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Old 04-28-2017, 09:18 AM
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Folks, I need to stress to you to DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. Do NOT rely on any government workers word. If you do I guarantee places you THINK are off limits are actually not.

I have LOTS of experience with this subject as a former officer and all my dealings with the police.

Find a park that is posted. Obey the signs BUT ask questions and permission. I found a totally virgin park in Utah because I ASKED and was never shown the ordinance. I was told there was one but nobody ever showed me the rule in writing. Signs mean nothing if they are just there to scare people digging holes away.

Once you find a rule or law, EXAMINE it closely. Is there a condition? No disturbing plants no removing sod? A screwdriver doesn't do any damage. Easy to use on shallow coins as deep as your index finger. So detect and if you get confronted do not have any digging tool with you and have popping coins with a screwdriver mastered. It isn't hard.

Make business cards on your printer. SHOW people in charge how you retrieve a target. You might find virgin spots that give you a green light. Business cards give people your name and number if they ever have or see a problem. They know you try to be professional in what you do. They can also remember who they gave permission to. I gave one of my underwater ones to the park supervisor in Utah. It worked.

Now for the dangerous stuff. If you feel froggy, politely argue with the police if confronted. HOWEVER with a warning. A disorderly conduct ticket is BROAD. Not giving in to supposed authority could get you a broad ticket that can stick. That would be up to a judge. If you leave a spot and go back later there is no harm in that.

If you do want to explain your rights it is best to have a copy of the law WITH YOU in your vehicle.

Two years ago I was in a lake and diving in a swim area that was roped off. The people that owned the marina told me I could not be in their swim area. I told them they were wrong. The guy asked if I ever heard of riparian rights. I said sure have and you don't have them. I went back under. About a half hour later I heard a BAM BAM BAM. I come up and there is an officer on the dock. He told me I was trespassing. I said "NO, I am not." He said "now that you are standing up I was" I said no. I said this lake has a public boat ramp and a public park on it. Michigan law states ANY lake with public access, anybody owning property on the lake, their property ends at the high water mark. He said he was researching the law while watching me and he THINKS I am right. I told him I was and gave him my background. I also gave him my drivers license number which I have current and memorized.

We had a wonderful talk and he went to educate the owners while I went back to diving.

Last year I had an incident that was not as cordial. I got three citations for sticking up for my rights. Another member on here was told to get out of the water and he did. I had to go to court but in the outcome all three citations were dismissed. Some officers THINK they know the laws BUT also think they have a gun and a badge so they are ALWAYS right. NOT. They were wrong and not only am I allowed to detect where I was, they had better leave me alone this year.

The law concerning the Detroit River:

Sec. 23-2-2. - Swimming and underwater diving; prohibitions.

(a)

A person shall not swim, bathe, or engage in underwater diving operations outside of buoyed and designated swim areas, except when authorized by the city police department harbormaster.

(b)

This section does not preclude bona fide commercial salvage diving operations, and emergency and recovery operations by any law enforcement agency.


The person that got kicked out wading was NOT breaking the law and I also was NOT. I was also diving. So who can guess why I was not breaking the law?

I don't expect anyone here to try to back down a bully with a badge. I have a few times. NOT the easiest path to take. In one lake the police were called on me 9 times. The first 6 the residence were told I was legal. The 7th the officer decided I was not. Even his SGT stood up for him. Easy remedy. I told them I was not going to leave unless I received a citation. the Sgt said he really did not want to give me one. I insisted. I got it and left. Went to court and it was dismissed also. The 8th time the officers told the folks I was legal. the 9th 3 officers showed up including a Sgt and Lt. They told the folks in no uncertain terms that I was legal and if they were called again they would give them a citation for harassing me. That was about 4 years ago. I go back and am welcome by all now.

Another time I backed down a bully with a badge, he threatened to tow my truck, give me a ticket for a bent plate and a few threats I can't remember all for him thinking I was trespassing. Well I wasn't and I told him to go ahead and tow it, I would sit on a log until it was gone and I sat down. He got in his car and slammed the door. After a few minutes he rolled down his window, called me over and apologized.

