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Old 05-31-2008, 11:00 PM   #41
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Well, I'll tell you Rich, if I'm ever back in Cape Cod and you arrest me, I think I'll be in good hands. And, maybe we could even talk about asset allocation over a Brandy Alexander because I still can't quite figure out what type of bond funds I need in my portfolio.
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Old 06-01-2008, 02:28 AM   #42
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I think Texarkandy and Walt34 have made some insightful and information filled posts here. They are an example of this board at its best and I thank them for that.

Ditto to what Gumby said.

I know a few cops, but none well enough to add any insight.

I would say that there are only handful of jobs where you are confident going in to the job, that at you retirement party you will have made a difference in somebody's life. Doctor, teacher, firefighter, police officer... I think that is worth a lot of money.
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Old 06-01-2008, 04:37 PM   #43
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Finally a post that I could intelligently respond to and everyone else beat me to it! I retired as a sergeant in the NYPD.

Most of he posters here got it right; not sure where some of the others are coming from.

It's difficult to discuss pay and benefits because they vary so widely by department. The main thing is this is a job that you really want to do. You also need family support.

Last I heard, the divorce rate among the general population is about 50%. I do not think the rate for police officers is much higher. Supposedly the sucide rate is high but not as high as dentists. Go figure!

All I can say is you are still young. Try it for 3-5 years and decide if it is for you.

Good luck
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:06 PM   #44
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Eddie,

I am not in law enforcement, however I have several friends that are. My advise for you is to go ahead and take the plunge. You are young, and while you are young that is the time. If you are not comfortable in the banking profession, the comfort level will probably get worse in years to come. As you get older, the idea of benefits and retirement will become much more important. As a young man, those things don't mean a hill of beans since you are living more in the moment. I don't know anyone in banking, but I would imagine a person could do pretty well financially in that field. But then, banking jobs could flop, (as you probably know), and you would be out there with the rest of them. I see the law enforcement profession as a noble one, and not many could retire as early with as good benefits. As good, (maybe better), as many retired mil officers, (ask Nords).
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:51 AM   #45
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God bless all of the cops, even the bad apples
Well, I certainly wouldn't go that far.

A 'bad apple' cop is just a criminal, only worse than the run-of-the-mill street thug because s/he has the authority of the badge to hide behind.

I doubt that one or two 'bad apple' cops are capable of corrupting an entire police force. But their actions can poison definitely the legitimacy of the police in the eyes of the general citizen ... and that hard-won respect is more important to police work than any gun could ever be.

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All I can say is you are still young. Try it for 3-5 years and decide if it is for you
Sensible advice.
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:27 AM   #46
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Finally a post that I could intelligently respond to and everyone else beat me to it! I retired as a sergeant in the NYPD.

Most of he posters here got it right; not sure where some of the others are coming from.

It's difficult to discuss pay and benefits because they vary so widely by department. The main thing is this is a job that you really want to do. You also need family support.

Last I heard, the divorce rate among the general population is about 50%. I do not think the rate for police officers is much higher. Supposedly the sucide rate is high but not as high as dentists. Go figure!

All I can say is you are still young. Try it for 3-5 years and decide if it is for you.

Good luck
frank
Very good advice, thanks Frank. Hey I have a question, and this may seem silly. Is there a height and weight requirement to being a police officer? I stand and 5"6, and weigh about 155lbs. I have been competing in Jui-jitsu for a few years and have always fought taller and bigger guys at tournaments, so I am confident in my abilities to hold my own, but i'm not sure if there are specific requirements, thanks
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:47 AM   #47
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Very good advice, thanks Frank. Hey I have a question, and this may seem silly. Is there a height and weight requirement to being a police officer? I stand and 5"6, and weigh about 155lbs. I have been competing in Jui-jitsu for a few years and have always fought taller and bigger guys at tournaments, so I am confident in my abilities to hold my own, but i'm not sure if there are specific requirements, thanks
I just talked to a Sgt about height and weight requirements. He said there were none...as long as a person can pass the physical test, the size does not matter. He said most p.d.'s have adopted this rule, but there is a possibility of an exception. IMO, I think you'll be fine.
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:47 AM   #48
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Very good advice, thanks Frank. Hey I have a question, and this may seem silly. Is there a height and weight requirement to being a police officer? I stand and 5"6, and weigh about 155lbs. I have been competing in Jui-jitsu for a few years and have always fought taller and bigger guys at tournaments, so I am confident in my abilities to hold my own, but i'm not sure if there are specific requirements, thanks
I wouldn't worry. My sister in law is 5'6 and 110lbs. She has no problem taking bad guys down.
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:18 PM   #49
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Is there a height and weight requirement to being a police officer?
It depends upon the individual department (such details are usually available on the recruiting portion of their website).
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:53 PM   #50
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Please Note: I got way too involved in thinking about this post, and in my efforts to give the OP an honest answer, it caused me to dig up some personal memories that I had shut away.

