Have you ever wanted to go on a ride-a-long with a cop? Well, here's your chance! Jump in, buckle up and hold on as I take you through the daily grind of the life of a cop.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

There's always more than one way to catch them!

Here it is a nice sunny easy afternoon and I'm parked watching for red light violators. Why I'm doing that is another long story but today I'm just hanging out watching the flower stand guy in front of me try to sell flowers to passing motorists.
Now any cop will tell you that when you park your car it automatically attracts certain people to come over and say hello. It's never a member of the Coor's Light bikini team or anything like that. It is usually a street urchin who once had dreams of becoming something someday. Kinda sad but unfortunately true.
Sure enough this guy comes bouncing along wearing a Sears work shirt and introduces himself as Bruce and wants to shake my hand. Well I don't do many handshakes with the public but I give him a bump instead which he got a kick out of for some reason. He then bounces over to the flower guy and hangs out for a few minutes, but soon after comes the 911 call. Nothing earth shattering but a female at Lover's Package calls 911 to report that some guy in a Sears shirt was asking her to smoke some meth with her. So one of our area cars gets the call while I just sit there and watch the guy.
A few minutes later the officer arrives and walks over to my car and I just point the guy out and tell her that the guy said his name is Bruce. I just tell the officer to go over and check him out, which she does. Now some may ask why I didn't just do it since I was already there and my simple answer is "I'm the Sarge"!
I keep an eye on things while watching red light violators when I see the officer pick up the guy's backpack and they walk over to my car. It appears she got consent to look into his backpack so I get out of my car to help. While we are standing there a Suburban pulls up to quick stop and a female leans out and is yelling for this guy to run! She also calls him Anthony. Now I take that as a clue, but we really don't have anything on the guy and he is free to leave if he wants.
All of a sudden he takes off running bounding thru traffic and runs up to the Suburban but he can't get in the door and runs around trying doors like a Chinese fire drill gone bad. He panics and then runs away leaving his woman there with us staring at them. The flower guy is looking at us like "hey, you going to run after them or what?" Well I look at the officer and ask if she found anything and she said no he just took off.
Well in most every part of the US, and according to the US Supreme Court, a person who runs from the police isn't normal and we can chase them. Well we live in the land of the 9th Circuit and our Washington State Laws are little different. Now I know one could argue a Terry stop or the fact he was running thru traffic was illegal and blah, blah, blah. No offense but I'm not chasing a guy thru rush hour traffic only to get smoked by a Subaru with an Obama bumper sticker for having really nothing on the guy. Work smarter, not harder right?!
So I decide to go after the Suburban because I recognized the female from a traffic stop a month earlier. And guess what? Her license is suspended. And I won't go into details on that stop but she went crazy on me and was felony pissed off and let me know it. However, a good rule to live by is do not fail the attitude test with the police especially if your license is suspended. Yep, that little episode cost her a small fortune and a tow bill!
I catch up to the Suburban and contact Aubrey who is still suspended, and guess what? Her attitude is A LOT better this time around. You think she got the point? Well she gives us the guy's name which turns out that he has a felony warrant with an armed and dangerous caution attached. Things are getting interesting, but he is long gone for sure! Well she tells me that they are leaving for California tonight, which is odd because I have court with her next month. Hmmmmmmm!
She then asked me why we were chasing him so I seize the opportunity. You see these two just got married like a month ago so I proceed to tell her that women called 911 about him wanting to smoke meth with them and I added that he was also trying to have sex with them. Aubrey did not like this very much and started yelling and cussing at good old Anthony as if he could hear her. I then tell her that he told the women they were way hotter then his wife, which really sent Aubrey into a fit of rage. It was pretty funny but I was now kind of getting worried for Anthony a little bit! I then play into her heart a little and tell her that she doesn't deserve this and that she is way better than him and blah, blah, blah. Really though, other than the bad attitude it was all true.
So over the next few hours I drove by the house and she was like a sentry guard just waiting for Anthony to get home. Even when I checked one last time on my home she was still fuming and waiting. Well not 30 minutes later a 911 call from Aubrey's neighbor's reporting a fight between a male and female. Uh oh! =)
Offciers arrive and see him grabbing her and shoving her while she is screaming. Officers yell and bad guy takes off again. This time the officers really have something and take him down as he tries to get over the fence. Nothing like a Taser and 50,000 volts of electricity to help stop a bad guy! But get this...... Aubrey is now yelling at the officers and causing a big scene and goes into one of her attitudes again.
So guess who got a whole bunch of tickets in the mail while Anthony went to jail? There's always more than one way to catch a bad guy!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm back!

