Brownsburg police problem

Brownsburg police problem

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Mike Kent

Indianapolis, IN

#1 Jul 30, 2009
Recently as a visitor passing through Brownsburg, I had a problem with the police, and this is a report I submitted on it. Citizens and especially businesses should be concerned with the city's image.

Brownsburg police officers appear to need training to respect civilians and taxpayers. Not every citizen is a felon and they need to realize that they are representatives of the city, especially to non-residents.

I am 64 years old, retired from The Indianapolis Star, and hard of hearing with medical issues. I am a grandfather and pose no danger to anyone in appearance or manner. On July 28 at 8:10 p.m., I was stopped by Brownsburg police officer David Marcum on Indiana 267 in front of city hall and the police station. Rather than stop on 267, I pulled into the city hall parking lot, out of traffic. Marcum pulled in behind me and when I attempted to step out of my car – because with my hearing, it’s much easier to talk face to face – a stern-faced Marcum, who had also just gotten out of his car, yelled at me to get back in my car. I told him I was hard of hearing and asked what was wrong, but he said he wouldn’t tell me until I got back into my car, closed the door, and turned on the ignition to roll down the window. He then stood behind me, forcing me to twist my head around through the open window, which makes it more difficult for me to read lips.

The problem he stopped me for turned out to be expired license tags. This was a surprise to me, since I had no idea they were expired and had not received the usual notice from the BMV (Later, I was told by a BMV employee that it’s not unusual for the outside contractor to miss sending notices). I told Marcum several times that I had not received the notice and had no idea my tags were expired. He just shrugged and kept saying I had had a month to renew – which, of course I hadn’t since I didn’t know there was a problem.

Marcum insisted on taking my car key, searching my car, and having my car towed rather than issuing a ticket and allowing to me to continue home and take care of the matter in the morning. When he finally allowed me out of the car, he sternly ordered me to stand back with another officer who had then arrived, making quite a scene with two police cars flashing lights in an empty parking lot. He proceeded to search my car and when I happened to move forward involuntarily, the new officer, also grim, yelled at me to get back.

Marcum was certainly correct to pull me over for expired tags and even to issue me a ticket. But treating me like a criminal and impounding my car was an overreaction that I strongly object to, especially when I tried numerous times to explain the situation to Marcum and he refused to accept it.

As a result of Marcum’s hostility, I was forced to spend the night in Avon without my medicines and the breathing device my doctor has prescribed for me to use at night. That was totally unnecessary and Marcum certainly knew from a records check that I have a clean record and posed no danger to him or anyone else. I have lived in Indiana most of my life, paid my taxes every year, and when this situation happens, I get treated like a criminal and have my car taken away.

Certainly Marcum’s actions as the city’s representative gave me the impression Brownsburg must be a very unfriendly place. The next day in retrieving my car with new license tags, I got a chance to discuss the situation with police Sgt. Peter Fleck, who – in contrast to Marcum – was friendly and courteous and assured me Brownsburg is not an unfriendly police state. But based on my experience with Marcum, I have my doubts.

As a victim, I think police officers like Marcum need to be told that there’s no reason not to be friendly and to treat every citizen with courtesy and common sense. As a taxpayer, I’m not likely to favor any additional police funding if Indiana police officers are allowed to act like Marcum.
The Truth

Cumming, GA

#3 Aug 7, 2009
Brownsburg lover wrote:
Brownsburg police are the best in the county.
I agree. The police didnt know who this man was. He could have matched the description of another subject they were looking for.
nothing new

United States

#4 Aug 8, 2009
I think you are correct when you say we have a police problem in this town. The fact that you got searched is nothing new. It happens in this town all the time to innocent people during routine traffic stops(this all happens in a town with virtually no crime). From my experiences and from several of my friends experiences most brownsburg cops seem to believe they are above the law. They are the type of cops who beleive the ends always justify the means and will never give you the benefit of the doubt. It is also insane how many cops we have now in there shiny new chargers. Talk about a waste of tax dollars. THERE IS VIRTUALLY NO CRIME IN BROWNSBURG. I cant even drive to the gas station anymore without at least seeing 1 or 2 people pulled over and seeing at least 3-5 cops out on patrol. Brownsburg is almost a complete police state now and it saddens me to see what is happening to this town.
Brownsburg lover