There are some examples of real-world violence and sadness in my post, so exercise your own best judgement before reading further:

I thought this would be easy to answer, but in the midst of it I started thinking about my son, and how I would answer him if he asked what I thought about him becoming a police officer. Trying to put it on paper was difficult, and I kept getting to three, four or even five pages of stuff and would erase it all because it wasn’t right.

It’s important that I say that overall, I absolutely enjoyed what I did for a living. There were days when something about the place or the job really ticked me off, and I went through periods of being disillusioned, but for the better part of all those years, police work fit me like a glove. And I had a great career with eight different assignments that just got better and better. Not once did an ambulance load me up, and my very few trips to the ER were for minor stuff.

And the retirement benefits are not bad at all

Thinking about it brought up a lot of old memories. I thought of my soon to be 20-year-old son who is so full of light and energy and started thinking about me when I was 20 and graduated from the police academy. Walt’s post that he linked to in which he mentioned memories of the charred body of a suicide reminded me of my own similar memories. Mine was forgotten for twenty-five years, but when I read that, an extremely vivid picture from that night leapt into my head. Thinking about this thread over the last several days made that memory come back repeatedly. To steal a line from Tommy Lee Jones,
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That's one of a hundred memories that I don't want.
I think this turned into a cathartic exercise for me, and as many times as I’ve stopped myself from posting a reply, I started typing a new one. Last night I couldn’t get to sleep as I kept remembering things that happened that I had forgotten for years. I’m hoping I can post this and then slam the lid on this stuff.

The guy who was our main shrink for all of my career was a very smart man who had a lot of insight into what makes cops tick, and how they react to the stresses that their work brings on. Most of us have what he referred to as the “police face” and the “Husband/Daddy face”. We act and think one way at work in order to stay safe, and we act another way around our friends and family because you can’t bring the things of the street into your home and expect to have a sane and happy life.

In twenty-three years of marriage, other than an occasional glimpse of Mr. Policeman, and couple of phone calls home to say “if you’re watching the news, don’t worry because I am okay”, I kept work at work, and that’s where it stayed.

Once I started thinking about my oldest being a cop there were memories that had been compartmentalized for years. It started getting very complicated for me emotionally. A huge part of my life has been dedicated to keeping the real ugliness out of his life. I remembered when he was 4 or 5 years old and he and I were watching television together. He fell asleep and I started flipping channels and stopped to watch some crime drama. There was a scene in which a police officer was killed, and suddenly, my son who had woken up and was watching with me, suddenly grabbed me around the neck while violently sobbing.

I don’t remember his exact words, but the message was clear. Apologies and assurances spilled out of my mouth as I hugged him back.

That was a tough moment for me. Before that night, I didn’t think that he understood what I did for a living. The uniformed phase of my career had been over long before he was born, and I must have naively thought that he had not yet picked up on the truth. That he made the connection between what he saw on television, and me, and felt the emotions that he did, made me realize the gentle innocence of that kid. Keeping bad work stuff away from home became an even greater priority in my life from then on. Thoughts of him doing police work were something that never crossed my mind until I read this thread.

So, in this exercise I tried to imagine my kid in patrol when I was his age, and the more I remembered things the more I thought to myself that I must be mis-remembering things. It couldn’t have been as bad as I was recalling. There were lots of good memories, but in the midst of it I would suddenly remember something that was not so good. I kept seeing all the people who tried to kill me, and I remembered what seemed like the countless times I found myself stepping over bodies, pools of blood and spent shell casings. And worse than all of that were the just horrendous injuries and deaths in car wrecks. The aftermath of a shooting or cutting can be almost peaceful compared to what happens in motor vehicle wrecks.

I remembered going to a lot of police funerals.

It all seemed so incongruous with everything else I remember, especially the last half of my career. Sure, it’s a big city with its share of violence, but nothing like what I was remembering. So much of the last 15-20 years on the job were relatively similar to what most everyone else here has related. I did wind up in a deadly force incident two years before I retired, but I worked narcotics then, and we did a lot of really dangerous stuff every night.

