30 September 2009

My Friend The Chief

One of my closest friends is the Chief of Police of "Smalltown".
Since the force consists of three Officers, "Chief" is a patrol officer who happens to get the privilege of doing all the admin work for the department. He's a great guy (and a Commercial helicopter pilot because yours truly was very patient with him.)

A few nights ago he responded to a disturbance call. Far enough removed from town it was dark, dark, dark, so when he found the correct address for the complaint he waited for two Sheriff's Deputies to respond and all walked up to the residence simultaneously.
Their presence seemed to quiet the savage beasts...
"No, no problem here Officers. Yes, we'll be careful not to shout and disturb our neighbors."

Satisfied things are under control, our three heroes start back to their respective squad cars when "BAM!!", my friend finds himself on the ground with stars in his eyes, and these aren't celestial stars!
The area was so dark he failed to see the remnants of a kitchen chair in his path and fell over it, breaking his right wrist.
Now, the only flying he'll be doing for a while is as my co-pilot, and his police work will be accomplished while protecting the cast on that wrist.

Enforcing the law is dangerous work...
And not just because the bad guys want to hurt you!


cj said...

There are times when I hate the dark...


OlePrairiedog said...

What happened to the 3 lb maglite on his belt? Not sure I understand arriving at a dark potentially dangerous scene with out standard equipment.

Jeff Bucchino said...

I was chewed out when I went on patrol without my flashlight. I didn't do it again.

Greybeard said...

Terry, I know you're lurking out there...
Do I have the story wrong?
Defend yourself Chief!

cj said...

GB -

I'm sure he had it with him. Darkness is a cop's best friend most of the time. You want to keep your night vision so you rely on the flashlight as little as possible.

At least, that's the way it works for me... and yes, I have tripped over crap because of it.


Bob Barbanes said...

If the partiers were that far out in the country, how were they disturbing any neighbors? Is it normal for that PD to respond to every disturbance call with *all three* patrol cars? Or do they do this in areas of town populated by those you euphemistically refer to as "savage beasts?" And why were they all three on duty? Who polices the town when they all three go off-duty? And, as others have mentioned, no Mag-Lites clearing the path in and out for them? Sounds like these Keystone Kops aren't fit to be dog-catcher. Man, I'm glad I don't live in Mayberry.

Greybeard said...

I'm glad you're glad, Bob.
No nationally reported murders in Pensacola in what...
Three weeks now?
I'll take Mayberry, thank you.

jinksto said...

I'm with Bob 100%. Glad he doesn't live in Mayberry.

In the county where I live there is a 100% response to all calls regardless of nature or content. You have to have cops on the ground make sure that a "bogus" call really is bogus. It also helps to keep things from escalating.

It may be that there's nothing that can be done but having an officer on scene to explain that there are no laws being broken might just help everyone calm down.

In the rural area where I live that can be the case. If the music gets a bit loud someone might call the Sheriff but there's no noise laws in unincorporated areas so all he can do is ASK you to turn the music down. If you don't, you don't. Most people do because they didn't realize they were bothering anyone in the first place.

I don't know the local policy but depending on what else is going on you might get one or all of the local cops. If they're not otherwise engaged there's no reason that they shouldn't be backing each other up. In this case, the officer might have laid there for a lot longer if his partners hadn't been there. Covering each other makes sense. Bob makes it sound like half of them were off to a poker game somewhere instead of covering a partner and... wait for it... actually doing the job they were hired for. Bastards.

Guess I've had too many interactions with the police (on both sides of the game) to have anything but complete respect for most of them. I've never been abused, I've never been shot, I've never had them treat me with anything other than complete professionalism even when (in my youth of course) I deserved somewhat less. I guess until I do I'll just stay here in Mayberry and turn the music down.

Bob Barbanes said...

Any story is colored by the person telling it. I'm always suspicious of third-hand tales when presented as factual accounts. Still, true or not, it does not inspire confidence in a police force to hear about them tripping over themselves and breaking their arms. I'm sure the partiers they went to investigate had a good laugh over that one. I know I did.

But don't get me started on Pensacola! Your gang-that-couldn't-walk-straight has nothing on our guys! Story in the paper today about a PPD cop in his cruiser chasing a fleeing suspect on a bicycle. The cop fired a taser from his moving vehicle (and hit him!), and then - and get this - RAN OVER the perp after he jumped off his bike, tried to run and fell. The cop *reportedly* jumped out of his cruiser yelling, "WHERE YOU AT?!" The perp couldn't answer; he was underneath the cop car, dead. For the newspaper account, go to www.pnj.com

So. Take your story. Take my story. Multiply them by, what...hundreds?...thousands?...all across the country. What do I think about cops? Three guesses.

Rita said...

Google "Jake Laird" or "Pete Coe", read and educate yourself before you mouth off about cops.

These guys (and gals) risk their lives every day. They never know if a call is a stupid family argument or a deadly encounter. They can't "afford" to assume any call is just routine.

Rita said...

Just to be clear GB, my last comment was not directed at you.

The Chief said...

Well GB, Looks like a lot of people
have a statement. Well Yes I had a flashlight, and yes I was being aware of my surrounding, by walking without flashlight on due to night vision.
The Area has a history of dumb drunks that are loud and don't want to listen.
But thats everywhere.

So, their I was, walking, being a good cop, looking out for my fellow officer and me, Opps did't see that one,, What do you call that being human. We all make mistake, just some at the wrong time. I suppose it would of helped if I would of sent a complete report with call history for that small town, but it was a short story and you can all read in to it what you want.

GB thanks for telling it, it was fine the way it was.

As all Police you learn from mistakes like everyone else. Now I will pay attention to right in front of me too.

Rita said...

Hey Chief:

If you noticed, only one knucklehead commenter on here was insulting you (and all of our other fine law enforcement).

You're in good company, I don't think there has been anyone here that he hasn't insulted at one time or another.

Not all of us can manage to never make a simple misstep in our lives like Bob B. manages to do.

Hope the wrist feels better soon and I salute you in your service to your community. I have police officers in my family, so I take a personal offense to anyone who finds humor in an officer being injured, even if it was just a simple mistake on their part.

cary said...

Chief - thank you for being willing to not only risk your neck (and wrist) for the good of your area, but also for taking on the administrative stuff that goes with it.

Bob - you need to re-read the account - the Chief met two Sheriff's Deputies at the scene - not the other two town police officers.

Even here in not-so-rural Maricopa County, Arizona, it is not unusual for nearby Sheriff's Deputies to show up as back up for town PD - and I'm talking about here in Glendale, and Peoria, and Avondale, and even in Phoenix proper.

Greybeard said...

My brother it goes without saying how I feel about you.
It CANNOT be said enough...
All law enforcement personnel are on the front line of the war we now face. Add that to the dangers L.E. officers face just dealing with the underbelly of today's society and you're looking at a job most of us are not willing to do for the pay that is offered.
To you Terry, and to CJ and others sticking their necks out for the rest of us daily I say-
God protect you in the performance of your duties, always.
Thank you!