mutually exclusive. You're free to have the opinion that they should be able to break the rules as they see fit, and I'm free to have the opinion that I'd rather not be hit by a police car that's speeding on my street while NOT responding to a call. I understand there are different types of emergencies that may not call for lights/sirens, as explained at the meeting, but I don't think there's anything petty about wanting not to be chased down the street when there's nowhere to pull over.

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