Nothing seemed unusual, but the things I was remembering from the first five years were demanding an explanation.

It came to me last night to go look at some statistics and some things I had stuck away in a box in the closet. I wasn’t wrong in what I was recalling; it was an incredibly violent time here.

A few brief figures for comparison to illustrate what I’m talking about.

Today there are 2.3 million people in a city of 600 square miles, policed by 5,000 officers. There will probably be around 300 murders this year, 10 – 15 instances of police officers using deadly force, and unfortunately 1 or perhaps 2 officers might die in the line of duty. Lots of bad stuff, but about what is “normal” for big cities.

Then I looked at the 80s. 1982 was a dark crescendo to a decade filled with lots of bad stuff. That year there were 1.5 million people living in 500-550 square miles, with a little more than 2,200 police officers. There were 705 murders, and more than 600 fatal motor vehicle accidents. There were 77 incidents of police deadly force that year. Two of those were mine and occurred exactly one month apart, almost to the hour. Five officers were killed, three by gunfire, one motorcycle officer hit by a drunk driver doing 87 MPH and another motor officer killed in an accident involving a gasoline tanker, the stories I heard about that are the stuff of nightmares. The two motorcycle officers were killed on the same day.

For every one of those deaths of police officers, or citizens murdered or killed in an accident, there were…I don’t know, something on the order of 50, or maybe 100, that were seriously injured by assault or vehicle collisions.

1982 was a bad year.

One of the officers killed by gunfire was a very close friend of mine.

In March of that year she and her rookie were assigned to work a temporary morgue at the scene of a high-rise hotel fire that killed 12 people. I went by there to bring her a fresh battery for her handheld radio, and I was there when the bodies of a family of five were brought in.

She was killed in a narcotics buy-bust in August of that year.

I remember the nights when we left the doors to our car unlocked because there weren’t enough handheld radios for everyone on the shift. We justified it by saying, “If I have to fight my way back to the car to call for help, I don’t want to have to look for the keys when I get there.”

There was one night while I was taking time off, and my regular partner was almost killed. By fire ants.

That almost sounds comical, but the real event was one of those unpleasant memories of someone’s nightmare of a night at work. Since I was off they made him ride with a less than sharp rookie, that we had nicknamed “Spanky”, or “The Squirrel”. They stopped off for a couple of cold drinks at a convenience store, and as they were leaving a guy stepped out of the pool hall next door and was in the midst of venting his rage at the world by firing his gun in the air. He looked to see the police car backing up at the same time they realized what the “pop-pop-pop” noise was. He decided to re-target at the blue & white.

It all culminated with my partner chasing the guy around the back of the shopping center, only to find that the bad guy had stopped running and was laying in ambush. Two rounds past my partner’s head made him fall to the ground in mid-run, only to land on top of his gun at the bad guy’s feet. He was laying in fire ants and basically had to play dead until the guy got tired of laying in wait for the rookie to come around the corner. Meanwhile the ants started biting, and if you’ve never been the victim of a fire ant, I can only describe the sensation as white hot molten pain.

It was a no handheld night for him, so he stumbled back to the car and tried to call for help. Back then everything was overtaxed and insufficient to the demand, including radio airtime. The radio was just non-stop calls and requests for backup from 8 at night until 4 or 5 the next morning. We had an unwritten rule that nobody got on the radio for anything self-generated unless it was they needed help. We didn’t call out on anything routine like traffic or suspicious people/circumstances, and we didn’t even advise of our arrivals at calls scenes. He couldn’t get any free airtime, and, as he told me later “I just kept the mike keyed and screamed for like 30 seconds so they would shut up.”

At the hospital it was looking bad for him and the prognosis was not so great.
They were about to crack his chest when he started to come around. He said that his doctor told him later that they believed he survived only because he was in such good physical condition.

There were never enough cops for anything on the street other than trying to keep the lid on the war zones. There were a lot of one-man units because they were trying to cover most of the beats. For a while they would always send another one-man unit to check by on anything that had the potential for danger, but that didn’t last long. On some nights there were ridiculously dangerous situations being responded to by a single officer.

