Monday, November 2, 2009

Productivity...

Once, there was a very productive day. It may have been yesterday, or it may have been years ago. The time matters not. I set off out of the lot and tooled down Main Street, in search of someone who needed taking to jail. The sun was setting and the sky was a sort of orange pink. A beautiful evening.

As I glanced down a particular side street, I saw a familiar form walking down the middle of the street. It was one of my regulars who was wanted on a dope warrant. I knew he was wanted, and I knew he knew he was wanted. I was expecting a foot chase as I turned down the block, but Joe Wanted just stopped when he saw me, and put his hands up. I walked up to him as I told him to face away from me, and I handcuffed him. As we walked back to my patrol car I asked him why he hadn't run. "Because you always treat me with respect, man. I didn't want to disrespect you by running away." I appreciate that, even if I knew his real reason for not running was because he didn't have any dope on him tonight.

I gave Joe Wanted a free ride to the jail where we discovered his warrant was citable. He got a ticket and walked out the doors. I set off out of the lot and tooled down Main Street, in search of someone who needed taking to jail.

It was dark now, and my attention was drawn to a pickup truck driving in the opposite direction with no headlights on. I decided to make a u-turn and have a chat with the driver. As I approached the driver's window I thought I had walked into a distillery. The smell was overpowering. I recognized it as gin.

I popped Beefeater out of the truck and told him I wanted to check him out and make sure he was okay to keep driving. I explained and demonstrated my normal set of field sobriety tests, which he performed admirably, if poorly. I explained to Beefeater that the last test was to turn around and put his hands together behind his back. This test he performed flawlessly, and I handcuffed him. As we walked back to my patrol car, I explained he had the choice between a blood test or a breath test. He picked breath.

I gave Beefeater a free ride to the jail where we discovered his blood alcohol concentration was over twice the legal limit. He got a ticket and walked out the doors, released to his sober girlfriend. I set off out of the lot and tooled down Main Street, in search of someone who needed taking to jail.

I responded to a call of a burglary in progress in a high end residential area. A neighbor called to tell us the house next door was vacant, and he had just seen a male climbing in through an open window. We set up a perimeter and located the open window. My partner and I did rock paper scissors to see who was going to climb in the window and open the front door. I threw rock, and he did scissors. Sweet. Up he went, leaving his footprints on my knee and shoulder. I was glad he was fairly small and light, but I started wishing I'd thrown paper.

Once the front door was opened, we entered and searched the house. The first six or so rooms were found to be clear. I pushed on the door to a rear bedroom. The door swung half way open...

Then it stopped with a thump.

I pointed my gun and my light through the crack behind the door, and ordered the crack fiend behind the door to put his hands out where I could see them. Upon seeing his hands, I ordered Cracker Jack out of the room and onto the floor. He complied with my instructions, and I handcuffed him. As we walked back to my patrol car, I asked Cracker Jack what he was doing in the house. He told me he was addicted, and he didn't have any money to buy crack. He said he planned to take something he could sell. I asked him if he had considered the fact that the house was empty before he entered. He opened his mouth as if to speak, but nothing came out.

I gave Cracker Jack a free ride to the jail where we discovered he had no less than four prior convictions for burglary and theft. He went to the County lockup. I set off out of the lot and tooled down Main Street, in search of someone who needed taking to jail.

I made a round of one of our large city parks around 0200 hours. I parked my patrol car down the block, and set out on foot through the park to see if the standard group of kids were smoking the standard weed or drinking the standard cheap beer in the standard locations. As I rounded the backstop of the far baseball diamond, I began to hear hushed voices from the bleachers near third base. Smithview Park is quite dark at night, and they never saw me coming.

I made my way up behind the bleachers, which are set into a hillside. I came down behind the voices and saw the outlines of three hooded sweatshirts, whose owners were seated about two-thirds of the way up the bleachers. I could smell the burning ganja as I approached. From about six feet away I turned on my flashlight and said "Hi there. It's the police."

I don't think I had ever heard a nineteen year old male scream like a nine year old girl before that moment. Then a slightly less soprano voice said "Dude! You scared the shit out of us! Why don't you like, announce yourself or something?"

I asked Nickel Bag, Dime Bag and Swisher who had the weed. Nickel Bag piped up that they didn't have any weed. Dime Bag, the wiser if not exactly smart big brother, smacked Nickel's shoulder and said they smoked it all already. Swisher agreed. I searched all involved, and in Swisher's pants pocket discovered a small coin bag containing a green leafy substance, whose appearance and odor I recognized as consistent with marijuana. I said "I bet these ain't your pants, huh?"

Swisher, in his infinite wisdom said "Oh. Uh. I forgot about that."

I had Swisher dump the contents of the bag on the ground and smash it into the pavement with his foot, as Nickel and Dime looked on with pained expressions. I did not handcuff any of them.

We can't take EVERYBODY to jail now, can we?

I told the boys to vacate the park, since it had been closed for hours. I set off out of the park and tooled down Main Street, in search of someone who needed taking to jail.

Maybe it was because of my superior crime fighting efforts, or maybe it was just because it was past their bed times, but I didn't find another soul out that night who needed taking to jail. While I like to think it's because of the former...

I'm sure it was the latter...

10 comments:

Damsel Underdressed said...

This post had me cracking up! Aww, Smitty! I believe it was the former. :)

See, you broke the streak by not arresting the potheads. If you would have done that, it would have gone on all night...

Angel said...

Just. Plain. Awesome.

Great writing, great story. Thanks!

Moose said...

Hee! I giggled my way through the tales but what really got me cackling was "rock paper scissors" for who went through the window. There's just something about the image of two cops throwing fingers at a crime scene that I find hilarious. Well I never said I was sane. :)

I do really like your writing.

Ann T. said...

And then a long came Jones . . .
er, Smith . . . .

Lovely post, thank you!
Ann T.

Brett Allen said...

I have to say, reading about the day to day activites of a police officer has got to be the most interesting thing I read.

Subscribed to several cop blogs since I found my first one on some review on cars which had a quote from one of the blogs authors.

Hearing about the stupidity of some people is hilarious (especially when someone who can do something about it is telling the story).

And I don't know why, but I like reading about yall showing discretion too, like making the teens grind their weed into the weeds... wish I could have seen the expressions on their face.

Guess it just makes yall seem more human. I'm never in trouble with the law, so the only time I ever talk to a police officer is when I get pulled over, and at that point it's "Yes sir" and "No sir", not a real conversation I guess.

911 and the Randomness.. said...

That's awesome! Nicely written and a job well done in taking people to jail.

Damsel Underdressed said...

Ann T....Oh my God! My parents had that song on LP! I used to listen to it all the time!

"Here come da train! Here come da train!"

Ha ha! I think I'm going to google that now...

:)

Black Ice said...

If there's a way to get past the current 'us-vs.-them' attitude of the current civilian/cop relationship, I think your policing techniques are the way to go. Discretion, respect and a sense of humor.

Nicely done, Officer.

Triple Beeper said...

I have heard tales of many jurisdictional disputes that were solved with rock paper scissors. It doesn't surprise me to see it in this context. Only a blog post this wonderfully written could make me giggle after 10 long & slow dispatching hours.

Way to be productive, too, I must say!

justusforall said...

Nice story... :-)