Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gun-toting Soccer Mom is wrong.

I've linked to a story on msnbc.com today. I'm pissed off. While I may be far more liberal than most of the LEO spouses I know, I am very pro-2nd amendment.

But I've got to side with the sheriff in this instance. Basically, if you don't feel like following the link, this woman got her license to carry, then wore the gun to a soccer match. For five year olds.

Don't get me wrong, I am not arguing her right to wear it, but I am arguing her right to a brain. What moron wears a weapon in plain view at a soccer match? I'll take a moment here to mention that I am assuming the article correctly reports that she wore it openly at the match.

Perhaps the sheriff shouldn't have completely revoked her license, but perhaps the details of the license requires you carry using COMMON SENSE? The Sheriff does mention the state law prohibiting licensure of "questionable characters." (My own wording)

Furthermore, the details of the litigation are just preposterous. She's suing the sheriff for revoking her license on the grounds that her babysitting service has suffered, and her husband joins the suit because he has lost his wife's "companionship, consortium, society and services."

You're fucking kidding me, right? If the parents she babysat for didn't know she was a gun advocate, perhaps she wasn't being honest with them. Not the sheriff's fault. If she has become uncompanionable and antisocial because she temporarily lost her license to carry a gun, again, not the sheriff's fault.

Feel free to let the debating begin. Being licensed to carry a gun and being wise enough to know when to advertise it are not mutual. Perhaps they should be.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yes we are, no we aren't. yes, no, yes, no...

Well the SWAT team is finally building themselves quite a caseload lately. Aside from the standard hostage/barricaded subject situations, they are being utilized for more events. A few months ago there was a biker gathering at a local Harley store, and the biker gangs in attendance began systematically and methodically attacking a man from a rival gang. From what I understand, one person would emerge from the crowd, assault him, and then fade into the crowd. Another person would do the same thing, so on and so forth. I'm sure there's some crazy name among the gangs for what this activity is called.

The regular deputies on the detail made a point of breaking up the fights as best they could. Apparently one of the deputies kicked out the girlfriend of one of the gang leaders. *GASP* How dare they, right? Said gang leader begins making threats against the sheriff's office. There continues to be scuttlebutt that these gangs are going to 'throw down' at the next biker gathering. So the SWAT team was called in for extra presence. They ended up not using any special tactics because nothing happened. Most of the gangs didn't even show up.

But the drug task force has also been using the team to help with raids and warrants and such. One of the situations that they have been helping with lately is of a rather touchy subject matter, one which I was not given a lot of details, and which I will be sharing even less than I know with this blog. I'm sure you understand. In fact the particular nature of this situation is such that the newer team members weren't permitted to join the team. I'm sure down the road when they have had more training and the team leaders have a better grasp on their skillsets, that will change.

But I bring it up because it is one of those "let's get ready and wait" situations. The nature of having a part-time team is that its members are spread out over the entire county. As of the time and day I am writing this post, the team has been notified four times to be ready and to meet at X time. And all four times the callout has been cancelled. The first and third times it was cancelled when J was fully or mostly geared up but hadn't left the house. The second time they rallied, ran some practice drills and were all together ready to go and just waiting impatiently to go. The fourth time happened to occur while the team had already gathered for routine (unrelated) training.

Unfortunately for J during that 4th time, he was at a separate deputy training, and didn't even get a page.

And boy was he ticked. He's been irritated each time the callout got cancelled. This goes back to that sheepdog mentality, they *want* to jump into the fray. I think he was particularly upset that not only had it been cancelled on him three times, but that the likelihood it would actually go down while he was at the training was increasing.

On the other hand it's something I guess we just have to get used to, particularly if the team is going to be used a lot more.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

life.

Well life tends to have its way with you sometimes. This will kind of be a rambly post.

