Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Just Another Cop On The Street - And Loving It
My first two weeks back at the police department were about what I expected. Working with professional cops, getting the feel of the city, and dealing with a wide variety of people. Most of the citizens I come into contact with are terrific; there are still the other kind - those from the "underbelly" of society.
The first day ended with over two hours of overtime because of a late arrest. That was really a positive thing because it got me writing reports, taking statements, processing evidence, and getting back in the general patrol routine. The arrest was just an average shoplifting arrest, but when a local deputy caught the guys based on a witness description, I got a chance to use my “interrogation” techniques once again. There are only three things that can solve a crime: physical evidence, witnesses, or a confession. In this case, we had the physical evidence and the witnesses, so a confession would be icing on the cake.
Some cops will leave it alone once they have sufficient probable cause to make the arrest. I happen to enjoy the icing on the cake, so I always try to get a post-Miranda confession. If I am successful, it simply polishes off a good case. I guess that philosophy is left over from my detective years.
In this particular crime, the arrestee was a man who was recently released from prison after a six year sentence. With a wife and kids to support, he didn’t go out and get a job as one might expect. He and a buddy decided to go into business stealing armloads of women’s purses from retail displays. I guess prison time just doesn’t teach common sense to everyone.
After I got the confession, I took him to the county jail, the first time I had been there in over two years. I turned my unrepentant criminal over to the booking officers and finished my report.
The rest of my first two weeks included multiple calls to various situations as either primary or backup officer. Suspicious persons, false business or residential alarms, a young man threatening to kill himself with a knife, a senior citizen who keeps letting her drug addicted adult son move back home, a sex abuse case, a variety of disturbances or domestic disagreements, and, of course, a handful of traffic tickets.
It ain’t Baghdad, but there’s one thing about police work that keeps a type A personality like me going.
You never know when the big one is going to happen.
* * * *
For those who are curious, the book is coming along fine at the publisher. In two to three weeks, it will move to the final production phase. This is where the cover will be designed, and the final layout will be completed. With luck, it should be available around June.
Charles M. Grist