The PBA Card is a very interesting thing. With the advent of modern technology, the law keeping processes across the globe have evolved a lot. New procedures and devices are introduced for the betterment of the police departments. However, due to this evolution, some interesting elements have seen the light of the day. One such element is the PBA card. It is also known as the ultimate “get out of jail free” card.
The card can get people out of legally troublesome situations easily. Thus it is a card that seems to have great legal power. But can anyone get the card? What are the procedures to get the card? More importantly, does the PBA Card work? To find answers to all your queries, read this article. Here you will find everything that you need to know about the PBA Card.
What is A PBA Card?
PBA Card is the short form for Police Benevolent Association. This is the name given to police labor unions in the United States. Nearly 1 million police officers are registered in labor unions. Moreover, the majority of them are in independent organizations. The largest in the world is the NYPD union. It has more than 24,000 registered cops.
Several of these unions hand PBA Cards to their family members and close friends, to help them out of legal troubles. A note printed on every card reads: “The bearer of this card is a supporter of the PBA and you should try to extend every courtesy possible.” When such a card is produced by anyone the on-duty officers confirm the validity of the card. The card has the name, phone number, and signature of the issuing officer on it. The officers confirm the cardholder’s relation to the issuing officer. The card works best when the cardholder shares the same surname as the officer who issued that card.
Authorities also occasionally issue PBA Cards to politicians, religious leaders, journalists, and other community leaders. However, some media companies see the card as a conflict of interest. Thus, they advise their employees not to use a PBA Card.
What Powers Do PBA Cards Give?
No one is above the law. Thus, a PBA Card does not give any special right to its owner. However, the owners of this card can avoid traffic tickets for red lights and speeding violations. In some instances, the police officers, instead of arresting, would only issue warnings for violations made by the cardholders. However, in some serious violations like dangerous over speeding and drunk driving, the officers will arrest even a PBA Cardholder. Moreover, there are instances when the police have seized PBA Cards from their owners.
A former NYPD detective told the BBC that the cardholders do not get any special rights. The cards may only help to defuse a tense situation. Years ago the cards were more widely recognized by the police. But as more and more got into the public’s hands, the card lost its credibility. Therefore the PBA Cards are not a guarantee.
Not All PBA Cards Work
There is a common belief that all PBA Cards work in the same way. However, this belief is not true. There are general PBA Cards that do not have the names, phone numbers, and signatures of the issuing officers. Such cards may not see their owners getting out without a traffic ticket. However, if the police officer is nice, he might ask the driver about the issuing officer. If the driver behaves politely the officer might let him/her go without a ticket.
Thus, the closer the relationship with the issuing officer, the greater the chance of survival. The cards work best when they have the names and badge numbers of reputed police officers on them.
The PBA Cards does not guarantee any special rights. They may be helpful to avoid minor traffic tickets. A driver has to use the card with caution. In fact, trying to influence an officer might prove disastrous for the driver. Moreover, police officers have a lot of discretions. If they find someone with a PBA Card, misbehaving or breaking traffic rules, they might issue tickets.
Producing a PBA Card is never illegal. It is recognized by the law. But one should be aware of one’s attitude while producing the same.
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