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True Detective Stories

By Wyatt Earp | February 28, 2011

One of the worst parts about my job is that we have to continually remind people that there is a difference between the television police world and the real police world. Sadly, we have to remind both police officers and the public of this fact.

Note to police officers: A search warrant is necessary when you want to, you know, search a car. There is no reason to obtain a search warrant for a vehicle after you already went through it with a fine-tooth comb! So please, don’t get pissed at detectives when you guys were the ones who frakked up the crime scene.

Note to police officers: When you respond to a call, please use common sense. When a victim smashes a thug in the head with an object – after he sees him breaking into his car – you arrest the thug, not the man defending himself and his wife. Arresting both the victim and the doer is rather counterproductive.

Hope this helped. If you need me, I’ll be at my desk, nursing this migraine.

Topics: True Detective Stories | 22 Comments »

22 Responses to “True Detective Stories”

  1. Kim Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Take a deep breath, close your eyes, click your heels three times and say “There’s no place like a smooth running police department. There’s no place like a smooth running police department. There’s no place like a smooth running police department.”

    When you open your eyes, everyone will get along, officers will know their job without question and be able to follow through. Administrators, Police Chiefs, Mayors, City Hall, and the general public will all get along, and your coffee will never get cold.

    Ok, so that last one was for me.

  2. Ferrell Gummitt Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Golly Gee I thought the Police Department on “T.J. Hooker” was as close to real police department life as it gets…

  3. John D Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 10:12 am

    “…there is a difference between the television police world and the real police world.”

    Super Troopers is about the only time Hollywood has gotten it right.

  4. Wyatt Earp Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Kim – There’s a great line from the show, The Wire: “Someday, I’m gonna work for a real police department, just to see how it feels.”

    Ferrell – We tell people all the time that the closest thing to being a detective in Philly is Barney Miller. Seriously. They had it down pat.

    John D – That’s actually a great example, too.

  5. Rick Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 11:37 am

    After a couple of Guinness thing will get better.

  6. Ferrell Gummitt Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Wyatt: So whom in your humble opinion played the best
    Philadelphia cop in the movies?

  7. Wyatt Earp Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Rick – A couple of six packs, anyway.

    Ferrell – Denzel Washington in Fallen.

  8. Bob G. Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    One of the BEST books (that I worked on) was J. Shane Creamer’s THE LAW OF ARREST, SEARCH, AND SEIZURE.
    That was back in the 70s…and newer editions have come along since.
    But it IS a good common sense (and procedural) read.
    Should be REQUIRED, since JSC was from PHILLY.

    Take it slow, Wyatt…I’d had my share of Migraines in times past.
    No fun at all.

    Roll safe out there.

  9. Mark Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    We could use a man like you here in Maricopa.

    We have a lot to offer. The smell of dairy cows, the smell of the largest feed lot in the Southwest United States, the smell of the local egg production facility (are you noticing a theme?), and the fact that we can carry concealed without a permit which seems to calm everyone the phukk down. Best law ever.

    You could run this place no problem. It’s all traffic tickets and parking violations (Arizonans park on the sidewalk. That’s illegal now for some reason).

    We are very family friendly and, since the damned mid-westerners left, happy.

    Yankee’s are OK. Southerners are OK. Californians are a PITA. Don’t even get me started on the damned Canadians.

  10. Sally Anne Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Nothing like starting the week with a facepalm. ^_^

    I’ve always heard that the only real detectives on TV were the fellas on Barney Miller. Personally, I have to say that being an MP was pretty much exactly like Super Troopers. Man, I miss that job *snicker*

  11. metoo Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Search warrants take time, common sense is in short demand. Go grab “the Captain” and get rid of that migraine.

  12. Ingineer66 Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    And all this time I thought Hawaii Five-0 was a documentary.

  13. Wyatt Earp Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Bob G – As far as crime novels go, for me, nothing beats John Sandford’s Prey novels. Reading one right now.

    Mark – One of my best friends lives in Tucson. We spent a week there in 2006. Loved it . . . until the tarantula walked up to us on his patio. Seriously, gorgeous state, though.

    Sally Anne – I love that film. And the “snozzberry” guy ended up marrying Christina Hendricks.

    MeToo – When I was in patrol, I knew these things. Why the new breed doesn’t is beyond me.

    Ingineer66 – I wish!

  14. EnanoSiniestro Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I have to remind some of my agents of the same thing too. You simply cannot mess around with the 4th amendment.
    The only two ways around the search warrant for a car would be probable cause (with the perp in cuffs) or consent, and even when given consent, the property owner can limit the search as he/she wishes. It sucks to have cases thrown out of court over 4th amendment issues, but if the search was illegally done, then no department or DA should push the case.

  15. Wyatt Earp Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Enano – We just this second had an officer call up here. Said he had a narcotics arrest, and not to worry, “I Mirandized him” before interviewing him on the scene.”

    So see? We’re good now, because cops are acting like the detectives in Philly now. *face palm*

  16. JT Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

  17. Old NFO Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    I don’t even know what to say….

  18. Wyatt Earp Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    JT – Classic!

    Old NFO – All the duct tape in the world couldn’t prevent the aneurysms I suffer.

  19. twoeggsup Says:
    March 1st, 2011 at 8:01 am

    That darn pesky Constitution sure buggers things up all the time.

    Well, another fine example of the typical product of our outstanding educational system. Perhaps the teachers deserve a raise, a really big raise so they’ll be able to afford to do their jobs to a higher degree of mediocrity.

  20. Deputy Polarbear Says:
    March 1st, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Depending on exactly what the victim cracked the suspect over the head with, he would be going to jail here in CA as well…..using deadly force to prevent a property crime is more than a bit frowned upon out here.

    Of course, if he were to somehow say *cough* I was in fear for my life *cough*, it would probably be a different story

  21. richard mcenroe Says:
    March 2nd, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I’m old enough to remember when Mirandizing a suspect meant smacking him upside the head with a fruit basket.

  22. Ian Argent Says:
    March 3rd, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    : Now there’s a reference too many people won’t get. But you forgot the part where you make them dance, afterwards