Meet Nadia Potov, a beautiful thirty-eight year old Russian business woman, who travels around the world.
Harry and Nadia fell in love online. Three months and one hundred and seventy one emails later, Harry proposed. He has no money but Nadia is loaded. They decided to pick out a ring at Nadia’s expense and have it shipped to Harry. She then sent Harry a pre-paid shipping box and after examining the ring, he wrapped it in wedding paper and mailed it to her. The engagement was finalized and Harry received a picture of the ring on Nadia’s finger.
In the lengthy emails sent to Harry, Nadia explained the US was holding up her visa because her father had been a member of the KGB. She was being made to jump through time consuming hoops in order to move to the US. Nadia was heartbroken that it was taking so long but she would move heaven and earth to be by the side of her one true love.
Nadia began ordering American clothing for their honeymoon trip around the world. The clothing was also mailed to Harry and after fantasizing about Nadia wearing them, he shipped the clothes using the boxes she provided. This continued for months while the visa was in limbo.
One sunny Small Town day, I was contacted by the Post Master General’s Office. I know it’s hard to believe but Nadia was using stolen credit cards to purchase her wedding items and Harry was the victim of a popular fraud scam.
I was given the unlucky task of speaking with Harry. The Small Town Police Department avoids the Skudd family like the plague. I’ve tried coming up with a politically correct way to describe the clan. This is the best I can do…
If you put the entire family’s crayons in one box, half the box would be empty, but please don’t put them together in close quarters because they like to co-mingle. Their colors are off and that’s the other half of the problem.
We call the property the Skudd compound if this helps your mental picture. I gathered my courage and drove to Skuddville. First, I had to get past two pit bulls in the yard and jump onto a rusty old van that serves as the front porch which leads to the doublewide trailer.
I “popped” my Taser at the dogs. This is when you remove the cartridge and pull the trigger. The electricity arcs and causes a loud noise much like a cattle prod. The dogs have been previously tased and want nothing to do with the sound. Nope, I wasn’t there when they were electrically disciplined. Please don’t notify any animal rights activists, it’s hard enough dealing with the Skudds.
I had never been inside the home. All business is conducted on the van, I mean porch, for which I count my blessings. I spoke with ex-grandma Skudd first. She is Harry’s ex-wife but is also a blood relation and continues to live in the home. She shuffled off to get Harry.
My hand was cramping from the death grip I had on the Taser. The growling and snarling dogs continued pacing back and forth. My courage was waning when Harry finally came to the door. I rapidly explained my reason for the visit. He was utterly stunned. At least that’s how it seemed, his expression never changed.
Chewing tobacco landed at my feet. With a grunt, he went back inside but returned with two pictures of his fiancé. One was of a beautiful woman who looked to be twenty-five and the other was of a feminine hand with a ring on the finger. He also had an official looking Russian document announcing their engagement. I wanted to scratch my head because the document was in English.
Going to the Skudd compound always makes me want to scratch but it’s usually caused by my repugnance to head lice.
Anyway, I told Harry if he sent anymore packages he would be charged with a felony. Black spit again landed at my feet. Harry went back inside but this time slammed the door in my face.
One month later, I returned with Agent Smythe from the Post Master General’s Office. The Agent gamely placed his foot on the van window and hoisted himself up while I kept the dogs from eating us. Harry was officially scolded with threats of federal prison and search warrants.
Unfortunately, the threats did not deter Harry; he believed he was smarter than the average detective and the entire US Postal Service. His son purchased a post office box so Nadia could continue shopping for her trousseau.
To my great surprise Agent Smythe did not keep his promise and was never again seen in Small Town. The request to arrest Harry came by telephone communication. My arrest of Harry Skudd was less than pleasant and I choose to block the details from my memory.
The elderly and mentally disabled are at high risk for fraud. You don’t need to be a Skudd to get caught up in illegal activity. The FBI has information on the latest types of fraud at http://tinyurl.com/6as84sl and the latest e-scams at http://tinyurl.com/32sjrff
If something sounds too good to be true, IT IS!
