Archive for December, 2011

A Perfect Police Christmas

December 11, 2011 34 comments

I worked Thanksgiving so I could have Christmas off. I just found out I will be working Christmas too. We are shorthanded and it’s just the way it is. I’ve decided to make up my own Christmas Day Christmas list for street patrol.

All I want for Christmas…

#1 Stop at stop signs! It’s easy. Place your foot squarely on the brake, apply pressure and push to the floor. It works every time.

#2 No drugs! Cocaine, heroin and meth are bad for you. Try making it an early New Year’s resolution and stop now. If the snow reminds you of what you are giving up, dig a hole and jump in. If you hit bottom after twelve inches, you did the right thing. If you hit bottom at twelve feet then you’re just stuck and can’t get out. It’s okay, your shaking is from the cold not the withdrawals.

#3 No hitting your wife or girlfriend! I know this is hard when you combine alcohol and bitching but you can resist. See #2 about digging the hole. Have your wife and/or girlfriend throw you a bottle of Vodka. It will keep you warm and keep me from Tasing you.

#4 No stealing children’s snowmen! I do not think it’s funny. I know you did it last year, I heard the stories but I’m not the cop that was on duty then. I will catch you and I will place you in handcuffs and take you home to Mommy and Daddy. Before I do, I will dress you up as a snowman and a carrot will be sticking out of your nose. Promise!

#5 Bake extra cookies for the officer on patrol! I like sugar, chocolate chip and snickerdoodles. I’m really not picky. Please don’t spike my hot coco, I’ll do it myself when I get home.

#6 Wave at me with all five fingers! No middle fingers, I’m not in the mood.

Last year’s white Christmas

#7 Christmas trees, fireplaces and houses catch fire! Water your tree, clean your flue and keep candles away from curtains. After I help rescue you and your family, I’ll be able to warm my hands at your holiday barbeque. I’ll bring the marshmallows.

#8 Slow down! The presents will wait. Your mother in law will wait. There will be plenty of food left when you get there. I will write you a speeding ticket! I don’t care that it’s Christmas, I need to pay for my time and a half wage. Just think of me as the Grinch.

#9 Don’t let your dog run loose! Our kennels are cold and if I find out you’re the dog’s owner, I will impound you. Got it?

#10 Have a great day! Love your family and friends! Make a point of saying hello to an officer on duty. It’s Christmas and we miss our families and friends. That small extra gesture will make us smile.

To all the officers who are working Christmas, thank you, stay safe and yes, we CAN give the idiot a break for speeding.

Wow, I feel better. Writing this gave me back my sense of humor.

I won’t be posting again until New Year’s Day, please don’t forget me. Have a wonderful holiday season!



Meth For Christmas

December 4, 2011 34 comments

To keep things light, I don’t write about my serious homicide and sex crimes cases where I tend to shine. Instead, you get to hear about my missteps.

In order to keep this job, I must be a little smarter than I sometimes appear. I swear.

My partner Jim has been gone for several weeks and he took his drug dog Astro with him. I miss them both and blame Jim for the following events.

I had worked the day shift and was relaxing at home when I was called to assist Officer Benito Chavez. Benito discovered a vehicle at the cemetery (A really popular party spot). A group of young males were smoking marijuana and having a good time. There were three juvenile delinquents in the vehicle with an eighteen year old driver.

Benito needed me to give the boys a ride to the police department and to call parents. When detaining juveniles and adults, Arizona law requires the juveniles be kept out of “sight and sound” of adults in custody. Benito detained the driver and called his dad, the registered owner of the car, to come and pick it up.

I drove the terrified kids back to my office. They were acting tough but their eyes were huge.

“Okay guys, these are the rules when you’ve been arrested. There will be no talking to each other. There will be no talking to me until after I have read you Miranda rights. If you need to use the restroom, you can ask but understand you will be monitored and I really don’t want to watch. Hold it if you can and Officer Chavez will help when he gets here. I will speak to each of you after I call the phlebotomist on duty to come to the station.”

They can never keep their mouths shut and start asking questions. Phlebotomist is a big word for juvenile pot heads and I haven’t had one yet that knew what I meant.

“What’s a phlebotomist?” The cockiest of the boys asked.

“I’ve already told you not to speak to me but the phlebotomist is the person who will draw your blood. You’ve all said you’re not high, so we need proof that you were actually smoking the marijuana.”

I really needed no proof. Jim had a pipe, a small bag of a green leafy substance and the odor of marijuana. I had no intention of obtaining blood samples or reading Miranda. I just wanted them to tell the truth.

I planned to call the parents, explain the circumstances and hand out juvenile referral forms. In a few weeks, the judge would slap their hands and issue some community work service. The eighteen year old would not be as lucky because he would be charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors, as well as the marijuana charge.

I know most kids hate needles. The first boy spoke up. “I’ll just admit I was smoking. You don’t need to draw my blood.”

“Yeah me too,” The other boys start agreeing with their friend.

I took the kids into the office and sat them at a table after turning their chairs around so they couldn’t look at each other. I pointed out the monitoring camera and pulled the first youngster out of the room.

