Sunday, January 9, 2011

God love ya . . .

A collection of "shorts" from work:

-Do not bring your own needles full of heroin to the OB floor and shoot up while with your newborn. We will arrest you. Also, do not attempt to have drugs passed off at the hospital while you are there in custody being treated. Does not work well, your friends are in jail now too.

-Coming to jail in a shirt from a courthouse restaurant who's slogan is, "Where justice is served," will result in it being featured in your online mugshot. Same for the ubiquitous, "It's all fun and games until the cops show up" shirt.

-Never, ever assume that attempting to beat a cop or CO's ass will not result in you being gang tackled by more officers than you have ever seen. We're like ninjas, we come out of the walls.

-Making threats to the officer who charged you with assault on them will only result in another charge and more prison time. Shut your mouth.

-For at least the 500th time, do not come to the sheriff's office for something where you have to give ID and then cry when we arrest you on your warrants. It's kind of what we do.

-Do not break down and call for a deputy to assist you when you are drunk, unless you want arrested. Additional info: If you have drugs on you, do not walk up and talk to the K9 officer; his partner does not have a sense of humor, just a keen sense of smell.

-Committing any type of crime while on sheriff's office property where there are cameras recording will result in your immediate arrest, embarrassment in court.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The 12 Days Christmas . . .

Grab your moose mugs full of eggnog and sing along . . .

On the 12th day of Christmas my Sgt. gave to me,
14 reports and the paperwork to a felony

11 pairs of shackles

10 use of force sheets

9 prisoner pickups

8 warning tickets

7 in house trainings

6 sets of flex cuffs

5 time of request forms

4 warrant checks

3 pending calls

2 surety bonds

And a subpoena to the grand jury . . .

"Hallelujah! Holy shit, where's the Tylenol?"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Angles among us . . .

Lately I've been suffering a terrific case of writer's block. It's not that the jail has suddenly gone calm and people have started to engage their brain before their mouth before calling us. I think it might be the holiday season in general. I've been trying to concentrate on planning time with friends and family on my off days and scheduling in precious sleep. Somehow my love of snow hasn't even made me super cheery this year.
Maybe it's the fact that it's the first year I have to walk up to a headstone to tell my best friend Merry Christmas. They played "Blue Christmas" the other day and I cried like an idiot for ten minutes. This year I am less worried about finding everyone the perfect gift and more worried about giving everyone a hug. I am content to skip the holiday parties and sit on the couch with my friends and watch Christmas Vacation for the 30th time. 30th time this month.
What can I say? I'm trying. There are angels among us, I just miss mine the most right now.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Better angels . . .

I hold no office in my union. You will not find me in contract negotiations. You will find me fighting for you in public meetings, attending budget sessions for my county and educating people. Yesterday I was accused of being "aggressive" and "outspoken" by several people I work with. I know what I want for myself and my department. Several county officials congratulated me on my piece at a town hall budget meeting the other night. One was a Democrat, one from the Tea Party and one from the GOP. Politics and diplomacy at their finest.
Here's the thing. In the jail someone who mf's you through the door all night is called a "cell warrior;" as soon as you open that door and come face to face they've got nothing to say. I'm no cell warrior. I won't post thinly veiled comments of hatred toward my sheriff and administration on Facebook. I won't join in the mud-slinging sessions in roll call where we decide we hate every elected official. Ask me who I am and what I stand for. I will tell you. I will quote financial data, employment figures and cold hard facts.
Most of of all though, I will fight for you. Your job, my job, any cop in my department's job. I am a fighter, a warrior and a protector. My voice will be heard.

"I'm a (wo)man of my convictions. Call me wrong, call me right; but I bring my better angels to everything. You may not like where I'm going, but you sure know where I stand. Hate me if you want to, love me if you can." -Toby Keith

Monday, November 22, 2010

Guardian angels . . .

It's been a hard couple of weeks. The wolf is at the door again for layoffs. Now they want to eliminate two entire patrol shifts. God help us.
A few nights ago I was going to pick up one of our inmates from another county. I am a deputy sheriff with full arrest powers, I just happened to be assigned to the jail and not patrol. A man turns the wrong way down a one way street in front of me. I stop him in the cruiser. He gets out on me in the middle of a completely shitty section of town. Flight or fight. Looks like flight. Behind me I hear the unmistakable sound of a police K9 and his handler. The driver freezes and suddenly becomes cooperative.
I've never met this officer, he comes from one of the biggest city departments in our state. He works in the county adjacent to mine. We left that stop and I asked how he heard me call the stop out on my channel. He didn't. He told me he was just watching over me.
Thank God for guardian angels.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Callin' Baton Rouge . . .

We have an inmate in our jail on a holder from the Baton Rouge Police Department. Nationwide pickup radius, they will come almost 1,000 miles across more than five states to get their prisoner.
Family calls about the prisoner. "What are they charged with?"
"I don't know, I didn't confirm the warrant. All I can see is the holder."
"Well. When do we know when they'll let them go? They're not coming up here for that."
"Uh. Yes. Yes they are. That's why they sent a holder that says 'We will extradite."
"They don't even know what they're charged with! That's not legal!"
"Tell them to think back to the last time they were in Louisiana and see if any felonies jump out."
"How do you know it's a felony?"
"Police departments don't come 1,000 miles for misdemeanors."
"Well you need to call them and see when they'll lift the holder."
"They're not lifting the holder. An extradition hearing is scheduled for the beginning of the week."
"Do you have the number to Baton Rouge?"
"Why not?"

That's like asking me why I don't have the number to the police department in Juneau, Alaska. I'm sorry, we don't just call them up to chat on a weekly basis.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Political games . . .

So a friend of mine called today all upset over the elections. Like crying upset. Now to be clear, I'm an informed voter and I enjoy politics in moderation. I could care less about political smear campaigns and constant bickering. She rages on and on about how she's experiencing the stages of grief. No joke. She doesn't work for a candidate or a campaign, she just follows politics.
I'm not trying to be an asshole here, but really?
The candidate you wanted to win lost. I've lost my best friend. You're crying about the governor. I'm trying to put my dress uniform together for an awards ceremony without crying. You can't believe they were predicting the wrong winner in an election. My Sgt. can't believe he had to go tell a child's parents that the media was wrong, their child is dead. You're trying to reconcile the next 2 to 4 years of politics. I'm trying to reconcile leaving my department of 4 years and starting over.
I guess we all take a different view on life.
As I polish my nameplate and collar brass I'm reminded of the one person who would have enjoyed seeing me get my commendation for exemplary service more than me. My award will be just like his. I just wish he was here to see it.