I admit, I am stubborn. Some here will praise my actions, others will condemn them. It doesn't matter to me. This post isn't for that purpose.

KNOW the law and abide by it. Learn how to enjoy the hobby WITHIN the law. That is what this post is about. Learn how to use a screwdriver. Know where you can detect and where it really is off limits. Most here will not hunt a parking strip. I will in a heartbeat. Will people call the police? Yep. Is it legal? Probably in most states.

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Last edited by ScubaDetector; 04-28-2017 at 09:52 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2017, 09:45 AM
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Great post, Bob.

I had an instance like that. Matter of fact, it was the first time I ever hunted with captain silver. Me, my brother, bruce and chris (ferrous bueller) were at a public park and had just started finding silvers. Someone called the cops and the female officer told us to leave and that it was a private park. I immediately called her on it and said "this is a public park, not private" Her reply was "this is a private public park"....which made no sense. I asked her if all the cars in the lot had permits then since it was private.

We all saw she was not going to back down and just left. Never went back either. I should go hammer that place this weekend.

I swear, if you carry a long handle shovel, it screams CALL THE POLICE to busy bodies.

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Old 04-28-2017, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Swinglow View post
Great post, Bob.

I had an instance like that. Matter of fact, it was the first time I ever hunted with captain silver. Me, my brother, bruce and chris (ferrous bueller) were at a public park and had just started finding silvers. Someone called the cops and the female officer told us to leave and that it was a private park. I immediately called her on it and said "this is a public park, not private" Her reply was "this is a private public park"....which made no sense. I asked her if all the cars in the lot had permits then since it was private.

We all saw she was not going to back down and just left. Never went back either. I should go hammer that place this weekend.

I swear, if you carry a long handle shovel, it screams CALL THE POLICE to busy bodies.
I found over a hundred Barber dimes, 6 Barber halves and the 10.00 eagle in a golf course in SLC. I played cat and mouse with the grounds keepers a lot. The police came three times and asked me to leave. I did but always went back. The course belongs to the city. There are no no trespassing signs anywhere on the fences. People walk their dogs on the grounds at night. I was just finding tons of coins because it was an amusement park from 1880 - 1926. CRAZY coinage. I wish I could have taken a bulldozer to the top 6"! They never took my name or information so I knew I wasn't doing anything illegal and causing less damage than a golf club.

The reason I always left was simple. I was a cop myself and was always packing. They didn't know me and I didn't want to have any problems with my supervisors. I was polite and let the ground keepers win for the day.

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Old 04-28-2017, 10:37 AM
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Your posts are always refreshing. If there's anyone even less skittish than me on this topic, it's you. Not only will you go where you feel it's not forbidden, but you'll let no one tell you to-the-contrary! Whereas I would just advocate being invisible, to avoid such defense -tactics in the first place

To your post I would add: the mistaken notions that some authority has trying to boot you, can ALSO manifest itself when well-meaning-persons waltzing in ahead of time asking "can I?". They are trying to "head off troubles at the pass", by asking ahead of time. The md'r gets a "no", based on something silly like bothering earthworms, or "alter/deface" or lost & found, blah blah. When in reality, no one would ever have cared or bothered them.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View post
Your posts are always refreshing. If there's anyone even less skittish than me on this topic, it's you. Not only will you go where you feel it's not forbidden, but you'll let no one tell you to-the-contrary! Whereas I would just advocate being invisible, to avoid such defense -tactics in the first place

To your post I would add: the mistaken notions that some authority has trying to boot you, can ALSO manifest itself when well-meaning-persons waltzing in ahead of time asking "can I?". They are trying to "head off troubles at the pass", by asking ahead of time. The md'r gets a "no", based on something silly like bothering earthworms, or "alter/deface" or lost & found, blah blah. When in reality, no one would ever have cared or bothered them.
Tom, I enjoy your posts also. BUT in what I am doing being invisible is also breaking the law if I get caught. Diving without a flag is being invisible, however around boaters it is a dangerous situation also. Would I get caught? Probably not. They would either have to see me getting in or getting out. But if I got run over by a boat and turned to fish chum it would be all my fault for not having a flag.