I'm sure all of you know how tough the economy is right now. For those of us who don't work in a field that will always be necessary to society, our jobs are sometimes a bit tenuous. A third of my department got laid off last month. Fortunately I was safe, but I ended up doing the job of two people. It's been a stressful time. As if I didn't have enough time before...hooo boy.

As a result of being overworked and underpaid (i know, join the club, right?), I ended up getting sick. I have been laid up on my couch for the last three days. It doesn't help that I couldn't exactly figure out what was wrong with me. I felt like I'd been beat up, horrendous headache, nausea, lightheaded...it sucked.

However, I did have the pleasure of attending a party for the USMC birthday on Saturday, shortly before feeling as though I ran into a brick wall. Got to see a few more of the SWAT team, get to know them a little better. And yes, the newest members were there. I can tell you that she is the type of personality that fits in well with cops. I'll leave it at that for now.

One thing that I took out of that party is how easy it is to forget your 'manners' when you get back to normal society. At a cop party, there are pretty much no taboo subjects, no holds barred. You are expected to bust chops, crack jokes, and hear much more about these people that you do about your average Joe. I heard quite a few stories about one guy's wife, although generally the stories were about him and er...his shooting ability, let's say. Very, very amusing. You really have to be able to laugh at yourself, and dish it out as ruthlessly as you can.

I then get back to my mommy-group and crack jokes, later remembering that I have to watch myself and make sure they aren't misinterpreting what I've written! Fortunately I don't have a problem remembering what's taboo while I'm at work.

I'd love to hear some of my LEO family readers post their own cop-party stories though, if you're willing :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

SWAT team to get new members

I can't remember offhand how many members are on J's tactical response team. I want to say something in the ballpark of 20? They are still recruiting though, and I believe just added two or three more people.

I think that's great, for the most part. Except for one. One of the people who applied has a lot of baggage. A broken off engagement to another person who is already on the team. A history of inviting and fostering sexual relationships with married people. A tendency to be involved in department drama.

Yes, it's a female officer. Before you go thinking I am just jealous, hear me out. I do not doubt my husband's integrity. We have a terribly strong relationship, and I know he won't stray, so that's not my concern. I won't lie, I don't like the thought that she apparently has no qualms about inviting the attention of married men. But my prime concern is what her presence can do to the integrity of the team.

Currently the team is all men. I do not believe that adding a woman to the team is a problem, particularly if she has the skillset to round out the team. I do, however, believe that this particular woman is not a good fit. The team members, all of them as far as I know, have a type of humor that keeps them in good spirits, keeps them connected to each other on a brotherly level. Given some of the baggage that accompanies this newest recruit, that humor will probably be kept on a short leash.

I am sure I do not even need to focus on the fact that this officer's former fiance is on the team. That should speak volumes about the potential discomfort that can complicate matters on so many levels.

The team has its hands tied as far as this being a valid reason to veto this applicant. It seems obvious to me, the potential for problems is far greater than the need to fill a quota, but I'm not the brass.

All I know is that she had better respect every team member, and every single relationship represented on that team. It does help that the rest of the team, even ones from the other departments, are aware of the situation. I know at least some of the other wives and one girlfriend are aware, as well. If she can prove herself truly dedicated to the TEAM, and manage to keep her, shall we say, personal demons to herself, she just may fit in after all.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Totally had me rolling today


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Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Great Blackout

Well Ike sent a little 'gift' toward Ohio. We got walloped with a windstorm on Sunday. Subsequently knocked out power to most of the tri-state area. J and the deputies were forced onto 12 hour shifts and a 'gas emergency' for a few shifts, meaning they had to park somewhere and not drive til they got a call.

I appreciate conserving the gas, but really...in a blackout situation, don't you anticipate lootings? What better way to catch people in the act than by driving around?

Fortunately that didn't last long. The power was out at our house for three whole days. We are lucky that we live near his parents and could stay there.

In other news, I'm slowly but surely coming to the conclusion that our only true friends are cops or military families. Even *I* am starting to just mistrust people who aren't. Doesn't make much sense to me.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gone, but not forgotten.

