* See update below.
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy Deputy Elton Simmons has written thousands of traffic tickets in 20 years — that's 25,000 traffic stops, says a story by CBS News. But his file includes zero complaints. A CBS crew and reporter Steve Hartman followed Simmons around in the field to see how he does it.
The first thing I noticed was that he has this pitch-perfect mix of authority and diplomacy, with none of the attitude that sometimes comes with a cop.
"I'm here with you," said Elton. " I'm not up here" (motions his arm up toward the sky). One thing I hate is to be looked down on -- I can't stand it -- so I'm not going to look down at you."
That's why, in lieu of a lecture, he gives most people the benefit of the doubt. Of course they still get the ticket, just not the guilt trip.
The drivers seem to appreciate that -- so much so that by the end, some are downright smitten.
"You know what it is, it's his smile," said driver Mike Viera, who just got a ticket. "He's got a great smile. He's a nice guy. How could you be mad at that guy?"
Next day update:I wondered how CBS News would get onto such a local LA story. Now I know: It originated last September as a Column One story in the Los Angeles Times by Robert Faturechi. Here it is.