Saturday, August 29, 2009

Searching...

I search people...

A lot.

I pat search when I make contact with someone I'm unsure about. I search for weapons and contraband when I handcuff someone.

But possibly the most important search I ever do, is the search just before I put someone in the back seat of my car. It doesn't matter if three other officers have searched you, if you're going into my patrol car I'm gonna search you too. I regularly have bad guys say "Man, them other cops already searched me."

My response is this... "You're not going to be sitting behind them though. You're going to be sitting behind me. If I don't search you, and you have a gun hidden somewhere and you shoot me and kill me, my wife will bring me back to life so she can kick my ass for not searching you..."

That usually gets them to calm down a bit.

It's not that I don't trust my fellow officers. I trust them completely. It's just that nearly every officer I know has missed SOMETHING in a search once or twice. I have even seen things found on suspects after they were searched THREE TIMES.

I am not offended when another officer searches a suspect I have already searched.

I am, however, concerned when an officer puts someone in the back of their car WITHOUT searching them again...

11 comments:

copswife said...

Amen.

911 and the Randomness.. said...

"you shoot me and kill me, my wife will bring me back to life so she can kick my ass for not searching you..."
I love that! and yes, I would do the same thing to my DH.

Mike said...

Good on you officer Smith, stay safe.
Did you happen to see the story about the fat boy (REAL fat) that they booked into the Harris Cty (Houston) jail with a 9mm tucked into the folds of his skin....? bet those boys were embarrassed....

Damsel Underdressed said...

It's like counting money twice. Always a good idea...

Texas Ghostrider said...

I search anyone that goes in my back seat. I search after my trainee searches just to be sure. Even excellent officers have missed things, I have missed things. I tell who ever I turn my prisoner over to to search them again. GUNS and Knifes have been found in the back of patrol cars. Last week a gun was recovered from the JAIL. It was hiddened in body fat of a fat dude. He was searched by the arresting officer, the city jail, and the county jail intake. Only when he was being issued a jail jumpsuit did he turn it in.
If a crook starts to talk smack about searching him or that your gay, you better do a complete search because he is hiding something. Officer Smith knows what he is talking about. I have spoken and it is so.... TGR

Sandra G. said...

Good practice. I'm sure you still find stuff, don't you?

Our department made it policy for every prisoner to be searched by the wagon driver (we don't transport in our cars) prior to getting loaded in the wagon regardless of how many times the prisoner has already been searched.

fuzzys dad said...

To borrow a Reagan quote.
Trust but verify.

Beat And Release said...

An excellent personal and departmental policy. Our holding area has a drawer full of blades, razors, etc. that arresting officers missed.

Due to being a supervisor, I don't have a cage so I have to call an officer to transport. I always instruct them to search the arrestee again.

A few weeks ago one of my guys made a domestic violence arrest. After cuffing and searching the suspect the guy tells the officer he has a handcuff key hidden on his person. The officer recovers the key, then searched the guy again and recovers ANOTHER one the fella wasn't so honest about.

Front Porch Society said...

I agree with you. Never assume someone has been searched (or searched like you would do it) before you put them in the back of your vehicle.

Sandra G. said...

One another thing - I've noticed female officers tend to search female prisoners differently than police men searching male prisoners. The women are usually a little more sensitive, which can be a bad thing in this job.

And then today I watched a police woman search a female prisoner in the same fashion a man does, and I thought, "Right on, FINALLY!"

One Time said...

Searching the asshole in question, before throwing them in the back of your car, is a must.