One by one, I had them call their parents and explain why they were in custody. I then had them pass the phone to me. “Your son is under arrest but he has been cooperative and that’s why I’ve decided not to place him in juvenile detention. You need to pick him up from our office as soon as possible.”

Everything went smoothly but I began wondering what was taking Benito so long. After an hour, I heard him walk in and secure the adult in a holding room. He then stepped into the room where I was waiting for the last boy to be picked up. He asked to speak with me privately.

We walked into my office and Benito shut the door. I could see his excitement. I watched as he opened a large manila envelope and pulled out a quart size baggie half filled with a white crystalized substance. “Dad gave permission to search the car before he drove it away. I think it’s meth but I need to be sure.”

Benito left to start questioning our unlucky young man and I was given the task of testing the suspicious substance.

I’ve never tested drugs before. I’m not sure why but I’ve always had someone else around to do it. When my ex-partner Jim left, he was nice enough to give me his field testing kits. How hard could it be? There are directions. I pulled a test kit out of the box and gloved up. I began reading and started the testing process.

After placing a small amount of white substance in the thick plastic test bag, my phone rang. It was the parent of my remaining juvenile. His car wouldn’t start and he told me to take his son to juvenile detention. I explained that I would bring the boy home and jump start the dead car while I was there (I’m a really nice person).

While this conversation was taking place, I continued with the test. I began breaking the ampules inside the kit, left to right, just like the directions say. The chemical reaction began immediately. The smell coming from the test kit was horrible so I secured the top, keeping the obnoxious odor inside. The liquid at the bottom immediately turned blue. METHAMPHETAMINE! I had never seen that much meth in my career.

I jumped up and ran to the interview room. My adrenaline was rising and I asked Benito to step out.

“It’s meth! Oh my god, do you realize how much you’ve got?”

Benito was smiling ear to ear. “I’m going back in. This guy won’t tell me anything. I just hope the other kids haven’t tried that crap.” Benito returned to the interview room.

I went to check on my remaining juvenile. The ground started spinning. I placed my hand on the wall and realized things were starting to whirl even worse. I can only explain it as a whooshing feeling. I realized what was happening; I had somehow spilled meth on my skin or inhaled it. I made my way to the phone and called dispatch.

“Send an ambulance right away!”

“What’s going on?”

“I’ve somehow ingested Meth. I need an ambulance.” I hung up and made my way unsteadily to the bathroom and began scrubbing my hands and arms. I then made my way back to the interview room and threw open the door. I don’t even remember seeing Benito. My eyes were locked on our suspect.

My rising fear turned to panic and I let loose. “Where the hell did you get that shit? I somehow got it on my skin and I’m getting high on meth. You little piece of shit, you better tell me or I’m going to make sure you don’t see daylight as long as you live.” I had gone from shouting to screaming and Benito grabbed my shoulder to keep me from laying hands on the stupid kid. I began to shake uncontrollably and left the room. Benito followed me out, and pushed me into a chair.

“Are you serious?”

“The world is spinning and the ambulance is on the way. I can’t believe this happened.”

The whooshing was getting worse and I could hear panic in Benito’s voice too. He sat with me and called the Chief to explain what was happening.

The ambulance and Chief arrived at the same time. Benito went back in with our suspect. A blood pressure cuff was placed on my arm, a pulse monitor placed on my finger and I was attached to a heart monitor with those cold, sticky, slimy things placed under my shirt on my bare skin. The questions began and I explain everything that happened.

After my recitation, I was asked if I had any test kits they could look at. I told the paramedic where to find them and one of the EMT’s retrieved the box. I was beginning to feel better and the dizziness was not as bad. I put this down to my receding panic. I knew I was in good hands. Our ambulance crew is the best!

The meth test kit box was handed over to the paramedic and he started reading. He then passed the box to the other guys and lastly to my Chief.

On the box was a warning label about the chemical testing kit. It’s very clear. “Dangerous chemicals. Do not inhale, ingest or have contact with skin. If any of these occur, seek medical attention immediately.”

I had inhaled the testing chemical, nitrogen monoxide, not the meth. I’d had a bad reaction. It happened while I was performing the test and I was interrupted by the kid’s dad with the broken down vehicle. The directions clearly state you need to seal the test kit before breaking the ampules. I was distracted and failed to read that important line.

No meth exposure. My vitals were a little off kilter, but opposite of what they would have been if I’d really been exposed to meth. They had me stand and then sit down for an hour, checking my stats the entire time. They were finally satisfied I would be okay. I refused a trip to the emergency room.

Our juveniles were brought back in and given saliva tests for meth. They all showed negative. Benito later told me about returning to the interview room where our young man was crying like a baby. He spilled the beans on his older drug addicted brother. He agreed to take a saliva test for meth and it also came back negative. He was walked past me as the ambulance crew continued to monitor my vitals. I remember seeing his face and he looked scared to death.

I’ve since watched my video entry into the interview room and understand why this young man confessed. I’ve never used the “I’m going to kill you” scare tactic before and I don’t know if I could duplicate it if I tried. True fear is hard to fake.

When I was finally driven home, I looked up the chemical, nitrogen monoxide, which is also known as Nitric Oxide. I found the following information:

The same chemical responsible for men’s erections (and, indirectly, for the success of Viagra)

Yes, go ahead, LAUGH:-)

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