Category Archives: True Detective Stories

True Detective Stories

Arnold John FlassThis week I landed a substantial burglary job. Among other items, the complainant’s two vehicle were stolen, so both had to be entered into stolen status. Since the vehicles were taken in a burglary, I listed them as “Guard For Prints” – meaning when they are recovered they need to be taken to the police garage for processing.

The day after the burglary I see a message in my inbox. Both vehicles were recovered a block and a half from the complainant’s house. Tow Squad transported the vehicles to the garage, where they were would stay until they were processed. Great, right?

The division’s scene guy did me a solid and said he would print the vehicles for me. He drove to the garage, looked the cars over, and called my cell.

“Um, you had these listed as Guard For Prints, right?”

“Of course. Why?”

“Well, both vehicles are outside, and the windows of one car are wide open. The interior is soaked from the storms last night.”

So for those of you in Pennsyltucky, the tow driver ignored the Guard For Prints order, and the heavy rains washed away any fingerprint evidence we hoped to find. #Winning

True Detective Stories

Abe Vigoda In Barney Miller

I was working the front desk yesterday, so I spent most of my day playing Ernestine the Telephone Operator. Halfway through my shift, a woman calls asking for information about her case. The woman says, “I need to know who’s handling my case, but I can’t pronounce the name.”

So I ask the rocket surgeon to spell it.

She says, “It’s C-A-N-N-O-N.”

I had only a moment to retort before the brain aneurysm worked through my skull…

“Cannon? You couldn’t pronounce CANNON?!!!”

This woman lives in Philadelphia, the birthplace of the nation. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting an antique cannon (or cannon statue) in this town.

True Detective Stories

DeNiro Slamming The Phone In Goodfellas

It’s been a while since I posted about the dumbassery which surrounds my division, mostly because I haven’t had anything post-worthy. That changed last night…

A woman calls the division and asks for Detective Green. I respond, “We have two. Are you looking for the male or the female?”

The woman replies, “I’m not sure. HE gave me this number to call.”

Yeah, mystery solved. Dimwit.

True Detective Stories

Jack Nicholson The ShiningSo I’m sitting in my car stuck in traffic on I-95 this morning. Traffic was worse than usual due to the torrential downpour, and for the first time in a long time, I’m not liking the rain. You see, I was enroute to training.

Report Writing training.

You see, the mayor and police commissioner believe there is so little crime here they can send police officers to training for anything and everything. The alternative is having cops on the street… and we can’t have that! So I spent my day in front of a computer, writing and rewriting police reports into Microsoft Word. Their goal was to make us better writers… in eight hours.

Always the snarkster, my friend – who was stuck in different, pointless training – sent me a text when he heard where I was being held captive.

“So the department sent the published author to writing training. Brilliant.”

Yeah. The writing practice was a nice benefit… which was immediately negated by the two block, rain-soaked walk to my car.

I’m scheduled for Baby-Making and Lacrosse 101 next week.

Forgive The Lateness Of My Reply

Okay, I know you’ve all been waiting with baited breath for a new post, and I apologize for slacking this morning, but I have an excuse. Jackassery.

Today is what the department calls “Power Day.” It’s the one day every two weeks when every officer is scheduled to work. In our squad room, there are twelve cubicles with computers, and fourteen detectives. Every detective but one is here today, so the rest of us have to play musical desks. Fine.

When I walked in at 7am, I assumed my desk would be open. Not so much. A detective from the overnight shift was there, tapping away like one of those drinking birds. I placed my gear on the table behind my desk, which is akin to putting quarters on the top shelf of a video arcade game. (Come on guys, you know you remember doing that to reserve the game.) The detective didn’t acknowledge me, and didn’t even throw me a courtesy “I’ll be done in a few.” So I sat next to my partner and watched him try to fix one of the warrant unit guys’ computer, stressing about the lack of postage here…

Continue reading

Wyatt Earp: Hero Of The Stupid

Jim Halpert Head Desk

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is rather lengthy and not very funny. If you don’t want to hear me rant about work, click to a different post, because this one is more therapy than entertainment.

So Wednesday was what the department calls “Power Night.” It’s the one night every two weeks where every officer in the city is scheduled to work, thanks to a hiccup in the schedule. These days are especially welcome during the night shift, when my division gets its collective arse handed to it. On Wednesday, fourteen detectives were slated to work. After training, vacation, and sick requests, only eight of us showed up. Natch, we were extremely busy… with bulls**t jobs.

The “wheel” is the list of detectives assigned, with columns for arrests and investigations. The arrest list goes down, and the invest list goes up, so people aren’t hammered with two jobs at a time. Unless you’re unlucky. Or unless you’re me

Continue reading

Teh Stoopid; It Burns

Lou The CopSo I’m working the front desk last night, and I get a call from a sergeant in a neighboring district. This sergeant is dumber than the average department supervisor, which means if you harnessed his brain capacity, you could probably toast some bread. Lightly. That theorem was proven yesterday.

