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No good deed — honest cop writes own red light camera ticket, gets reprimand

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Everyone enters “the helping professions” with high ideals.

Forty years later, some emerge as cynics who think it’s OK to “help” themselves if no one’s looking.

Not Tim Glover. After decades in Polk County law enforcement, he has his ideals, and a well-earned front page shoutout from the Lakeland Ledger headlined “Officer writes red light ticket to himself.”

Following 30 years with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Glover took a retirement job at the Haines City Police Department, reviewing tapes and writing $158 tickets to drivers caught-on-camera playing chicken with oncoming traffic.

Piggybacking on to the vehicle in front of you is so common, even a traffic cop might not realize he’s cruising through the intersection of Downright Rude and Downright Dangerous.

Glover’s moment of truth came when he was reviewing video from an intersection near the Cuban sandwich joint where he’d taken his Sept. 8 lunch.

“There was a large box truck in front of me,” Glover told Ledger reporter Suzie Schottelkotte, “and I just drove on through behind the truck. It was just me in a hurry to get back to doing what I was supposed to be doing. I fell into that rut of follow-the-leader instead of looking at the light. I made a left with the truck …”

Glover could have cut himself a break by hitting the delete key on the video evidence, but, said his police chief, that is not “the type of person he is … The honesty he shows in his job — it’s always been there.”

In addition to the three-figure fine, Glover’s honesty cost him a written reprimand “for not exercising good judgment when using a department vehicle on duty.”

Writing for The Permanent Record, his sergeant said, “You are a good officer and I hope this letter will be received in the spirit of its intentions, as a learning tool.”

Glover appears to have learned everything there is to know back in grade school. “There wasn’t any doubt when I saw [the tape],” he told The Ledger. “I had to take responsibility for it.”

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Photo courtesy of The Ledger.

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