Not long ago, one of the great cops I have ever known told me that, often, the troops on his shift at the San Francisco P D have calls that are stacked 10 deep. As a Sergeant, Adam Plantinga said it’s up to individual officers to determine, as best they can, which calls to respond to first or, quite possibly, not at all. 10 calls deep, for God’s sake.
And that’s just the start of their shift.
I’d imagine that is not an infrequent quandary for cops in busy districts and precincts in every metropolitan area of the country. By the end of their shifts, many calls just never get answered and fade away like so many fuzz balls billowing out of sight on a lovely spring day.
Then, it dawned on me how unbelievably many calls for police are total and complete bull jive. Continue reading Podcast: Cops and coronavirus; Things Will Never be the Same. Here’s why.
When I read the headline in the L.A. Times, it just didn’t quite compute in my pea brain. What the heck did it mean? Police fear suicide by cop cases. So, they’ve stopped responding to some of them. Mmm. Now this I wanted to read for sure.
It started out thusly–and ominously. “Before George Quinn wrapped a chain around the rafters of his wood shop and hanged himself in June, he had texted his sister goodbye. “This is the hardest part,” wrote the reclusive 63-year old master carpenter, who lived alone with his elderly cat, Sam in Graeagle, a northern California mountain town. “Sorry for everything,” he wrote. “You should call the Plumas County sheriff and have them go to the garage”.
Continue reading Podcast: To Respond or Not to Respond, That is the Question.
In an amazingly good book of short stories called “Sticky Fingers”, author J. T. Lawrence writes about a veteran police detective who’s investigating the murder of a husband seemingly by a much abused spouse who’s been beaten so severely her lips are double their normal size. One eye has been punched, totally shut and perhaps permanently lost, broken teeth, so many broken ribs the medicos haven’t been able to determine the exact number…a fractured pelvis, etc., etc.
All she’s been able to mouth in the E. R is “I killed him”–and as the cop is trying to maintain himself in the midst of such physical horror, he can’t help but wonder how many, many times this woman with “one beautiful eye” had been beaten before. How many ribs have been broken on top of how many ribs…how many times has she had one eye, or both, punched to near blindness? Continue reading Podcast: If It Looks Like a Duck, and Quacks Like One–Look and Listen Again…
I understand the fury, frustration and anger cops feel and generally agree with it. So what’s next?
We can whine, bitch, moan, or crawl under a rock… and do nothing. Retire, fade away. I’ve had it, I’m out of here or we can come out fighting, gouging, kicking and ripping the eyes out of a six foot six inch drunk on fentanyl who isn’t going down unless he rips your gun from your holster and blows the top of your F’ing head off.
Are young cops taught any more that if it comes down to their own life or death that, yes, gouging out a rat bastards eyeballs is on the table.
Does any academy instructor ever go there anymore? If you’re getting the shit kicked out of you and the dirtbag’s testicles are within reach, are recruits ever instructed to grab them and yank them right out of their sack? Continue reading Podcast: You CAN win a fight to the finish….here’s how!
Over the many years, I have come to expect the criminal element to hide drugs, contraband, blades, handcuff keys, nail files, cellphones, liquid explosives, thumb drives, bullets and, yes, guns in every nook and cranny of their bodies. Every time I think about Officer Melissa Jayne Schmidt of the Minneapolis P. D. I wish she would have had some sort of portable scanner back on August 1st, 2002, but she and her backup officer didn’t. The rest is a tragic asterisk in law enforcement history. And as do so many incidents where cops tried to deal with the nuts and berries in the passing parade, questions remain, too. Continue reading Podcast: Next time you let a lowlife use the bathroom, think about Officer Melissa Jayne Schmidt