Traffic cops have one of those jobs, like referee or government regulator, that make people hate them when they are doing it well. Honestly, even if you know the guy giving you a speeding ticket is probably not a bad person, you have to hate them a little bit, right? And in Los Angeles, where cars are very much a way of life, the traffic cops there must get all kinds of abuse, right? Well there is one L.A. officer who has a truly unique record. He denies any knowledge of what makes people feel the way do about him, he just says he is doing his job.
Meet Elton Simmons, the L.A. traffic cop who has stopped over 25,000 drivers over twenty years without ever getting a single complaint.
“Vegas or MIT could not give you the odds of the statistical probability of that,” says Captain Patrick Maxwell with a grin.
Simmons says he isn’t trying to do anything special.
“I’m here with you,” Simmons explains. “I’m not up here,” he says, raising his arm. “Because one thing I hate is to be looked down at.”
It’s clear from watching Simmons that he treats people as people, not as misbehaving children. CBS interviewed a few drivers who had just gotten a speeding ticket from Simmons, and they seem downright giddy about the experience.
“It’s his smile,” says one. “He has a great smile.”
“Never so happy to get a ticket in my life,” says another.
The Elton Simmons of the world are sprinkled randomly throughout. They’re the folks you run into who unexpectedly make your day.