So, if you read my post a few weekends ago regarding my interesting experience with law enforcement, you will be happy to know that I have received an answer to the whole thing!
Here is the verdict: this involved a major communication and customer service error. Had there been better communication and customer service, the situations could have been different, but it also might have been the same.
Yep, I bet this clear and concise answer would make you sleep better at night, right? I bet the emotions of having spent an evening in the ER preceded by county jail time and heading home thinking your babies were done for would all dissipate because of this very informative answer. And then you feel even better when you are assured that the gem of a human being who made all these decisions in "17 minutes" of dealing with you has been a trustworthy addition to the force for over 3 years (we assumed he must be new). Before I share these lessons with you, please remember that I did not have an issue with being arrested, the main issue is that I was taken to the more crowded and less safe county jail when the city jail was an option.
But I want to move on, so here are the lessons I've learned that I will share with you:
1. First and foremost, this really would have not been a problem had I changed my car tags from NC tags to KS tags when I was supposed to. Furthermore, it would not have been a problem if I had made sure all was taken care of (I paid fees to the DMV and to the state, but not to this particular city, I was very confused). I will now make sure any ticket is completely taken care of within 24 hours of receiving it (unless of course it's the weekend). I was a little confused with the officer who pulled me over, so another lesson is that I will not leave with a ticket unless I understand what the officer wants me to do to take care of it. So, this was my responsibility and I shouldn't have assumed anything as far as what I had taken care of. No assuming for me anymore!!
2. Your average police officer is not able to make a distinction between a drug dealer and someone who had confusion with a ticket. Apparently, this is for their safety. Even after you have proven you do not have weapons, you are compliant, and you have no drugs (not to mention you are a 5'4" pregnant woman who had done nothing but sit around and cry), you have been standing around for well over an hour and have made no attempt at violence, this has no bearing on the common sense of these individuals. Or in their terms, the "customer service" they provide. You are assumed to be a criminal who knows everything there is to know about jails, bonds, and the process of being arrested.
3. Many police departments expect that if you need something you will make demands of the police officers. I personally would NEVER think to make demands of an authority figure who is going to arrest me. I do watch the news. I saw the old lady get maced for arguing and another pregnant woman get thrown to the ground for arguing with police, so my common sense would indicate that arguing or "demanding" things of a police officer who has mace, a baton, and guns just on their person would be a bad idea. I guess I should have been more "demanding" with my needs and hoped that I would not end up on the the 10 o'clock news.
4. A police officer's time is much more valuable than ours. If they think they can be rid of you in a short amount of time with the least possible responsibility, they will do whatever they have to do. Including things that are directly detrimental to your health and wellbeing. The lives of unborn children and the fact that you are on rest due to a medical condition are meaningless in comparison to the fact that officers have better things to do. Every place I have asked has told me that the city jail is quite different than the county jail.
5. Courts and law enforcement agencies are run by the government, so we can all assume that efficiency is not going to apply here, although as taxpayers, we are the people who pay for these things to be around. In the end, I paid $100 total, which included the fines for my offense and court fees. So basically, this was all for a lingering $100 that this city needed. Honestly, if all they wanted was $100 and I had known that, I would have given them $100 a long time ago, for the love of God! I can assure you that the cost of three police officers, 3 different departments, the booking process and now the investigation cost more than $100. I paid more than that to the state over a year ago for this offense. This process is not cost effective. And as I've been told over and over, "it happens all the time."
As I said, this would all have been avoided had I had up to date tags on my car, I'm not saying I take no responsibility. BUT, it is scary to see first hand how people are being treated. I was told that after all, they take "Johnson County soccer mom" types to the county jail all the time and no one has seemed to had a problem with it but me. I saw the filthy area that people are held. I heard two police officers that work inside the jail, one which was a woman, laugh hysterically at the fact that another inmate was on her period and they told her to stuff papertowels in her pants because they don't have to give her a pad (not that they didn't have one, but they didn't have to give it to her). I'm not sure about you, but telling someone to bleed all over themselves doesn't provide me any comic relief. I guess another lesson would be once you can no longer handle your job with dignity it might be time to move on.
This was a really crappy experience. I will always have a chip on my shoulder because I can't look at a police officer and be able to truly believe they have come into their field of work with the intention of helping people and know that there are actually many of them who now have the authority to pick on people, which is dangerous.
BUT, my babies are still thriving (as of my last appointment on Monday), and since that's all I've been dreaming of for several years, this is all I need to say regarding this subject. I am shocked and a little appalled, but I am also okay, which is all that matters. Now it's time to start thinking of important things, like nursery decorations and baby names. :)