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Cachers & cops


El Fartero
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"For instance, caches in or around playgrounds. Do you know how suspicous this looks to law enforcement? Seeing a grown man hanging around a playground?"

 

--This disabled US Coast Guard veteran who is the stay at home dad and primary care giver of our child takes offense to that stereotype. That's exactly the same kind of profile crap thinking that inspired the saying "driving while black".

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"For instance, caches in or around playgrounds. Do you know how suspicous this looks to law enforcement? Seeing a grown man hanging around a playground?"

 

--This disabled US Coast Guard veteran who is the stay at home dad and primary care giver of our child takes offense to that stereotype. That's exactly the same kind of profile crap thinking that inspired the saying "driving while black".

But you have a decoy child to take with you to the playground :lol:. It's way creepy when an adult is alone searching a playground. IMHO.

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I've had several encounters with officers while geocaching. All of them uneventful except for one time when the young whipper snapper was a bit "gung ho."

 

A question for CR or any other officer. If someone is wrongly harassed or arrested, who apologizes to them?

 

Uhhh... No one. Ever. From numerous accounts I've read through the years, the best you can do is just leave it behind you and hope that in the future you meet officers like Clan Riffster, and not Officer Shades (aka "I'M THE LAW - START WETTING YOURSELF IN FEAR NOW!!!").

 

That was my point earlier -- even if someone is wrongly harassed/detained, there seems to never be any backlash against the officer/police department.

 

They ARE the law, so who are you going to complain to?

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I've had several encounters with officers while geocaching. All of them uneventful except for one time when the young whipper snapper was a bit "gung ho."

 

A question for CR or any other officer. If someone is wrongly harassed or arrested, who apologizes to them?

 

Uhhh... No one. Ever. From numerous accounts I've read through the years, the best you can do is just leave it behind you and hope that in the future you meet officers like Clan Riffster, and not Officer Shades (aka "I'M THE LAW - START WETTING YOURSELF IN FEAR NOW!!!").

 

That was my point earlier -- even if someone is wrongly harassed/detained, there seems to never be any backlash against the officer/police department.

 

They ARE the law, so who are you going to complain to?

The ACLU :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

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If someone is wrongly harassed or arrested, who apologizes to them?

Generally it'll be someone in upper management, speaking on behalf of the chief or sheriff. If the complainant wishes further contact with the offending officer, the agency will usually have the officer make an in-person apology as well. The 60's are over. Gone are the days when an entire agency can act like goobers, tossing their weight around. The citizenry simply won't stand for it these days. Most agency heads recognize that an angry citizenry equals less income for that agency. There just isn't any money in being a mook.

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I'm in law enforcment and a geocacher, and so is my chief. We talk about geocaching alot, usually about caches we found or didn't find. We also talk about how suspicious we can look at times searching for some of these caches. For instance, caches in or around playgrounds. Do you know how suspicous this looks to law enforcement? Seeing a grown man hanging around a playground? Or some caches that are placed in peoples yards, albiet on the fringe of the property?? I absolutely hate doing caches near playgrounds unless I make sure there is no one around, especially children. And I refuse to go poking around someone's front yard, curb, etc.

 

The OP said a cacher was handcuffed. Where was the cache, what time of day, what is the local crime activity like? Pick up your local paper, they are filled with reports of vehicle break ins, houses being broken into during the day, illegal activity taking place in parks, etc. I can give you a hundred scenarios. Do you know how suspicisous it looks to be looking for micro-caches hidden in the lighting posts at Wal-Mart??? Some drug dealers don't deal out of their residence. There have been reports of the dealer taking the money then telling the person where to go to pick up their drugs, in places like.....under the last tree by the ballfield, over by such & such rock formation.

 

The very nature of geocaching in an urban area is very susceptable to being scrutinized by law enforcement.

 

I don't really care for playground hides, either, but tell me, please... what are the similarities between a pervert hanging out in a park, looking for a child to abduct, and a geocacher or a group of geocachers on their hands and knees, searching under the equipment, wandering around looking helplessly at a GPS device?

 

Still does not matter. Recently, we have had a look-out for a pedophile that had almost twice made off with a young girls. They looked for a man in his 40-50's a silver sedan. Guess my age and color of my sedan? Believe me, I made all effort during this time to stay away from parks and caches near schools during this time. But when I was in the area and police were around, I made myself aware to them as to what I was doing. Having been in LE before, I am all too aware of what they go through and the job the have. As mentioned before, we have a responsibility to educate our local police departments as to the geocaching world.

