Apr 1, 2014

Are cops allowed to sit idle in parking lots?

Are Sandusky cops allowed to sit in parking lots at night without any lights on at all? In the last few nights, I've seen one sitting at Jack's Deli and also across the street at Bayshore Beverage. Nicole from Cleveland Rd.

Sandusky police Chief John Orzech provided the following response:

The officers are permitted to sit in parking lots with their lights off. They can be doing several things in the cruisers. The officers can be running radar. They can be doing reports on their Mobile Data Terminals (MDT's) so that they're out in their zone assignments instead of coming all the way to the station. They could have just completed a call entering information on a call screen or could be other reasons that the officers are in a lot.

The Mailbag is a daily feature on sanduskyregister.com. Each weekday at noon, we will post one question from a reader and answer it. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or email mailbag@sanduskyregister.com. Please include your first name and a location in the email, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."



That's sleazy


Well, if you're not doing anything wrong, it doesn't matter if they have their lights on or not! It's only sleazy if you are doing something wrong and get caught.


I stand by my original comment...sleazy


It's sleazy because the entire purpose of traffic enforcement is to serve as a deterrent to things like speeding, not to make money for the government. Stealth cruisers with subdued markings and low profile light bars, hiding behind roadside objects, etc. sacrifices deterrence in the name of garnering revenue. They should be as visible as possible to PREVENT violations, not sneaking around so as to issue more citations.


That is not a good practice to allow. If the cop is working in his car, someone could come up on him and cause him injury. If the inside of the patrol car is dark, how can he see todo any work?

Hollie Newton

That's a famous speed trap area - speeders beware! It's tempting to speed up there well before the signs give you the go ahead by the airport.


I tend to irritate people by going the speed limit through there. Oh well.


Lighted computer screens, and keyboards. Saving the infamous taxpayer dollars,keeping cops on the streets, and less wear and tear on the cars. If there is a problem with that, the SR would have addressed it already.


GIVE ME A BREAK!!! ENTRAPMENT!! go sit where the crime really is.....


Sitting with no lights on is NOT entrapment. They did not "trap" you into speeding or drive recklessly. This is a common misconception. There is NO law or other reason a police car must sit with lights on. Go ahead and ask any lawyer.


How is it entrapment?


Thats where the crime is..

R U Kidding me

I don't have a problem at all where they sit. but with all the trouble in Sandusky why are they sitting. This town is running amuck and continues to get worse. They need to be patrolling instead of sitting idle. When they get this town back under control then they may sit anywhere.


Like stated in the answer, he/she could have been doing paperwork from the last call.


Cops do what they want. Don't worry about it.


From the state where drunk driving is considered a sport because there is
a bar on every corner, comes this true story.

Recently, a routine police patrol parked outside a bar in Rhinelander.
After last call, the officer noticed a man leaving the bar apparently so
intoxicated that he could barely walk.

The man stumbled around the parking lot for a few minutes, with the
quietly observing.

After what seemed an eternity in which he tried his keys on five different
vehicles, the man managed to find his car and fell into it.

He sat there for a few minutes as a number of other patrons left the bar
and drove off.

Finally, he started the car, switched the wipers on and off. It was a
fine, dry
summer night. He flicked the blinkers on and off a couple of times,
the horn and then switched on the lights.

He moved the vehicle forward a few inches, reversed a little and then
remained still for a few more minutes as some more of the other patrons'
vehicles left.

At last, when his was the only car left in the parking lot, he pulled out
and drove slowly down the road.

The police officer, having waited patiently all this time, now started up
his patrol car, put on the flashing lights, promptly pulled the man over
administered a breathalyzer test.

To his amazement, the Breathalyzer indicated no evidence that the man had
consumed any alcohol at all!

Dumbfounded, the officer said, 'I'll have to ask you to accompany me to
police station. This Breathalyzer equipment must be broken.'

'I doubt it', said the truly proud Wisconsinite barfly. 'Tonight I'm
the designated decoy.'

Stop It



THE question should be are they allowed to be in parking lots sleeping on the job and getting great benefits.Also I though they must keep their lights on if they are on duty.Is this correct wouldn't it be considered entrapment? also how can they just sit and idle on private property?

Stop It

Did you read the article AT ALL? Every question you asked was answered, whether you liked the answer or not.

JD's picture

As someone who lives on Cleveland rd and watching the speedway in front of my house. I get why they sit there and try to get the speeders.


There are good people and there are bad... there are good police and there are bad, human nature. If I were walking in a parking lot and saw a cop sitting in a darkened police car, I'd still prefer that over some drug addict sitting in a darkened car watching me. One of the biggest oxymoron's that's ever puzzle me was the concept of bars to begin with. I've been involved in 2 accidents both involving drunks and both just coming from a bar. One of them got off because they found him in a fast food place and not in his car. He was a city employee (not Sandusky) and was driving with a suspended license. Although I don't, I've nothing against someone having a drink, but not while in the process of operating a motor vehicle. I pass these places and always see cars there morning, noon and night. How does this make sense?


Does Jacks sell Donuts? Maybe he's waiting for them to open up....


The solution is simple enough. Don't break any laws and you will not get any tickets.

Drink and do your drugs at home if you choose to ignore the laws and pay for your funeral in advance. Leave any insurance money to cover the other person/people that you might kill. Have your last will and testament in the glove box and give medical directives to donate your alcohol-sodden organs to another alcoholic.

We can't stop you from your idiocy, drunken driving, so at least be prepared for the end of your life as you know it.


so why are police allowed to drink and drive?


Oh, my bad, I thought was from Sandusky Co, Trooper Vitte, can answer that.