True Detective Stories

One of the more delightful aspects of big-city law enforcement is the hard work which goes into skirting your responsibilities and not doing your job. This is likely a problem in every department, but the police officers and detectives in my town have made passing the buck a veritable art form.

Tuesday night, like every night, was busy from the start. We had a victim who claimed someone stole his five – FIVE – handguns, a dead body which had been decomposing for maybe a week, and another body which was found in a bag on the street.

That body was allegedly a homicide from Upper Darby, a suburb of my awful town.

Eventually, the patrol supervisor at the homicide scene called the division and asked for guidance. (If I had a dollar for every time a supervisor asked me for “guidance,” I could have retired five years ago.) My sergeant told the patrol supervisor to call our Homicide Unit to see if they wanted to assist in their investigation.

Now the Homicide Unit, like the Special Victims Unit, works very hard at getting out of work. Homicide, for instance, will not leave the building if someone is not officially dead. That may seem obvious, but we get many victims who are brain dead, and Homicide will not come out until the organs are harvested. They’re effectively the department’s debutantes…

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