Everyone should be familiar with fight or flight. This is the mode your body goes into when you are in danger. You experience tunnel vision and your brain zeros in on safety. You won’t even realize you have pumped up adrenaline until you suffer the dump which happens after you’re finally out of danger; shaking, crying, and laughing are a few of the after effects.
Police officers have these same responses but we train to fight. It’s very hard to kick in our flight reflex even when we should. “Go home each night to your family,” is our daily motto. This means there are situations we need to get the hell out of, quickly. I think police officers are wired to have more of the fight instinct even before training begins. Disabling our fighting nature is difficult and I’ve been yelled at by supervisors for staying in a situation longer than I should.
I will admit I differ from my younger cop counterparts in one major area now. Cops love to give chase. They love runners; either on foot or in vehicles. Nothing gets an officer in the proper mood more than a good chase.
In my first two years of street duty I was guilty of the same response. Duty pants torn from hip to thigh, yep with everything hanging out, was only one of my many perils. Everyone now knows I wear black underwear beneath my uniform.
Can I outrun, tackle, and torment my escapee? I’ll be honest and say I’ve never outrun anyone on foot. I’ve had some pretty good car pursuits though. All have been short, and most end in the suspect ditching the car and running, I hate that. I was able to Tase a guy while he fought with my old partner Jim after a vehicle pursuit then foot chase. We were in mud and I received quite the electrical shock too. You will never see that video on cops.
When it comes to relying on my legs, I’m older now. My body requires additional coddling. The longer I’m an officer the more it takes to get my adrenaline pumping and I guess I’m wiser too.
A few months ago, my squad poked at me for not chasing a suspect on foot after he took a heavy inanimate object to his roommate’s head.
I was the first one to spot Coco (his street name) and I dispatched my location. Coco refused to get within Taser range but I was using my “Just come to the police department and talk to me” grandma voice when another officer came around the corner doing fifty miles an hour. Coco took off and the officer slammed on his brakes, jumped out, and started chasing.
I calmly got back in my car and began following. Coco is young, slender, and fast. My Crown Vic, is old, heavy, and reliable; kind of like me. Five blocks later I lost the first officer but kept Coco in my sights. He finally slowed and again I got out of my vehicle and started trying to coax him to do as I wanted.
Tearing around the corner, another officer charged our location. Coco got a little rest while we socialized and he took off again. Officer two flew from his vehicle and started running. I couldn’t help my sigh.
Here we go again and within another few blocks I have no backup and I’m following Coco as he slows and starts walking. I call in my location, knowing my fellow officers are heading back to their vehicles so they can find us.
“Really Coco, you want to keep running?”
“No, but they keep chasing me.”
“Then jump in the back of my car and I’ll take you in.”
“I need some water.”
“I’ll take you to Circle K and buy you one.”
“Are you being straight up?”
“Yep, but you better hurry because they’re getting close again.”
Coco jumped in my backseat. I have a cage so he’s separated from me and you can’t open the doors from the inside. I was pretty sure he didn’t have a weapon but I asked him anyway.
“Do you have any guns, knives, or bazookas on you?”
“No guns or knives but what’s a bazooka?”
I am getting so old, “It’s a type of bubblegum.”
“Oh, do you need some gum?”
“Yes, but I’ll pick it up when I buy your water.”
“Okay, thanks man, I mean ma’am.”
“No problem Coco, this isn’t my case but if you want me interviewing you I can.”
“No, I’ll talk to Sanders though.” Sanders is the first cop who chased him.
Gosh, there is no loyalty between cops and crooks these days.
I called in my Circle K location and the parking lot filled with red and blue flashing lights. I took Coco out of the back and searched him for weapons but I told him I would wait to put on handcuffs until after he drank his water. My fellow officers were pissed off but I told them they could buy their own water.
After handcuffing my in custody, I drove back along Coco’s escape route and located his shoe which he lost while running.
I took razzing from my squad for not chasing on foot. They seem to miss the fact that words did more good. I don’t mind. There are days I wish I started this career in my twenties and had the chance to run with the best of them.
Coco was out of jail the next morning and every time I see him he waves.