Unfortunately, I answered Sergeant Dimwit’s call. He needed help looking up a PARS report in the computer. (A PARS report is an arrest report.) Dimwit gave me the report number and I looked it up. Turns out he was one number off. I gave him the correct number, and he asked me to stay on the line while he pulled up the report.

“I can’t find it,” he said. I replied, “Well, I’m looking at it right here, Sarge.”

So you know, searching for a PARS is so simple, a Democrat could do it.

“Well, I can’t find it. Look, just print it up for me, and I’ll send a police officer to your building, pick it up, and bring it back here.”

Words cannot adequately express how simple it is to search the PARS system. You type in the report number – or a name, if you have it – and it pops up faster than I do after seeing a photo of Christina Hendricks. It is inexplicable to me how a man can pass the sergeant’s test without knowing how to do this. It’s like saying, “I don’t know how to search Google.”

So this galactically stupid man took a police officer off the street, sent him miles away to my building to pick up a copy of a report, and bring it back to him. In effect, Sergeant Jerkass wasted 45 minutes on an task which should have taken two.

By The Time You Read This…

Batman Joker InterrogationI’ll already be bored out of my skull.

Today I’m scheduled for learnin’ at the department’s training bureau. The topic? Interviews and Interrogations. The training is mandatory for every one of the city’s detectives, and it will also be a colossal waste of time – which is also mandatory for departmental training.

Now maybe I’m jumping the gun a bit, since I’m posting this Sunday evening and my training actually began 45 minutes ago. Maybe I am sitting at a table, kicking myself for posting bile so prematurely.

Maybe, but not likely.

You see, the instructors at the training bureau are supervisors; most of whom are career test-takers. They land a cushy Monday through Friday, 8am-4pm gig, study all day, and climb the promotional ladder; all the while keeping the same cushy gig. Most of these supervisors were never detectives, have no idea what we do, and haven’t been on the street in years. They will dryly read the material from their teacher’s editions, and remind us to take notes, because their curriculum will result in better investigations. Seriously, you guys!

Not bloody likely.

In the real world, most of us learn to work good interviews and interrogations by trial and error. Mostly error. Some people are naturally better at it than others. (For the record, I’m an average interviewer at best.) The key is to ask the right questions, gauge the responses, and hope someone makes a mistake. There really are no tricks of the trade, and – most importantly – courses like these never factor in the most important equation: hardcore, lifelong criminals know the drill. They will either refuse to answer questions or immediately ask for a lawyer.

So with all due respect to today’s instructors, I will conduct my interrogations the old fashioned way: by slamming a defendant’s head into the table.

I’m kidding, I’m kidding! The Constitution frowns upon that.

True Detective Stories

Bathroom StallEditor’s Note: The following story is absolutely 100% true, and while I have a photo to prove it, I wanted to protect the offender’s identity.

On Wednesday night, I went into the division’s bathroom to see a man about a horse. As I walked up to the urinal, there was something black hanging on one of the open stall doors. Thinking it was a jacket, I went about my business. While I was tinkling, I heard someone in the stall, so the jacket must have been his.

When I finished, I glanced at the open stall door again. The “jacket” wasn’t a jacket at all…

It was a pair of pants.

The detective apparently went into a stall to “drop some kids off at the pool,” TOOK OFF HIS PANTS, sat down and took care of business. Worse still, he hung the pants on the stall door, and LEFT THE DOOR OPEN!

Natch, I ran onto the squad floor and told everyone I saw to witness this extraordinary event. One of my more daring co-workers confronted the “special” detective in mid-squat, and noticed his pants were off, but his shoes were still on. We’re still trying to find the reasoning behind that.

True Detective Stories

Abe Vigoda In Barney MillerYesterday we handled a robbery where the doers fired at a fellow detective. The detective fired back, hitting two of the toads. One of the toads was driven to a local hospital and was discharged today.

The female officer – a woman who addresses everyone as “Baby,” guarding the toad called the division to let us know the defendant was being discharged. The phone call went thusly:

Me: “Okay, call for a wagon and have him transported to the division.”
Officer: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Have a wagon pick up the prisoner and transport him to the division.”
Officer: “Well, we don’t have no wagon.” (Her actual words.)

Me: “Okay, then call for a two-person car or get a wagon from a neighboring district.”
Officer: “That’s not my job. You guys need to come get him.”

Divisional detectives have no patrol wagons, and shooting suspect should probably be transported in a secured vehicle. Just sayin’…

Continue reading