Okay everyone, after nearly a 3 year break the Bloggin Popo is back posting! I hope you enjoy............

The other day I stayed up all night and into the wee morning hours playing xbox's Halo 3 fighting 14 year olds from all across the planet when I realize I should actually get some sleep. I'm telling you it's like crack.
So I manage to calm my war torn mind and fall asleep when in what feels like a blink of an eye I hear some pounding on the front door. My first thought was some computer nerd I made fun on and smacked down on xbox must have googled my gamertag name and tracked me down somehow. But somehow I managed to decipher the pounding as a familiar sound....... my mother-in-law!
I stagger to the door half asleep in my underwear and t-shirt and manage to get the door open before another series of furious knocks, and as I am rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, which are now blinded by the morning sun that would've destroyed any living vampire, I am greeted by "were you asleep?" Now had I not just came out of a coma I might have had something witty to say other than "huh"?
She then blurts out you have a flat tire! I'm thinking "what"? I'm thinking it's felony early in the morning and this flat tire is the reason for the emergency pounding on the door that would've made any police officer proud to be able to do. So I manage to say "is it just low or flat, flat"? She replies, huh?
It then hits me as I slowly start to wake up. A sense of uh oh floods over me as I remember that I am in my underwear, it's early in the morning and I panic for about an 1/8 of a second to make sure that no physiological changes happened as I slept and was now standing at the door..... in front of mom!
Well thankfully I was safe so I stagger out to the carport to see a totally flat tire. Suck! Well no biggie, I'll just change it when I leave for work in a few hours. I thank mom for the heads up and was actually glad she told me and that she saw the problem during her early morning walk she does every day. And remember I said no biggie? Please let me explain.... I have zero mechanical ability and every time I try to do something if it can go wrong it will go wrong. This isn't some self doubt down talk people. It's a known fact! So why I thought it would be no biggie is beyond me!
Okay, I go back to bed and then get up a few hours later, take a shower and get ready for work. I put on my uniform and all my equipment and go to change the tire. I remove the stupid, tiny little jack that every car has knowing that this will not be fun. By now the sun has really come up and is starting to warm up. I manage to loosen 4 of the 5 lug nuts but I notice that the 5th one barely budges. Oh well, I'll take care of it after I jack up the car was my thought. So I put the jack under the car not really looking where I placed the jack and get the small piece of junk cranked up but not really seeing the car rise. I'm breaking a sweat as the car barely moves. I then realize that I put the stupid tiny hand crank jack under the suspension so only that moved and not the car. I'm such an idiot sometimes!
I get the stupid tiny little jack cranked back down and get it where it needs to be. I crank it up as I feel sweat dripping off my face as a very nice older man comes up to me and says that he has been watching me and wants to know if I want to borrow his nice industrial floor jack. You know, the kind that would've raised up the car in three or four easy pumps, unlike the 60 or so frustrating turns it took me, twice! And then I remember he said he was watching me, which he had to have seen me struggling, so I think to myself why didn't he come over sooner?
I politely decline because I have a terrible issue with pride, and go to remove the last lug nut but it won't come off. With all my might I manage to slowly get this thing turning. I mean it seriously took a herculean effort to get this stupid thing off, but somehow I did it. I throw the spare on and put back on the lug nuts. But, the same stupid lug nut now won't go on! I struggle to get it barely on hoping that my tire won't fall off somehow as I'm driving down the street on my way to work. I then lower the stupid little jack as the car slowly drops only to find that the spare tire is also flat. I'm not joking. I'm standing there, sweating, looking at the flat tire. Well it did have a little bit of air so screw it. I drove it a block to the nearest gas station so I could put air in it.
I go inside and buy some gum because I was out, plus a bottle of water to replenish the fluids I just lost as some old guy watched me look like a struggling idiot. I ask the clerk if she can turn on the air machine for me so I don't have to pay the 75 cents. Well she says yes so I go all the way out across the parking lot to the air machine which is not on. I wait a minute or so and nothing. I go all the way back to into the store where she asks me if it came on. I'm thinking why yes it did, that's why I'm standing here looking at you like you are now messing with me on purpose. Well she politely says that she will turn it on so I go all the way back out there where I find the machine is still not on.
I see her looking at me so I wave at her and she waves back. I'm like what!? So I wave harder and so does she. I'm like no way! She has no idea how hot and sweaty I am and the morning I'm having. I decide to just pay the 3 quarters so I reach into my pocket of change from the day before to find that I only have 2 quarters. Ugh! I realize that I have to go back into the store and actually think about driving over but decide to make the long walk instead. So I go inside and she is trying to push some button on a box to make it work. I simply and kindly tell her that I will just pay for the machine and hand her some money for more quarters. I make it back out to the car and as I place the money in the machine I'm thinking if this doesn't work or it eats my money I am going to go on a shooting spree! Thankfully it worked and I get the air in the tire and off I go to work. I stop by the shops to have the mechanics look at it and they tell me no biggie and that they'll have it fixed in no time. Oh great, not the no biggie comment again?
The mechanic gets 4 of the 5 lug nuts off and gets to the stupid 5th one that is barely on. He has the high speed thingy that gets them off real quick but it doesn't work. He tries and tries and tries with no luck. I'm now watching this guy struggle and I'm having flashbacks of an hour earlier. He is determined but can't get it off. He then goes in the back of the shop only to come out pushing two big tanks. Yep, he's going to blowtorch the sucker off! I'm thinking that's what I'm talking about. Make this little stupid lug nut suffer! Well he fires it up and cuts right through in no time flat only to finish with an uh oh. I'm like uh oh what?
He proceeds to tell me that he cut too far and cut into the post the lug nut screws on to and now the axle needs to be replaced. So he gets the big floor jack out and you guessed it, 3 or 4 pumps later the car is off the ground and the tire comes right off. I'm like WTF!?! And just so you know, the bullet proof vests we have are great but they are like vaults and once you get hot and sweaty in them the heat just stays there.... all day long!
Well finally, about three hours later I get the phone call that my car is done and that it is ready for pick up. I go down and pick up my car and have a seat as I check my Facebook only to see that my friend Justin from Reno leaves a comment about my tire. He says "no biggie, it'll only take 10 minutes to change it!" =)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Bloggin POPO logging off!