Epilogue: Harry spent one night in jail and took a plea bargain which included one year of probation with no internet access allowed. Nadia is looking for another lonely man to marry. Teeth are optional.
A few months into my career, while working the night shift with Sergeant Spears, we stopped at Shop & Go for a cup of coffee.
As we left, an extremely distraught young woman, named Tiffany, waylaid us. She lived thirty miles away and had received a disturbing call from her boyfriend Jared. He wanted her to pick him up in Small Town but wasn’t sure of his location. Jared also claimed he was being chased by someone with a sword.
Tiffany handed her cell phone to Sgt. Spears and after a few minutes of coaxing, Jared was able to describe his surroundings. We left Tiffany at the store and went in search of our nineteen-year-old.
We approached the area slowly, keeping our eyes peeled for a sword wielding bad guy as well as Jared. A young man scrambled out of some bushes and began waving his arms and running towards our vehicle. I have never seen anyone as terrified as Jared. It took a bit of persuading but we finally got his story.
Jared was visiting a friend and decided to step outside and smoke a cigarette. Out of nowhere a huge growling gorilla ran at him waving a sword. Jared ran for his life. After he lost sight of the gorilla, he was too afraid to return to his friend’s home so called his girlfriend for a ride.
Sgt. Spears looked at me. I was fighting to keep a straight face and had to look away. After questioning Jared further, he admitted to smoking marijuana with his friend. We called emergency services and had him checked out. The only lasting side effects seemed to be a lower than normal blood pressure and a high pulse rate. The medical personnel agreed Jared had probably smoked some weed laced with a hallucinogen. After Jared was cleared, he was sent back home with his girlfriend and told rather sternly, by Sgt. Spears, to stay out of Small Town. Jared assured us he would never return but more importantly he would never smoke marijuana again.
I truly hoped that Jared kept his word but the story continued…
Two years later, we executed a search warrant at the home of a local methamphetamine dealer. As luck would have it, the house was located about half a block from Jared’s nightmare though I didn’t connect the two events at the time.
I was in position three on the entry team and my job was to clear the first and second bedrooms on the right side of the hallway. Once the front door opened, things progressed quickly. I had studied the layout of the house and I went to my assigned rooms with gun in hand. I entered the first bedroom, did a sweep and yelled clear as I turned and entered the next room.
A queen size mattress was on the floor and a closed closet door was to my left. Standing slightly to the side, I threw open the door.
Filling the four foot space was a huge fur covered monster that came within an inch of its non-life of being shot. I let out a terrified shriek, and then a relieved, “Oh shit,” as I realized I was staring at a life sized mannequin wearing a gorilla suit.
The “All clear,” was being given around the house as I yelled clear.” I couldn’t take my eyes off the Neanderthal. To my utter dismay I noticed a three foot ceremonial sword propped against the back corner of the closet.
I took a picture using my cell phone and sent it to Sgt. Spears. He arrived ten minutes later to see for himself. Our grins turned into full out laughter.
We never called Jared to see if he wanted to press charges. We figured in light of his misguided adventures he may have turned over a new leaf and we didn’t want to send him on a path down the marijuana highway again. Our drug dealer was a prohibited weapons possessor so we confiscated the sword. There was enough methamphetamine in the home to send him to prison. He is now enjoying years of reflection, compliments of the State of Arizona.
Jared was never heard from again but I can’t help but wonder if he will use his adventures to scare his own children away from drug experimentation.
I also learned a valuable lesson; no matter how outlandish the story, it is possibly true.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I try to keep things light. I use this space to remind myself that policing has funny moments and it helps me de-stress. Sometimes though, I need to rant. So here’s that rant Suzie Ivy style.
Small towns notoriously live off rumors. It doesn’t matter if they are hurtful or so farfetched as to be unbelievable, they will never stop. The picture you see of the two women holding hands is believed to be that of sisters. I wonder what the consensus would be today if I was in a picture holding my sister’s hand?
