Thursday, July 30, 2015

Uplifting Bedtime Story

I get dispatched to a guy masturbating in front of a small neighborhood grocery. I get there, and sure enough there he is lying on his back on the grass just outside the store, playing punch-the-clown.

By the time I park and walk over to him, he's gotten to his feet and is now standing perfectly still with one hand covering his eyes. I ask him what the hell's going on, and he says he's talking to the wind. Well, of course you are. What is the wind saying? It's saying I murdered my two daughters. Oh, perfect.

The ambulance arrives to take Windtalker to the ER for his psych eval, and I go to his residence to check on the kids. Big surprise - it's one of our crappiest neighborhoods. The yard looks like a landfill. A woman comes to the door, sucking on a cigarette and sporting tattoos worth about 6 months of my pay. She tells me Windtalker is her ex-husband and father of her two kids. She has a restraining order out against him. She just got out of jail herself, and the kids are in custody with protective services.

Experience tells me that no one in this happy little family has hit rock-bottom yet, and I can only imagine where that will be.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Strunk White, Idiot Weatherman: We Interrupt This Program

Where I live, regularly scheduled programming is routinely interrupted whenever there is a cloud. It doesn't matter the severity of the weather, or where the weather is. Programs just stop without warning, and we then see Strunk White, Idiot Weatherman, standing behind a desk, staring into a computer monitor, with an expression on his face like he just stuck his finger in a light socket. Then he proceeds to describe every law of physics that applies to the weather that is occurring somewhere, and shows weather radar maps enlarged so much that you can see individual pixels.

This evening it happened again. There is a completely blue sky, and there hasn't been a drop of rain or strong wind in a week. However, my program suddenly stops, and there is Strunk White, Idiot Weatherman, wearing (I swear I'm not making this up) a gold shirt, brown and black checkered tie, and black and purple suspenders. No sport coat. And no fright wig, clown nose, or great big shoes.

He shows us a view from a "towercam" on the edge of town. There, in the next county, is a cloud. Strunk White, Idiot Weatherman, then says that they just want people to see this, they don't anticipate any severe weather from it, and they won't be updating us unless "things change".

My program finally comes back on. Mrs. Cynical manages to wrestle the gun from my hand before I put a bullet through my head.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

See You In Court

Parents are suing the PD for excessive force, because a cop shot at their kid as he ran over him. No word on whether the PD will sue the parents for raising a nitwit child who would run over a cop. Special thanks to all the citizens who just watched while the cop lay injured in the street.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Dinner Bell

When I worked night shift, about half-way through the night a few of us would to meet at this pancake house for whatever meal you would call that. One night, I pulled my squad into a parking space a few rows back from the front of the place.

As I pulled into the space, I noticed that the guy in the driver's seat of the car next to me had his head back on the headrest, and his eyes closed. At that time of the morning, I figured he was passed-out drunk, so I walked over to check on him.

The driver's side window was open. I looked inside, only to see that he had no pants on and what appeared to be baby oil all over his hands. And elsewhere.

It turned out he wasn't asleep after all - just relaxing after his adventure. He was more than surprised to see a cop standing there when he opened his eyes. He proceeded to tell me he was waiting for some friends. No, he wasn't doing anything other than waiting, and his pants were off because he was hot. He had no explanation for the baby oil all over the place.

My partner was a little unhappy when I radioed him to come outside and help me deal with the guy. He had to leave his plate of pancakes behind to get cold.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bad Mom

So, you don't live at this apartment complex, but you bring your kids over here to use their pool. The building manager asks you three times to leave, but you refuse. The manager finally tells you to get the hell out of his pool and don't come back, and you call the cops on him for using the word "hell" in front of your kids. I don't know, but I think he's probably the better role model.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

If You Don't Know, How Should I?

