Friday, March 31, 2006

My first encounter with an ex-coworker

Well, I knew it would eventually happen; I just didn't know when.

On Wednesday, my partner and I were parked in a grocery store parking lot at 7th street and Missouri at about 5:00 p.m. At this time, the center lane on 7th street (usually a 2-way left turn lane) is a north-bound traffic lane. As we sat there finishing some paperwork I heard a series of car horns blaring from 7th street. I looked up and saw a car in that center lane facing south trying to turn left into the parking lot. The only problem was the line of north-bound cars in that lane about to collide head-on with this car. My partner looked at me and said, "Oh yeah, we're pulling this one over." When the car made its dangerous and illegal turn into our parking lot I thought I recognized the driver. She parked her white Infinity and got out of her car to see my patrol lights flashing and me walking towards her. About half way there, she recognized me and said, "I know you...Oh my gosh, Gary?? -I guess I'm not allowed to hug you right now, right?" It was a woman named Patty that many of you at Vanguard should remember (the AA turned UA). She told me she wasn't familiar with the area and didn't know about the 'suicide turn-lane'. I told her she was lucky to avoid an accident and I then cited her for numerous violations (just kidding -she got off with a warning). But for all you other acquaintances of mine: Don't think you'll get off so easy. Patty was the first one and got a freebie.

I responded to my first injury-accident this week. I've been called to many car wrecks but before this week nobody was injured. In this case, a woman turned left in front of a car traveling the same direction as her. The driver side of her Volvo was crushed in by the Ford F150 pickup and her vehicle was pushed sideways until her car hit the curb. She was already loaded into the ambulence when we arrived and then a paramedic told me, "let me know if you find a thumb laying around here."-
Apparently, she was gripping the steering wheel tightly with her fingers and thumbs and when her car hit the curb her right arm was thrust straight forward (like throwing a hard punch). Her right thumb got hung up on the steering wheel as the rest of her hand moved forward causing it to be severed. I didn't see it anywhere but the paramedic later located it under the front seat.
One of the emergency workers left his clipboard at the scene so we took it over the the fire station where he worked. When we walked in I realized where all of the public safety tax dollars have gone. The fire station had plush leather recliners, big screen T.V.'s, a weight room and a nicely decorated interior. My police precinct station looks like an abandoned office building from the early seventies. Ceiling panels are falling down, the lighting is dim, the walls are dirty and dingy, and the shower in the men's locker room looks like an Iraqi torture chamber.

Also in the news: I was reviewing the penalty for different tickets today and was surprised at how expensive some of them are. Please make sure you obey traffic laws and have valid insurance and registration. If not, here's some fines you can expect to pay:

Driving alone in carpool lane ($372)
Displaying a suspended license plate ($462)
No proof of registration ($552)
No proof of insurance ($912 to $1,812) -That's right, almost two thousand dollars!!!

Also, starting on March 31, the city will be towing/impounding vehicles for all kinds of violations relating to registration, license status, alcohol, and insurance. Up until now, we made the driver park the car and get a ride home. Now, an impounded vehicle must stay in the tow yard for 30 days ($15 per day fee plus $150 administrative fee). If the car is not picked up between the 30th and 40th day, the tow company can apply for a salvage title and keep or sell the car. This means a person only has a 10-day window to retrieve their car (after paying about $600 in fees).


At March 31, 2006 2:51 PM, Blogger Tony said...

The thumb thing made me queazy. I give you a lot of credit. I don't often comment, but I do read the blog often. It's all very interesting.

At April 01, 2006 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was not first, yeah. Keep up the blog Officer Gary.

At April 06, 2006 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope that lady got her thumb put back on. And, remember that in-laws deserve special handling should they make a minor mistake. LC

At April 11, 2006 12:02 PM, Anonymous Ronda said...

ok, no more "missing body part" entries. Some of us can't handle it... glad it doesn't bother you.

At June 10, 2009 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I realize this blog is shut down and this particular post is years old, but I have to stand up for the firefighters:

Those couches and TVs were most likely paid for by the firefighters themselves. Although I'm not familiar with the situation in Phoenix, I do know that at the FDs in a large city in California, all the guys put part of their paycheck towards "housing costs," which pays for everything beyond basic kitchen necessities and a few freeweights.


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