True Detective Stories

You knew my first day back from Nirvana would be more miserable than usual. When I approached my desk, I was informed there were forty-two – 42!!! – unassigned jobs in the squad’s queue. Apparently no one in my squad does any work when I’m gone. I spent the first two hours tracking down reports and assigning them to the my coworkers.

Sadly, that was not the worst part of my day.

A corporal from our slowest district called and wanted to pick my brain. (I assume he was holding tweezers.) The corporal is a nice guy, but he’s not the brightest bulb, so his question was not surprising.

“We had a store owner come to the front window and stated a man took three loaves of bread before fleeing the scene. The owner says he knows the first name of the man, and wants him to be arrested.”

At this point, I had to move away from the receiver, so the corporal couldn’t hear my guffaws.

“My questions are, one, do you want the man brought to the division to be interviewed, and two, should we send the report to detectives?”

It was then I realized I was going to die of a brain aneurysm, brought about by stupidity and ignorance.

So I held back, and politely told the corporal how to do his job for the two hundred-thirtieth time. “Well Corp, since a loaf of bread costs a little more than two dollars, you’re looking at a six or seven dollar theft by an unknown male. Since the value is well under the $2,000 mark, this would be a summary citation at best, and laughed out of the D.A.’s Office at worst. So no, we do not want to interview the store owner, and no, we would not arrest this man for three loaves of bread. If the owner sees the man, he can call 911 and your district can issue him a summary citation.”

The corporal sighed over the phone, so I figured I would leave on a high note.

“Corp, we’re fast approaching 300 homicides for the year, and we have trouble getting the District Attorney to sign off on shooting warrants. Do you really think anyone at the Charging Unit will accept this job?”

After a moment or two of silence, he replied, “I guess you’re right.”

No kidding. I’m always right.

5 thoughts on “True Detective Stories

  1. And this was a corporal calling you? I need to send you a sympathy card! No one should have to deal with this idiocy on a regular basis!


  2. Ronni – It’s hilarious when they try to pull rank. Dude, you’re the lowest rank in the department, plus detectives are on the same level, rank-wise.

    Cathy – Yes, but my sergeants have lectured me about slamming the phone down on more than one occasion. That scene in Goodfellas where De Niro smashes the phone? That’s me.


  3. I’m thinking you didn’t interpret the real reason for his call. He’s trying to ingratiate himself to you in hopes of garnering a detective job. He was just showing you his high level of deductive powers so you would recommend him to be a detective.


  4. RG – Corporal and detective are the only two promotional tests which don’t require an oral exam as well. Orals are awful and completely subjective, so if you make detective or corporal, you actually earned it. Sometimes those promotees aren’t right for the job.


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