I don't care if you want to turn yourself in. You don't have any warrants anywhere, and no one here is looking for you for anything. I understand that you "want to clear this mess up", but I'm clueless as to what the mess is. No, I can't take you into custody. No, I have no idea why the FBI or the CIA might be looking for you. Why don't you call them up and ask? Here's their numbers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Zigging When You Should Be Zagging

This is squad car dashcam footage of a drunk moron driving on the wrong side of the road, and the resulting crash. The Oklahoma City deputy and his K-9 partner sustained only minor injuries.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Last Straw

A few years ago we had a natural disaster here that made the national news. Our department was working 12-hour shifts with no days off.

On about the 10th day in a row of this nightmare, I was dispatched to deal with two shoplifters. They turned out to be teenage girls from a neighboring town, who admitted that they came here specifically to shoplift. They said they thought that with everything else the cops had to deal with, they were less likely to get caught.

I have a pretty short fuse sometimes, but I'm almost always able to keep a lid on it. Especially at work. It just doesn't pay to lose your temper, and it can put you at a real disadvantage. But this time - maybe it was the exhaustion of so many long work days in a row - I absolutely lost it.

I carry a metal clipboard when I'm on calls that require me to manually fill out forms. Shoplifting is such a call. I raised the clipboard over my head with both hands and slammed it into the concrete floor as hard as I could. Forms went flying. The corner of the clipboard sustained a big dent. The security officer had an expression on her face like I'd just opened fire with my sidearm. The two shoplifters shrank in their seats, while I proceeded to verbally ream them multiple new orifices. I was so mad I couldn't see straight. One girl actually had the nerve to tell me it wasn't her fault we were working such long hours, and I shouldn't take it out on her. That made me even madder.

We usually hold juvenile shoplifters at the store and wait for mommy and/or daddy to show up. I used the state of emergency we were in, plus the fact they were from out of town, as an excuse to haul both of them to detention. They got booked in like real criminals, and got to spend some time in the tank while they waited for their parents. It almost made me feel better.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


I have bad news for you, Mr. Lippiercing: When you tell me that you tried to drink yourself to death last weekend but "it didn't work", and you're gonna try it again this weekend, I'm obligated to consider that a suicidal statement. Now, the paramedics have to call Dr. St. Francis of Assisi, and he's gonna slap a psych hold on you. Then, you get to ride to the ER in the ambulance, whether you want to go or not, and security's gonna keep you there until the Doc says you can leave. Not so funny anymore, is it?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Strunk White, Idiot Weatherman: If You Change Just One Letter, "Idiom" Becomes "Idiot"

This latest storm after a series of earlier storms is NOT "the icing on the cake". It may be "the straw that broke the camel's back", but it's NOT "the icing on the cake". Also, it's NOT a "weather phenomena", but then we've already had that talk.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Me Drive Fastly

Late one night a radio call comes out for "shots fired". I was working the far south side of the city, the officer calling it out was working the far north side. He also was (and is) my best friend.

I got on the freeway to head north, and stepped on it. I remember thinking at one point, "Gee, it seems like I'm going pretty fast". I checked the speedometer: 130 mph. "Gosh, that is fast." I got off the freeway and onto a long straight semi-rural 4-lane. Another check of the speedo: 90 mph. OK, that'll work.

I came screaming on scene, jumped out, and took cover behind a tree. It was pitch black, and hard to see what was happening. Eventually, we call the guy outside and get him on his front lawn, face-down and spread-eagle on the ground. He's cuffed up and into a squad car.

Turns out he's a local college professor, who was fire-forming hunting ammo in his garage. The neighbors got freaked out and called us.

It was fun while it lasted, though.

I'm there for ya', buddy!

Thursday, July 9, 2015


I get a call that there's a herd of horses loose way on the east edge of town, dangerously close to a busy highway and at risk of causing an accident. Immediately, and in violation of our strict departmental policy on radio traffic, I start taking shit from guys who hear the call come out. One of them actually whinnies.

I get there and can't find the horses. As I recall, horses are pretty big and hard to miss, so I figure something's probably screwy. I get waved down by the guy who called. He's frantic. He points down a gravel road and tells me the horses are down there. I finally spot three tiny specks on the horizon - at least 300 yards from the highway.

