Nearly arrested

JHZR2

Staff member
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46,270
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New Jersey
This is pretty funny... And sad. Had the day off. I've had a bunch of batteries, some aluminum siding, and a bunch of copper knob and tube wiring. Filled it all into my truck to go to the scrap metal place. Our town has a used oil dump place. It says oil only. I know from dropping stuff there that sometimes there are batteries. Figuring I was helping everyone out, I went to check for batteries. Boy was I in luck, there were two forklift type batteries that had to be over 100lb each. I figured these two would be worth $50 and I'd be eating dinner for free. Hazmat costs money to dispose, the borough says oil only, so it's a hassle and I'll help everyone out and make a few bucks for it, right? Well the hazmat is next to the Police station, so around comes a cop, seeing all my junk and stops me. Wanted all my info. I'm the end I didnt get the batteries. I was lucky that he did t make me put my other batteries (from my garage) there. It's not like he knew if they were mine or not... I was disturbed in that he asked me for my social security number. Is that allowed? At work, we constantly have training and advisement for dealing with personally identifiable information. SSN is not supposed to be used for identification. I initially told him that I wouldn't provide it. He told me that he would get it when putting my info in, and I said that I understood that, but ssn isn't for identification. I gave it to him so that it appeared that I was being cooperative. What is the right way to deal with that situation? That's my story for today...
 
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22,187
Location
Colorado Springs
So what did the officer do? File a report on you? I'd have given my name and that's it, and made it crystal clear whether I was under arrest or not. I swear, most cops are narcissistic power hungry animals these days.
 
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1,252
Location
PA
I've had them ask for the SSN before, and have refused. Your state DL is sufficient ID. He could not have taken your batteries unless he had reasonable suspicion that you'd stolen them. A simple explanation of why you were taking the batteries(if he saw you taking them) would be enough for most of the LEOs I know. If he was being uncourteous(= to unprofessional), quietly take note of his badge number or plate number and file a complaint.
 

JHZR2

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New Jersey
Whoops! Guess I should have been a bit more assertive. I've never really had an interaction with an officer before. Plus lugging 100 lb batteries across a parking lot had mena bit out of breath. I wonder if I would have said "no", if he would have arrested me, or how much more of a hard time he would have given me. In he cop's defense, he was very straightforward and polite. No grumpiness, no macho man, none of that kind of stuff like you see sometimes attitude-wise.
 

JHZR2

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46,270
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New Jersey
Originally Posted By: umungus1122
I've had them ask for the SSN before, and have refused. Your state DL is sufficient ID.
Be said essentially that... That he would get my SSN regardless when he ran my info. I gave it just to be cooperative. I kind of regret it now, because I don't like folks getting used to having info they shouldn't be asking for. Would be nice to have a back pocket statute or law to spout back.
 
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1,235
Location
Plattsburgh, NY
I had a similar situation with the SSN thing. When my Olds died one time on the NYS Thruway, the officer who provided me assistance came back after my name was a hit for an open warrant. Turns out there's a guy down in the City with the same name who has some serious legal issues. Didn't really want to give my SSN, but didn't really feel like "sorting it out at the station", either, while my car got towed to who knows where, so I gave in.
 
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3,610
Location
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Did you get his badge number? I would have requested his badge number and name....just tell him you need it to verify and document the conversation. You could also tell him that you want to call the PD's community relations office to make sure to nominate him for "outstanding Officer" of the month. Then you can follow up if the SS# is really required and if he is on the "up and up" by making such a request. I would not give out my SS#, only my DL, if he wants ID.
 
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5,941
Location
Arlington
My Social Security card specifically states that it is "Not to be used for identification". I guess that's just the card, not the number. grin If I was in Arizona, I would likely just give the cop my number to prevent a little bus ride across the border to Sonora and a warm bologna sandwich for lunch. In Jersey? shrug I don't know...If I refuse are they going to deport me to Canada? That's kind of a long ride. I hope they got more than a bologna sang'wich for me.
 

JHZR2

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46,270
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New Jersey
Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
In most cases smart people cooperate. It's generally a good idea.
Agreed, but I have a fundamental issue with using SSN. It is not supposed to be used for identification. It's one thing if someone with an identical name has an active warrant (and they could explain that). It's another thing if I'm pursing with some batteries at the town dump.
 
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1,235
Location
Plattsburgh, NY
JHZR2, doesn't the NJ DMV already have it on file anyway? I didn't really want to give mine to the DMV, but in NYS, it's required, by law, for child support enforcement.
 

01rangerxl

Site Donor 2021
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10,316
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Birmingham, AL
Originally Posted By: OilNerd
When my Olds died one time on the NYS Thruway, the officer who provided me assistance came back after my name was a hit for an open warrant. Turns out there's a guy down in the City with the same name who has some serious legal issues.
In that situation I could sort of understand why they would ask for it, and I would probably give it to them just to go ahead and clear things up as quickly as possible. That said, JHZR2's situation does sound unusual. I used to have my share of run-ins with police, ranging from speeding tickets to arrest. I have never once been asked what my SSN is. I have always been truthful about my identity right off the bat.
 
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Location
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
JHZR2....to put your mind at ease....call the County or City Police Department and ask to speak with Community Relations or the Civilian Review Board and explain the situation to them. Then you'll know for sure....if it is required. If the police want my name and ID for any reason....I respectfully ask for their name and badge number. Today....just read the news...people get pulled over by "Counterfeit" police impersonators and women get raped and some robbed and killed. If the officer refuses to give you his name and badge number....he could be in big trouble....if it gets to the top. Just make sure that it does....get to the top.
 
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36,515
Location
ME
I just gave a prospective employer my SSN in a 21st century faceless online application so they can do a background check. They had a form for filling in date of birth, but year was optional, and a helpful blurb mentioned if there were another guy with my name it would help sort it out. But I could skip it if I felt age discriminated. SSN was required, as were towns I used to live in, and former names of my doppeldangers. laugh If there's one place not to give your SSN if you aren't on gov't benefits its the doctors' office. Despite HEPA they really mangle/lose your records.
 
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26,132
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
100% they have it on file but if someone has the same name or had used your name they probably wouldn't know the SSN of the top of their heads but you would. They are not going to tell you if someone used the name or not, it may put you in a panic e.g. cancelling credit cards etc for nothing. He probably just wanted to verify your i.d. nothing more. IMO you did the right thing, no point in having a cop think your some sort of PITA, that reputation goes through the precinct like wildfire. Edit: IMO going after a cop as some have suggested for something like this is a really bad idea. Cops and their colleagues can play some pretty evil games if they feel tormented.
 
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Messages
17,866
Location
Silicon Valley
I think the smart situation would be to ask the officer why would it be needed and tell him or her you are concerned about ID theft. It is better not to get into a confrontation before understanding the other side's point of view. If it is a quick test against fake ID, I think giving the last 4 digits should do.
 
Messages
1,482
Location
Michigan
Word to the wise. Comply with a smile then ask questions later at the Chiefs office to clear things up. Never try to train a police officer while he has you stopped.
 
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