Monday, February 14, 2011

Ah, the joys of citizen complaints

So one of my officers comes in and tells me to expect a complaint call any moment. Oh, Joy.

Having just had an encounter of the unsatisfactory kind with a citizen, he's following the time-honored protocol of racing back to the sergeant to get his own side in first.
They learn so fast, these new college-educated officers...

Anyway, he tells me about how he stopped this guy, and right from the get-go, the guy was all bluster and attitude. Now my guy is professional and I consider him to be one of my best, but even he has a boiling point, and this loudmouth finally reached it and got my guy pretty hot, too. So the stop ended with my guy handing out a few well-deserved citations, all of which were based on observed violations committed before the discussion got heated, and he sent the guy on his way after giving him his name, my name, and the station phone number, all of which he is required to do under our department's policy when citizens request it.

After hearing about the stop from my guy--someone that I tend to believe because I've known him for a while and I know how he deals with people (like I said, he's one of my top officers), I come to the conclusion that the guy he'd dealt with is basically just some sort of an asshole. Still, assholes call to complain just like regular people do, and it's my job to listen to the complaints and take appropriate action.


A few minutes later, the phone rings. My stalwart officer, my consumate professional, picks up the phone and gives the department name and his own per our policy.

A few seconds go by. He looks a bit peeved. He hits the "Hold" button and hangs the phone back up.
"Hey sarge...it's that cocksucker that I was telling you about. He's on Hold for you."

Only the guy is not on hold. My officer--one that until a minute ago I'd considered one of my best and brightest--had mistakenly hit the Speakerphone button instead of Hold.

And now the phone nearly explodes off the wall. "WHAT?! What did you just call me?! Did you call me a cocksucker?! How dare you! I'll....

Striking like lightning, my officer reaches out, picks up the phone handset, and drops it onto the cradle again, cutting off the call.

"Whoops. Sorry about that, Sarge."

I figure that he'll either call back here tonight, or else he'll call into the Chief's office tomorrow. And as it's been a few hours now and he hasn't called here, I'm already working on my latest "Dear Chief" memo.
Hopefully he'll read his memos before attending to his messages so I can at least get my side in first.