Small Town now has its second female officer. I was the first so we are definitely progressing. Denise Bullock is twenty-five years old, a divorced single mother and a wonderful officer. There has been a rumor floating around town that she is a lesbian. I’m being asked about it constantly and defend her whenever I have the opportunity.
This made me think…why am I defending something that is no one’s business? Do I care who she sleeps with? If she was a lesbian would it make her an incompetent cop? No and no.
I think Officer Bullock’s rumor started because she works hard and then goes home to be with her two small children. She mows her own lawn and repairs her own plumbing. Right now she seems happy in her life without a man. Go figure, she must be gay.
I don’t care if my back up officer sleeps with men or women. I love them because they put their life on the line, protect our town and protect the officer beside them. There are many gay men and women in policing. I am honored to serve with you.
I also extend this to our servicemen and women in the military. Thank you for risking your life for our great country. May God bless and keep you safe. (End of rant).
On the lighter side, Officer Bullock has one failing. She killed an emu her first week on the job. It had escaped from its pen and was running the streets of Small Town. Calls were coming in left and right, an emu had run amuck.
Officer Bullock was in trouble. The academy sadly lacks training in Emu capture. They also don’t explain that they are delicate birds and die easily when stressed. The poor bird dropped dead about a mile into the chase.
All Officer Bullock could say was, “I swear I didn’t shoot.”
Tweedy Bird is now her nick name.
Welcome to Small Town Officer Bullock. May the rumors fly because that poor dead bird never will.
Detective Ivy signing off
P.S. I know emu’s don’t fly. It just sounded good!
In the beginning we had a love hate relationship. It was the first firearm I had ever shot and building a good partnership took time. The men in my department all give their rifles and shotguns female names. I was the first to name my sidearm and he was christened after Dirty Harry.
Clint and I worked well together for two years but then I was promoted to Detective. I was issued a smaller, easily concealed .40 caliber Glock 23c. I named him Fabio. Maybe that was the problem. Fabio and I never hit it off (pun intended). My shooting scores went down and though I continued to qualify on the range, I wasn’t happy.
Many changes are happening in my department and I was given the chance to work with Clint again. Fabio you may be better looking but you’ve got nothing on Mr. Eastwood. The First trip back to the range and Clint kicked your ass.
This leads me to pink handcuffs.
About six months into my career as a law enforcement officer, I saw a pair of pink handcuffs in a police magazine. I had to have them. I was teased by fellow officers, but mid-life comes with benefits and not caring if you stand out is one of them. My pink cuffs have the place of honor on my duty belt and I have a backup pair (also pink) in my outer Kevlar vest. Because I’ve learned through the years that you can never have enough handcuffs, I own black and silver pairs too.
If a juvenile is going to jail, and they aren’t giving me any problems, I let them pick the color. The boys always pick pink so they can brag to their friends. I’m quite popular with juvenile delinquents.
Pink also happens to be my choice for abusive men and child molesters. When I put handcuffs on my suspects, they are facing away from me and don’t know they will stand out when entering the jail. The guards know my rules and they enjoy asking my prisoners what they did to piss me off. They want to be the first to let the suspect know he’s in pink.
I’ve saved my money and I’m now looking for a pair in baby shit yellow. This leads me to alcohol.
A police buddy of mine once told me, “This job will drive you to drink.” My friend finally reached a point where he could no longer take it, and ended his career in law enforcement.
I live in a very small town and we never have enough officers. I am the only Detective and I am on call 24/6.5. It’s okay if this doesn’t make sense, I’ll break it down. Beginning Saturday nights at 6pm, I turn off my cell phone and ringer to my house phone. I then turn on the margarita blender. I am unavailable until after I wake up the following morning, usually around 6am.
I discovered early on in my career, that I absolutely need down time. If my fellow officers didn’t know I was drinking they would knock on my door after I refuse to answer my phone. Even knowing I drink on Saturday nights, they knock “just to check.” My husband kicks them off the property.