Clive Ian Thompson.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Bored

J and the team haven't had a SWAT callout in 11 weeks. They're getting antsy. You know it's bad when they are counting how long it's been.

That's often the difference between the 'sheepdog' and the rest of us sheep...they're the ones running toward the fights, hoping that car chase they hear on the radio is headed their way, and getting bored because there isn't enough action.

It's hard to explain sometimes, certain people just don't get it. They don't really wish for bad things to happen...but they do wish it.

Despite this week being hell on J in terms of sleep and different shifts, he is optimistic about it. Tomorrow the SWAT team has counter-sniper duty for a McCain visit. Problem is, it falls during a time J would normally be sleeping. I think he's just excited he gets to go do something.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Inmate too fat for execution?

You've got to be fucking kidding me.

This inmate here in Ohio, given the death penalty for the rape and murder of two women over 20 years ago, has twice avoided execution. The first time (five years ago) because they would have difficulty finding his veins. A problem which has been made worse by the weight he has gained since then.

And I quote, "All of the experts agree if the first drug doesn't work, the execution is going to be excruciating,"

Um...so? I say GOOD. Call me a heartless bitch, but let him fucking die in agony.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A funny

In June, Reno, Nev., homicide detective David Jenkins was sitting in his unmarked car (but one with emergency lights on the dash and a police radio blaring away) when Mercedes Green, 19, hopped in and, yelling to be heard over the radio, propositioned him for sex. "You're not the police, are you?" she asked. "What do you think," he said. "I didn't think so," the streetwise woman replied. After her arrest, Green explained: "You wear glasses, and I didn't think police could wear them."

[Reno Gazette Journal, 06-26-08]

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Well, I haven't titled this post yet because I'm not sure how to.

Last week J happened to DVR some SWAT show, can't remember the name of it now, but it's new. The episode centered around a standoff in a metro area, man holding woman at gunpoint, and he spoke no English. Eventually the son showed up, things went haywire, and one of the eyes in the sky took down the man. The end of the episode focused on how the sniper was dealing with what he'd just done. As he walked to join the team, I thought it was well shot to show how he perceived everybody looking at him accusatorily. (I think I just made a word up!)

He went on to tell the psychiatrist he didn't need therapy. When he got home, his wife and son were waiting for him. J mentions that Col. Grossman writes and teaches about this, how people deal with killing someone as part of their job. Self-doubt, nightmares, etc.

While I realize most police officers never fire their weapons, I also realize that more often they do need to. I don't have statistics off hand, but I would be willing to wager it happens more now than it used to. And I sat there thinking, if that day comes, I wouldn't know how to help J cope with it. But because I know the potential is there, if I am smart I will prepare anyway. I want to be able to be his pillar in the days and weeks that would follow such an event.

Is it just the monster under the bed? Do I need to gird myself to help him through an event that may never happen? Should I attend a Killology class? Or do I just pray and have faith that J is never put through that trial?

Or do I need to stop taking network television so seriously?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Cops aren't parents

But why do people think they are?

The other day J gets a call dispatched while we are on the phone. I hear part of it, and he has to clarify it for me. Someone has called in because their five year old is hitting his mother.

Honestly?

Unless the mother is a midget or an invalid, and the child is a giant, what on earth would possess someone to ask for police assistance?

It brings to mind the times he was called because someone's child wouldn't go to school. He told them to be a parent and stop calling the cops.

Parent your own fucking children, and let the cops protect the public from the nuisances you let them become when they grow up.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Priceless

J just called me to tell me he served a warrant on a guy, and while documenting the contents of his briefcase, discovered a few "rubber rings."

You know, the type used in the bedroom?

He knew full well what they were, but acted ignorant and asked the guy what they were anyway.

