Evidence 101

EVIDENCE 101...Wherever you go, there you are...







Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Janazapan

Sometimes journal entries are random silliness. Behind the scenes, cops are super immature and riddled with sarcasm. On this day, I had just returned from a long vacation. It was a planned one, not one mandated by the administration which we fondly call administrative leave. Those are bad. This was good. 

Things were shaking up at the House of PoPo whilst I was away.

The physical fitness test has been modified. Yes. It is still mandatory. Yes. It is still Olympic standards. However the Chief took away the punitive part of the testing. No termination and no flagging your jacket and disqualifying you for promotion or new assignments if you failed.. Those are big deals. I'm somewhat relieved. I did pass the last test, but it was not easy and I have passed all the others. Did I have fun and was it challenging? Yes. But it did cause some anxiety at my age.

I think our department is about retention right now. We are losing veteran officers to other jobs, not other law enforcement agencies, but other careers all together.

Getting back in the swing of things has not been a very nice cup of tea for Fargo. It's like jumping into rough waters without your life jacket or looking forward to a nice cup of coffee and getting handed decaf. Seriously.

For instance, Squirrel pulled over a psycho. This call was challenging to some, not me, but some. I have no problem communicating with crazy people. Not only was he over 260 pounds, wearing plaid pajamas and sporting pink hair, but he was on top of his car jumping up and down like a monkey and screaming.We really should be able to live stream some of these things.

Instead of getting my bitch on in 2.2, I just gawked in silence. I am not sure if I was in disbelief or waiting for him to fall through the roof. Occasionally I would look back at Squirrel. He was giving me the gentle shoving signs to get my bitch on and show this guy that the PoPo were not going to allow this shenanigans.
Simulated image and fake stunt man to show dramatization

Why? Why interfere? It was entertaining. I didn't want to stop the behavior. He was damaging his own property so who cares! He was mad at himself for hitting a tree with his car and it was late morning. Afterall, the whole neighborhood was getting a freak show free of charge! And then I thought, maybe he should not be driving in the first place. But you can drive while crazy. It wasn't drug induced.

Was I a failure as a public servant? Well, I surely didn't see it that way.

I decided to get the information from the other passengers and pass it along to Squirrel for his accident report. Information like name, address, date of birth, phone number, etc. After I was finished being the perfect little assistant backup Queen, I then gave him the paper:

SQUIRREL: What does this say? Janazapan?

ME: Jackson.

SQUIRREL: This is terrible. What happened to you?

GRAFFY: What's wrong with her handwriting? I can read it.

ME: Yeah. Me, too.

SQUIRREL: What's this? Slobbermahanalink?

ME: Middle row backseat. Lincoln. Geesh.

GRAFFY: I would have never complained. You can read mine, I can read yours.

ME: Thank you. That is why we work the same area and are partners. Harmony!

SQUIRREL: I think you lost your PoPo magic while you were gone. What is this? Willbdrivahanagan?

ME: William. Backseat behind driver.

GRAFFY: I could read it perfectly.

SQUIRREL: This is terrible. Why don't you guys go work your magic on that dude with the pink hair?

OFFICER WOJO: This dude is nuts. Did you see the front of his car?

SQUIRREL: Yeah.

ME: George of the Jungle.

SQUIRREL/WOJO: *blink*blink*
Not this hot of a George


ME/GRAFFY: Watch out for that tree! ( in stereo) 

ME: High five!


So GRAFFY and I reaffirmed we had not lost the magic aura we shared..working the same area, knowing how to mesh as area partners. We were in cop bliss thinking on the same page.

SQUIRREL: [big sigh] Could you go help that crazy guy? I'm lost with him.

ME: Why? He will run out of steam. The average fat person can only last on crazy at full speed for two days and 2.5 hours. Then they peeter out.

SQUIRREL: *blink*blink*

GRAFFY: It's true. Venting at Mach 7 is actually good for the brain waves and it later boosts creativity and reproduction.

*crickets*

And then it snowed. Life was perfect in Antartica again.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ode to Jeff

This one brought some tears to my eyes. Captain Jeff Atkinson has since passed on from complications of cancer in 2014. He was just 48. Great man. He was a joy to work with and was always there serving the public in a way you knew he put people ahead of himself. I can only think his passing on 9-11 was something reminisce of his dedication.

I was sent to a lockout with a 3 year old in an Acura. Let me tell you about Acuras. First, I want one. Second, you can't break into them even if you are a master burglar. I shit you not.

Arriving at Perkins, I found a very distraught dad who had locked his keys in the car with it running and the 3 year old in his car seat. He also called his wife and told her what he had done. She was at their home in Colorado.

I thought she was going to kill him through the phone. I strongly advised how you handle women is that you call them after the fact and tell them everything was all good now, not during the crisis. I gave him this advice.

It took 4 firemen, me, a locksmith, and grandparents to break into the Acura and rescue junior. And let me say...that took 2 hours. There was no immediate harm in temperatures to the little guy so we did not just break the window. We were trying to preserve the kiddo and the car. A twofer we call those.

I was not in my normal area on this day.

The distraught dad was beside himself, beating himself up-not literally, but figuratively, and very worried. We tried to keep him and his son laughing while the FIREMAN did surgery on the Acura.

I was just there for moral support because I already informed them they took our Slim Jims away because of liability. I could only break the window with my ASP which was not well received. Since the air conditioner was on, we didn't worry about the health of ACURA KID, just him being scared and bored.