One such Saturday night, when it was as busy as it ever got, I was dispatched to a shooting in progress in an apartment complex parking lot. When I arrived, all I found were about 50 shell casings, some spilled Tecate beer cans, a ziplock baggie full of limes, a .380 pistol, and blood trails leading off in different directions. The only available unit for backup got pre-empted by a similar call a couple of blocks away. At that point there was no backup, everybody else was either downtown booking prisoners or scattered around the district dealing with their own little slices of the big nightmare.

Following the blood trails lead me to the victims. One dead in the bed of a pickup truck, one made it to the second floor landing of a stairwell, the third died in the bathtub of his apartment.

SOP was to hold the scene and wait for homicide to show up. Only they weren’t coming, or so the dispatcher informed me. There were fourteen murder investigations already in progress, all three shifts of homicide detectives were already working those locations.

Fourteen homicide scenes in one night, and a lone patrol guy working a triple homicide by himself, I don’t know if that ever happened before or since, but I know that I lived it that night. Of course the scene down the street, where my erstwhile backup was, that was the other half of my scene. They were the guys who showed up to start the shoot out with my beer-drinking victims. One dead and three wounded down there.

Eventually, as I was half-way done botching up a crime scene investigation that was way over my head, a half-asleep and very rumpled day shift homicide detective showed up and the whole mess was his. Another unit eventually showed up, and we got it worked, but I doubt that investigation would win any award as an example of good police work.

But that was the way it was back then, we didn’t go to work, we went to war.

I did not set out to have a psychoanalytical moment over this. It started as the search for a honest answer and turned into something else. If I thought I would stop typing these things and then erasing them, I would never post this response. But I want to close the door on it and move back to happier thoughts. You get stuck with the mess because I feel that the only way to move on right now is to post it and just stop thinking about the subject.

At least I came up with what I would do if my son asked the OP’s original questions.

I would tell him these stories, and some others that only the surviving participants can recall, and which are partially detailed on some old dusty reports in storage somewhere. Not that I would dwell on this aspect, but it is part of the whole package, and I would not feel as if I had adequately informed him if I left any of the truth lay hidden. In twenty-five years I got to do a lot of good by helping people out here and there. I also saw, did, and experienced things that were not very pleasant. Everyone’s experiences will differ, although just about every cop alive can duplicate or outdo just about anything I said here.

There will be many good days, and a few that are best forgotten.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:58 PM   #51
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Leonidas, I really appreciate your post. Based on your writings, it was very emotional for you to post this and I thank you for doing so. Your post is very well written and played like a movie in my mind. I hope that writing this helped you in some type of way because it definitely gave me a more realistic view of things that may happen. Thanks again, and take care
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:45 AM   #52
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Leonidas really hit on a lot of it. The "burn-out" phase that I touched on earlier is (I think) the process of learning to make the daily transition from what can seem like a war zone to "normal life", whatever that is. The surreality of going to a suicide on Christmas Eve in which some guy ate a 12 gauge, spattering his brains and skull over the room, the smell of blood, little crunching sounds under my feet from bits of bone, and then going to a family Christmas party the next day.

Lest anyone be offended by that, know that my wife had a brother die the same way long ago, but at least he went outside. It still bothers her because she wonders why she didn't see it coming and if she could have done anything.

The surreality of your wife asking "Did anything happen at work today?" and you say "No, not much." Then she says "Excuse me, isn't that you on the six o'clock news bandaging a little girl?"

"Well, it was just some wreck. Happens every day."

It feels really weird sometimes to be a police officer, like you're living in two different worlds. The "normal" one that most people live and love and work in every day, and the "other" one that very few want to think about, let alone deal with head on.

But dealing with it is your gift to the community.

It's amazing what one can get used to. Eventually there came a time when things like that didn't seem weird anymore. Or maybe it was and one just shuts it out? I didn't say a word about this stuff to anyone but other officers until after I retired.

Lest it sound too depressing, there are a lot of good times too. There's no feeling in the world like knowing you saved somebody's life. Somebody worthwhile, who is going to go on in their life and do positive things. I touched on some of the other positives in other posts.

I guess the thing about it is the wide range of very intense emotions. The pride in what you do, the despair of ever seeing a change, the elation of seeing some good police work make a difference at least in your little corner of the world, the depression of failure, the frustration of dealing with managers and budget people who apparently don't have the sense of a box of rocks.

Go ahead and do it. In three to five years you'll know whether you want to keep at it and if not, you'll have a bunch of war stories to tell and experiences you won't get anywhere else.
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:57 AM   #53
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I hope that writing this helped you in some type of way
Strangely enough, doing that actually worked. It helped to get things sorted out and put things back where they belong.