The guy says he's worried they might "wander out into traffic". When I ask him how he thinks that might happen from 300 yards away, he just shrugs his shoulders. I refrain from pushing him into the drainage ditch and drive down the gravel road. The horses are just standing there, eating grass and looking around. I locate the owner, who lives right there, and she shuffles them back to the correct side of her fence.

I drive back up the road and the caller is gone, apparently satisfied to have interrupted my coffee break for nothing.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I don't care if you are 70 years old. When you run over an 85-year-old man in a crosswalk on your way to the bar, then keep on driving like nothing happened, I'm gonna find you. And I did, thanks to some excellent witnesses.

The broken glass you left at the scene matched the broken headlight on your car, the fibers embedded in your fender matched the cloth of the old guy's coat, and the old guy's coat had paint on it that matched your car.

When I found you sitting at the bar, and you loudly denied what happened even when confronted with all that evidence, something inside me snapped. That old guy had a shattered pelvis and a lacerated kidney. He'll never be the same, assuming he survives. You're gonna pay. I'm gonna see to it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Stupid Man

Police officers attempt to interview a suspect in a theft of beer. What do you imagine he was thinking? These are body cam recordings from 2 officers during the same incident.

Monday, July 6, 2015


I get dispatched to see a burglary victim about some follow-up information for a report another officer had taken. The guy tells me he just found out his stolen debit card was unsuccessfully swiped at an ATM in a convenience store a few miles away. I decide to go there and see what I can find out.

Since I know the time of the ATM activity, I check the convenience store's surveillance video for that time. Sure enough, I can see a guy repeatedly swiping the card at the machine, but really can't make out much more than that. I ask the clerk about it, and she actually remembers the guy. She tells me he had come in while his car was being worked on at the repair shop next door.

I go over to the repair shop and ask about a guy of the suspect's general description, who would've been there at about the time of interest. The manager remembered him and, incredibly, pulls the paperwork for the job, which has the guy's name, address, and complete vehicle information.

I go out to my squad and run the guy. He has a huge criminal history and recent mugshots. I ask the convenience store clerk to come out and look at the picture, and she immediately IDs him as the person who'd tried to use the stolen debit card at the ATM.

I go back to the station and arrange for a search warrant for the suspect's apartment. Several of us head over there and make entry. No one is home. We search the apartment, and find multiple items taken from the residential burglary I'm doing the follow-up on, and stashes of other property that we're sure come from other recent burglaries. And, of course, there's the requisite dope and paraphernalia all over the place.

An arrest warrant is cut, and the guy is picked up later by night shift officers.

So, from a simple follow-up call and a few OT hours comes the arrest of a guy who will actually enter your home late at night while you and your beloved family are asleep in there, take the stuff you worked so hard for, and do who knows what else if you happen to wake up and catch him in the act.

And that is called "police work".

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Maybe It's Me

I was at the giant Walmart earlier. There was a pasty-faced, skeletal, heavily tattooed couple with three kids, shopping for groceries. I passed them maybe 5 times while I was in there, and the scene was the same each time. Mom was carrying the infant under her arm like a football, and it was screaming like its diaper was on fire. The boy, about 5, was standing up in the front of the shopping cart and yelling gibberish at the top of his lungs for no apparent reason. The girl, about 9, was curled up in the fetal position in the shopping cart and sucking her thumb. The parents didn't even seem to notice.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Strunk White, Idiot Weatherman: Over The Rainbow

Strunk White, Idiot Weatherman, has new weather maps on his web site. 35 of them. Really. "Areas of concern" are color-coded. And because absolutely everything weather-related is a concern around here, the maps look like a box of crayons. The big box. Here is just part of the map legend:

Red: Tornado
Yellow: Thunderstorm
Light Green: Flash Flood
Dark Green: Flood
Brown: Wind
Orange: Heat
Purple: Freeze
Light Pink: Fire Danger
Dark Pink: Frost
Gray: Fog
Light Blue: Significant Weather

And this is just for summer. Once winter hits, I anticipate that the entire visible spectrum will be represented.

My favorite is "Significant Weather". "Hey, there's gonna be a flash flood, a tornado, and some fires, then the significant weather is gonna start!"