Indianapolis, IN

#5 Aug 11, 2009
nothing new wrote:
I think you are correct when you say we have a police problem in this town. The fact that you got searched is nothing new. It happens in this town all the time to innocent people during routine traffic stops(this all happens in a town with virtually no crime). From my experiences and from several of my friends experiences most brownsburg cops seem to believe they are above the law. They are the type of cops who beleive the ends always justify the means and will never give you the benefit of the doubt. It is also insane how many cops we have now in there shiny new chargers. Talk about a waste of tax dollars. THERE IS VIRTUALLY NO CRIME IN BROWNSBURG. I cant even drive to the gas station anymore without at least seeing 1 or 2 people pulled over and seeing at least 3-5 cops out on patrol. Brownsburg is almost a complete police state now and it saddens me to see what is happening to this town.
Hey if we didn't have good police we would have a high crime rate. The new chargers are not a waste of tax dollars, the police dept. have to keep up with other depts.
Stop Complaining

Bangkok, Thailand

#6 Sep 4, 2009
Stop complaining old man. He towed your car because it is the law. If he hadn't towed it, and you would have got into an accident, he probably would have been sued. Based on your hearing problems and all the medications that you are taking, you probably shouldn't be driving anyway.
Seriously

Joliet, IL

#7 Jan 31, 2010
Brownsburg lover wrote:
Brownsburg police are the best in the county.
This, in your mind, is a valid response to Mr. Kent's post? Thank you for contributing such wisdom and insight to this discussion.
And "they have to keep up with other departments" is legitimate as well?
Do everyone a favor and keep the useless Brownsburg cheerleading comments to yourself.
Anti-Police State

Brownsburg, IN

#8 Mar 9, 2010
Yeah, hey are everywhere, always show up at least 2 at a time to ANY routine stop, and generally we have upwards of 6 officers at all times keeping the AM/PM safe and donut free.
I appreciate law officers despite the donut comment, and am happy they are diligent, seeing as I chose to raise my children in Bburg, safety is always on my mind.
That said, the overall presence is ridiculous and I believe leads to them "laying in wait" all over the damn place trying to ticket people for the most minor of infractions simply because what the hell else is there for them to keep busy with in town?
JoJo

United States

#9 Mar 30, 2010
Lets face it a majority of cops became cops because they like feeling like big men. That sounds like marcam. he has little man syndrome. why is it so hard to be polite to the citizens who pay his salary? yes there are some good police officers who want to protect us but marcam isn't one. He liked the people going by to look at him because he thought he looked like tough man, when in reality he was just being rude to a hard of hearing unhealthy old man!! he needs disciplined by his superior for being a jerk for no reason other than to feel like BIG MAN!!
very sad

Brownsburg, IN

#10 Mar 30, 2010
i agree with jojo. I mean come on do you really need two officers for expired plates i mean it is a 60 something year old man with no record. Do you really need to search his car other than to make it just that much more embarresing to the old man. That whole story is rediculous i drove by it that night both officers had their lights on. It wasn't even a public street he was pulled over on. The whole thing was out of order and also the spotlight was right on his car like he was a criminal. This whole thing gives brownsburg a bad name. It makes us look like a high crime area when you get pulled over in this manner. I mean other than the stabbing that just happen when has something that serious happen in this town. I would like some of these brownsburg officers to go to indy and work they would not last one night with their gung ho attitude. Impd has real crime not a expired tag that needs two officers in indy it is hard to get two officers on a stop because they have real crime. Also not enough time to search a 64 year old mans car just because they want to embaress him. This is disgrace against brownsburg and the sad thing is nothing will happen to this officer. Very sad
very sad

Brownsburg, IN

#11 Mar 30, 2010
Stop Complaining wrote:
Stop complaining old man. He towed your car because it is the law. If he hadn't towed it, and you would have got into an accident, he probably would have been sued. Based on your hearing problems and all the medications that you are taking, you probably shouldn't be driving anyway.
First of all why wont you comment on something that happens in your own country. Secondly he is fine to drive or he wouldn't have a license. In conclusion the whole thing was out of line you know it i know it and most of all down deep the officer knows it and he wont do anything to correct it and neither will any of his superiors that is the most saddest thing of all.
very sad