Until I dug up some bad memories, the memories I had of those days were how much fun we had. Besides, I became a police officer because I wanted an exciting job, and believe me, those were exciting times.
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…the process of learning to make the daily transition from what can seem like a war zone to "normal life", whatever that is.?… But dealing with it is your gift to the community.
Our head shrink thought it was generally a healthy way to deal with the two different worlds police officers work and live in. He said it was something our minds did automatically to protect us. You just had to be careful to watch for problems when it didn’t work well. An example of it not working was in a story he often told us of a young investigator whose wife brought him into the office. The guy would come home every night and lay down on the floor of their daughter’s bedroom and weep for hours. This was a man who saw dead children at work on a regular basis. What happened was that there was a popular type of footwear that every little girl was wearing at the time, including his daughter. He had seen the footwear several times on crime scenes, and then came home and saw the same shoes in his house. Subconsciously, he made a connection between death he saw at work and his daughter, and would be overcome with grief that he didn’t understand.

Your right about it being weird and it being a gift to the community. Sometimes the right thing to do is keep your barrier up, and other times it’s vital that you make a genuine connection with someone. Knowing when and how much can be tricky.
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Lest it sound too depressing, there are a lot of good times too
You are right, and I feel a little bad about purging some depressing crap on Eddie. I feel the need to make up for that. Eddie, here is an official war story for your entertainment.

Riding by myself, no backup available, running a burglary in progress call at a condominium complex. When I arrived, I found the three guys from next door had armed themselves with baseball bats and surrounded the location. Burglar #1 had spotted the welcoming committee and wisely decided to await the police, who he hoped would be less violent. He came out on the balcony and saw me with my shotgun down below, and surrender negotiations commenced while the boys with their Louisville Sluggers offered him some more exciting alternatives.

Surrendering involved him shinnying down a handy gutter downspout, which of course broke away from the wall at the top just as he got started. General hilarity ensued, he screamed as the ground got closer and I was chuckling when I handcuffed him. But that’s not the funny part.

Part II comes when I realized I had drawn a huge audience. The complex residents were all standing around and watching, which in itself was not unusual. But this crowd had armed itself to the teeth with assorted bric-a-brac. Their choices of weapons ran the gamut from a couple of more baseball bats, a few broom handles, a woman in fuzzy slippers holding a rolling pin, and a 400 pound woman who had apparently snatched up her living room lamp on the way out the door.

The leader of the crowd was so excited that he was almost peeing his pants as he reported in to me. “There’s another one officer, he had a guy looking out for him, and he has to still be here because we didn’t see him leave.” The leader looked like the old actor Wally Cox (who defined milquetoast), but he was playing like the leader of a posse. I admit that I discounted the “he’s still here” part because I figured any burglar worth his salt had already booked for more peaceful climes. But I decided to appease the crowd and do a drive through.

After starting out I quickly realized that the posse was following. They looked like the villagers storming Dr. Frankenstein’s castle, but instead of pitchforks and torches they had broom handles and a floor lamp. My evening had veered off into the surreal. Normally I didn’t mind a competent helping hand when I was by myself, but this crowd did not impress me.

I decided to see how fast they could run.

Accelerating gradually I got them to break into a trot (the fat gal with the floor lamp was soon walking), and then almost a full run. I started chuckling, but the appreciation for my own sense of malarkey got out of control and I started giggling as I made it to about 15 MPH. My prisoner even turned around to look out the window and start laughing. I left my posse in the dust and actually was half-heartedly looking for the other guy when I screwed up and found him.

He was in the back seat of his car, and had lain down and covered himself with junk from the interior, which included his dirty laundry. When the spotlight lit up the interior, he freaked a little and bolted upright. A dirty sock was on one shoulder and a pair of tighty-whities was draped on top of his head like a deflated beret. One eye was looking out of a leg hole.

I got out of the car, and because the shotgun was on my lap I took it with me. That was a mistake. After giving him my usual polite request for cooperation (”show me your hands **#*$(%!”) I got him out of the car and about halfway in a search position when I realized I should have left the shotgun in the car. He started fighting, and I ran through all the options and realized my hands were way too full of shotgun, I was too close to get in the buttstroke they taught me at Parris Island, and I wouldn’t be able to sling it across my back quickly enough.