Monday, June 09, 2008


Badge Baby and Daddy at the first annual Tactical picnic, last Saturday. All the guys had done 16 hours of training on Friday, then 6 more hours on Saturday morning. Almost all of the team made it to the picnic, and their half units and children did too. It was nice, meeting a bunch of them and having a few faces to go with the names. Can't say as I remember very many of the names now, but hopefully I will eventually.



Sunday, June 01, 2008

The greater good

Today is the first callout that I am actually not really worried for my husband's safety. In this instance, I'm going to be sad if they don't get the guy and bring him justice.

Police stopped a man, and upon running his license discovered there was a warrant out for him from Michigan, on kidnapping charges. There are two children in the car. Arrest attempted, man drives away. Chase ensues, I believe, and man ditches car near woods, flees on foot with children. Dogs, SWAT, and chopper have all been called out. I am praying they catch him.

update: The man was caught. Children returned safely to their mother. Turns out it was a custody issue, which most kidnappings are.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Suck it up, Bunny.

So Thursday night was the season finale of Lost. We love this show. It was a two-hour finale. We DVR almost everything that we watch on a consistent basis, and even when we're home and awake to watch a show, we usually wait a length of time, 15 minutes for a one hour show, 20-25 for a two hour show, to start watching. This way we can fast-forward through all the commercials. Sorry Hollywood, it is what it is. We don't like your damn commercials.

Anyway, it's about 10 o'clock, which means although the show is half over, we've only gotten about 35 minutes into it. I am anticipating we're both going to pass out at the end of this episode. The SWAT pager goes off.

Shit.

He checks it, it says all teams call team A leader. J calls number, gets busy signal. Naturally, because a home phone line cannot handle multiple phone calls coming in at the same time. Waits a few minutes, calls again.

Team leader says, "hey, what are you and the half unit (that's me, dear reader) bringing to the picnic?"

Next weekend the entire tactical unit has an overnight training exercise, and the following day, all the families and some 'honored guests' are having a big picnic. Team commander told team A leader to contact all the team. Leader figures easiest method of contacting all is by pager.

J thinks this is hysterical. I was a bit irked. Seriously? at ten o'clock at night, most of your team members have families young children, and you page them?

*sigh*

Friday, May 09, 2008

A swelling of pride

I don't know what is going on, what has changed, or what house the moon is in. But a few weeks ago, we were at lunch, J in uniform, me and little LT sitting with him. Two kids are getting their sodas, dad is grabbing napkins. Dad makes both kids say "thank you" to J, and then when he walks up he says a quick word of gratitude, shakes J's hand.

About a week after that, we're at a tattoo parlor, picking out the final design for J's ink. St Michael slaying the dragon. There's another guy shopping for inspiration, and Roy is finishing up on a client. Turns out the other guy shopping is also a LEO, and J went to the academy with another guy from his department. So naturally they strike up a conversation. Roy, the tattoo guy, happens to be a cop fan and is chatting them up as well. The guy who is just getting his tattoo aftercare instructions comes up and shakes both their hands, says thanks for all they do.

This type of thing has happened several times recently, and it catches me by surprise every single time. Being a cop family isn't like being a firefighter's family. I don't know if it's very common for other LEO families, but we don't advertise, especially living as close to the ghetto as we do. No FOP stickers on our plates. J doesn't mention it at movie theaters in the hopes of getting us a discount. We don't like the risk of inviting hatred. When he graduated from the academy, all the boys went out for wings and beer, and to the girly show. A waitress or hostess asked what they were celebrating, and they looked at each other and told her the fire academy.

At the time I thought he should be proud of who he was. Perhaps down the line he'll get a dose of fuckitall and won't care who knows. But for now we expect the "hairy eyeball" from John Q Public, so it's always really nice when someone goes out of their way to express appreciation. It's a bit corny, but it makes me so proud of him and all the boys in blue.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Life as we know it

It's been a hectic time in my house this last week. J has had 3 SWAT callouts. We've had two showings. A few appointments that had to be rescheduled or cancelled. Family visiting. Selling the old car. Purchasing a new car.