Brownsburg, IN

#12 Mar 30, 2010
The Truth wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree. The police didnt know who this man was. He could have matched the description of another subject they were looking for.
Give me a break matched the description of somebody else. Come on matched who somebody that busted out of the nursing home before you post something you should probably have some common sense. As soon as he ran his plates his information came up on his computer. He did all of it to embarrass this man come on. I guess if sense was common everyone would have it and that is not the case.
System

United States

#13 Apr 10, 2010
very sad wrote:
<quoted text>Give me a break matched the description of somebody else. Come on matched who somebody that busted out of the nursing home before you post something you should probably have some common sense. As soon as he ran his plates his information came up on his computer. He did all of it to embarrass this man come on. I guess if sense was common everyone would have it and that is not the case.
Funny cause I was pulled over two days ago. Let me give you my history. I have only been pulled over 3 times my whole life. Zero tickets. I was being pulled over for no license plate light. Next thing I knew there were 4 police officers in their cars behind and across the street from me. I didnt care. I knew I had nothing to hide. As soon as the police officer ran my drivers license and things came back clean 3 of the cars left. The remaining officer gave me a verbal warning. Simple. Not a big deal. Why are you all making a big deal over this? You all are pathetic who worry about such little things.
IMPD

Fort Wayne, IN

#14 Apr 11, 2010
Clearly you are mistaking good tactics for what you consider being tough. Nearly every day in this Country Police Officers are attacked by "innocent civilians". Everything described in the elderly gentleman's complaints show me that Officer Marcum knows how to do his job and has not become lackadaisical. Too often Officers who work in low crime areas do excatcly that and become a statistic because an old man or small child sees this and takes advantage. IMPD does have real crime and not enough Officers, you should be considered lucky to live in such a nice area, where you don't fear for your life. As for the comment about a Brownsburg Cop not making it one in Indy that is BS. If you are so tough move to Indy yourself and stop acting like a Brownsburg Gangster! As for embarrasing the elderly man by searching his car, I also disagree. Most departments including IMPD have a policy to inventory (or search as you called it) every vehicle it impounds, therefore we don't have people who don't like the Police, like you, complaining on the Officers for stealing out of their vehicles. The lights in the parking lot is also policy, anytime you are conducting a traffic stop, whether on the street or in a parking lot the lights are to remain on to first allow others to know your location if things go bad, for the wrecker or ambulance, God forbid you need medical assistance, to find your vehicle and lastly the lights activate the in car camera to protect the Officer and the Tax Paying Citizens. PS the Chargers are pretty smooth and I wish I had one.
very sad wrote:
i agree with jojo. I mean come on do you really need two officers for expired plates i mean it is a 60 something year old man with no record. Do you really need to search his car other than to make it just that much more embarresing to the old man. That whole story is rediculous i drove by it that night both officers had their lights on. It wasn't even a public street he was pulled over on. The whole thing was out of order and also the spotlight was right on his car like he was a criminal. This whole thing gives brownsburg a bad name. It makes us look like a high crime area when you get pulled over in this manner. I mean other than the stabbing that just happen when has something that serious happen in this town. I would like some of these brownsburg officers to go to indy and work they would not last one night with their gung ho attitude. Impd has real crime not a expired tag that needs two officers in indy it is hard to get two officers on a stop because they have real crime. Also not enough time to search a 64 year old mans car just because they want to embaress him. This is disgrace against brownsburg and the sad thing is nothing will happen to this officer. Very sad
Here is an idea

