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Discussion Starter #1
Sheepdog says there are a few LEO's or former LEO's in the forum, so we decided to start a thread. War stories are kind of fun. Got to keep it clean though.

When I was still in the Patrol Division, I got elected to break in a new rookie. Right away I knew I wasn't going to like this guy much. He kept telling me over and over that he had a degree in Criminal Justice and that he thought it was real unfair that I was getting paid more than him, just because I had experience. After all, I only had a high school education. First of all, in spite of his degree, he couldn't spell and his reports were terrible.

We were working the East side on the "Hoot Owl Shift" and it was a pretty bad area. We had one house that we got called to frequently for domestic disturbances. You could always count on a fight when you got there. Either the guy or his girl friend would jump one of us before we got out of there and we'd end up in a real knock-down drag-out and one or both of them would go to jail. Next thing you knew, they would be out and back we'd go.

One night I was getting particularly annoyed at this rookie's yammering about how he was over-educated and underpaid. Sure enough, we got a call to that same house. I was driving and I pulled up in front of the house. I let the dispatcher know we were there and my new partner climbed out of the car, got out his night stick and stood there waiting for me to get out of the car. I just sat there. After a minute or so he said, "What's the deal? Aren't you coming in?" I just looked at him and said, "Well I tell you what. Why don't you leave your baton in the car and just roll up that diploma and go in and handle the situation yourself." He stood there with a blank look on his face for a while and then said, "I'm not going in there by myself!" I got out of the car then, grabbed my night stick and said, "I'll go in, but I don't ever want to hear about your ....ing diploma again!" Guess what? I never did.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #3
quote:Originally posted by legacy38

hehehe

I could probably use up all the bandwith with dumb rookie stories from my days as an FTO. :)

I work in a college town; so, most of my favorite stories involve a naked college girl. :)
Those stories sound a lot more interesting than mine. (No pictures please!)
 

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Not necessarily a bad idea...sure gets me to thinkin' back over the past 37 or so years...think this un' might be interestin' ( tho' most everything in this forum IS interesting! )

And, yeah, reckon it needs to be kept "cleaned up"...THATS for sure!!!!
 

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Ask any LEO and he'll tell you that there is a direct relationship between the full moon and erratic behavior. Our patrol sergeant would usually end roll call with a comment like, "Full moon out there tonight boys - watch your backs." I worked in a city that had a very large, world-renowned physchiatric clinic, the state mental hospital and a number of local supporting agencies that dealt with mental illness. Needless to say, there were a number of folks who walked away from these institutions, as well as those who were "cured" and returned to the local society. Even people who were not afflicted with some type of mental illness were affected by that phase of the moon, but it really seemed to bring out the worst in patients and ex-patients.

One such person was a lady who was around 60 and lived by herself in a house on the East side. The whole area around her place was run down, mostly rental property, and there were some real scum bags in the neighborhood. The dispatchers said she averaged about 20 calls a day and her complaints were quite unusual. In fact, most were obviously a figment of her imagination. Even though the dispatchers were 99.9% sure that her calls were bogus, they would exercise a certain amount of discretion on whether to dispatch a car or not. In most cases they did, because one of these calls out of five hundred could be legitimate. The law did not allow us to declare her incompetent and admit her to the state hospital. The only way we could do that is if the person was a threat to others or to themselves. In general, she was harmless, but annoying. She had no family around that anyone knew of, so there was really nothing that could be done. This poor lady suffered at the hands of "the Mafia, various government agencies, lawless neighbors and space aliens." To her it was all very real. (I also think she was very lonely and enjoyed the attention of the dispatchers and the officers who came to her aid.)

This person lived in my patrol area and she and I became quite well acquainted over a period of a year or two. I made many, many trips to her address. Even though I knew that she was probably imagining her latest neighborhood criminal activity, I tried to always go there with the idea that this one could be real. On rare occasion, it was a legitimate call – vandalism, etc. I felt sorry for her and always tried to treat her with respect. I found I could use a little “street psychology” and make her concerns go away for awhile. (It was probably the wrong thing to do, because she really liked having me take her calls. She called in on all shifts, but much more frequently on 3rd shift.)