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Old 04-28-2017, 12:40 PM
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Ah... I always wondered if those charges were dismissed. I loved the fact that when called over, you dismissed the officers and went back under. That always cracked me up.

I've been taught to submit to authority if pressed and get my day in court. Nothing wrong with standing ground. People have a whole lot of assumptions of guilt if you're cited. They're wrong in so many ways.

That being said, the only times I've ever been cited for anything, I was actually doing what they cited me for. LOL (3 speeding tickets for me!)

When it comes to metal detecting, I've found that a pleasant conversation trumps anyone's "version" of what they "THINK" is the law.

The only time I've left an area was when a Home Owners Association board member came and harassed me (wasn't my subdivision, so I had no real standing ground). Guy wanted to throw the ball to his dog, and my son and I were in the way. He droned on and on about how the covenants didn't expressly forbid it, he "thought" we needed to ask permission from the board first, since we were cutting into the ground. Never mind the volleyball stakes that were holding up the volleyball court behind me.

I was actually there looking for a homeowners ring (permission hunt), but didn't press the issue, since I couldn't be sure the ring was in THAT park (the person contacting me said "XXX subdivision park." Turned out there were THREE of them. Just more fun to do them all.

Being run off by the board member changed my mind. After berating me and harassing me, I finally threw up my hands, and said, "forget it, man, clearly you don't want me here, my son and I will leave." As we left, he was yelling, "I didn't MAKE you leave! I didn't Make you leave! You're leaving by choice!" yeah... whatever. It's the first time I've considered pouring gas on a lawn in a dirty word since I was a teenager. LOL (of course, I did NOT do it, but it was a nice thought.)

After that guy, I didn't even bother continuing to look for the ring (based on my research afterwards, I strongly suspect it was there). Consequences of a board member being a jerk. That Board Member didn't serve his community one lick.

To this day, I'm quite comfortable with confrontation, as a smile and quick quip usually disarms folks. The two most common questions and responses are:
1) Can I help you? "Nope! I'm totally good, but thanks for asking!" I always follow this up with a big smile and a laugh. Since the person has already built up in their mind that I'm going to be confrontational, that kind of response diffuses the situation pretty fast. I've had people stutter after that... and I just keep talking...
"2) What are you looking for?" Aztec GOLD! Naw... I'm just kidding. mostly I'm finding bottle caps, rusted nails and other dangerous trash. Trying to keep things clean..." At that point, I've taken the stuffing out of the argument before it starts. Again, smiles and laughing.

Aside from aforementioned HOA representative who deserved a wedgie, I've never had any other problems. All diffused...

It costs about 5 minutes of time, but that's about it. And... if push came to shove, there's too many places I can detect where I'm not being harassed. And if I really wanted to, I'd come back later, anyway.

Cheers!

Skippy
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Skippy SH13 View post
Ah... I always wondered if those charges were dismissed. I loved the fact that when called over, you dismissed the officers and went back under. That always cracked me up.

Cheers!

Skippy
Skippy, I went back under because they were jerks and took my dive flag for NO REASON. One of the citations I got was for diving without a flag! They were that bold. Is that like an officer taking your license for some reason and letting you go, only to pull you back over 2 minutes later for driving without a license? LOL I know I caused some of my own problems and I might not do it again. However I hate bullies with badges. My boss was one and that is one reason I didn't retire as a state cop. I loved my job until my parents were killed. Another story for another time. My rights were trampled on and unfortunately at the time I allowed it.

Yea, you have a gun and a badge, so what? Especially if you are wrong? How many people agree with the guy on United Air lines that got taken off the plane physically. Well it looks like United paid him an undisclosed sum today and he is not at liberty to say how much. How much is a law enforcement agency willing to pay to attempt to take away my rights? Stay tuned to this channel. They might try to go that far one day. I wonder how you cuff and stuff a person in scuba gear?

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