Sunday, August 17, 2008

Picking up the kids

Some parents refuse to let their kids ride the school bus because they don't think it is safe. This mother, picked up her 10 year old daughter from school and started driving home. The daughter sat in the back seat and fastened her seatbelt as she always does.

Mom, on the other hand considers herself a good driver and, therefor, doesn't need to wear a seatbelt.

Unfortunately for her, the tree she plowed into did not agree with her. After trying to make a right turn much too fast, mom veered off the road and rammed into a tree. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention -mom had spent the day drinking and was by all accounts "hammered."

The young girl watched as mom's unrestrained body flew forward into the dashboard. Her head smashed into the rear-view mirror sending it through the windshield and out onto the ground in front of the car. Mom's head got stuck in the jagged window glass. She was able to pull her face and head back into the car leaving long strands of hair in the cracks of the glass.

Yesterday, my trainee and I answered up for an emergency call for a fight in the cafeteria at an elementary school. At first I pictured a bunch of little kids having a food fight but then I read the details of the call.

A 40 year old man arrived at school totally drunk demanding to pick up his 2 sons from after-school care. The school aides had never met this Dad so they asked for his ID as is standard practice. The drunk father began swearing and screaming in front of all the children. He then punched a teacher in the face, pushed another backwards into a door, and shoved a third one. The enraged drunk was screaming vulgarities and lunging at any adults that came near.

Dozens of terrified kids were running away and hiding from the lunatic.

Another unit arrived before us and had the dad in custody when we arrived. He was book on 3 counts of aggravated assault.

What a way to set a good example for your children.


I love convenience stores. They are a convenient place to get snacks and use the restroom.

What's worse than a splash of vomit on the bathroom floor?

How about a used condom in the same bathroom's trash can.
Looks I was a bit late for the bathroom party.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Academy Revisited

A few weeks ago I returned to the academy to help facilitate the Field Problems segment. As a training officer, one of my new duties is to help out the staff at the police academy. Specifically, they needed actors to conduct a variety of scenarios handled by the recruits to gauge their progress. I can distinctly remember the stress of going through these Field Problems when I was a recruit. They are done near the end of the academy and everyone knows a few failures means termination from the class.

This was my first time as an actor so I was given the easy assignment of posing as a stop-sign runner. The recruits took turns driving a patrol car and conducting a 'simple' traffic stop on me for my violation. The entire scenario was graded by another officer riding alongside the recruit.

Being on the flip side of these scenarios gave me a real taste of what I must have been like a few years back. I was nervous back then but I can't imagine I showed it as obviously as the new recruits did. Many of them seemed terrified to approach my driver's window and begin the traffic stop. One guy's hands were shaking so much as he asked me for my license and insurance I thought he was going to faint.

Others approached me like I was wanted for homicide. I female recruit commanded me to hold my arms out the driver's window. She unsnapped her holster and gripped her plastic handgun as she asked for my license. "DON'T MOVE!!" she shouted as she returned to her patrol car to write me a ticket. I know she was trying maintain her own safety but I told her I felt like I was about to be shot for running a stop sign.

I finished my traffic scenarios and moved to a different one involving a shoplifter. The recruit failed this one miserably. While talking to the store owner (me), the recruit had his back turned to the shoplifter sitting unrestrained in a chair. The recruit conducted an interrogation of the suspect (without reading Miranda rights) and then issued him a citation without bothering to handcuff and search the suspect. He missed the handgun concealed on the shoplifter (and the opportunity to add a misconduct involving weapons charge). I felt bad for the recruit as we provided feedback on his failure but reminded him how fortunate he was to make this kind of mistake in a safe training environment instead of out on the street.


I just got back from week long vacation and will return to my squad tomorrow with a brand new Officer in Training. I don't know anything about him/her yet but am anxious to get started.