One fateful, moon-lit night, I got a call from the dispatcher that went kind of like this: “442?” My reply, “442... 21st and Michigan.” Laughter… then, “442…10-21 dispatch please.” This was in the days before the cell phone emerged. I drove to the nearest pay phone and called the dispatcher. The dispatcher was choking with laughter as he tried to explain to me the nature of my next call. He said, “You ain’t gonna believe this one! She reports a Mexican motorcycle gang riding around and around her house.” He then fell into another fit of laughter which probably lasted a minute or so. When he finally regained his composure, he explained that the gang was allegedly spraying poisonous gases in and around her windows. We discussed this for a while and I hung up the phone.

The radio squawked, “442?” “6th and Carnahan,” I replied. “1103 Market – Signal 30’s causing a disturbance. Shall I send a back?” I answered, “Disregard…I’m a 2 man tonight.” A fellow officer, who was usually a canine unit, was riding with me because his dog was on extended sick leave and I had been getting into some pretty hairy situations lately. My zone sergeant thought it made more sense to throw him in with me instead of having to assign a back car on many of my calls. We drove to the address which was only a few blocks away. The lawn was lit up like the mall parking lot at Christmas. The complainant had flood lights installed on all four sides of her house and they were all on. Obviously we did not observe the dastardly motorcycle gang, but went to the door anyway to visit with the lady. She explained the problem in further detail and I assured her that we would check the area and try to drive by as often as possible. With that, we drove away and soon got another call regarding a prowler several blocks away. That call proved to be unfounded or the prowler had slipped away before we got there. Not long after that we got a return call to Market Street. The story was the same as before and of course the subject(s) were gone upon our arrival. I gave her my assurances and again drove away from the address.

About an hour later, I heard, “442?” “442 – 200 block of Branner – go ahead,” I replied. “442 - 1103 Market – Signal 30’s have returned.” (laughter in the background) “10-4 enroute,” I said. As we were driving to the address, I was deep in thought – trying to come up with a solution to this annoyance. I had business buildings to check and neighborhoods with legitimate problems to patrol. Just as we pulled up in front of the house, a brain storm hit me. Every patrol car carried a large, red, dry chemical fire extinguisher in the trunk, as well as a gas mask. I told my partner, “We’re going to fix this problem once and for all.” We got out of the car and I went to the back and removed the fire extinguisher from its brackets and grabbed the gas mask. We walked to the front door and I carried these items along. (Remember the “street psychology” I mentioned earlier?) The lady came to the door and said, “Thank God you’re here. The gas is so bad in my house I can hardly breathe.” I said, “Ma’am, we were able to apprehend the motorcycle gang about 6 blocks away. We have arrested them and towed their motorcycles. I stopped by the station to pick up the gas machine and we are going to fix this problem. This thing will not only remove the poisonous gas, but will seal the windows so that this can’t happen again.”

With that, I donned the gas mask and walked into the house. My partner was looking at me like I was also a candidate for the mental clinic, but played along with me. He asked the lady to step outside the house while I treated the windows. She watched through the front door while I put on my performance. I very carefully went around each window with the fire extinguisher, making my best impression of what I thought a fire extinguisher would sound like if discharged. When I was done I removed the gas mask and told the lady she could come back in. She immediately went to her windows and began sniffing around each one. She said, “Could you please hit this one again. I can still smell some gas here.” You can’t imagine how hard it was to keep a straight face, but I did as she requested. She checked again was satisfied that I had eliminated all traces of the gas. She was very grateful and thanked us several times.

When my partner and I returned to the car, I immediately got on the radio, “442 calling.” The dispatcher replied, “442?” I said, “We have treated the residence with the gas eradicator and we are 10-8!” There was a very long pause in all radio traffic. Then the dispatcher said (laughing), “442 – please call the dispatcher!”

