A letter has recently fallen into the hands of Zembla, explaining perhaps why Officer Toughkins singled out Shakes, the innocent Toyota Corolla, for harassment. (Boldness added by me, all spelling errors are CSSA's own. My dad's name changed to protect his anonymity.)
The California State Sheriff's Association (CSSA) is a professional law enforcement organization, which has provided all 58 elected Sheriffs of California with a unified voice on matters of public safety for over 100 years. Through our collective participation, we are able to bring our combined resources and knowledge to provide the highest level of service to communities throughout California.
Every day the Sheriff's Office, as the chief law enforcement agency in each county, works very hard to keep us safe in our community and to apprehend individuals who break the law and would do us harm. As criminals terrorists, and predators become more sophisticated, technologically advanced, and better armed, the job of a peace officer becomes even more dangerous.
We are writing to request your assistance in this effort by becoming a Member of the California State Sheriff's Association. For as little as $25 a year (about $2 a month) you will be supporting the preeminent law enforcement organization in California. Your dues will be used to provide programs on crime prevention and awareness, provide training for Sheriffs and their personnel, and educate the public regarding law enforcement information, functions, and events. These dues are essential as the current budget crisis in California threatens to gravely impact law enforcement spending priorities. Most importantly, through participation in CSSA, the Sheriff's (sic) of California are able to work with other state leaders and organizations to ensure our Officers receive the tools they need to be effective in our criminal justice system.
Membership privileges include a membership card, bumper sticker, two window decals, and a years (sic) subscription to California Sheriff, our quarterly publication.
Thank you in advance for your consideration to become a member of the California State Sheriffs' Association. Please send your check TODAY as serious issues facing law enforcement must be addressed immediately.
Apparently, our local sheriffs are threatened not just by evil terrorists, but by "predators" like mountain lions, grizzly bears, and perhaps coyotes. More importantly, our sherrifs are running an informal protection racket, where a $25 membership fee can ensure safety from troublesome traffic stops. Otherwise, why would one need a bumper sticker or window decals proclaiming membership in the Association?
I can imagine Sheriff Warren Rupf making the pitch to drivers directly: "You know, that's a pretty nice driving record you've got there. It'd be a shame if it got some moving violations on it." Then he scrapes the registration sticker off your license plate, breaks your tail light with his billy club, and then dashes into the forest to wrestle a mountain lion, a mountain lion with a distinct technological advantage.