Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Best Wishes

Have a happy and safe holiday, whatever holiday you celebrate. I'll see you in the New Year.

Keep a good thought for all those first responders who are out there working to keep you safe while the rest of us are home with our families.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Luckiest Guy On The Block

This guy is holding off several cops with a knife, and encouraging them to shoot him. Two attempts at using a Taser fail, but as the guy is pulling the Taser barbs out he drops his knife and gets pig-piled. A good ending to a potentially fatal situation.

Monday, December 21, 2015

More Cops And Robbers

Since I did my favorite TV cops, I thought I'd throw in my favorites from the movies. Again, in no particular order:

Leslie Nielsen as Det. Frank Drebin (The Naked Gun, etc.):

Clint Eastwood as Det. Harry Callahan  (Dirty Harry, etc.):

John Savage as Det. Karl Hettinger and Ted Danson as Det. Ian Campbell (The Onion Field):

Gene Hackman as Det. James "Popeye" Doyle (The French Connection, etc.):

Seth Rogen as Off. Michaels and Bill Hader as Officer Slater (Superbad):

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cops And Robbers

I got to thinking about my favorite TV cops. I picked these because, for one reason or another, I just like them. Sadly, only one is a patrol officer. Detectives get all the glory anyway. Here they are in no particular order:

Dennis Franz - Det. Sal Benedetto and, later, Lt. Norman Buntz on Hill Street Blues. Also Det. Andy Sipowicz on NYPD Blue.

Abe Vigoda - Det. Sgt. Phil Fish on Barney Miller.

Jack Webb - Sgt. Joe Friday on Dragnet.

Jerry Orbach - Det. Lennie Briscoe on Law and Order.

Kathryn Erbe - Det. Alexandra Eames on Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

Michael Conrad - Sgt. Phil Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues.

Don Knotts - Dep. Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show.

Special Category Winner:
Roger the alien on American Dad!.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Smooth Move, Ex-Lax

Even though you're only in your early 20s, you already have an extensive criminal history. You're a registered sex offender, and you have a reputation of being a prick with police. Didn't you realize that when you made our area's Most Wanted list for your latest stupidity, we were going to be all over your dumb ass? Cops love going after the bigger fish. It's kinda like a contest to see who can catch them.

I bet it was a real eye opener to learn that cops had shown up at your mom's house, your dad's house, your girlfriend's house, your girlfriend's mom's house, your employer's house, and pretty much everywhere else you've been laying your head since those warrants were issued.

And that's why last night you folded up like a cheap lawn chair and turned yourself in. We're all laughing at you, by the way.

Monday, December 14, 2015

DUS Likelihood Scale

On my department, I was known for my ability to tell when a driver was operating a vehicle with a suspended license. Many officers asked me how I did it. Here, for the first time, I'm publishing my super-secret algorithm to detect suspended drivers.

It is based on 20 vehicle characteristics, each graded on a scale of 0 to 5. The total score is equal to the percent likelihood that the driver is suspended/revoked/cancelled, or simply has no license to begin with.

Car Make/Model - Ford Taurus, Chevy Blazer/GMC Jimmy, Pontiac Grand Am/Grand Prix automatically score 5. Bonus point for Olds Alero.
Car Color - Red scores 5. Dark green and dark blue score 4. Black and white score 3.
Cracked Windows - Score 1 for each, up to 5.
Tin Foil Windows - Score 1 for each, up to 5. Bonus point if the windshield is tin foil.
Duct Tape Windows - Score 1 for each, up to 5. Bonus point if the windshield is duct tape.
Cardboard Windows - Score 1 for each, up to 5. Bonus point if the windshield is cardboard.
Missing Hubcaps - Score 1.25 for each.
Different Sized Tires - Score 1.25 for each.
Mini Spare Tires - Score 1.25 for each. Bonus point if 2 on 1 side, none on the other.
Rusted Body Panels - Score 1 for each, up to 5.
Different Colored Body Panels - Score 1 for each, up to 5. Bonus point if no 2 body panels are the same color.
Primer-Only Body Panels - Score 1 for each, up to 5. Bonus point if entire care is primer-only.
Age of Car vs. Age of License Plate - Subtract the year the license plate was issued from the year the car was manufactured. If the difference is greater than 15, score 5. Greater than 12 score 4, Greater than 10 score 3.
Exhaust Volume - Score 0 to 5, based on your level of annoyance.
Ground-to-Undercarriage Distance (rear only) - If equal to the distance in the front of the car, score 0. Score 1 for each 2 inches the rear of the car is closer to the ground than the front.
Detritus Depth - Score 1 for each inch of trash or other items that is visible above the bottom margin of any window. Bonus point if trash is above the top margin of any window.
Inoperative Lights - Score 1 for each, up to 5.
Red tape Taillights - Score 1 for each, up to 5.
Antenna - Score 2 if bent (3 if bend is 90 degrees or greater), 4 if none present, 5 if a coat hanger.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Happy, Happy, Happy

It's not uncommon for cops to have to deal with paranoid schizophrenic persons. Law enforcement is often the first line of contact with these individuals, who may be acting irrationally in public.