We received no further calls from that address during our shift. This little episode was used as an example of “street psychology” in our police academy for several years.
Tom
 

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jlweems
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Dang good community policing there, rman. :)

Here's one of my favorites:

I was working mids, and I was dispatched to a fight at one of the frat houses. I pull in the parking lot and see three guys run behind a building a good thirty yards or so away and keep peaking around the corner at me. I knew that if I started after them that I would never catch them.

Long about then, a young man comes running up to me with a drink in his hand and yells, "I'm the invissible man and you can't touch me!!" I responded, "Does the invissible man have a driver's license?" to which he loudly responded, "Yes he does!!". I asked to see it, and of course the guy was under the legal drinking age.

As all of this is transpiring, a bunch of frat boys come boiling out of the house. I ask to speak to the highest ranking member and send everybody back inside. I tell him why I am there and that if the guys hiding from me would come talk to me I'd forget about their friend. He went to talk to them, but they wouldn't come talk to me. So, I arrested the invissible man and took him to the station, processed him, and then released him with a citation and drove him home. I have a pretty good idea that some fraternity justice was administered to the guys that wouldn't come out to talk to me.

Anyway, four years later after working a football game, I was walking down a sidewalk when I hear somebody yelling my name and turn to see a guy running towards me. He runs and asks me if I know who he is. I looked at him for a minute and then asked if he was the invissible man. He answered with that same enthusiastic voice that he had used that night, "Yes I am!!"

His family and girlfriend where with him at the game, and he started yelling for them to come over. It ended up being quite the reunion. I posed for pics with his family, and we even took a pic of me cuffing him up again, and yes, he was drunk. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great story! Some guys just never change do they?
 

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jlweems
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quote:Originally posted by rman

Great story! Some guys just never change do they?
Nope. Here's another one involving frat justice:

I found a guy passed out on a sidewalk. I get out and check on him. He is of age, but he's fairly well drunk. He told me that he was a frat pledge that had been out on a scavenger hunt and had lost his buddies.

I decided to give him a ride home, but as we are driving there he got real nasty mouthed with me; so, I slammed the breaks and told him that he could go home or we could go out Lexington Road. He immediately adjusted his behavior as he knew that was the location of the county jail.

Anyway, I get him to his frat house and walk up to the front door with him. He's doing his best to get me to leave, but I tell him I need to make sure he gets in okay.

When two of his frat buddies come to the door, I tell them, "I found this guy passed out on the sidewalk and decided to bring him home. He told me all about the scavenger hunt and some of the other pledge activities. I thought that they weren't supposed to tell that stuff to anybody. Y'all make sure he gets in okay."

They thanked me and then grabbed him drug him inside and started down a hall with him. As I was walking back to my car I heard him yell, "Come back!! I want to go to Lextington Road!!"
 

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My rookies had no college, but they seemed to want to replay the academy for me-I told them I didn't want to hear what they learned there-they were with me for one reason-to learn how to stay alive and go home every morning-after they learned that and got out on their own--they could blend the two together and they'd know what to discard from each and what to keep-all of them are still alive(some retired)-guess they kept the right stuff...
 

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You are so right about the full moon----we saw everything from having to tie red ribbon to a light pull string so the aliens wouldn't climb down it(she was sober) and the one who met the cop at the door on the prowler call with "Please, Mr. Poooliceman, make me a baby."He asked to be reassigned to the other side of town-...I read about the NYC Rescue Squads and learned that the full moon causes tide changes which affect atmospheric pressure and those borderline mentally ill are very disturbed during the full moon...was I delicate enough???
 

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Discussion Starter #14
quote:Originally posted by sheepdog

My rookies had no college, but they seemed to want to replay the academy for me-I told them I didn't want to hear what they learned there-they were with me for one reason-to learn how to stay alive and go home every morning-after they learned that and got out on their own--they could blend the two together and they'd know what to discard from each and what to keep-all of them are still alive(some retired)-guess they kept the right stuff...
+1 on that. The one I mentioned was way too smart to listen to me. I always reminded him that people would hurt you out there and sometimes it was the ones you leasted expected. About a year later he got into an altercation with a juvie, the creep pulled a gun on him and shot him. Witnesses said he never even drew his revolver. He was trying to talk the kid out of the gun when he got popped. (He didn't learn that from me!) He was badly wounded in the chest, but he recovered. A few months later he quit and moved on to a 'more civilized job.' Guess I wasn't a very good teacher.
 

