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Discussion Starter #1
So I was in Boulder today and decided to hop in the creek for a quick paddle. I was playing in a small hole just downstream of the library (or as an old lady put it, "that poor kayaker was trying to go back upstream, but kept running into the waterfall and flipping over and over") when I noticed a Boulder Police Officer motioning me to come over to talk to him. He told me that the creek was closed and that I needed to get out immediately and that he was going to ticket me for breaking the closure rules. I told him that although the creek was in fact closed to tubers and other single chamber inflatables, it was still open to kayakers, ww rafts, and canoes. He again repeated that it was closed to everyone and that I better listen to him. I asked him to read the closure sign he was standing right next to and tell me what it said but he was having none of it. He then told me that if I didn't get out right then & there he'd have me arrested. I again told him that he was misinformed and that I'd be happy to paddle downstream 50 yards to a suitable takeout and talk to him & try to resolve the confusion. He didn't like that part.
When I got out of the water he came up to me and told me that he'd just called the sherriffs dept. to confirm the closure and that the creek was indeed closed to all manner of crafts. I offered to bring him a copy of the posted closure but before I got to several Boulder Creek Festival Officials stepped in as well as Chris from Mountain Maiden to back my case. The cop still didn't want to hear it and said I wasn't allowed to return to the water because my being in there would send the message to others (tubers?) that it was ok to be in the creek. I told him that he had no right to assume or imply that, and that I'd be getting back into the water which I did.
While I was in the water he & his buddies were overheard saying that they can't allow people like me to disrespect a police officer in front of all those people and get away with it. So when I got out of the water they again confronted me trying to get me to cross the line at which point they could then do something like arrest or ticket me. Thankfully again the Festival coordinators told him that he was wrong (not to mention out of line) and also pointed out that a kayaking race had been held on the creek just the day before. He still maintained his standing that my being in the water would cause others to think it was ok to be in there and that he had the right to keep me from the water. At this point I'd had enough of his BS and opted to change into my street clothes but he felt as though he hadn't gotten the last word. He then approached me with his 'partner' and told me that he was considering kicking me out of the festival on the grounds of being disruptive. (which he later realized wouldn't be a good move and reconsidered)

I'm not sure what this guy had for breakfast, or why his 'partner' didn't let him know that he was being a shmuck (not to mention reinforcing my image of the Boulder PD), but he was way out of line. I made sure to call the Sherriff's dept and make sure they're passing along the correct info to all of their 'peace' officers, but just keep a weary eye out for the temporarily delusional cops who think they can make up new laws on the fly next time you're paddling in Boulder.
 

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breakin the law breakin the law............i fought the law and the law won, i fought the law and the law won. twitch- you should really be nice to old ladies, all i heard from the story was that you were frieghtening some poor old grandmother, you should be ashamed of yourself....how would your grandma feel about such behavior?

-aaron
 

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Take it from me, someone who is in City Halls of many municipalities each day, you won't get very far contacting the Police Department to make a complaint about one of their own... however, if you show up to a City Council meeting and express your concerns to the Mayor and Council members (who need to be and want to be re-elected and who serve as the "boss" of the Police Department) during the public invited to be heard time I am sure that your complaints will be listened to. The city attorney will be there to inform Council and the Mayor that you were in fact NOT breaking the law, the Cheif of Police and other code enforcement officers will be there as well... who under the watchful eyes of their bosses, will most likely follow you out into the hall afterward and make sure they have the information they need to rectify the situation. The squeaky wheel gets oil... and this case, when you make a complaint to the elected officials, I would be willing to bet you will get a lot of oil squirted your way.

JK
 

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I would say let it go and forget about it. I have had several bad meetings with police and trying to explain something always go bad, especially if they are wrong. If you pursue this he will still get you in the end, trust me on that. Let it go, write it off as a bad day. Hope he doesnt remember you and write you a ticket for going 22 in a school zone.
 

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Twitch - that's interesting you say that. Sunday on the creek, we saw a couple of canoeists on the creek, and I *know* I saw off in the distance some 'yakers on their way down, and no officers around at all. And there was definitely a crowd of people taking a look at what the boaters were doing. And certainly no people thinking of jumping in a tube to do the same. It was quite obvious the creek was cranking, and that (fortunately?) the weather was cold enough to turn away all the potential tubers from venturing into the creek.