Just once I want to get sent to deal with a pronoid schizophrenic. The guy who's convinced that everyone is out to help him. He believes the FBI is watching him with the intent of making him their new Director. Aliens are invading Earth so they can give him the secret to eternal life. He wears a tinfoil hat to absorb the rays being beamed at him by the CIA that make him smarter and happier. The voices in his head tell him he's a cool and handsome guy, and give him tomorrow's winning lottery numbers. Why can't I ever deal with that guy???

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

No Comment

The shooting of Laquan McDonald, armed with a knife, by Chicago Police on October 20, 2014. I have a personal policy of never judging the actions of another cop until all the facts are known. I know how absolutely crazy it can get out there, and how incredibly quickly situations can evolve in unexpected ways. I also know that a single view of an incident doesn't necessarily show the whole story.You can judge for yourself.

Monday, December 7, 2015


Because Mrs. Cynical and I volunteer for a regional dog rescue organization, I keep an eye on Craigslist for dogs that might be a good fit. And frankly, I'm sickened by what I see.

The list of dogs that people no long want is never-ending. The excuses are also never-ending. The dog is too big, is too energetic, sheds too much, barks too much, isn't house-trained, has health issues. Or the owner isn't allowed to have dogs in his apartment (?), is moving and can't take the dog, doesn't have room for the dog, doesn't have time for the dog, can't afford the dog, is allergic to the dog, is having a baby and no long wants the dog.

It makes me want to puke.

Mrs. Cynical and I wanted a dog for years. But because of our careers, which kept us moving from place to place every few years, we waited. When we finally settled down where we thought would be our permanent home, we bought a pup. He has never been away from us, other than during our work hours, in his 13+ years. About a year later, Mrs. Cynical found a stray wandering in a rain storm. We located the owner, and she didn't want the dog anymore and gave her to us. We still have her. Later still, after we began regularly fostering dogs as part of what we do for the rescue, we twice adopted fosters (only 1 survives).

I cannot imagine any circumstance under which I'd give up any of them. I'd live in my car and eat from dumpsters first. Why? Never mind how much we love them. More to the point, we made a commitment to each of these animals that we would care for them to the best of our abilities, and for the rest of their (or our) lives.

If you don't think of your dog as a family member, you don't deserve to own one. If you don't think that dog loves you, depends on you, looks to you for guidance and affection, and considers you part of his pack, you don't deserve to own one. If you don't take that dog into your home with the intention of giving him the very best possible life for however long that life is, you don't deserve to own one.

I once coined the phrase "pets as furniture". It's my take on the type of person that likes the idea of how a dog looks in their home, but has no intention of caring for it properly. It was great as a puppy, but now that it's grown, not so much. It's fed the cheapest food on the market, and never visits the vet. It's kept in the basement or chained up in the backyard. These vermin have my utter and everlasting disdain.

I look at my dogs and realize they've given their lives to us. They live only in the moment, wanting to please us, have fun, and  be content. How can I do anything else but make that life the best I can?

I look at my dogs and think: this is one way I know there is a God.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Where No Man Has Gone Before

The day after I dealt with alien-liaison guy Gregory, I discovered these muddy hand prints on the hood of my squad car where'd I'd had him stand while I patted him down. I'm pretty sure I saw Rod Serling ducking behind another car, too.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Airborne Transmission

Mrs. Cynical was recently at a big-city, multi-day conference. These are folks you would probably assume are pretty smart, especially about science-related stuff.

When Mrs. Cynical and some others decided to sit outside during a break, another attendee warned them that the mosquitoes were pretty bad, saying, "Make sure you light the salmonella candle!"

Apparently, he never did figure out why the entire group was laughing at him

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The View

Here's why the video you see on the TV news may not necessarily reflect the whole truth. Watch video 1. Good shoot? I bet you say no. Now, watch video 2. Good shoot? I bet you change your mind. Note: contrary to what some would have you believe, that is NOT a cell phone in the subject's hand. It's a gun.

Note: I was contacted by someone who states that he works for the agency involved in this shooting, and that the object in the subject hand was, in fact, a cell phone - not a gun (see comment below by jrd151). Regardless, the shooting was deemed justified. I try to be as accurate as possible with information I post with such videos. If I failed in this instance, the fault is entirely mine.