Sometimes I think police work is not a profession for older people, but then again; brains, laziness, and a good reliable police cruiser make up for it. Have I mentioned lately that I love my job?
My plan was to have a blog post out this weekend but life got in the way. My mother broke her knee, which is a long story and hers to tell, but I spent eight hours Friday in the emergency room. We had a delightful doctor who smiled, laughed, and was an incredibly cool guy. What a difference it makes when someone is so full of life and cheerfulness.
This is really only a quick note to send you to the interview I had with Aaron Heyntsen at Criminal Justice School Info. Aaron read the paperback of Bad Luck Cadet & Bad Luck Officer and asked great questions about some of the experiences I had at the academy and my first two years as an officer.
I answered one question with a not so politically correct answer and I worried it would be cut. Aaron explained the importance of keeping things real for potential students looking for a career in the law enforcement profession. I really appreciate his thinking but most of all his dedication to his career which he takes beyond the call of duty (in my opinion).
Yes, I swear I’m working on the third Bad Luck book and a blog post for next week. This picture of me is one of a group I took two years ago at the advanced age of 49. I like this picture because it shows my laugh lines and simple joy for life. The problem is, I look in the mirror now and see how much I’ve aged in the past two years. I must get updated photos so no one meets me and thinks I’m hiding behind a very old picture. Unfortunately, my highly skilled expensive photographer broke her knee and is laid up for a few months. Such is life :-)
I’m working on the next Bad Luck book but I thought I would take a short break and write a blog post. This goes along with my last post’s theme but it’s the antonym (I like to use complicated words when I’m in a writing mood).
I had quite a few reasons to smile this week and just the simple joy of the changing seasons is one of them. The temperature dropped suddenly and 90 turned into 60. The trees are just beginning to change color and the next month will be beautiful.
Okay, enough with the soppy crap :-)
I spent the week finishing up an investigation on a serious felony case and I typed the report which meant listening to twelve hours of suspect interviews. It’s a long monotonous chore but I put my headphones on and persevered.
Usually when I have my ears covered I’m left alone because I tend to be quite grumpy if disturbed.
Even so, there were no officers available so I was called out of my cave and asked to take a walk-in report.
I ground my teeth and went into the lobby.
Me: I’m detective Ivy, how may I help you?
Ditz: My dog was stolen.
Me: Where was it last seen?
Ditz: He gets a dog treat every day from the ladies at the title company and then he goes to the Dollar Store and they give him a treat too.
Me: What makes you think your dog was stolen?
Ditz: He always comes when I call him and he didn’t come this morning.
Me: Please give me a description.
Ditz: He’s a black Lab and he cost $500.
Me: Was he wearing a collar?
Ditz: No, he doesn’t like collars.
Me: His name.
Ditz: Kitty Kitty (I didn’t bat an eye)
Me: Okay, I’ll notify animal control that your dog is missing and see if he’s been placed in the pound. We have a leash law and it will be $30.00 to get him out if he’s there.
Ditz: You didn’t even ask what color he was.
Me: You said he was a black Lab.
Ditz: There are other colors of Labs.
Me: Not black ones.
Ditz: There are golden and chocolate too.
Me: Yes, but we don’t call them black Labs.
Ditz: Is there a supervisor available?
Me: Yes and I’m it.
Ditz: Well, is there a complaint form I can fill out. I don’t like your attitude.
Me: Yes, let me get that for you.
I walked back to my office and buzzed the secretary on her phone. “Please take Ms. Ditz an officer complaint form. If she asks to speak with me again, be warned; she will not leave the station alive.
Later in the day all the guys were laughing about the black Lab complaint against me. It was funnier as time went on and I laughed with them.
I live about a mile from work and on my drive home I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a black, let me make that perfectly clear BLACK, Labrador walking along the road. I pulled over and called, “Here Kitty Kitty.” He jumped right over my lap and we took a ride to the kennels. I gave him a few treats and then booked him in. The nice me would have driven him directly to his owner’s house but the stubborn spiteful me did not. Sometimes life is wonderful.