I was trying to keep the crook up against the car with my body weight and figure out some masterful move to keep from getting my butt kicked, when a little white fist came from over my shoulder and started beating on the bad guy’s head. Glancing over my shoulder I see Wally Cox trying to climb over me to get at the crook. His eyes were full of murder and the rest of the posse was coming around the corner.

For a moment I thought about handing the shotgun to Wally, but the headline “Cop allows citizen to murder prisoner” flashed in my mind and I decided against that plan. Meanwhile, Wally’s little, girl-like fist was bouncing off this guy’s skull and he was starting to get himself turned around to face me. In a move born out of desperation, I pushed back and gave about half of an elbow jab in what I thought was the area of Wally’s chest to get him off me, and then I tried for a complete 180 degree body twist to the left while pushing the shotgun butt in the direction of Burglar #2’s face.

The bad guy’s head snapped around and then he went limp and laid down for a nap. If my bayonet instructor had been there to see it I am sure there would have been tears of pride in the man’s eyes. I handcuffed Sleepy the Burglar, called for an ambulance and then turned around to put the shotgun away. The rest of the posse was gathered around Wally, who was sprawled on the ground with a broken pair of glasses and a lot of blood. Great, I’ve killed Wally. This is going to be difficult to explain.

There must have been a miscalculation in my estimate of how tall Wally was, because I had caught him on his cute little dimple with my elbow. He bumped his head in the parking lot - that’s where the blood came from - but after the paramedics cleaned him up we found that the only real damage was a pair of busted specs.

The difficult part was that I had never knocked the snot out of someone who wasn’t also a winner in the free trip to jail contest. While I could have made Wally contestant number three for interfering with an officer, it just did not seem fair. The guy’s heart had been in the right place, and he was the one with dried blood on his clothes, and skull. So before I left, I went over to the guy and told him “I’m sorry about what happened back there, but you were getting in the way.” While saying that, all I could think about was the letter I would have to write in response to the forthcoming complaint.

My good friend Wally beamed up at me and broke into a huge smile. “No problem Officer. That was the coolest thing I ever saw. Man, I can’t wait to go wake up my kids to tell them all about it! Thanks for everything you did tonight!”

God bless that little man. If it would not have been unprofessional, I would have given him a big hug right then.

Eddieb, if you found that story humorous, then you have a sufficiently warped sense of humor to go on to have a successful career in law enforcement. Good luck to you sir.
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:20 PM   #54
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Leonidas, you had me laughing so much DW came in to see what I was laughing at.

Have you given any thought to writing a book? I think you could give Joseph Wambaugh a run for his money.

That sounded like something straight out of The Choirboys.
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:38 PM   #55
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The bad guyís head snapped around and then he went limp and laid down for a nap. If my bayonet instructor had been there to see it I am sure there would have been tears of pride in the manís eyes. I handcuffed Sleepy the Burglar, called for an ambulance and then turned around to put the shotgun away. The rest of the posse was gathered around Wally, who was sprawled on the ground with a broken pair of glasses and a lot of blood. Great, Iíve killed Wally. This is going to be difficult to explain.
Great war story. In today's PD that would be followed up by 2 hours at the hospital sitting with suspect while waiting for him to be cleared for booking.

Booking him into HQ or the jail, another 30 minutes to an hour, then completing all the use of force reports and other paperwork, an hour at least.

Then walking out of the jail to see the guy standing on the street corner waiting for a ride smoking a cigarette already released by the detectives to be charged later. He nods to you and says see you later.

You go to work the next day and do it all over again. A few weeks later the warrant gets issued for dirt bag and you go look for him and have to chase him down and fight him again to arrest him then when you get to the jail he's your best buddy reminiscing about the first time you arrested him.

My wife has said, "You loved being a street cop now you just have a job."
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:48 PM   #56
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Leonidas, you had me laughing so much DW came in to see what I was laughing at.
Eddieb, I hope you're paying attention. If you ever see a group of cops laughing until they almost cry, it's a sure sign that somebody is telling the latest version of "let me tell you about this guy I arrested."

Someday I'll have to tell you about the night I fought the naked carpenter. Or perhaps the one about the night two robbers met the Taekwondo master who was moonlighting as a store clerk. Or the cop who had an off duty job as a male stripper. Or time the herpetophobic desk officer shot up the radio room when he found the rubber snake we left for him.