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I never was polite-wouldn't let them touch the radio, drive MY car, or touch the shotgun-I used the old boot camp procedure of demand obedience than once the reaction was immediate-start feeding them slack-kept reminding them that they could only hate me if they were alive....all but one got the point and picked up fast-I dumped him quick...I'd say the problem was that your know-it-all rookie didn't believe that he could be hurt---the Superman syndrome. I had enough arms, ammo, and knives on me to supply 3 man-an oversized vest, and never thought once about the little spot in the back of my head---God is merciful to fools and little children.
 

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My first ride ever in a patrol car was with a patrolman that was younger than me, but had about 8 years on the dept. He introduced himself to me after roll call and we headed silently for the patrol car. When we got in the car he said, "Rookie...sit down, shut up and don't do anything unless I tell you to. You're not going to use the radio, drive or make any decisions about anything unless I think you're ready." He was good to his word! It was a while before I even filled out a report, but I watched and learned and I guess I turned out OK.
 

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We had a nosey city councilman who was wanting to ride-along and make calls to make sure everything was kosher-this was the mid-70's---and an old Sergeant had the job of chauffering him around-Sarge drove slow and we got most of the stuff handled before they arrived-a few stupid questions but nothing serious...we got fed up. They stopped at Denny's for coffee about 1:30-someone who won't be named till judgement slipped up and put a young possum in the back floorboard, and when they resumed patrol, the possum tried t oclimb up inside the pantsleg of the Councilman's suit----imagine the surprise, shock, and terror he experienced....demanded to be taken home immediately-we all know why-and that was the end of his investigation of the real police!!
 

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jlweems
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quote:Originally posted by sheepdog

We had a nosey city councilman who was wanting to ride-along and make calls to make sure everything was kosher-this was the mid-70's---and an old Sergeant had the job of chauffering him around-Sarge drove slow and we got most of the stuff handled before they arrived-a few stupid questions but nothing serious...we got fed up. They stopped at Denny's for coffee about 1:30-someone who won't be named till judgement slipped up and put a young possum in the back floorboard, and when they resumed patrol, the possum tried t oclimb up inside the pantsleg of the Councilman's suit----imagine the surprise, shock, and terror he experienced....demanded to be taken home immediately-we all know why-and that was the end of his investigation of the real police!!
hahahahaha

At least now I know that my department isn't only one that has put a possum in a patrol car. :) :) :) :) :)
 

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Neat about the possum...we had a guy that was super paranoid about snakes.

Several units were stopped jawin' one nite when this guy drove up. Somebody took a hognose and threw it on top of the car. The guy didn't get out of the unit all nite, convinced that the thing was wrapped around the overheads ( it was for a while, actually).

The guy did NOT see the humor in the situation....
 

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Working a Christmastime extra job at a jewelry store/discount store, I was standing at the front door-up two or three steps-smoking a cigar and talking to a day shift beat cop who'd happened by, when our newest Sgt. drove down the street...he'd been on graveyard but had been bumped to days-hadn't seen him since promotion. We had no Cpl.-straight from Ptlmn. to Sgt.-and he was sitting tall and looking sharp in his new stripes...traffic forced him to stop in front of the doorway, and I told my Bud "Hey, watch this-he doesn't see us!" and I flipped my cigar but towards his windshield. I only missed a little and it went right in the top 2" of the window and hit him in the chest! He did real well at not screaming and cussing but wouldn't say a word....cleaned off his shirt-I told him I'd replace the burned shirt but he just glared at me and drove off-I didn't see him for a couple of months and we didn't mention it anymore-I couldn't have made that shot if I'd been trying!
 
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