Wazzup…………. If you’ve been checking my blog lately it is obvious I haven’t posted in a while. Well there is a reason, and to make a long story short I am shutting down the Bloggin POPO. The reason is because there have been some people in the police community that have been offended by my blog, which is the last thing I wanted to have happen, and some think it is not a good representation of the department.
Last week I was called into the “I’m in Trouble Office” and had a meeting with my Lieutenant and the Asst. City Attorney. Right away I knew something was up because that just doesn’t happen. They explained that they wanted to talk about my blog and some of its content, and it was brought to my attention that some of the material in my blog could cause some problems for the department and the city. I don’t really want to go into detail but it mainly has to do with defense attorneys and lawsuits that could result from some of the stories in my blog. And since blog sites and myspace accounts are just starting to become part of the litigation world they just wanted to have a chat.
All in all it was a good conversation and it ended on a positive note. I highly respect both of these men and appreciate the time they took to talk to me about the matter. It would have been much worse if this issue would have been floating around the upper administration for awhile without me knowing about it. And they were in no way trying to infringe upon my first amendment right and explained that they actually liked the blog, its humor and how I write. They encouraged me to write a book and publish it long after any statute of limitations are up. I also want to point out that I was never in trouble nor did they actually ask me to shut down the blog, it was a decision I made on my own. And even though I fail at times, I want to try and live my life above reproach and not cause problems so I am shutting it down. I also want to stress that even though I never mentioned what department I was from, it was obvious that some people knew which one it was, and if anyone was offended and thinks poorly of my department I apologize. Please don’t let one officer’s blog site be the barometer of the entire department.
So how did this come about? Someone within the department wrote an “anonymous” letter to the mayor to complain. I’m pretty sure I know who it is because word travels and he obviously told the wrong person, who just happens to be a fan of the blog. But no big deal, it’s just a blog. And if you have been reading the blog for a while you can probably guess what kind of cop this guy is. Although he was successful in shutting down the blog (even though I wasn’t asked to do it), he was not able to succeed in his overall intent. It is clear that the lack of joy in his life, and the overall cowardice he attempts to hide, was only heightened by his not so anonymous letter. And regardless of what he tries to do within the department to make him look like the warrior he longs to be, deep down when he is alone at night he knows that it is only a façade. One that a true warrior sees right through.
But having that said…. I will do whatever I can to see that this officer exceeds in life and within the department. His issues bind him, not me. I hold no ill will and I truly mean that. Often in these cases I try to kill them with kindness, and I don’t hold grudges. And you never know, maybe this was a blessing. Maybe there might have been a lawsuit down the road I cannot see, but God can, and spared me from it.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the blog while it lasted. Please feel free to leave some last comments and I will shut the blog down in a week or so. Keep an eye out for my book coming to your local bookstore near you. =)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