 

Fortunately, a picture of guy came out and I make it point more to cache with my wife or son along in urban areas. besides, they now enjoy it with me.

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There are way too many bomb scares, wasting of law enforcements time, and taxpayers money on bad placement of caches, the geocaching rules on placement need to be updated badly to reflect this. Recently in our city

there was this bomb scare; http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/04/29/geocache-called-in-as-suspicious-package

I am part of a small group of cachers in my area who don't believe in finding urban hides for this exact reason. Cachers need to use common sense when choosing a cache to find, and boycotting ones that will arouse suspicion of either the public, or the police. I myself recently placed a cache in close proximity to a graveyard (not in it) and asked finders to not go at night to find it because police frequently patrol the area and flashlights in the bushes would only cause officers unnecessary concern. (You wouldn't think I would have to add in that comment, that people would use their common sense, but no...) The more popular the game gets, the more risky and uninformed cacher hides are going to be the norm. I would encourage all finders to report bad hides of this nature to Groundspeak whenever possible. Without this type of policing of our sport the game is most likely going to get banned all together from cities. I happened to be in Toronto when a geocaching ban was in effect, (A large world leader conference was held) I respected this ban and did not find a single one while there. (others did not) Its a real shame that some cachers have entitlement issues i.e. "I needed one to fill in my calendar" or "I only had enough time to find one that day" I personally don't feel it is necessary to educate law enforcement of our sport, we need to condemn bad hides and take citizen concerns to heart. If you get to a hide and find out the GZ is someones backyard, or on an urban bridge, schoolyard, or playstructure, please report it to Groundspeak. surely there are enough "muggle free" areas to hide one that this should not even be an issue. Let's respect law enforcement (not waste their time) and try not to hide caches, or find caches that could arouse suspicion. I am sure the originator of geocaching had no idea that in the future the game would waste taxpayer dollars by the bomb squad being called in to blow up hidden tupperware containers.

Edited by cheryl1701
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I am sure the originator of geocaching had no idea that in the future the game would waste taxpayer dollars by the bomb squad being called in to blow up hidden tupperware containers.

 

you're right, I doubt the orignator of geocaching (Dave Ulmer) gave taxpayers much thought at all when he buried a 5 gallon bucket on the side of a State Highway and placed a weapon, food and cigarettes inside of the container. I'm sure that he never in his wildest dreams thought the game would be what it has become which is one of the reasons whe he doesn't do it anymore.

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Let's respect law enforcement (not waste their time) and try not to hide caches, or find caches that could arouse suspicion.

That would pretty much kill the game. Any hidden container, of whatever size, can and has aroused suspicion. Non-urban hides? They could be "practice bombs". I know of at least one micro (smaller than a match safe) that pulled because the police thought it might be a bomb.

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Let's respect law enforcement (not waste their time) and try not to hide caches, or find caches that could arouse suspicion.

That would pretty much kill the game. Any hidden container, of whatever size, can and has aroused suspicion. Non-urban hides? They could be "practice bombs". I know of at least one micro (smaller than a match safe) that pulled because the police thought it might be a bomb.

I have never run into any law enforcement or even muggles while caching in forest areas, I am fortunate to live in a city surrounded by a huge greenbelt with more area than the city itself has.

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Let's respect law enforcement (not waste their time) and try not to hide caches, or find caches that could arouse suspicion.

That would pretty much kill the game. Any hidden container, of whatever size, can and has aroused suspicion. Non-urban hides? They could be "practice bombs". I know of at least one micro (smaller than a match safe) that pulled because the police thought it might be a bomb.

 

Heck, we had a thread about a microwave in the woods that was "plugged" into a tree blown up.

Edited by knowschad
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Let's respect law enforcement (not waste their time) and try not to hide caches, or find caches that could arouse suspicion.

That would pretty much kill the game. Any hidden container, of whatever size, can and has aroused suspicion. Non-urban hides? They could be "practice bombs". I know of at least one micro (smaller than a match safe) that pulled because the police thought it might be a bomb.

 

Perfect timing!! http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=286968

 

An ammo can in the woods. Mind you, this one was a "suspicious" ammo can.

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