62nd Highway Patrol (MP)
 Germany      1948 - 1958

Stories of the Highway Patrol

 


"QUIT PICKING ON ME" 


by
  Eugene "Gene" R. Klompus

 

 

 

It was April, 1955 and only my third day on duty in the 62nd MP Highway Patrol's Detachment "C" in Augsburg. I was on night patrol and working with a Corporal whose last name was Tucker. I can't recall his first name but he was the epitome of a conscientious and hard-nosed police officer. I recall being glad that the schedule had paired us; I knew that I'd learn plenty from him.

 

Well, we had just pulled out of our Reese Barracks Kaserne parking lot and were headed for the Autobahn when Tucker spotted a car running a stop sign. It was a two-tone Oldsmobile with "5C" license plates. 5C were always the first 2 characters in the plate numbers which were commonly assigned to personal cars belonging to DA civilians and military personnel in the Augsburg/Munich area.

 

 

 

Corporal Kenneth R. Tucker & Pfc. Eugene "Gene" R. Klompus, Det. C - Augsburg, 1955

 

 

Though we were always keenly aware that our jurisdiction was mainly on the Autobahn and rural town areas [We left to the "Town Patrol" duties to the 508th MP Battalion], Tucker was too conscientious an MP to let that stop sign violation go unnoticed ... despite the fact that it happened within the city limits!

 

Tucker was driving our patrol car at the time, turned on its dome light and motioned the Olds' driver to pull over. After parking our car immediately behind the offender's car, Tucker turned to me and said that he recognized the car and the driver. He said that it was an Air Force Colonel whom he had ticketed several times in the past for various traffic violations. He told me that the Colonel was extremely arrogant on each occasion.

 

I followed Tucker out of our car and stood alongside of him as he  approached the driver's window. And, before Tucker could utter a word, the driver became abusive and shouted, "You guys better quit picking on me". This was my first experience with an uncooperative senior officer and I was impressed with the way my partner handled the situation. "Please let me have your driver's license, and you 10 card, Sir", said Tucker. Though the Colonel eventually produced these items, he was extremely vulgar and disrespectful. He demanded our names, ranks and duty station address and our commanding officer's name and said that he would be reporting us for insubordination. Tucker [and I] remained courteous and gave him the information he requested. Tucker then gave him a citation for the stop sign infraction and also for a broken taillight.

 

Two weeks later, Tucker and I received a notice to appear at an Air Force hearing. The Colonel's intent to smear us was foiled. It turned out that his disregard for the stop sign was his eighth moving violation in a six month period and he was being disciplined for his reckless behavior behind the wheel.

 

This entire incident impressed me with the amazing authority we members of the 62nd Highway Patrol had ... even over senior officers. But to the credit of the 62nd Military Police Co.. I never heard of a single case in which anyone of us had ever abused that authority.


 

 


This story previously appeared in Volume # 12, Issue # 4, Oct-Nov-Dec 2009 edition of "The White Mice"


 

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