From bad to worse for this guy!

Here is the wacky story of the year and as you read it just try and imagine being there watching this unfold and how truly crazy it is.
We received a 911 call that a shoplift just occurred where a man stole several ‘adult magazines’ from a convenience store and that the store owner was running after him. Fortunately we were just around the corner so as we pull into the lot we see the bad guy running with magazines in his hand and trying to shove them into his jacket with the store owner right behind him. The bad guy then runs to the neighboring business and bolts through the back door. As he barges inside with magazines in hand he is now standing in a room full of people staring right at him. There is this awkward moment of silence and rightfully so because he just ran into a funeral home and is standing right next to a coffin where the people were in the middle of a “viewing” of the dead loved one. No joke! Well the bad guy freaks out and runs through another door as he is being chased by the store owner, the police, and now the funeral home employees. Well the second door leads into yet another “viewing” where another group of people witness the same thing. The bad guy then flees out a side door and into traffic with magazines in hand while still being chased by the store owner, the police, and the funeral home employees. The bad guy is able to dart through traffic and around buildings and through an alley where he is caught by more officers near the train station. But by the time he is caught he has already shoved several pages in his socks and into his shoes. It was just weird!
So he gets taken to jail and was asked what he was thinking when he ran into the funeral home while being chased by so many people and he said he thought it was like an old fashioned “Keystone Cops episode.” I agree! And if you don't know what that is, it's old black and white footage of cops chasing bad guys in circles looking silly.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The fast and the furious!

This past week was a lot of fun at work. We had at least 7 pursuits and all of them turned out really good. Our department is very aggressive about pursuits and we train a lot regarding when to pursue, when we shouldn't, and when to safely use techniques to stop the bad guy car. And a lot of the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the sergeant. We are the ones who make all of the final decisions, and we are the ones that have to answer to the Chief!
Some departments only pursue on violent felonies. Some departments don’t pursue at all! They are afraid of the liability. But our troops are highly trained and our policies help us make sound decisions. Plus we always outweigh the need to catch the person versus the seriousness of the crime. We also factor in traffic, road, pedestrian, officer ability, and time of day conditions.
A few years ago we found a stolen car at a local motel and while our guys were watching it a girl ran out, jumped in it and took off. We chased her for a few minutes but when she started flying though intersections and red lights at high speeds we terminated the pursuit. It was only a stolen car so it wasn’t worth anyone getting hurt so we shut down the pursuit. Unfortunately the female kept going and she got into a bad accident. Of course the suspect lived and was only sentenced to about 10 years in prison!
Well one of our pursuits this week almost went bad. Our officers chased a guy in a stolen car that was high on crack. We later learned that his female passenger was also helping him smoke crack during the pursuit! Can you believe that!?! Anyway, my guys chased him up this hill and by the time I got into the area I decided to wait at the bottom in case he turned around. It’s a long hill on the west side of the city with two lanes in each direction and divided by a cement jersey barrier. Well the bad guy did turn around and decided to go back down.... on the wrong side of the road! Our officers terminated the pursuit at that point because it was now too dangerous for the public. Luckily I was at the bottom waiting and had traffic blocked off. I wasn’t going to allow this guy to kill someone because he wanted to smoke crack on his off time! Somehow on his own he ended up crashing before he got to me. I guess crack and driving don’t mix! I don’t recommend it either! =) So we all ran up there and removed him from the vehicle and took him into custody.
And right after that high adrenaline call I had to take a citizen complaint where a lady called in to complain because one of my officers refused to park a police vehicle in front of her home at night. Some people!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Gotta question?

