True Detective Stories

Night work began Friday night, and as always, we were terribly shorthanded. The city hasn’t promoted detectives in nearly two years, and we’ve lost many to attrition.

Every group’s optimum manpower is five detectives, and the groups working Friday each had three. Add in the fact one detective from the other group is off long-term sick, and one from my group called out sick, it left us three detectives to handle jobs, and me on the front desk.

In the first ten minutes, we were hit with a narcotics arrest and (ironically) an overdose. So the two early detectives were immediately out of commission. One processing the arrest and one driving out to the corpse. The late end detective was not due in until four, so it was just me to handle the jobs, answer the phones, handle the front window, and lie to Congress.

About an hour or so later we received another call for an overdose – the heroin in this town is bangin’. The detective who handled the first OD was actually up for the second, and as she walked out she asked, “Who am I, the Grim Reaper?” Moments after she left, we got word of a shooting. One male victim shot in the face and shoulder.

A half hour later, we received two – yes, two – consecutive calls for gunshots where spent casings were found at the locations. I found myself alone on the floor again, while out shooting team hit the street and my fellow detectives responded to the shots fired calls.

With two hours left in the tour, we received a call for a missing tender age – a lost child with mental disabilities – a domestic assault arrest, and another call for gunshots. In short, I spent most of my tour in the building alone, answering phone calls from idiots, and typing until my fingers bled.

Ironically, a teletype message came down from HQ today, claiming detective promotions are set for next month. My platoon is currently five detectives short, and the entire division is short eleven detectives; manpower we’ve desperately needed since, well, 2016.

7 thoughts on “True Detective Stories

  1. Careful what you wish for. I remember some of your earlier posts dealing with stupidity in the ranks. I assume that is the future detective pool. And remember, PC, not ability, will dictate who gets promoted.


  2. TXNICK nailed it. You might get a gem or two, but this is the government, odds of getting a really hotshot smart detective are probably slim. I hope you can get them in line asap. Just do one thing, stay safe. I ponder all this and wonder who in their right mind would actually do the job in today’s world. Everybody hates cops. (Well, not everybody, but a lot of people do.) If you screw up you go to jail or lose your pension (or both), and all in all, it’s not what it used to be when you could help people and put really bad people away. You need to finish up and get to Texas or Tucson.


  3. MelP – Maybe. We still don’t know how many they’re promoting. The last big detective promotion was mine, when we had 75 in 2005. They haven’t come really close to this since. On a busy night we’ll see 20-30 jobs come in, and with an average of four detectives every night, it’s bedlam.

    Ronni – Every day I come here is a day I tell myself, “I want to retire.”

    TXNick – The detective rank is worse than others – usually – because there is no oral exam. Any idiot can eventually pass the written exam and get promoted. Like me. (Although I came out 13th in my first and only taking the detective’s test.)

    RG – At this point, I honestly just want bodies. We’re our own bosses so when the job is assigned, it’s the specific detective’s problem. I can handle drones, as long as they don’t screw up my jobs.


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