Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Behind the Badge

I received a weekend update from my friend Ronnie. He is a Sergeant on the police force of a town not far from Tulsa. Since most everyone’s holiday stories include how much fun they had, I thought it might be a nice change of pace to look at the Labor Day weekend through the eyes of a Police officer. I have edited the following to remove any association of the story from the town, police department or the people in the story. Other than that, the events are all factual.

I went on patrol on Friday evening at approximately 7:30 PM and worked until around 5:30 AM Saturday. I expected to have a busy night with the Labor Day crowd out at the lake, but the price of gas seems to have impacted the turnout (since the attendance was similar to any other weekend). I went all night without being called to the lake for drunkenness, fighting or any other reason, but I still went out on patrol, if nothing else, just to make sure that nothing was going on. The evening was actually slow for the most part, but these three scenarios were encountered:

1) Shortly after going out, I was flagged down by a middle-aged woman who requested that I use my special tool to help her get her keys out of her locked car as she pointed to her yellow Hummer (H2). At that time, I informed her that we did not perform unlocks for liability reasons. She then proceeded to tell me that she had a tool (yes, I wondered why she had need of such a tool) if I wouldn’t mind to just come over and attempt to open the door for her. I then stated that I could not be of assistance to her and apologized for that. I then stated that I could call a wrecker service to get her door locks for here, but again reiterated that I could not perform the action due to department policy. The ungrateful harpy woman then slightly raised her tone and informed me that I should be in Louisiana and stated that cops there were no help either. I suppose she left the city before seeing exactly how hard the officers worked to help the victims of Katrina.

2) Dispatch informed me that a girl at ???? address (11:00 PM) was requesting assistance and had received a death threat. Upon my arrival, a white female of approximately 20 years informed me that she had just arrived home after work to find the house doors locked. The lady lived there with her husband and her in-laws. As she began to go around the house to find an open door, she observed a neighbor come out of the house across the four lane (main street) and began to yell at her. The male subject (w/m approximately 45 years of age) began to slinging racial slurs, with slurred speech, as he called her names (f-n N-word and so on). Did I mention that the female was white? Yeah, he was extremely inebriated. The male became very belligerent and stated that he would f-n kill “him” if he did not leave. After the man continued to become increasingly convincing, the girl ran to the convenience store to call the police. She stated that he then began to laugh out loud. To make a longer story short: The father-in-law (who was currently on psychiatric medicine) had previously fought this man when they were drunk and had some residual bad blood between them. Upon making contact with the drunk male subject across the road, he stated only that he saw his neighbor (thinking it was the father-in-law) and observed “him” run off, but denied any of the other details.

3) Upon observing a pickup travel across the centerline twice and travel into the grass along the back road on the edge of town, I effected a traffic stop by activating my emergency flashers. The driver (w/f sporting a tube top meant for someone with a 12” circumference) stopped at a stop sign before beginning to drive off, but eventually pulled over after approximately 100 yards. Upon making contact with the driver, I detected the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage and a hint of marijuana ( along with these signs, I observed the usual slow, slurred speech, glassy bloodshot eyes, lack of physical and mental coordination, a general lack of multi-tasking ability, …). As I spoke with the driver, I asked how much they (her and the two male subjects all aproximately 25 years) had to drink that evening. I then obtained the usual: I have not been drinking statement from all three subjects. I then requested that she provide her license and proof of insurance. She stated that she did not have a license, but would be happy to just let one of “them” drive the vehicle as she pointed to the two passengers. One of these two males was shirtless and too intoxicated to even set up straight and the other was obviously under the influence of something (otherwise he, including the hair, would not be looking just like a long-faced Napoleon Dynamite). She again stated that she had not been drinking as I attempted to dodge the odor from her breath. After verifying that her license was flagged, by providing the dispatcher with her name and date of birth, I instructed the driver to exit the vehicle so that I could speak with her and requested permission to search the vehicle. The driver then exited the vehicle as she consented to a search, but stated that their was not anything in the vehicle that I should be concerned about. At approximately that time, two other Officers arrived for back-up as is customary for safety reasons. After I informed Sgt. A that she had given consent to search, he and Officer G began to interview the passengers and to search the vehicle. After a very brief search, Office G signaled that this would be a 10-74 stop indicating that he had found drugs and or paraphernalia. Given the observations that I was making on the driver, I asked her when she last smoked the weed. She then admitted that she smoked a joint earlier in the day (which automatically qualified her for a DUI-D arrest) but that she had not been drinking and was not drunk. After placing the driver into handcuffs (cuffed in the front since she was of no safety concern at 5’ 2” and 110#), “Napoleon” and the driver then both claimed the joint found in the car belonged to them in an attempt to keep the other out of more trouble. This lasted until I asked the driver who was now seated comfortably in the rear seat of my patrol unit if the remaining items were hers (since some paraphernalia was also located) also. She then became nervous, and questioned what items before stating that only the marijuana found in cellophane was hers but that she thought it was all gone. After receiving this question, it became clear that the possession charges would fall on “Napoleon.” The rest is details except: In the process of inventorying the vehicle to be towed, I left her purse in the vehicle at my own discretion. This was fine until she requested sanitary napkins from her jail cell, which the PD did not have in possession. Needless to say, I had to make a trip to purchase the items.

She was charged with DUI-D, Driving Under Suspension, and Possession of Paraphernalia (Zig Zags)
Napolean was charge with Possession of Marijuana (freshly rolled joint)
Mr. ??? was charged with Public Intoxication and later sobbed that his “family was out fighting for our country in Iraq while we were back here doing this to him.”
This individual chested up to Officer G and ended up meeting a metal bed frame face to face (in a CLEET certified maneuver of course). Why do they always think it is a good idea to get in an arresting officers face?


At 11:32 AM, Blogger Breazy said...

This post was a wonderful idea Goody . Alot of people don't stop to think about what it is like on the other side. My hubby and I have a few friends who are police officers in our town and it is unbelievable at some of the things people think to do and the way they try to lie or make the officer feel guilty to get out of trouble . Great post ! :)

At 12:41 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Thanks, Breazy. I'm glad you liked it.

At 5:08 PM, Blogger Masha said...

Policmen don't get enough credit for what they do

At 5:14 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

I hear that. It's one of those professions where people only want you around when they really need you and even then, there are those that call on them begrudgingly.


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