I thought I would open up this post to any questions anybody has for the police. I'll answer any question... good, bad or ugly. Questions like... what does POPO stand for... or why do cops speed... or do cops really eat donuts... worst call.. best call... how do you get out of a ticket... whatever. If nobody has any ?'s then no biggie and I will move on to the next post. Have fun!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

I think I previously mentioned that we were having a burglary problem on the east side and it appears the trend is going down. We have identified most of the players and they are getting busted almost daily. The problem is that most of them are juveniles and get out of jail the very next day, that’s if the juvenile detention center even takes them at all. But the other day we see three of our local burglars walking around the area of a recent burglary so we go out to contact them. Sure enough they take off running through some apartments and into the woods. The younger officers take off on foot after them and the older and wiser officers (me) get in their car and drive after them. Well eventually the thieves tire out and after running all over creation we catch them. It sure is tough to out run the radio!
Anyway, after talking to the suspects we discover that they were visiting another local burglar who lives in the complex they just ran through. This suspect is the guy they take the stolen property too so he is of big interest to the police. So we decide to go talk to the parents and have a “chat” about how we can solve this problem. It was clear that we were going there to send the “appropriate message” that this problem is going to stop one way or another. But as the new sergeant I needed to be cordial and come from a position of offering assistance to the parents. At least that was my goal. My troops knock on the door and the father, who does not live in the home, answers. He’s an older but very big man. He is pretty cooperative and we ask to speak to his son. Naturally he wants to know why so we tell him and I ask if I can step inside to speak with him while my officers talk to the son. The dad agrees but appears leery and keeps an ear out for the other conversation….. And so do I.
I overhear the kid being disrespectful and since the dad is letting his son get away with this I chime in and explain to the kid about respect. Well dad starts to take offense to this. When one of my officers speaks up about it the dad gets distracted so I just stand there looking around the home for stolen property. Well another kid comes downstairs and picks something up from a table and makes noise. The dad thinks I grabbed it and starts arguing with me. Thankfully the other kid admitted to doing it but I didn’t like being accused of something I didn’t do. I mean I was standing right next to him and right next to the front door. Anyway, my officer starts to speak to the dad about his 17 y/o son hanging out with 14 y/o girl and the dad gets seriously mad. The officer looks like he’s a 17 y/o so it was kind of funny but the dad starts arguing and yelling. I try to explain that we were there to help but he yells at me to get out of his home. I notice that his son has a home detention ankle bracelet on so I ask the dad what it was for. Can you take a guess? Yep, burglary! So I tell the dad that it’s not by accident we are there and he should be doing something about his son. Now things go south really fast.
He yells “get the ‘blank’ out of my house” and reaches out to grab my arm. I tell him to don’t even think about touching me and I tell him of course I will leave. He again accuses me of taking something and yells at me for lecturing him. He says “I don’t need some punk ‘blankity’ cop lecturing me about my son” and he adds “I’ve been to prison!” Like that is supposed to impress me or something. I told him that I disagreed and pointed to his son’s bracelet. He didn’t like that either.
We are now outside near the garage door and he then goes into a tirade of insults and expletives toward me and is yelling at the top of his lungs so the whole world can hear. He again yells at me to leave and I told him we aren’t inside but he replies that I am on his property. I quickly explain that they rent the apartment, don’t own it, he doesn’t even live there and we are out in front in the home in the complex, not on his property. After I warn him about using profanity he is now ready to fight. He squares off at me and does a quick pull on his pants as if he is going to do something. So I stand there and call his bluff and ask him “what are you going to do now?” He says “I’m a convicted felon, I’m not afraid to fight the police.” Well in the end he just goes back to yelling so I leave him with this comment. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!