It's pretty unnerving when you're already feeling kind of frenetic, and the pager goes off. It's loud and persistent. It's not like a cell phone with a silly ring tone that you might not hear given the proper ambient noise. And the adrenaline level in the house goes up several levels. J, in classic sheepdog mode, gets antsy at the thought of doing what he loves best about his job. Me, in classic neurotic wife mode, worrying because I will not know what's going on, nor will we have contact until the situation is resolved.

People have asked, "aren't you worried?" when they learn he is on SWAT. And my response to them is typically along the lines of, "No, I know they're more prepared for the situations, the most dangerous situation a cop can get into is a traffic stop or a domestic, I know they're well trained" yadda yadda.

But every time the pager goes off, I get on edge. And yes, the what-if thoughts run through my mind. I finally succumb to curiosity and troll the local news sites for the latest updates. Often there are no stories until the situation is over and he's home, so it's a fruitless endeavor but almost every time I have done it anyway.

To add to it, the last two calls have been back to back, and both the night before we had showings scheduled during a time we were both out of the house. Which in theory would be fine, except we have two dogs. Now, neither of them has ever even bared their teeth at a human, let alone snapped or bit. They're labs. They love everybody. But one dog is part rottweiler, and he is territorial. What I'm getting at is the fact that when we have a showing during the work day, I have to run home to get the dogs. Just one more stress factor. If you've ever sold a home you were currently living in, you probably know how strenuous it is to keep your house CONSTANTLY in tip-top shape. Throw an almost-toddler and two large dogs into the mix, and it's an effort every night.

Now imagine trying to get ready for a showing, trying to get the baby down to bed, vacuuming the hair tumbleweeds, and mud that the dogs drag in because it's now springtime, do some more laundry, fit dinner in there somewhere, and ***BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP***.

Oy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Public attention

There have been a couple stories I have wanted to share here, but haven't been able to because they have made it into the local news. And in the interest of protecting my family's privacy, I decided not to discuss them in the event some kook decided to go hunting and figure out who we are. It's not that we are completely anonymous. If you know us, and find this blog, chances are you can figure out pretty easily it's us. But I am always worried about the evil you don't know. And the internet facilitates that all too easily. I do know the articles are archived now.

But it was some really cool shit.

The first, and in my eyes bigger, story occurred last summer. Some of the details are a bit fuzzy but essentially a felon with six months left on probation escaped the halfway house he was at, broke into a home and tied up the occupants, stole a gun and their car (and asked them for DIRECTIONS), and left. An off-duty officer on her way home happened to see the vehicle, remembering the description from the end of her shift, followed him while calling it in. The deputies were able to catch up and a chase ensued. J used his stopsticks, successfully blowing out the tires, but the chase continued several more miles on the freeway. The traffic cameras on the interstate happened to catch one of the most exciting parts of the chase, and the operator must have known it was coming because the normally static camera follows as the chase passes the station. This part of the chase is very Hollywood style, as the guy is running into cars and causing multiple accidents.

Let me pause here and stop you if you're about to debate the pros and cons of a police chase. The suspect was recklessly driving before the deputies were on his tail. Had at least one weapon in the car. And I'm fairly certain that once stopsticks are used, they can't just let the person drive off. But I digress.

The suspect finally stops when the hood of the car flies up, blocking his view. Someone was looking down and stepped in, because he was exiting the freeway into a very busy area of town. Who knows how much worse it could have gotten then. The traffic camera also catches all the deputies go flying out of their cars, guns drawn, and the subsequent arrest. It was pretty cool to actually see J in action.

Turns out officers get a little uniform decoration when they use the stopsticks, too.

The second story is less severe in nature but equally dramatic and perhaps more debateable.

