True Detective Stories

So yesterday I was working the front desk when an officer brought in a missing person report. The report contained a photo of the lovely lost lass, and honestly, you could hardly notice her face tattoos.

The woman was reported “missing” – or as I would describe it, “escaped” – from a work-release program on August 8th, and the rocket surgeons at the program waited five weeks to notify the po-po. The report was completed by a rookie officer, and the page contains all sorts of descriptions and identifiers which need to be filled in.

One of the questions deals with the victim’s mental state. In this case, the officer checked the box marked “poor,” and in the remarks responded “Found incompetent to stand trial.”

Yeah.

I assigned the report to our lone female detective, and a few minutes, she returned to my desk and asked if I read the section on medications. I admitted I had not, so she showed it to me. The section is titled “Prescribed Medications: No. Yes, Type.”

The officer checked yes, and wrote “Crack.”

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True Detective Stories

Working in a major metropolitan – bankrupt – police department has its drawbacks. The politicians never back you up, the citizens despise you, and the equipment issued is rarely up to snuff. We still use typewriters as well as computers, and up until 2015, we were using Windows XP.

That said, when the cell room turnkey came upstairs yesterday, it was cause for alarm.

Our turnkey is a bloated, boring, old timer who will walk into a room and stand there until you acknowledge him. He is easily the most irritating person in the building; even more so than me. Yesterday he walked into the office, leaned over my desk, and looked at my computer. I asked, “Um, you need something?” He replied no, and walked to another computer. Sweaty McBoring proceeded to approach every computer on our floor, look at it, and walk away. Finally, he passed my desk again.

“What exactly do you want, Sweaty?”

Sweaty reached into his pants pocket, and pulled out a floppy disk. (I attached a photo of one for our younger readers.) Apparently Sweaty had some old files on the disk he wanted to print out before his retirement, and was looking for a terminal which would accept a disk.

When I told him the division doesn’t use Commodore 64s anymore, he was crestfallen. Undeterred, he said he was going to try the police district’s terminals downstairs – even after I told him the building’s computers were the same model.

I mean, who am I to ruin an imbecile’s dreams?

True Detective Stories

Thursday night was an abundance of bitches. One detective was given the night off at the last minute, another asked for a day off from a supervisor in a different squad, so we had a paltry four detectives working. Nightwork in North Philly is always busy, and Thursday was no exception.

In the last hour of the tour – you know, the time I am at my most pleasant and patient – a couple appeared at the window and asked to speak to a detective. Sadly, I as the only thing even close to a detective in the area, so I volunteered my services. Besides, these people could have been the victims of a robbery, assault, of regicide.

No, this crime was much more dastardly…

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True Detective Stories

While it would be ridiculous to accuse all police officers of being heartless, insolent, jagoffs, there is a segment of each department whose mission appears to be ruining our reputation with the public.

Take this jagoff, for example…

A police officer called the division looking for guidance, and unfortunately he got me instead. Hey, I certainly didn’t become a cop to help people! Any hoo, the officer calls and the conversation goes as follows. (For the record, some of this is paraphrasing.)

Officer: “Yeah, I’m out here on Fifth Street and we have two guys shooting each other… with paintball guns. Can we confiscate these guns?”
Me: “That depends. Are they committing a crime? By that, I mean, are they shooting passersby, cars, or storefronts? Are they threatening people with the guns? Help me out here.”

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True Detective Stories

Working as a detective in North Philly has severe disadvantages. The area resembles Fallujah (with more shootings), the cockroaches are bigger than your head, and the public hates your guts.

One person in particular despises the police so much that he spends his days screaming at us from the end of the driveway.

The self-proclaimed “King” is an elderly, bearded, heavily-accented black man who spends ten hours every day, rain or shine, bellowing about how awful we all are. If you need a visual, picture a Jamaican Jerry Garcia.

The King’s day begins at 7am with his trademark “HEY!” (He yells “Hey” hundreds of times a day to get our attention, even though we started ignoring him a year ago.) In between screams, he claps his hands, but does so by holding both hands upright and slapping them together. You know, like a mental patient.

The King’s typical rants are as follows:

1. Shameless self-promotion. “HEY! I am the king!”

2. Death to America. “HEY! America is no more anymore! Nothing America!!”

3. F**k the police. “HEY! You cannot stop the king! Nothing police!”

The rants are placed on “shuffle” until 5pm, when he retires for the day. The King has been doing this for over a year. At the start of the King’s reign, one of the officers asked why he hated the police so much. The King replied he was stopped by the police, and during the investigation they found the King did not have a license or insurance. As is policy, the officers impounded his car. Apparently that move set the King off, and he postponed his life to spend every waking moment yelling at us from the sidewalk.

While the King is incredibly annoying, at least he’ll likely contract cancer from all the asbestos in the city’s buildings. You know, like the rest of us.

True Detective Stories

Have you ever watched a television crime drama or a police movie where the characters were interesting and the story was suspenseful?

If so, congratulations, because real life is nothing of the sort.