One day, I was scheduled to fill in for our School Resource Officer, and decided to give a presentation on underage drinking. During my research, I discovered I am a binge drinker. A binge drinker is a person that drinks more than five alcoholic drinks in one sitting. Being a binge drinker leads to alcoholism. Since learning these troubling facts, I bought larger glasses and I stop at four drinks. I also make frou frou margaritas using real strawberry, mango or lemon. This must count for something.
I never mix drinking and guns but drinking and pink handcuffs can be kinda fun.
Until next time,
Detective Ivy signing off
Everyone knows cops and donuts go hand in hand. Just for the fun of it I looked into the history of this tag team match. Most agree it became common for the two to be linked due to donut shops being the place to buy coffee and a sweet snack early in the morning. This was before Circle K and 7-Eleven appeared on every corner. Donut shops also have a history of allowing uniformed police officers inside before hours to fill up on coffee while the fresh baked wonders are being prepared.
For me donuts have a slightly different significance. While working the day shift, I was dispatched to our local 24-hour convenience store for a female being disorderly. The female, Mrs. C, was upset because the fresh donut case was filled with stale donuts. When I arrived she was yelling at the clerk and trying to get her to hold and feel a hard donut. The clerk was looking at me with huge eyes and a “what the hell” expression.
I had dealt with Mrs. C before. She is seventy-two years old and sharp as a tack. Mrs. C is not very fond of me. Her dislike started the first time I encountered her and I refused to jump to her tune.
Standing in the store that morning, I was trying to decide how best to handle a disorderly grandma. I thought if I could get her outside, I could deescalate the situation. I asked quite nicely.
Mrs. C’s face got red and she used the donut to point in my direction while yelling angrily, “I come here every morning for fresh donuts. This one is hard as a rock and it’s the only jelly filled left. You’re a cop, you know your donuts. Here, you see how stale it is.”
I was unceremoniously handed the donut. It was a natural reflex and I took it using my gun hand, which was not my brightest move. The donut was hard and sticky. I again asked Mrs. C to step outside. I backed slightly away and opened the door.
I thought she was walking towards me but she stopped at the donut case, reached her hand inside and grabbed another pastry. The ultra-stiff projectile flew through the air and hit the clerk in the face. Mrs. C was yelling as she again took aim, “This is the only place in town that advertises fresh donuts. Here have another stale one.” This donut missed the clerk by about an inch.
I still had the jelly filled pastry in my right hand and I let it fall to the floor. My fingers were sticky so I used my left hand to pull out my handcuffs. Mrs. C saw my cuffs and backed away after grabbing two more gummy missiles. She let them fly. I was peppered with a chocolate frosted and a cinnamon twist.
I grabbed Mrs. C’s right arm, pulling it behind her and getting the cuff on her wrist. Before I could grab her left hand my face was smeared with dark frosting.
So there I was, covered in donuts and arresting a seventy two year old woman for assaulting an officer and a store clerk. Whether it was to my benefit or detriment, the store had video of the entire encounter. The clerk decided not to press charges so I was left to appear in court and explain my assault by donut all alone. How the judge managed to keep a straight face while reading the official complaint was beyond me. My entire department decided they had nothing better to do than arrive in court to support me. I had my own cheering, laughing and comedic section in the third row. Mrs. C had her six children and fourteen grandchildren in rows four, five, and six.
The charges against her were pled to simple assault and she was given probation and 30 hours community work service. We greet each other cordially when passing on the street. Mrs. C has been banned from the store and their donuts for life. Over the next six months a box of donuts mysteriously appeared on my desk about once a week. I would move them to the break room and they would just as mysteriously disappear.
I don’t get any more donut jokes in Small Town. I am the donut joke. Life as a cop can be dangerous, exhausting and humiliating. Have I mentioned that I hate donuts?
Until next time,
Detective Ivy signing off
Next Small Town post: Guns, Pink Handcuffs and Alcohol