I'd second the idea of going to a city council meeting - I just had a great conversation with this woman who has been able to make a lot of change just by speaking up at these meetings. And if you let it known, I'm sure you're not the only one who's had trouble with officers and there would be others to stand by you while you speak your piece.

OK, just my $0.02...

ringer
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I did ask the officer for his business card, which by law he's required to provide me with, but he just introduced himself verbally several times.

I even offered to show him a copy of the Colorado Revised Statute regarding the closure of waterways (which I keep a copy of in my car just for these types of instances) but he told me that I better not argue with him.

All in all this guy was just power trippin'. There were kayakers, rafters, and canoeists in the water the day before, as well as after me yesterday. He just didn't like being told he was incorrect and acted in an unprofessional manner once he was.

I did contact the police department and sherrif's dept. to make them aware of the situation as well as to provide them with a correct copy of the law as they were allegedly the ones this officer got his information from.

I'm not going to make a big issue of it, because as gh pointed out, it would be a big waste of my time and effort. But thank god for the advocacy groups such as ACA & CWWA that fight for our rights as recreational water users.
 

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Business Card

If you never got the business card as required by law, I would notify the police of this facet as well. It seems like a power trip is less likely if the cop is aware of his accountability.


Also, the story as you described sounds like harassment. I would probably file a report but don't let me, (or the cop) tell you what to do.

-jp
 

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We had some Barney Fife Sheriff decide to "close" the Murtaugh section of the Snake several years back (1995?)... the last time it had really high water. Sheriff Fife hereby declared the Milner and Murtaugh sections of the Snake River "closed" for reasons of "safety" and posted signs as well as his minions at the take-out and put-in to ticket kayakers. After a day or so of being harrassed and having to sneak past these deputies....who flexed their badge at every opportunity....A freind published an article in the Twin Falls newspaper suggesting that since the Sheriff (in his infinite wisdom of rivers & river running) had declared the river "unsafe".....that it.. in turn, makes sense that later in the year, when the water levels drop, the sheriff pronounces it "safe" again, and the kayakers are permitted back on the river.....that anyone suffering any-type of injury in the river canyon should promptly sue the Sheriff's office and argue that Officer Fife and his minions are obviously liable because they had in their official capacity assumed responsibility for determining what was and was not in their apt judgement "safe" for the public. Of course, my buddy Bill (the author) was being sarcastic about sueing the Sheriff's office but, his article prompted the county commissioners to re-evaluate Sheriff Fife's decision and resulted in the river being "opened" the very same day the article ran. Ironically, the river had increased in a few more 1,000 cfs than the previous days of "closure". I don't know why restrictions are being put on Boulder creek ....but I love telling this story.
 
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Twitch - Thanks for the heads up on the five-o! We didn't have any run-ins with the Barney! I was on the creek Sun and Mon. G. Lacy was even out there in rafts. To bad they didn't har(D)rass him.
 

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Boulder Cops are idiots. These guys wouldn't know logic and respect if it slapped them in the face. The freakin loser you talk about was so insecure that you crushed his little ego by illuminating the nature of his ignorance.

Good for you... and sadly this same chump is off harassing other people with his "do no wrong" omnipresent 3rd grade behavior.

What we need is accountability and professionalism in law enforcement. It's not likely that we'll see this anytome soon in Boulder!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you to whomever forwarded this thread on to the City Council office. I spoke with internal affairs this morning and they were already aware of the situation because this thread got in front of the right people.

Chrispy, I do believe they want to talk to you about your potty mouth though. :)
 

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I am glad to hear that this thread got in front of the eyes of city council members in Boulder. Sometimes it's just knowing the right people to get information to. Good luck and happy boating... without intimidation from the po-po.

JK
 

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Here is the Boulder City Council and Mayors email address. I would recommend taking a moment and everyone sending them an e-mail to voice your concerns about the performance of thier officers and a obvious lack of professionalism.

[email protected]
 
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