Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sometimes lightning really does strike twice

A couple of years back, I tagged this gal for DWI one night. Smoking hot and a recent Russian immigrant. Turned out that she was one of those mail-order wives and some sap had paid big bucks to bring her here to America. Then he enlisted and went to fight overseas while she lived with his parents, cashing his checks, driving his car (and getting it impounded) and hanging out at the clubs until closing time...good wife, eh? I locked her up and her in-laws or husband or whoever ponied up for a lawyer who got her a plea deal, so the case never went to actual trial. I'd forgotten all about her until one night almost a year later when I found a car parked in a dark park a bit after midnight. I went up and interrupted a couple who were about to get busy, and when I did, I noticed the smell of alcoholic beverages. I also saw that the engine was running. Good enough. I pulled the two of them out and discovered that is was my little Russian friend from a year prior, still smoking hot and apparently unfaithful as ever. The car was her husband's but the guy she was with...not him. He's still overseas and this is just some casual hook-up.
Now I have to ask myself about the odds of this. My agency's coverage area is huge, spanning several smaller municpalities. A year ago, I'd tagged her near the northen end of it, and here, just by chance, I'd caught her again about forty miles south of there. With literally hundreds of thousands of people in our area, it boggles the mind to figure the odds of this happening.

So I hooked her for DWI again after she failed the field sobriety tests and exhibited enough other signs of intoxication for me to take her even though I hadn't actually seen her driving the car. (mere possession and control of the car is enough for the arrest here, and here being in the car with the engine running works.)

Her shack-up actually had the nerve to ask me how he was suppoosed to get home as I was hooking her up. No concern for her or curiosity about her charges--just interested in how he was supposed to get home.

I pointed out that he had feet and suggested that he use them. Then I took her back to out jail.

And on the way back, it finally dawned on her that we'd met before. She hadn't recognized me at first, and I didn't say anything. But half way back, the light came on and she told me that she knew. "Small world, eh?" I replied.

She was silent for a few minutes, and then she leaned towards the divider and told me off:
"You know, last time you arrested me, that was total bullshit. I was hardly drunk at all."

I didn't say anything; I never respond when prisoners start to ramble. Sometimes they say really cool spontaneous (and admissible) stuff if allowed to just talk.

"Yeah, I'll admit that you got me good this time. I'm fucked up. But last time I was hardly drunk at all and that was wrong."

I had to shake my head to be sure I'd just heard that. "What did you say?"
Thinking quickly, I grabbed my radio mike, keyed it, and held it up near the divider.

"I said that the last time you got me, I was hardly drunk at all. This time's solid because I'm fucked up, but last time I was hardly drunk at all and you shouldn't have arrested me."

Then she saw the microphone I was holding up.

"Oh, fuck you!" she screamed.

"Dispatch, please mark the tape and have a copy ready for pick-up prior to EOT," I said.

That confession was a nice addition to the little Tsarina's case jacket...and because I'd done nothing to solicit it, it was perfectly admissible. She wound up getting five days for this second DWI and the husband's car was impounded yet again.

I have to wonder if her husband has mailed her back to Moscow yet, or if she's still here, driving around in his car and waiting for our next encounter.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dispatch blues

Lucky me...due to a serious shortage of dispatchers recently, I've been blessed with the opportunity to pick up some serious overtime working off the street in our communications center.

However, it has not been without it's frustrations, some from idiots who call in asking for help, and some from idiots in uniform who should know better.

So, just to get everyone back on the same page:

1. Citizens. When you call 911, it is an EMERGENCY center you have called. Give me the nature of your call--keep it brief--and make sure that it's something we can do something about. DO NOT call to whine about:
a. People who are "recklessly" passing you after you set your cruise control right at the speed limit. (Aside from bothering me, you're driving like an ass. Sell your car and take the bus.)
b. Deer on the road. We all know deer cross the road. It's just one of those things. Don't call and tell me about the deer that you almost hit, or ask why we do not have more "deer crossing" signs up. Trust me, the deer won't cross there no matter how many we put up.
c. The guy who cut you off a few minutes ago, especially if you didn't get a license number and he got off at the last exit. WTF are we supposed to do about that? You probably deserved to be cut off because you were driving like caller a.

2. Citizens. When you call in, if you do not know where you are, do not get mad at me because I keep asking you to figure it out. I cannot send anyone to help you if I do not know where you are. I cannot magically divine your location, and it's really important. So if I ask you to go find a street sign or something else that will clue us both in, don't get all pissy with me. I know where I am.

3. Officers. If another officer has just asked me to check a tag and I acknowledge him or her, your silly-assed query really needs to wait fifteen seconds until I give him or her their return. If you are in a chase or a gunfight, fine. But if you just want to announce that you've checked a "special attention" location and found nothing wrong, or if you want your own tag checked, just wait. The real dispatchers may be able to handle you tag-teaming them, but I'm not there yet and I know who you are. This bullshit where the radio is totally silent for twenty minutes and then suddenly eight people have traffic all at once needs to quit.

4. Officers. When I call you several times because you do not answer up (because you weren't paying attention), don't get snide with me. You only have one real job: answering the radio. I do it when I'm out there and you can do it. And to be honest, some of you have this problem a lot more than others. You know who you are; so does everyone else. (And yes, CM, I mean you in particular.)

5. Unnamed neighboring jurisdiction: STOP TRANSFERRING ALL OF YOUR DAMNED CALLS TO US! Your calls are yours, and turfing callers off on us isn't going to make us take them; it's just going to get the callers and--us--pissed off, resulting in hurt feelings when I transfer the call back with the polite suggestion that you learn your geography and pull your own calls.

That's all for now.