True Detective Stories

So the other day I was sitting at my desk minding my own business when the phone rang. Since we had three detectives in court and another two serving search warrants, I had to answer the phone, which I knew was going to be a nightmare.

Just call me Carnac the Magnificent.

The call came from an officer is our most dysfunctional district. I would wager 90% of the officers in that district are window lickers, and the officer who called is the King of Windows.

The officer claimed he responded to a “commercial burglary” and while he was relating the details, he said he was at an apartment complex. I thought to myself, “That’s odd,” but I kept listening. The officer continued describing what was taken and mentioned all the items was in an unlocked room in the basement of the apartment complex.

Now, I’m thinking, “This isn’t a burglary, it’s a theft,” but the officer continued. A few moments later, the cop again said it was a commercial burglary, which is when I told him to hold on…

“Officer, maybe I misheard, but did you say this was a commercial burglary?”

“Okay, how do you figure? Is there a store inside the apartment complex?”
“Well, apartment buildings are always commercial burglaries.”

“They’re actually not, because commercial burglaries refer to commercial establishments, not residences.”
“But the offender entered the room in the basement!”

“Yes, a room which was unlocked, so you technically have a burglary, because the door was unlocked. It’s effectively a theft, nothing more.”
“So, what do you want me to do?”

“Write up the report and send it to the division.”
“Oh, okay.”

Sadly, the idiocy didn’t end there.

The officer’s sergeant – a complete dullard who couldn’t tie her shoes if she was wearing slippers – called the division and demanded to know who the detective was who talked to her officer. I gladly gave her my name – spelled it out, actually – and she said she was going to write my name on the report. As if I cared.

After the sergeant hung up, I related the story to my coworkers. Most of them started laughing or shaking their heads, especially since I’m in the early retirement program. In fact, I told my coworkers if any supervisor wants a name on the report, make sure you give them mine. I could care less, mostly because after sixteen years as a detective, I knew I was 100% correct.

It also helps that I’m friends with that district’s captain.

1,209 days…

8 thoughts on “True Detective Stories

  1. I’m on one, of if not THE, most frustrating projects where I have worked. And like you, I am counting the days left on my contract.

    Hang in there. 1,209 days? Got ya beat. 84 days left. Then I can find me a job where they allow you to fix errors you find in the system without filling out a ream of forms, and getting approvals from a squad of Diegos.


  2. When my days until retiring fell below 100, I would wait until the supervisor would end the daily muster by asking, “Does anyone have anything to add?” I would then raise my hand and mention how many days I had left.
    Not surprisingly, after a while they stopped asking for my input.
    At that point any number of my coworkers would chime in with, “You forgot to ask John how many days he has left.”
    Good times.

    I know the formal name for the problem is The Peter Principle.
    I’ve modified that to state, “Over time, every organization becomes filled with stupid people, because the good people look around and leave.”
    I see that everywhere.


  3. TXNick – You’d think people who work in your business would be smart. Apparently that’s not always the case.

    John – There are approximately 1,000 of us in the DROP. There are no plans for a big academy class or promotions until 2022. 2023, 2024 will be a nightmare, since that’s when a bulk of the people leave.

    Afterward, I’d be perfectly happy working in a warehouse. I don’t want to work with the public anymore.


  4. John in Philly stated: “Over time, every organization becomes filled with stupid people, because the good people look around and leave.”
    This is why I switch jobs every 4-5 years. I get tired of the stupidity that runs the operation and find new stupidity to live with. Its unfortunate that there isn’t much sanity left out there. I’m just rolling until I’m 62 and hope I still have something left to live on.


  5. We deal with idiots daily. We are no longer treated politely as all customers should be treated. It is our fault for pointing out their mistakes. We are horrible for ruining their day. Karma is a rabid biatch on pms.


  6. Edward – With this administration, it’s a crap shoot.

    Cathy – People aren’t polite anymore. At least in blue cities. It’s why I want to move South after I retire.


  7. The worst part of staying too long is there is a possibility of the viral stupidity becoming infectious. The one time I saw that happening, I moved on as fast as I could. I hate stupid people, but I hate being stupid myself even more. In your case, it’s more like a gigantic comedy in which you are the audience and then there are times when you can sit back, watch, and laugh. It almost makes it worthwhile. Almost, but not quite. Soon you’ll be a three digit midget. Hang in there.


    1. Everything is collapsing. A few of my fellow detectives are morons, the city won’t replace even the most basic items – our printers haven’t worked well for a few years now – and you’ve seen the evidence of the temperature in the building in the summer…


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