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1935Packard

Courtesy Cards

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Posted (edited)

A few years ago I purchased a set of automotive documents on ebay that included some old driver's licenses, registration cards, WWII gas rations, and the like.  Included in the mix was this curiosity: 

 

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I hadn't seen anything like this, but a bit of Googling suggests that it is a "courtesy card," a card that police officers would hand out to their friends to help them get out of traffic tickets.   This is from a 2015 story on courtesy cards:

 

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Back when honorary law enforcement badges were bestowed, many of them were flashed by motorists in hopes getting out of a traffic ticket—and it sometimes worked. A far more efficacious implement, however, was the “courtesy card.”

This was generally the business card of an officer with a hand-written introduction of the bearer and a request to “extend every courtesy” to the person.

My late father ran a retail/wholesale electronics store in Los Angeles in the 1950s-70s. He gave discounts to law enforcement officers, as many merchants did, coveting their presence as a deterrent to robberies. I still have (somewhere around the house) three LAPD officers’ business cards asking that “courtesies” be accorded him.

West Los Angeles attorney Sandor “Ted” Boxer says that as he understands it, “there was a time when a friendly peace officer would hand out ‘courtesy cards’ that were supposed to be good for one ticket.” He explains:

“The drill was that if you got pulled over the officer, upon seeing the card, would forego issuing you a ticket but you gave the card to the officer who supposedly mailed it back to the person who gave you the card.”

 

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Maybe others are familiar with this, but it was new to me.  Learn something new every day.

Edited by 1935Packard (see edit history)
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Used to be a local Mayor who was well known for being able to "fix" tickets for his friends. After he passed away it was found out that his method of "fixing" tickets was foolproof. He would simply pay them out of his own pocket. 

 

 

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When I lived in N.J. back in the 70s the police chief of Spotswood gave me one.  never had to use it.

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In western Minnesota on spring the local Police Chief gave out to High School students the equivalent of a "get out of jail card" for their help sand bagging around his house and barn. Some of them were bartered to the young guys that definitely might need them.

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Posted (edited)

Never saw these before.  I am familiar with business cards early hot rod clubs used to have printed in the 40s, 50s.  That was to help bolster community relations along with encouraging club members to go out of their way with stranded motorists, much more common back in the day.  Little catch phrases "you have been helped by a member of the altar boys car club, hartford, CT" and such.  Always looking for those for my smalls...

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)

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