He was a great kid. And didn't cry once. I entertained him through the glass. It's what cops do when the firefighters are around. We dance and tell jokes.

After it was all said and done...we had to stick around for another hour because the Acura ate the burglar tool and we had to take the door off.

Then distraught dad made a discovery.

One discovery I learned many years ago because I was looking in the right places. You can't help it. It's like those Victoria Secret sweatpants, only for firefighters. Bunkers have words.

DISTRAUGHT DAD: Oh. You guys have your name on your pants.

ME: Yep. Note the location.

DISTRAUGHT DAD: Yeah. Why do you suppose it's there of all places? [laughing]

JUST JIM: *blink*blink*

ME: They just want more attention. They can't get enough as it is.

DISTRAUGHT DD: You have the same name as my son. Look, son, this nice fireman has your name.

JUST JIM: Uh. That's actually my last name, sir.

DISTRAUGHT DAD: Oh. Well, I guess you aren't as cool as I thought.

ME: [laughing] Good one. High five on that.

JUST JIM: [big cheesy grin]

FIREMAN JEFF: [laughing] Someone needs to keep him on his toes. Great wit.

So we played with the little guy who was rescued. CUTE kid and an adoring firefighter fan. I got a high five, though.

ME: Give me five. You are one brave guy for staying in there and not crying. And you tried to get yourself out and worked really hard.

ACURA KID: Yeah. [gives me 5]

FIREMAN JEFF: Come on, let's slide down the hill.

WTF. Another hero story where the firemen outdo the popo. Why didn't I think of that? Oh yea. Grass stains.

So...JEFF took ACURA KID up the hill and they slid down the hill. I told ACURA KID who scooted down the hill as JEFF flew past him that JEFF had cheated because he was wearing bunkers. ACURA KID then got to use JEFF as a sled. I mean, seriously? Is that even fair?

ACURA KID got to check out the fire truck and hit the sirens. That really lit up his face.

Then he moved onto my g-ride which did not impress him. It was a slick back undercover.

Boring.

To him, there was something wrong with it, it wasn't a real cop car. No matter how hard I tried to convince the kid that it was the super cool secret sorta undercover cop car, he wasn't buying it.

No wonder firemen are the heroes. Bigger is better. Especially in trucks. Oh, well.

DISTRAUGHT DAD: Do you have kids, Jeff?

FIREMAN JEFF: Yes. I do. An 8 and a 5 year old.

DISTRAUGHT DAD: Oh. I could tell you were great with kids.

FIREMAN JEFF: Yeah. They are at home with their mother.

DISTRAUGHT DAD: Nice.

FIREMAN JEFF: Yep. At home. NOT. LOCKED. IN. THE. CAR.

ME: [laughing]

GRANDPARENTS: [laughing]

FIREMEN: [laughing]

DISTRAUGHT DAD: Yep. [red embarrassed face] Look, son, FIREMAN JEFF thinks he's funny.

ACURA KID: He is funny, daddy.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Unicorn Lessons

This story still makes me laugh. I love kids, especially ones who really aren't bad kids, but just might be out there pulling juvenile pranks. In their minds, they are just having some innocent fun but with a little edge.

We just so happen to run into quite a few good kids who maybe just needed a little guidance. Basically, you know you have good kids in front of you when they shit their pants because the cops pulled them over. It's a clue. If they fear the cops in a respectful manner, they are mostly good.

Officer Squirrel and I were on special assignment during the night. We worked hard and tried to find DUIs, traffic violations, suspicious persons walking. Basically, anyone out in our sight was meat. These would be prime training opportunities. FTO 101.

About 11:00 p.m., a red car caught our attention. Not because of a traffic violation...because they were clearly hauling around stolen property...

Actual captured photo of suspect car. Photo credit: Fargo

OFFICER SQUIRREL: Do you two know why we pulled you over?

BOHEMIAN JOHN: Yes, sir. [nodding his head]

OFFICER SQUIRREL: Not only did you steal a traffic pylon, but you duct taped it to your windshield. It's kind of obvious you were going to get caught. And what about the "shoo police" on your back window?

BOHEMIAN JOHN: The part that says...Magical Unicorn Ride?

OFFICER SQUIRREL: Yes. You do realize it looks like you have a you know what taped to your windshield.

BOHEMIAN MATT: Yes, sir. We thought it was funny.

OFFICER SQUIRREL: Yeah.

ME: It sounded like a great idea at the time, right?

BOHEMIAN JOHN: We were just talking about that when we were pulling over for you, Ma'am.

So...we ran the little buggers and they didn't have a criminal record and were just freshmen in college. We threw the hammer down on them and made them drive 3 miles back to where they stole the cone and put it back, had a little lecture, and a little Fargo one on one time.

ME: Thanks, boys. Hope you make some better choices. You can be funny, but don't steal, even if it's seems like a little thing.

BOHEMIAN MATT: Thanks so much, Ma'am.

ME: Remember one thing.

BOHEMIAN JOHN: Yes, Ma'am. What is that?

ME: You don't have to have a traffic cone taped to your windshield to look like a couple of dickheads.

BOHEMIAN JOHN/MATT: [simultaneously] Yes, Ma'am. Thanks again.

With that last profound statement, we sent them on their way. I have to admit while I was driving down the road, I was laughing so hard the tears were flying. It was that contagiously chronic laughter. We both couldn't stop...probably because we used to do those dumb things, too.