A sense of humor, no, make that a really twisted sense of humor is absolutely vital in police work.
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:00 PM   #57
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The saddest thing is the way that cops get hardened into an "us against them" siege mentality. If you think you are psychologically strong enough to be a cop without getting cynical, without deciding that "the rules don't apply to you", then please go for it.
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:13 PM   #58
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Oh, yeah, the Screaming Naked Lady:

Late December 1973, I've been on the road all of five months and hadn't been "cut loose" yet, they had a six-month field training program. On a 20-degree Sunday night midnight shift at about 2:00 AM we received a call for a "screaming naked lady" on a street that had a number of brick apartment buildings. We were about two blocks away and on the way I figured this was either a sex assault case or some drunken dowager. It was neither.

We turned the turned the corner and in the headlights was an astonishingly attractive young woman who wasn't quite naked. She was wearing a sock on one foot. She was apparently uninjured but generally incoherent except for repeatedly and loudly expressing her wish for, shall we say, "male companionship".

Apparently someone had accommodated her wish many times, as she was only attractive if you stood upwind. Naturally the senior officer grabs MY raincoat to put on her.

This being a Sunday night in that area there wasn't anything else going on so of course the entire shift showed up in short order. Her response to each officer's arrival was the same, her previously expressed wish. The Sgt. was about the last one to arrive. Since we couldn't get any useful information from her we had called for an ambulance and as she was being loaded into the ambulance she looked at the Sgt. and said "I don't want you".

It was months before people stopped saying that to him.

Strapped to a hospital bed behind a curtain in the ER, visitors and staff alike were sometimes startled to hear her yell "Will somebody please come back here and *uck me!"

At the hospital they decided she was having a bad acid trip and she was released the next day.
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:25 PM   #59
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Leonidas,
This was very funny. Your writing style is very good and keeps the reader (at least me) wanting for more. you should consider writing a book, wow
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:37 PM   #60
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Great war story. In today's PD that would be followed up by 2 hours at the hospital sitting with suspect while waiting for him to be cleared for booking.
He was fine. He was fully conscious in a few seconds and calling me bad names in less than a minute. We had similar policies even back then, but like I said, stuff was hectic and not always well done back in those days. If the paramedics didn’t think he needed to take a ride to the county hospital, he was bookable. All prisoners were medically screened by the jail doctor anyway, and they were hyper-vigilant over the prisoners health issues. If there had been any concerns over the guy they would have just made me go pick him up and babysit him at the hospital.

It usually wasn't too bad at the hospital as long as someone didn't get the brilliant idea that the patient needed an x-ray. The radiology section was the waiting room of the innermost ring of hell, and nobody ever came back from there. I had a suspect and his lover who were kidnapped by his mother and her boyfriend once. Sonny boy had stolen some guns and checks from Great Grandpa's house and I had just got the case that day. All I told them was that once I got enough evidence I would go get a warrant. Somehow that translated into "He's a wanted man, and bring his boyfriend too!" Mom and bf found son and his boyfriend on the other side of town, kicked the snot out of both of them, tied them up with the ever-present poor man's handcuff (extension cords), and "extradited" him back to the South side of town, in the trunk of their car. They called patrol and proudly displayed the result of their amateur bounty hunter work. Patrol calls me at home to ask WTF? No charges yet, so I told them to cut him loose at the hospital. 18 hours later I knew right where to go find him, and there he was in the Radiology waiting room.
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My wife has said, "You loved being a street cop now you just have a job."
I understand exactly. I spent almost 5 years at a three-letter alphabet agency as a “looks like a 1811 GS-14” (I got the same job and title, just not the same paycheck). Lots of toys, lots of money (I think the government could have bought a small aircraft carrier on what we spent), but the office was like a death sentence for me.

Every day I was the in the office while my troops got to go out in the field and do real work. For me it was 500 phone calls and emails, mandatory meetings, and every morning my secretary greeted me with a litany of the urgent stuff: “Somebody in Headquarters called to say they’re sending the SOD report back to be redone, the SAC’s office called to ask when you were going to finish reviewing the credit card bills, Janet from Fiscal called to say we’ve overspent our OCDETF funds, OEO is sending the affidavit back on the Gonzales wire for corrections, you owe ten bucks for Suzy’s baby shower gift, and, oh, you’re late for a meeting in the ASAC’s conference room.”

Lovely young woman. Her dad was a cop, and her husband was a cop, and she covered for me, a lot. That’s why I never threw the stapler at her head.
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