This next delightful story happened today (my day off) when I took a break from writing and checked my Twitter account.
Jason McDonnell is a cop friend from Ireland and we tend to have fun Twitter conversations. His wife joins in occasionally and keeps him in line but today she wasn’t around. Here’s our conversation…(#FF is Follow Friday and a big Twitter thing)
Suzie: @jmcd432 Only you would use the “C” word in a tweet with my name. Have I mentioned lately how much I love you?
Jason: @SuzieIvy sorry wasn’t thinking It’s an Irish thing Sooo sorry
Suzie: @jmcd432 Too funny, I’m still laughing please don’t be sorry!
Jason: @SuzieIvy yaaaaay Lol It’s one word us LEO’s over here use to describe a heinous person who perpetrates a crime
Suzie: @jmcd432 A drunk called me that word over and over the other day. I didn’t consider he might be Irish :-)
Jason: @SuzieIvy drunk and using that word Quite possible ;-)
Isn’t my job wonderful? I learn something new every day. At the first opportunity I’m calling my next dirty rotten suspect a cunt.
I’ve been absent from the blogosphere during the past month or so and I apologize. Finally my new Fang book has published; relief, sigh, jump up and down. The next book in the Bad Luck series is coming soon (I’m working on it today). My biggest excuse for not writing posts has been work. A friend and retired Bobby from England, currently residing in the US, just sent me an email and I think he says it best.
“Judging by what I’ve learned this last couple of months, doin’ police
work out here in the states is one dangerous occupation. There are
some whacked out nutters here, masquerading as the general populace,
holding down jobs and all.”
This pretty much describes what’s been happening on the streets lately. We are dealing with a huge methamphetamine problem. This leads to burglaries, violence, and just plain crazy actions on their part. Then we have the anti-government movement. There are a lot in our neck of the woods (Arizona in general). It doesn’t matter if the police agree or disagree with the current political agenda; they hate us for being part of the establishment.
We are also seeing a large coalition of white supremacists. I hate to lump them in with the anti-G but I think the two go hand in hand. I’m amazed at the number of homes I enter, for one reason or another, and see more and more symbols of hate. Click here if you are interested in knowing what to look for.
You know cops never like to admit they are scared but we talk about it amongst ourselves. We tell each other to watch our backs (cop talk – our 6), be alert, and make it home to our families. I feel bad that I’m one of the luckier ones because I only work two days of patrol a week and being a detective means I usually come in after the original volatile confrontation. Lucky me, but at the same time I’m afraid for the men at my department. They all have young children waiting at home for daddy. My husband bites his tongue many times (because he’s wonderful) but I know these wives live with daily fear and my heart goes out to them. I guess this is just part of being a cop’s wife or husband.
It’s quite difficult for me to tell everyone this but Mrs. Taylor from my post A Petrified Old Woman died on July 30th. Her declining heath finally forced her into a senior care facility. She was happy and chipper to the end. Her death has left an empty place in my heart even though I know she wouldn’t want it to. I’m smiling through my tears as I talk about her and her incredible spirit lives on.
I use this blog so I can smile and laugh frequently. I tend to stay away when I’m having trouble finding joy in my work life. The few posts I’ve written that deal with serious and sad issues have always generated words of comfort from my readers. I told myself this morning that if I didn’t break the cycle for my glum outlook I might never write another post, so this is it. Sorry!
I am thrilled to announce I’ve won another Top Cop Blog Award from VideoSurveillance.com I’m one of seven top blogs and the winning honors go to Cold Case Squad which is one of my personal favorite sites on the web. I am honored to be mentioned with the other great cop blogs though the paragraph and video below might make the powers that be change their mind in the future :-) You can check out the top seven by clicking the link above.
On a completely tasteless, tactless, and inappropriate note, I looked up info to pass along about the symbols of hate and discovered if you put “white supremacist” in Google the top list of searches are all Dave Chappelle’s YouTube video of him masquerading as a black white supremist. I’ve included it below because I’m tasteless, tactless, and inappropriate, and this video made me laugh. Please do not watch if your sense of humor is on vacation or if you dislike strong language. Dave Chappelle I love you!