Sunday afternoon we received a call for a suicide jumper in the western part of our division. The officers on the scene told us the victim was having a mental episode and was threatening to jump off a building. Our suicide negotiator headed out to the scene with the assigned detective, and the rest of us did a workup on the victim and the location.

Sounds pretty impressive, amirite?

The negotiator arrived on location and immediately called me at the division. “Um, the victim is threatening to jump of the roof of his three-story house. Considering its size, the worst injury the person will suffer is a bloody nose.”

Obviously, a suicide threat should always be taken seriously, so the negotiator talked to the victim. Less than five minutes later, the victim decided not to jump, came down off the roof without incident, and was transported to a crisis center for observation. Not exactly the explosive, Miami Vice-esque conclusion which makes the evening news.

Blue (Ball) Thunder

A British police helicopter crew got their Austin Powers on – and their rocks off – while hovering over what Top Gun’s Maverick would call a target-rich environment.

Coppers who buzzed the British skies filming people having sex and tanning in the nude have been busted. The perv police were part of a helicopter crew who allegedly used the chopper’s video camera to shoot hormone-charged hijinks.

Prosecutor Richard Wright said Tuesday the filming was a “gross violation” of the victims’ privacy. He said the public has a right to hope that police helicopters are being used to keep communities safe, not to film sex acts from the air.

The case against five men in Sheffield Crown Court relies in part on a graphic, eight-minute film consisting of footage from the South Yorkshire Police helicopter.

I know what you’re thinking: “Wyatt, you shouldn’t become a cop to gawk at naked women having sex!” Um… then why be one?

DeBlasio Literally Has Officers’ Backs

As New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio eulogized murdered officer Miosotis Familia, the NYPD’s rank and file gave the leftist politician all the respect he deserves.

The disgusted Finest were assembled outside the World Changers Church in The Bronx on Tuesday as part of the overflow crowd of mourners for assassinated Officer Miosotis Familia. They showed the building their backs as speakers broadcast de Blasio’s eulogy for Familia from inside.

The protest came after de Blasio skipped town to participate in protests at the G-20 summit in Germany last week — the day after Familia was killed by cop-hating gunman Alexander Bonds.

And as he prepared for the trip, the mayor missed a swearing-in ceremony for new police recruits, an event that was especially poignant in light of Familia’s murder.

Few politicians have shown greater contempt for police officers than Bill DeBlasio, so I understand the officers’ revulsion. That said, I don’t think I would have done that. For me, it’s more about respect for Officer Familia than it is about sending a message to the despicable DeBlasio.

True Detective Stories

Summer vacation is in full swing, and while it may not seem like it, even police officers get a break. In my division, most of our detectives have been on vacation this last week, and only four detectives were working Sunday.

Our shift begins at 7am, and by 8am we were up to our holsters in jobs.

The first mess involved an elderly man suffering from dementia, who called police to report his caretaker was unresponsive. Medics arrived and pronounced the caretaker dead, and determined he had been deceased for at least three days. The elderly man was apparently walking past the corpse for the entire weekend, oblivious to the unresponsiveness… and the smell.

The second mess was a similar one. A Presbyterian pastor arrived to open the church for Sunday services when he noticed a male lying on the temple steps. The male wasn’t responding, so the pastor called 911. Medics arrived and pronounced the male dead, and the parishioners had to walk past the body to attend mass.

The final mess came in shortly after, when we received a report of a shooting. The last remaining detective headed out, only to find there were no guns involved. Instead, the victim was apparently stabbed multiple times in the chest. Ouch. The victim died a few hours later, ending our day with a homicide.

Since I was working the desk, I had the entire floor to myself, which was nice. I got to walk around the division pantsless!

Tainted Glove

If there is anything my city is infamous for – besides the homicides, the filth, and the corruption – it’s frugality. While our “betters” at City Hall have no problem spending millions of dollars on bicycle sharing and outdoor “urban” concerts, they draw the line at providing adequate equipment for its police and fire departments.

Take this general message sent out last week:

A RECENT TEST WAS CONDUCTED ON THE CURRENT NITRILE GLOVES IN USE BY THE POLICE DEPARTMENT. ALL SIZES AND LOTS OF THE NITRILE GLOVES AT OFS FAILED THE CITY’S TEST. AT THIS POINT, ALL NITRILE GLOVES TESTED FAILED. ALL EMPLOYEES MUST DOUBLE GLOVE AND WEAR AN APPROPRIATE SIZE WHEN USING THE CURRENT NITRILE GLOVES. THE FAILURE OF THE GLOVES WAS THAT THEY WERE NOT THE APPROPRIATE THICKNESS. THE CITY IS WORKING TO REMEDIATE THIS ISSUE WITH THE VENDOR.

Most of us in the department have to conduct field tests on heroin, and occasionally have to handle substances like PCP – both of which can be absorbed through the skin. Similarly, we usually come into contact with blood at crime scenes, and now we’re told – after years of use – the gloves we have been issued are inefficient? Are you f**king serious?

So now we wait with bated breath for the city to purchase protective gloves with some, you know, protection. Until then, most of us are foregoing narcotics field tests and sending the items straight to the Chemical Lab. Lord knows the city won’t stand up for us in the case of contamination.