Fort Wayne, IN

#15 Apr 11, 2010
Why don't they take some of those Police Officers off of the road. That way the next time you are in need of help there is no one there and you have to man up and protect your family by yourself. That way you can raise your own kids instead of calling the Police to intervene when your 16 year old is going crazy and you don't know what to do. That way when someone has broken into your house, maybe they will just leave without stealing something or injuring you or your family. Just maybe...
Anti-Police State wrote:
Yeah, hey are everywhere, always show up at least 2 at a time to ANY routine stop, and generally we have upwards of 6 officers at all times keeping the AM/PM safe and donut free.
I appreciate law officers despite the donut comment, and am happy they are diligent, seeing as I chose to raise my children in Bburg, safety is always on my mind.
That said, the overall presence is ridiculous and I believe leads to them "laying in wait" all over the damn place trying to ticket people for the most minor of infractions simply because what the hell else is there for them to keep busy with in town?
sorry but ur just wrong

Noblesville, IN

#16 Apr 11, 2010
Thank you IMPD. Well said. Sir, with all due respect to any impairment you may have, Officer Marcum was WELL within his power and duties of a sworn member of law enforcement. I'm pretty sure by now it is well known that you should not try to exit your vehicle during a traffic stop and the fact that you didn't receive a notice of your plate renewal is no excuse. You have no legitimate gripe here. Officer Marcum showed unbiased discretion. Get your car out of impound, pay your ticket and move one. Brownsburg police officers are some of the finest in central Indiana.
PROUD WIFE

Kokomo, IN

#17 Apr 11, 2010
As the wife of a very devoted, skilled Brownsburg officer I am very disturbed by the overall image that is being portrayed of these officers by this letter. You are speaking of my family. These men and women do their job and do it well. They are human and in no means are perfect. But, having been a part of this family for 9 years I can say that this is a group of people that love their work and put themselves in the line of danger each and every day/night just to keep their town safe. A safe rule to follow, treat others the way you would like to be treated, and until you have walked a mile in a persons shoes...refrain from passing judgment. You never know what that officer has had to face that day, an abused child, a person who has lost their life, someone suffering from the effects of drugs and alcohol...they see it all. As a wife I can only sympathize with my husband and what he has to do on a daily basis. I'll never understand fully what he goes through and I know that God has gifted he and the others on BPD and like departments to do this job and their special calling in life. Encourage an officer today...
PROUD WIFE

Kokomo, IN

#18 Apr 11, 2010
Thank you for your support and kind words!
roro

United States

#19 Apr 11, 2010
Wha wha wha. The moral to this story is stop blaming others for your ignorance. You are not special. If you ever get stopped again-STAY IN THE CAR! What does being hard of hearing have to do with jumping out of a vehicle on a traffic stop? Nothing! And as others have wrote, Expired plates is a shall tow infraction. Your so called search is a vehicle inventory.
I wasn't there but I am willing to bet the the OP was being a jerk. Any takers?
Seriously

Columbus, OH

#20 Apr 12, 2010
nothing new wrote:
I think you are correct when you say we have a police problem in this town. The fact that you got searched is nothing new. It happens in this town all the time to innocent people during routine traffic stops(this all happens in a town with virtually no crime). From my experiences and from several of my friends experiences most brownsburg cops seem to believe they are above the law. They are the type of cops who beleive the ends always justify the means and will never give you the benefit of the doubt. It is also insane how many cops we have now in there shiny new chargers. Talk about a waste of tax dollars. THERE IS VIRTUALLY NO CRIME IN BROWNSBURG. I cant even drive to the gas station anymore without at least seeing 1 or 2 people pulled over and seeing at least 3-5 cops out on patrol. Brownsburg is almost a complete police state now and it saddens me to see what is happening to this town.
Stop and think about what you just posted...now think if there weren't 3-5 police officers on duty what would happen; what if no one was on duty in the town. Criminals would move in, ruining your town. And, there wouldn't be people stopped if they weren't breaking the law in some form. What are officers suppose to drive? Maybe they should ride camels? They're cheap, and don't "waste" fuel as I'm sure you believe the chargers do. And remember those officers driving those new shiny chargers also pay taxes...
Seriously

Columbus, OH

#21 Apr 12, 2010
I'm going to agree with all of RoRo's post. If you're hard of hearing so be it. Wait until the officer gets to your window and then explain your disability. But, if you're that hard of hearing how can you hear things you should be hearing while driving; sires, children, etc.? Go Blue!:-)

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