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.


lbparker said...

Maybe being made to suffer real consequences for their actions, instead of the usual slap on the wrist and "Pretty please don't do it again", helped them to wake up? We can only hope their parents actually punished them instead of being upset that their little darlings were arrested.

migraineur said...

Good for you! If they are treated like the criminals they are, maybe it well stop them at shoplifting

Struck by a Turtle said...

I'm not sure I would have been as well restrained as you with a loaded clipboard in my hands. Luckily only the floor took a hit. Kudos to you, OC.

Wow, and they even admitted they were in town specifically to shoplift and take advantage of the police force being otherwise occupied.

I'm not up on my criminal justice, but that should be an extra charge. Isn't 'scoundrel' somewhere on the list possible chargeable offenses?

If not, we need to bring that back, like sexy.