J is driving around on patrol one warm summer day, and is flagged down by a woman in a Lowe's parking lot. She tells him there are two children locked in this car, and she doesn't know how long they've been in there, at least a few minutes. No parent anywhere in sight. He looks in the windows to see two girls, 2 and 4 years old, unconscious in their seats. He immediately begins trying to unlock the car and wake the girls. The 4 year old finally wakes up, but can't get out of her seat or open the door. I perhaps should mention at this point it is a sports car, so not a large vehicle. Attempts to jimmy the lock are unsuccessful, and still no parent is around. If you are a reader of this blog you might recall our son was born last May, and so J is at this point a proud new father. And naturally even more worried about the safety of a child than he might have been before. He tells the little girl to cover her face, and breaks the window with his baton.

Naturally the father finally comes out of the store right about now, and begins his story about how he only ran in for a minute, they were fine, the car was cool, it was locked, they were asleep and he didn't want to wake them, etc. It wasn't the hottest day, probably about 75 or 80 degrees that afternoon, but any expert will tell you (and any person with half a brain will agree) that the inside of a car climbs in temperature rather rapidly in the sun on a summer afternoon, to easily 20 or 30 degrees warmer. And starts going on and on about how this is going to ruin his career. In the retelling I stopped J at this point to ask if he was even worried about his children. J says no, the guy is just worried about his career.

Ready for the kicker? He's a pediatric specialist.

So even if you buy that the car was cooled when he left, and that he really was only in there for a 'few minutes' (at least 5 had transpired after J got there), there's still a matter of leaving a two year old and a four year old unattended. Which is really the law he was breaking here. Technically there isn't a law about leaving your kids in a heated vehicle (although there ought to be, I know it's just Ohio but it gets hot and humid here too), I suppose if you were sitting *in* the car with your kids there wouldn't be much they could do. But it doesn't take a cop with a baton to break a window and take two kids out of a car. It's not unthinkable that one of them could pop the parking brake, put something in their mouth, hurt each other, etc. If you think it's improbable then you've clearly never been around a toddler. They do these sort of things in the blink of an eye when you're THERE.

I found some livid debate at the time about it, and really it should be a moot point. There should have been no question about an officer's actions in this situation. But there's always a question. Always. It still irritates me that John Q Public thinks they know how to do a cop's job better.

But it is what it is.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Criminally Stupid

Really, sometimes it is criminal how stupid people can be. But it's funny how stupid criminals can be.

J gets a call to the Days Inn yesterday. Seems a guest had rockstar-style trashed the room. Light bulbs in the toilet. Furniture destroyed, up-ended, you name it. So J looks at the registration papers. Guy paid with cash, but left a valid phone number and they had copied his driver's license.

J calls the phone number.

"Uh....hello?"
"is this Robert Smith?"
"uh...no."
"Is he available?"
"Not right now."
"Do you know when he will be available?"
"Uh....who's this?"
"Deputy J*** ****, I need to speak with Robert Smith."
"uh....why?"

(at this point in the re-telling I am cracking up. It sounds to me like he's having a conversation with Bill & Ted, or Beavis)

"Is this Robert?"
"uh...no."
"What's your name?"
"Um. Rob?"
"Robert Smith?"
"yeah...."
"Why did you lie to me?"
"um...I was trying to figure out who you were."
"I told you who I was before you lied to me."
"Oh."
"Did you stay at Days Inn last night?"
"No?"
"You know they copied your drivers license when you checked in, right?"
"Shit."
"They want you to pay for all the damage you did to the room."
"I didn't do all that!"

Keep in mind that Robert is not looking at the room during this conversation, and has only his memory to remind him of what the damage is.

As I type this all out I realize it may not be nearly as funny written as it was in the telling. I assure you I was thoroughly amused, though. It helps if you hear the voice of this guy as Keanu Reeves in Bill & Ted.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Deputy injured in accident

This shit really pisses me off. Are people so blind that they can't see the vehicles on the side of the road? ESPECIALLY a vehicle with bright flashing lights?

I know a license is required to drive a vehicle, but seriously...maybe the requirements should be a little higher...